Are you an introvert who is best friends with an extrovert? Join the club. The introvert-extrovert friend pairing has been the go-to combination for ages. Why?
Well, we all know the old saying, “opposites attract”. Even though introverts and extroverts are on opposite ends of the personality spectrum, we often attract like magnets. And when you think of it, it makes total sense.
Extroverts are the yang to our yin. They are the sweet to our savoury, the outtie to our innie, the — well, you get the point.
There is no doubt that introverts and extroverts have complimentary qualities. But some of the very same characteristics that send us flying toward one another, like two love drunk hippies in an open field, can also cause conflict.
As an introvert with an extrovert best friend myself, I can honestly say that this friendship combination has the makings of greatness … but it also has the makings of a migraine. So, don’t feel bad if the friendship feels frustrating at times.
Not everyone will understand your struggle as an introvert who is best friends with an extrovert, but I certainly do! That’s why I’ve put together 7 things only those of us with extroverted besties will understand.
7 Things Introverts Who Are Best Friends With an Extrovert Will Understand
1. They either light your spark or drain your battery — nothing in between.
Your extroverted best friend tends to have an an all-or-nothing impact on your energy levels. He has an uncanny ability to light you up and make you feel like you can conquer the world, or at least the lame party he insists you attend.
But sometimes your extroverted best friend can have the opposite effect on you. His constant buzzing about exhausts you and you wish he would just chill for a while.
2. Sometimes you wish you had them all to yourself.
I’m not going to lie, I am a possessive friend. If you’re part of my tight-knit circle I want you all to myself. That ain’t gonna happen with an extroverted best friend.
Sometimes, you will feel inadequate because your extroverted friend doesn’t seem to need you as much as you need her. She spreads herself thin across an an endless list of friends and fun activities. Meanwhile, you would be content to just hangout with her everyday of the week.
As long as your extroverted friend makes time for you, you’re happy. But you feel frustrated on the days when her busy social calendar means she can only “squeeze you in” for an hour, as if you’re a business luncheon or a PTA meeting, instead of her most loyal (and awesome) friend.
3. Their FOMO annoys you and your FOGO frustrates them.
By now you’ve probably gotten used to your extroverted best friend’s Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO). He feels this strange urge to go out and seize the day all the time.
Meanwhile, you are more likely to experience Fear Of Going Out (FOGO), which means you either get left behind or dragged out to whatever sparkly activity has caught his eye.
Sometimes, you actually have a good time and you’re thankful for the extra push to go out. Other times, you count the minutes until you can go home and be alone for a while.
4. They keep the friendship exciting.
One of the reasons you were drawn to your extroverted best friend in the first place is the way she makes life more interesting and exciting. She takes you on adventures and helps you to see the world from a new perspective.
You love how she can tell a story in a way that makes you feel like you were actually there. You weren’t, of course, because … Netflix … but you still like to hear the highlights.
5. They’ll try to make everything a group activity.
Extroverts have this strange obsession with turning everything into a group activity. Their philosophy in life is “the more the merrier”, so what’s the big deal if they invite a few other friends along?
Believe me, for an introvert, it is a big deal. You’re okay with group activities under certain circumstance, because you mentally prepare yourself for the ordeal. But if you think you’ll be hanging out with your best friend and then suddenly someone you hardly know shows up, you’re not going to like it.
Thankfully, your extroverted bestie has realized this about you, so he tries to keep things one-on-one for the most part.
6. Sometimes you put them on a pedestal.
We live in a culture where social capital is a sought after currency. More friends equals more power. A packed social calendar is proof that you are important. This might leave you feeling inferior to your extroverted best friend.
You put him on a pedestal, thinking that he must be a better human because he can fill his schedule with so many fun activities and friends. The fact that you’re happy to devote more of yourself to fewer people seems decidedly uncool.
Just for the record, your extroverted best friend is not the hero of your story. You’re not the Robin to his Batman, or the floundering fish to her mermaid. You are different, but equal. So, don’t ever let your extroverted friend make you feel less important because you’re not as popular or outgoing as she is.
7. You’ve become a master at compromise.
Compromise is what keeps an introvert-extrovert friendship afloat. Sometimes, you’ll have to be okay with sharing your best friend with all her other best friends, because you know that this is what she needs.
Other times, she’ll have to be okay with slowing down and hanging out one-on-one with you in a chill place, because she knows that this is what you need.
If the compromise ever becomes too one-sided, the friendship might get thrown off balance and even break. Make sure that you and your extroverted best friend take turns compromising, knowing that your special bond is worth the effort.
By the way …
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What about you?
Are you an introvert who is best friends with an extrovert? How do you make the friendship work? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!
It`s a bit hard to me to answer . Being still retired- and now 74 years- I realize I like it to be alone, though I had a nice love affair with Johanna…For an outsider it`s hard to be a friend with me, on the other hand it`s a pleasure being alone in the park, a forest, meeting someone who had just been a widow. It was just a wonder to meet the very old man- about 88-seeing his sadness, listening to all his sorrow, who still misses his lovely wife. With other words, I love such kind of spontaneous meetings. And seeing your slideshow I love it to be alone, living without TV, saying hello to the cat of a neighbour on the other side of the street. Mostly I`m working on my calligraphy, which is just a hobby. Sometimes i`ve to wake up in the midnight, because of my CIAP- a kind of muscledisease- make me a cup of cappuccino and if it`s not too cold, I`ll sit on my balcony, watching the moon or stars, hearing the ducks etc. And too much noise will soon hurt my inner peace…Sorry for the long story! Oh eh, one more thing: last Saturday we had in our Russian Orthodox parish a funeral. A young Eritrean girl
had died after a cardiac surgery. There were about 300 people. At the graveyard, when the coffin went into the deep grave, all the women started weeping and screeming heartbreaking. And being so sensitive I felt more than the usual pity. Poor parents and children.
With love from the Netherlands,
Edit: Sorry, this message ended up being far longer than I intended hehe.
I *was* good friends with an extrovert, until we went travelling Europe. She was annoyed at me 24/7 and seemed to be looking for any excuse to get into a fight/argue/criticise me.
When thinking about it later, I realised that part of the problem was the differences in my approach to our relationship when back home vs while travelling. Before I’d left to go travelling, I had always been more submissive to her extrovert needs/wants at the expense of my own introverted ones – I often forced myself to go with the flow and be dragged along on her adventures. Not just in the physical sense, but also in terms of what she was interested in and what she wanted to talk about (partly because she talked a lot more than I did, of course). When I met up with her in Europe, I had already been travelling for a few months – both alone and with another introverted friend for a while. I had “come into my own” a bit more, having been completely free to approach my daily existence in the way that I wanted, seeing/thinking/feeling things in the way I wanted, meeting/befriending/hanging out with a lot of new people, or compromising with my introverted friend who is quite similar to me in many ways.
I don’t think my extroverted friend appreciated me being a little more assertive in terms of just being me. My thoughts and views on things mattered more to me than before, and I was more willing to make the effort to share *my* experiences and feelings. It seemed as though she expected me to be submissive to her again, and see things through her eyes, talk about and value the same things she did, wherever we went.
We eventually tried talking it through but that didn’t work out – her approach was that there was something wrong with me or bothering me, causing me to argue with her. She refused to divulge anything from her side relating to why she seemed to be in a bad mood with me all the time. I was quite hurt by this, as I felt like I had been doing everything I could to actually avoid conflict, by actively compromising and being very diplomatic about everything. I’m very non-confrontational. It really started to feel as though she didn’t actually like me at all, and didn’t want to let me be me – she only liked the version of me that would talk about the things she wanted to, choose to see things the way she did, and validate her way of seeing the world.
Eventually I decided to leave and travel on my own again. A few months later she severed all contact with me, so I guess in this instance the introvert/extrovert close friend thing didn’t work out. I think in this case there was more at play than simple introvert/extrovert differences though 🙂
sometimes, I just want my friend to remember to invite me to do sth, but I really don’t want to do that. And if there are three of us, I will feel bad and may leave apart. I feel I am the pressure for them because they said they had to aware how I feel, but I just want to know the truth
Michaela, I like your point #2: Sometimes you want them all to yourself. That’s very true, I’ve found. As an extroverted adult, I find that it’s hard to see my introverted friends enough for them. It’s not that I’m all that popular, but at any given time I have at least 6 or 7 friends I’d like to keep in touch with (maybe more, if you count less-close acquaintances and such).
It’s a problem for me, too, because I want to keep my friends happy. I’m somewhat of a people pleaser (a pretty strong people pleaser): But how do I choose?
If I only have time to see maybe 1 friend per weekend (not including my family or significant other), plus maybe another 1 friend during week for quick happy hour / coffee break, that means I can only see any particular person about once every 3-4 weeks (usually less, due to travel and other commitments). I wish I had no job and could spent 90% of my time socializing, but I can’t. That’s led to some tense situations in the past: My extroverted friends roll with it, but I have a few introverted friends who want to see me every week (or at least 2-3 times a month).
I just can’t. It kind of sucks, actually!
To follow up on my earlier comment, I find that it’s hard to see my friends enough, even if they are ALSO extroverted. I wish there was just more free time in our lives here in America, but with traffic, family responsibilities, work, commuting, trying to get to the gym now and then… AARGH. Anyway, sometimes I think about “dropping” a few friends, to concentrate better on making strong relationships with just one or two people (which I think it something that more introverted friends do naturally). But it’s so hard.
Who do I drop? My close friend from college with whom I don’t have quite as much in common anymore? My co-worker who cracks me up and makes my day brighter? The cool chick from yoga class who I meet with twice a month for yoga? An awesome woman who helped me through my divorce?
It’s not so easy to slough off awesome people in life (and really I don’t want to do it). Such is life. Sigh. Cheers, Michaela! Thanks for writing!
TBH I’m kind of jealous of the introverted power of just being able to hang out one on one. Sometimes I really wish that I could really bond deeply with someone like that and feel comfortable with it (besides my spouse).
I’ve come to accept that I need a wide range of social interaction, but I’m also working on being a faithful friend to a few. I don’t have one best friend and I probably never will, which in some ways does make me a bit sad.
Its really hard to maintain this relationship. I don’t have any friends except her my bff who is an extrovert. Due to some to some problem i can only talk to her in evening but she is so busy with her other friends we hardly talk anymore, every minute passing by feels like hours. I don’t want her all for myself but just want her little time so we can talk like we used to. I hope she understands.
You totally described my husband and I! I’m the introvert in this scenario. ??
I am an extreme introvert, she is an extreme extrovert. While yes, she does like to read a book or watch a movie alone once in a while, I would like to be alone about 95% of the time. I’m uncomfortable going and doing and even being with others more than a couple of days a week. But the longer I know her, the more she plans for the two of us to do something together several days a week. She is from a huge family with lots of sisters and dotes on them.
It is playing cards or eating together (whatever she cooks, and I don’t like the things she cooks — it’s a cultural thing and what she was raised on; I don’t like spices and strong flavors) or it is going to antique stores or flea markets. She is more than willing to do the driving, the food preparation, the planning, and I feel like I should do more in order to “return the favors.” But it isn’t always a favor. It wears on my temperament and mood after a while. She never insists that I join her. But she is so kind and generous and loving I feel I must. And there’s the rub.
I am afraid of destroying this friendship — I do enjoy being with her occasionally and we get along well. We are equally sharing about ourselves in conversations. I drop by her house and she drops by mine — whenever we feel like it. I just don’t want as much dropping by as she does. And because I sometimes go out of my way to go to her house and be there because she loves company, I ‘m afraid she is reading this as MY wanting more time together. And I don’t.
It is difficult to strike a balance that satisfies each of us. But I guess that is what relationships are about.
I had and still have super extrovert people friend(s) but! I always find it hard to keep my relationship with them in balance! It is either I start getting annoyed or they start getting bored -_-