Have you ever fantasized about becoming an extrovert?
Maybe you’re like me and you used to, or still do, look to extroverts as the ideal to strive for.
When I was younger, I admired women who had the personality of a golden retriever. I’m talking about the type of women who greet everyone with big smiles and open hearts.
These women always had lots to say and plenty of energy. Of course, they were extroverts.
My deep admiration for extroverted women clouded by ability to see that we introverts have some pretty admirable traits, too. Not only that.
Many extroverts admire and envy us introverts.
Can you imagine?
As we’ve been salivating over their outgoingness, extroverts have been envying our independence, quietness, and calm.
They want to be the quiet one
Many times, I’ve heard extroverted women say that they felt inadequate as children, because girls are expected to be pretty and quiet.
This is interesting to me because I always felt that girls were expected to be talkative.
Maybe we’re all just projecting what WE think we should be.
In any case, I secretly love hearing that bold extroverts with big personalities wish they were more introverted.
It feels great to be admired, and yes, even envied. I like to know that I have innate qualities that others find enticing, without my even trying. Because Lord knows I’ve tried.
Over the years, I wasted much of my limited introvert energy striving to earn my seat at the table of ‘good’ people.
To be good was to be extroverted, and to be extroverted was (in my mind) to slowly drown in a world of fake smiles and small talk hell.
Now I know that there’s merit in my ability to be alone and still and quiet.
While extroverts need to constantly seek outward sources of entertainment through socializing and endless doing, I can just BE.
As an introvert, much of my entertainment comes from internal sources, like my imagination and creativity.
I don’t need to go out searching for these things. They are always with me.
Shutting up is a 21st century virtue
Word on the street is that extroverts are also envious of the introvert’s ability to shut up.
As I’m sure you know, many extroverts lack this gift of word economy. Thankfully, some of them have the self awareness to recognize that their talkativeness can be annoying.
The other day, I met a woman in a cafe who clearly wanted to chat. She peppered me with a few friendly questions, and then she said something surprising.
“Just let me know if I’m bothering you. I know I can be very talkative and that can overwhelm people. So if you want me to leave you alone, just let me know.”
I kind of did want her to leave me alone, but didn’t mind talking a little bit longer, because I knew that she wasn’t going to hold me hostage in the conversation.
When I started to reached for my book, she immediately took the hint and zipped it, even though she was obviously still itching to talk.
Clearly, this was a woman who was aware of the limitations of her extroversion. Maybe at some point she even wished she was more introverted like me.
If she was an innie she could sit quietly in a cafe, without needing to befriend everyone within a five metre radius.
You see, while both extroverts and introverts need connection, introverts feel more comfortable disconnecting and turning inward for a while.
With meditation and mindfulness being all the rage lately, extroverts are starting to see the advantages of having a natural ability to sit down and shut up.
Finally, we introverts are getting the recognition we deserve for the quiet traits that used to bring us so much shame.
Extroverts want to join the introvert club
Another interesting development I’ve seen more and more lately is extroverts wanting to join the introvert club.
People who are so obviously extroverted they seem to vibrate even when sitting still have told me that they are introverts.
I think to myself, “Oh, honey. Nice try, but you are so NOT one of us.”
I’m not gonna lie. It feels pretty awesome to have someone from the once revered extrovert’s club knocking on the door of our introvert’s club.
All this is to say that it’s truly the introvert’s time to shine. And if extroverts want to admire us, I’ll gladly oblige them. So should you.
Recognize and embrace the fact that you have amazing, beautiful, admirable qualities as an introvert and you deserve to be adored.
Speaking of beautiful introvert qualities, I share how to reveal your most confident, authentic self in my free Introvert Confidence Lessons. Grab the free lesson here.
Lots of love,
That woman in the cafe could be me! We can be a pain, though it’s not unkindly intended. But I don’t necessarily think an ability to recognise that other people want to be left alone is only an introvert trait – it’s good manners to tune into what others want and need. And yes, sometimes an extrovert wants to be left alone too. But when you do you attract suspicion – why aren’t you the life and soul of the party tonight?
I don’t see why extroversion should be “better”. It has its uses and I’m happy enough to be extroverted, but vive la difference! You guys are great at focusing. You finish art you’re creating and books you’re writing. I think that comes easier to you guys.
I’ve learnt a lot from my innie friends and feel relaxed in their company.
Many extroverts never learn when to keep their mouths close. They just keep talking and/or arguing even when they are in the wrong.
i like the positive energy in your words
and us an infj i feel so harmony and welcoming 😀
i need a lot of this topics to accepting myself and stop
hating of criticism
thanks for sharing