Thought Catalog
November 15, 2016

10 Signs You’re An Extroverted Introvert With Anxiety Issues

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What is the issue?
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1.

The world will try to convince you that the shy voice in your mind is nothing but a delusion because of your infrequent break downs, because, with a voice this bold and opinions this strong, you cannot struggle with articulation.

The world will tell you that they envy how easily your skin and bones can merge with a crowd and yet your thoughts stand out, they will tell you that they have never seen anyone be so “chill” and spontaneous, so unafraid of opinions and side talk that for a moment you want to believe all of this.

Their words sound so convincing that for once you WILL believe that you were born for the spotlight even though your frame is always lurking in the shadows, so scared and so afraid.

2.

You’re the loner surrounded by friends, each of whom know funny excerpts from your life like how you played with your Barbie Tea Set until you were 15 and how you sold your father’s Ray Bans for 250 Rupees at a fair you organized with your sister.

But they will never hear about the time you stayed awake until 5 am listening to The Cinematic Orchestra drowning in the loneliness that follows you around like a shadow on cold nights. They will never know that your biggest inhibition is initiating conversations, how you shut your eyes every time someone opens your Facebook news feed, because it spirals you into anxiety just seeing how happy people are, genuinely happy.

They might not even notice how you sit on the side during dinner and stare at your plate of food with a half lost appetite, because the NOISE of laughter slowly starts to drive you insane. They will never hear the silence of your deafening thoughts as inadequacy rings through your mind.

They will never hear any of this, primarily because the extrovert in you cannot handle this much emotion. Come on. you wonder, as you snap out of your thoughts, “Where the fuck is my chill?”

3.

Social gatherings and parties are your worst nightmares, yet your escape from boredom. The social side of you experiences an adrenaline rush every time the shy, dimpled guy comes up to speak about Indie Folk with you. But the reserved part of you shies away from this, giggles interspersed with forced smiles, while secretly hoping that he will leave so you can go back to enjoying your solitude.

This conundrum — what you should do and what you want to do is enough to leave you jaded whilst you silently curse the next person who comes up to discuss poetry and drunken adventures with you.

4.

The world will try to understand the dynamics of your mind. But the world never will.

5.

Your “this is why I have no friends,” and “I am going to be single forever” jokes are not concealing your image insecurities, loneliness, and your lack of self-love. Someday someone will notice the realization that settles on your face every time you shut your lips after making one of these. You will never make it too obvious, but remember, it always will be.

6.

The clearest thing you will be able to see is that people REALLY are blind. They will not see through you. What you are and what the world sees are two different people coexisting within the same frame.

7.

You are the most “chill” lover the world has ever come across. Your words are laced with confidence and inklings of indifference as you speak about your cruel intentions with a grace that would make Ryan Phillippe blush. Little do they know that you’re like Reese Witherspoon, who hides behind pages of journal entries and listens to his favorite songs on repeat even though reggae never interested you.

I know you want to talk to him about how, if you could, you would never let him leave from the warmth of your arms, how you want to hold him close and read poetry out to him, each word unraveling a story your lips have hushed in moments of inhibitions. I know you want to tell him that he is the only bible your infidel heart accepts, however you’re too much of a vagabond.

“Homes” have always terrified you. Permanence terrifies you. I know you want to tell him that the only reason you answer his texts instantly is because his contact is the only one with customized notifications enabled. I know you want to tell him that even though you believe in being selfish, his needs are the only ones you would ever place above yours.

But you? Nah. You’re the “chill” girl. So you wrap your words in presents and address them to the void in your stomach every time you speak to him using hollow words and causal promises.

You were not made for this anyway.

8.

You do not hate people. You do not hate people. You do not hate people. They just terrify you. They always have. The words they say, throwing them around like used, chewed gum, stick to the sole of your feet only creating a mess you now need to get yourself out of.

It’s your fault. You should have watched your step.

9.

Your panic attacks are real. Your anxiety because of an influx of messages is real. Anxiety can be paralyzing. Just because you do not stay quiet through heated debates and speak about your day with people you do not know, does not mean that you are not hiding behind yourself.

You’ve just mastered the art of pretense and social interaction.

Your problems are real. THIS is real. This is happening. You are here.

10.

You feel like both the problem and the solution. You want to be you, genuinely, be you, or at least the person people perceive you to be. Perhaps if you were, this wouldn’t be a problem.

You are so tired of being yourself and still feeling like you’re hiding in the skin of a body you never belonged in, like your actions are defiant and sometimes so foreign that you can hardly believe in the reality of yourself. You’re always struggling between who you are and who you can be.

Perhaps, you are the person you think you can be.

Perhaps, we are part-time living the lives of people we were never meant to be.

But darling, I know that your thoughts will make sense one day, and I goddamn hope you’re brave enough to believe in them. TC mark