An Open Letter To The Struggling Extrovert

Unsplash / Priscilla du Preez

Since you can remember, you’ve taken on the titles ‘class clown’ and ‘social butterfly.’ You’re the first one on the microphone at karaoke night. Games like charades were made for you. You’ve been the MC at every family function. Job interviews are something you look forward to. You’re the plus one to every wedding, because who could be more fun than you?

You’re approachable, friendly, and loud (some may even use the word ‘funny’). You have a lot of friends. And by a lot, I mean too many. You have plans for tomorrow. Just kidding, the entire week. Your love for people is genuine. You are raw and vulnerable; people find this refreshing. You’re dependable. You always pick up on the first ring and you drop everything in a moment of need. You’re selfless; you are always putting others’ needs in front of your own. People are attracted to your openness.

But this doesn’t tell the whole extroverted truth. The way you present yourself is not always an accurate reflection of how you feel.

Your bubbly, loud personality is confused with ‘happiness.’

The truth is, your loudest moments have been your loneliest. You’re bubbly personality shines brightest when you’re trying to cover up the deep pain you feel. You’re afraid of how people will respond when they meet timid, quiet you. And so you never let them see it.

Your high-energy is mistaken for well-rested. But the truth is, you’re exhausted.

You’re so exhausted giving everyone else advice you haven’t had time to take your own. You stopped doing things for you because you’ve drained yourself doing things for everyone else. You’re afraid of what you might hear when you really listen to yourself, so you continue to listen to others instead.

You’re dependable, but you’re also too available.

You’re disappointed when friends don’t show up for you the way you showed up for them. But the truth is, they’re doing what you should have done a long time ago: putting themselves first.

Your openness is misleading because when you’re alone, you become unrecognizably guarded.

People commend you for your openness, but the truth is, there’s a wall that even you haven’t been able to break through. You’re approachable because you’re always looking for more people to surround you, talk to you, and ultimately, distract you (from being with yourself).

Perhaps you’re finding very little truth in what you’re reading, but I’m sure some of you relate. I won’t leave you with a proposed solution or a defining moment when I learned to love being alone. I don’t love it and I still avoid it. But the awareness that I was avoiding something helped me; I hope it helps you too. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

I believe there is great power in storytelling – we have the ability to inspire others and disrupt societal norms by the stories we share.

Keep up with Braelyn on Instagram

More From Thought Catalog