There are a lot of writings on introverts, and extroverts, and outspoken introverts that can pose as extroverts, and extroverts that are the highest extrovert-level possible on the MBTI scale, and cats. However, where’s the love for shy extroverts? Although this may seem like the most overt oxymoron ever, there are some of us who are both energized by the company of people and are quieter/hate being put on the spot. Here are 11 things that may give away the fact you’re friends with a shy extrovert. Or, conversely, because all people are different, these may just be 11 things that give away the fact you’re friends with me. We’ll see.
1. Don’t expect us to be the center of attention in big groups. I’m here to enjoy the party, not to entertain you. And not because I’m a rude-ass, but because I know that any story or joke I try and tell will sound offensive or boring, and frankly, I hate talking about myself. So for the most part, I’m keeping my mouth shut.
2. Because of this, we’re great listeners. Have you ever had a friend who doesn’t mind when you go on about your life, and seemingly has all the time in the world to hang out with you? Yup, that’s us. No, we’re not sarcastically asking you to keep talking about your horrible boss, we actually want to know.
3. And because of this, we are the keeper of secrets. Because who else can listen as well as we can, and loves to be around humans as much as we do? Plus, who are we going to tell? Other shy extroverts? Yes. We actually have a annual conference where we spill all of our friends’ secrets. Sorry ‘bout it.
4. The day after a party, you’ll ask us if we had fun, your face flush with concern. Why? Because we didn’t talk to a lot of people? Don’t worry. Hanging out with a few friends, party-watching by ourselves on the couch, and dancing alone like it’s 1999 are activities that make us happy. Big crowd, lots of bodies, no reason to actually talk to millions of people unless we want to? Perfect.
5. Common middle names of ours include “extremely awkward,” or “kinda creepy,” or “lurk much.” Being comfortable with chilling in the background at big functions doesn’t always do us justice.
6. We’re very comfortable with silence. Need a minute to collect your thoughts? Fine. No problem. As long as I’m sitting with you, friend.
7. In the same vein, conversations with us may be painfully long. My boss once called me a “slow processor.” Yes, that’s me. It takes me 70,000 hours to figure things out. But I’m an extrovert, so I wanna process this shit out with someone, so sit with me forever, mmk?
8. Who’s the master at long-time-no-see-one-on-one conversations? WE ARE. Please. I am the Queen of one-on-one coffee meet-ups, shopping trips, and late night talks. I crave the weeks I go back to my hometown and can catch up with as many people as possible in an intimate setting. Tell me about how much you’ve grown in the past year. Hell, I’ll even talk a little bit about myself in return. This. This is my Olympics.
Note: I can also be extremely flexible with this number. I’m great at the groups of three, and good with hangout quads. Once we start to get into party of five territory, however, things get a little bit overwhelming.
9. Public speaking is the worst. The. Worst. I don’t care if this surprises you, if you think I’m really good at it. Just let me write a paper on the subject or give an oral exam only to my professor, please!
10. Best friends always get confused when they see us in different settings: You were completely quiet when all six of us were hanging out, but you’re talking my ear off now! Things change, baby. I love you, so I’m going to be my authentic self around you. But I’m not completely comfortable with everyone in our friend group, so…I’m just going to be the superb listener I know I can be, then collect their secrets and take it to the next Shy Extroverts Annual Conference.
11. It is entirely possible the shy extrovert will spend a weekend day or two “recharging,” because honestly, who can spend all of their waking moments with humans? However, said “recharging weekend,” though starting off really great, takes a turns for the boring and lonely, and it ends up with us calling you on Saturday night. Yeaaaah, it was good to binge-watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer by myself all day…but I miss you. GIVE ME HUMAN CONTACT. Come tell me about your life. Oh, and yes. Just bring you.