Friday, April 17, 2015

From "introvert" to extrovert

I've always thought I was an introvert for a few reasons.  I'm bad at small talk, I'm shy when I meet new people, and I can be very quiet in conversations.

Something I've especially loved and appreciated about this journey in overcoming anxiety is I've discovered a lot about myself, about different mindsets, relationships, etc.  One of these recent discoveries is I was wrong about the whole introvert thing.

For the longest time, my anxiety made me think I was an introvert for all the reasons I mentioned before.  In reality, I'm very much an extrovert...who is dealing with anxiety.  I am energized from being out with people, with friends, with family.  It's what makes me feel present and alive.  And when I go without being around friends or family, it drains me.  I don't find solitude particularly exhilarating, though I do need it from time to time to refresh and reset.  My husband on the other hand, is the opposite. He's energized from having time to himself, but he can carry on a conversation with someone he just met.

The "introvert"/"extrovert" thing isn't is black and white as we make it out to be.  We tend to equate "life of the party" with "extrovert" and "quiet" with "introvert."  Personalities, quirks, traits, and flaws get in the mix and we get an extrovert who is shy at first glance or an introvert who can carry on conversation with a stranger.

Needless to say, I'm thrilled that with help I came to this realization.  Now I know I need to tend to that part of me.

But if you have any tips on mastering your small talk game, I'm all ears.

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