Extrovert? Introvert? Whaaaa..?

Ramble No. 1:

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Introvertness: I spent my childhood thinking I was a geek at school, always reading, always correcting people, always getting high grades, always told to just shut up, to stop being a smarty pants, a know it all. I was even nicknamed google for a few years… I always had issues starting conversations with people and if they lagged, I had issues reviving such conversations. Half of the time, I sat there in the awkward silence having a mini-anxiety attack on the inside trying to think of a “good” way to bring the conversation back, the other half of the time I was thankful for the silence and praying I won’t have to go through more small talk or really boring talking points. I preferred the solitude of my bedroom for days on end, generally avoiding human interaction as much as I possibly could. 

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Changing schools, changing friends, domestic issues, lots of travel, mixing with such a vast amount of personalities have all affected me in ways I’m probably not fully aware of. I will probably never become aware of the full extent of such effects. Nonetheless, I see them all in a positive light. Whether something has been painful or joyful, comforting or uncomfortable, I have gained knowledge from it and I have endeavoured to better myself with that knowledge. Some of the things learned were simply things about myself that I hadn’t noticed before and if they are things I did not like, I became more active at implementing changes. And so, my social skills, and liking of social situation, changed. 

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Extrovertness: I spent most of my teenage life as a relatively popular person. I was always surrounded by people, most of whom I regarded as friends for the most part. I was fine with conversations, sometimes I was even funny! *pause for admiration at basic skill* I was fine with striking conversations, continuing them and ending them. Small talk wasn’t as big an issue anymore. You’d think I would continue on with that but it seems age and some life changes have struck a sort of balance.

mean-girls    (not quite but close)

Beyond middle school, high school was a trying time. It included relationships and friendships; their creation and destruction and boy don’t teens love some drama! I was no exception to that stereotype. I enjoyed the drama at least some of the time. Emotional pain was a regular thing – between said relationships and friendships, my home situation was even less bearable. Something celebration worthy at 15 years old: a divorce was finally on the horizon. A separation under the same roof wasn’t cutting it. This followed by several family fall outs, failed personal “relationships”, moving house, being disowned several times and finally war – who says life in the Middle East is boring?! So many factors, no wonder I cannot ascertain the true source(s) of the balance.

The balance: Between the ages of 19 and 21, I alternated between being an extrovert and an introvert, both on extreme ends of the spectrum. Until the age of 22, introvert was seemingly prevailing. Granted, this was not assisted by certain personal relationships, indeed they furthered the anxiety developed from my “left-over” PTSD but a couple of months after turning 23, I got a job at a law firm (tsk tsk here comes the money grabber) where I pretty much had an anxiety attack every 8-12 hours on a regular basis for the first 7 months. It was brutal. Going through those meant I was absolutely shattered but it was something I had to go through. I was secluded and stuck in books and TV shows for so long that I had effectively forgotten how to talk to people, how to be around them. Having work colleagues, having to speak to clients and other people all on a regular basis  got me to where I am now.

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Google informs me the thing I refer to as a balance between the two is an out-going introvert or extroverted introvert. Well that was useful… I thought I’d get a special word that isn’t a hybrid of some sort. Apparently out-going introverts and introverts get on fine but out-going introverts and extroverts don’t..? not-anti-social-selective

 

There should be a club for people like me because we can’t do extreme ends, we need that balance. There probably is a club and I am determined to find it!

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