This week’s fun moment spotlight goes to a discussion on extroverts and introverts during my friend’s birthday dinner (Sidenote: too many birthdays in November. We all know why).
I am very extroverted. This week, I’ve been cooped up at home because I was sick and I was about to go crazy. I constantly felt a need to socialize with my friends. Not being able to talk to or see anyone in person made me restless and frustrated.
And here is the part that makes me laugh (otherwise I’ll cry): when I was finally feeling well enough to go out and I told my friends about the life problems of an extrovert, I realized almost all of them are introverts – and they are very introverted.
This realization was fast and quick, recognized by the following common responses:
- “But I love staying at home.”
- “Oh my god, I can’t do that. Talking to people makes me so tired.”
- “Don’t you need time alone to re-energize yourself?”
- “I should get sick. Maybe then everyone will stop bothering me.”
- “But I don’t want to meet new people.”
- “I would never initiate a conversation first!”
- “My friend would call me and ask, ‘can I talk to you now?”
- “And I would say, ‘No, you’re disturbing ME TIME!”
And then all the other symptoms started to appear in my mind: my friends are rarely on social media. They take forever and a day to reply to a text message. They leave events early. They almost never introduce me to a new friend.
And then there’s me: I hate eating alone – I utterly despise it. I love it when someone calls me “just to chat”. I don’t mind saying, “Hello” to a stranger. “Me time” means binge watching an entire series of Korean drama, where I feel like a piece of crap afterwards because I did nothing productive (and I’m also confused about what to do with my life because the series is over).
The scary part about being friends with all these introverts is that when the time comes where I’m thirsty for human interaction, they may not be so inclined to do the same. And unfortunately for me, there shouldn’t be anything wrong about that.
Just like how they might find it strange for me to want to meet new people, I find it odd that they prefer spending time alone in their room all day. And just like how I get grumpy if I don’t have someone to talk to when I’m bored, they get sensitive and easily annoyed if they socialize too much.
But at the end of the day, I am happy with how I live my life. My friends are also happy with their own, and we are happy to be friends with each other. If we are truly polar opposites on this scale, then moments like this where we come together in a shared desire for connection is especially beautiful.
For those who are interested in finding out where you stand on the E or I scale, take this personality test – very interesting profile summaries. I am a “Consul” (ESFJ)!
Everyone shines given the right lighting.
For some, it’s a Broadway spotlight, for others, a lamplit desk.
– Susan Cain