Highly Sensitive Person & Introvert

The (Outgoing!) Introvert and Me

Me during a party! [🖼️❗]
Me for a few days after the party. [🖼️❗️]
You’re super talkative. You’re the life of the party on your side of the table. People come to you for advice and you do advise them (in about, oh, 1000 words instead of 100). You welcome any newbie in your work team and proceed to spend 15 minutes to tell everything a newbie should know (including how to submit claims, yep, that’s important)). You say hi to people you know in the hallway, which happens like 100 times a day, and people think you know everyone in the bulding!

But when a friend invites you to join a big bunch of people for dinner after work, you take a while before reluctantly agree. You mumble some excuse when your office department organises a sponsored (FREE!) 2-days-1-night outing with the team. You take 2 weeks to respond to someone’s weekend lunch invitation. Even when a huge once-in-a-lifetime event of [insert your passionate hobby here] happens, it’s hard to coax you out of your house. And then, you go on a radio silence for days at a time.

Sounds something like you? Well, congratulations – like me, you’re an outgoing introvert!

An outgoing introvert is like a crash landing – it just doesn’t make logical sense. But you really can be an introvert with an outgoing personality!
~From Love Panky: Outgoing Introvert: Huh? 12 Signs You’re a Complete Ambivert

Wait, what? An outgoing introvert? Like, an extraverted introvert? Is there even such a thing?!

Yep, I thought the same thing before I learned more about it. Like many (most?) people, I thought bring an introvert / extrovert was black-and-white thing – either you are or you aren’t – and that extrovert means outgoing and introvert means shy. For many years I never knew why I would be so talkative at school / work and then preferring to crash onto a couch at home than to hang out with others. I realised I was more of an introvert as I grew up through adolescence and venture into the working world, but that didn’t explain why I was so outgoing that people thought I was an extrovert!

What is an Extrovert / Introvert?

So, let’s set some things right with an infographic from experts:

The Key Differences Between Introverts And Extroverts
~From Office Vibe: The Key Differences Between Extroverts and Introverts

Note that there isn’t the word “outgoing” or “shy” in this infographic!

Wait, So What’s an Outgoing Introvert?

Now that we’ve established that extrovert =/= outgoing and introvert =/= shy, this part becomes easier. Remember the first point in the infographic, where extroverts recharge by being social and introverts by alone time?

Yep, you’ve got it – an outgoing introvert has an outgoing personality, but needs alone time to recharge!

Now pause for a second there and let that sink into your mind.

Wait, an outgoing personality but needs alone time to recharge?

See the problem? We like people (or at least I do), but I’ll go mad if I meet people after work every day of the week. A free 2-days-1-night event with my colleagues? No offence, but it’s enough that I see you every other weekday.

Traits of an Outgoing Introvert (and How I Fit into Most)

Stumbling upon the quoted article below was an “Aha!” moment – finally I know what I really am! If you feel like on the verge of getting yours, well, read on!

1. Your energy level is closely tied to your environment.
~From Introvert, Dear: 10 Signs You’re an Outgoing Introvert

Well, we already established that I’m a highly sensitive person, so it’s a given I’d be sensitive to the environment! But my level of excitement depends on the crowd too – if it’s a group of people I don’t really know (say, my husband’s work group), I have a tendency to be a smiling / silent / nodding person at the corner, and I become more animated if it’s a smaller group I’m closer to.

2. You find people to be both intriguing and exhausting.
~From Introvert, Dear: 10 Signs You’re an Outgoing Introvert

That’s why I need my time-off after work and on weekends. 🙂

3. Certain people and interactions drain you while others recharge you.
~From Introvert, Dear: 10 Signs You’re an Outgoing Introvert

That’s true for me, though one will be hard-pressed to find someone that doesn’t drain me! I can hang out with my best friend for 8 hours straight and probably still talk more with my husband after that, yet a 2-hour after-work dinner with my colleagues is tiring for me.

4. You can be charming but also deeply introspective and reflective.
~From Introvert, Dear: 10 Signs You’re an Outgoing Introvert

Yep, I can tell stories and make people laugh, but even when I’m alone, my mind always goes round and round on a topic at any given time. I’d think the only time my mind is quiet is when I sleep or meditate!

5. When you feel rested and recharged, you reach out to others.
~From Introvert, Dear: 10 Signs You’re an Outgoing Introvert

I only really do this for my best friend and close family members, not so much for the rest. If they call me? Great, I’ll check my introvert gauge. If not? No biggie, I’ll save it for that inevitable after-work event that is very likely to come soon.

6. You need time to warm up in social situations.
~From Introvert, Dear: 10 Signs You’re an Outgoing Introvert

Yep, especially when it’s someone I just met or someone I don’t know well. If it’s my husband’s colleagues, I’ll let him do the talking while I just smile, and we swap when it’s my colleagues. 🙂

7. It actually takes less energy to say what’s on your mind than to make small talk.
~From Introvert, Dear: 10 Signs You’re an Outgoing Introvert

Very much so. I hate to tell this to my colleagues, but when we pass each other in the office, I’d prefer to stop at “Hi!” and “Hey, hi!” But most of these people prefer to stick around and go through the “How are you?” / “Good, what about you?” / “Good!” routine, which is quite tiring for me. But I was told it’s rude not to do that, so… 😦

8. You’re selectively social. It’s hard to find people who you click with, so you have only a few close friends.
~From Introvert, Dear: 10 Signs You’re an Outgoing Introvert

I used to think I’m a super introvert or something, because my one best friend is the only friend I’d call on a regular basis! I prefer to invest my time with her than spread it out among people I’m not too close to.

9. You have no interest in trying to prove yourself in a crowd of strangers.
~From Introvert, Dear: 10 Signs You’re an Outgoing Introvert

Because… why? Maybe it’s because I dislike attention; or rather, I dislike crowd attention and prefer a smaller group.

10. You’re often confused for an extrovert.
~From Introvert, Dear: 10 Signs You’re an Outgoing Introvert

Yep, and they get confused when I decline an invitation for a gathering of any sort. I’ve lost friends because I decline every time they call me for a big catch-up gathering of 15 people during a time when I’m recharging. I’ve done my share of escaping from after-work dinners. And, more recently, my work boss’ boss wants to know why I declined a (FREE!) 2-days-1-night social event with my whole department… yep. But that’s another story for another time. 🙂

End Note

And that’s how I confirmed I’m an outgoing introvert! That put an end to years-long confusion for me. Now I know what my limits are, and I can draw a line on social interactions on my personal time and not feel bad about it!

If you want to know more about outgoing introverts, I suggest reading the following articles:

And if you’re an outgoing introvert as well, come and say hi! I promise I’ll stop at just hi. 😀

~Nicolle ❤️

Today’s Self-Compassionate Letter:

Dear Self,

Congratulations on learning something new about yourself! That’s always great, especially when you’ve learned how much social interaction you can take and keep your energy high.

And don’t feel bad about being an introvert and needing your alone time! Even though the world places more value in extroversion, it doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with you – it’s how you tick, and there’s strength in silence and introspection, so stand proud (or grin proudly to yourself in front of your computer) as an introvert!

9 thoughts on “The (Outgoing!) Introvert and Me

  1. I’m definitely an introvert, but I’m also easily distracted.
    I’ve always thought that the difference between introvert and extrovert is not how they interact with people, but rather how people make them feel.
    For me socializing is a bit like a sprint. I’ll rev up, get going, and for a little while I’m the life of the party, but gradually I slow down, until I’m quietly listening for a long stretch, before gearing back up.
    It’s fun, but I definitely need time to recharge, though I can also get quite lonely.
    I think part of the equation is I like people, but I like people who are gentle, not loud or rough.
    Enthusiasm is fine, as long as it doesn’t get too intense.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a lot like me too, so looks like you’re an outgoing introvert as well. 😛
      Like you, I like people who are quiet and gentle rather than loud or rough ones, but I think for me it also applies to everything else, like places. I can’t stand loud and crowded places. 😅

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I always carry a pair of foam earplugs, just in case. Sometimes I’ll wear headphones over ear plugs and listen to music to help really step away, audio wise.

        Liked by 1 person

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