Tuesday afternoon, 2013. I was sat in my A-Level Psychology class where we were discussing a new topic: introversion and extroversion. After explaining what these terms meant, I remember my teacher (who is one of the loveliest people on the planet btw) suggesting who in the class she thought showed introverted tendencies and I was one of the examples. And I remember being a little shocked.
Now, let’s back track a little. Some of you must be asking ‘what the hell do these terms mean?’ so I’m going to explain them to you (in a nutshell):
An extrovert is a person who is typically very outgoing. They love lots of company, are very sociable and often enjoy being the centre of attention.
An introvert is the opposite end of this spectrum. They can appear to be shy (though this is not always the case), are not keen on being the centre of attention and enjoy spending time on their own.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with either of these traits. Neither is necessarily favoured above the other and it is possible to have varying degrees of both.
So, why was I shocked, you ask? Well, back in 2013 I had always thought of myself as an extroverted person – someone who enjoyed hanging out with friends and was somewhat confident in my own skin. But without knowing it, I’d somehow favoured extroversion over introversion in my head. And I was lying to myself.
In 2016, I recognise myself as an introvert. At some point in the past 3 years, I admitted to myself that, although I do enjoy hanging out with friends and being sociable, the majority of the time, I’d choose a night-in sat reading a book or watching a film over a night-out on the town. And that label is not a negative thing in my mind any more. I’ve embraced who I am and I’ve become a better person because of it.
Take today for example. I’ve been into town with my friends and hurried back just so I can sit alone in my room for a while and have some introvert time. Time alone is sometimes my favourite part of the day and it gives me a chance to recharge my extrovert batteries ready to face the world tomorrow.
What about you? Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Or perhaps a combination of the two?