Random Thoughts

On Being Extroverted

I may have mentioned this before, but I’m the most extroverted person I’ve ever met. I’ve taken the Myer’s-Briggs test 3 times and I have literally never scored a point for introvert. I also used to live in a house with no less than 9 other guys at a time (let’s just nickname it “The Duplex”), and I loved it. However, I’m also kind of a neat freak, so that living situation could only last so long. But one of my favorite things from that time was when I would go to bed and I could hear people in the other room watching a movie or playing video games and yelling/cheering/laughing/crying (that last one not so often). That was when I would sleep the absolute best (for the situations in which I sleep the worst, read this). I’ve also been known to turn the TV on just to have background noise, and I do in fact fall asleep to Mystery Science Theatre 3000 every night.

But extroverts (at least in my experience) tend to get a bad rap. Many introverts I know have a superiority complex and they make it a virtue to always remain quiet and skeptical, and somehow that also makes you more intelligent (people who talk a lot = stupid). While I agree that knowing how to withhold your tongue can be a virtue (one I certainly do not have), where would we be if no one was willing to say something, speak through awkward situations, or make an ass of themselves? We’d all be passive agressive, avoiding conflicts, and praising our own intelligence to ourselves probably. I’m kidding, but my point is that we need a balance of both, but let me tell you about my frustrations being from the extroverted side (if any introverts would like to say something, feel free to leave a long funny comment. Ha! Get it?).

The thing about being extroverted is not that you necessarily are constantly in social situations (bar hopping every night for example) or that you talk non-stop (shut it), but just that you get all of your energy from being around other people. A friend from church always says “The saddest thing to see is an extrovert in a car alone.” I disagree. The saddest thing is seeing an extrovert in a car alone with the radio broken. That would drive me absolutely nuts. Although I do think a sadder site is an introvert forced to be put in a socially awkward situation. That’s just hilarious. But I digress.

Because of the fact that almost all of my work for my job is online, I’m allowed to work from home two days a week. This is AMAZING, and I can’t even describe what a wonderful benefit this is. (sidenote, I love my job so freakin much) However, at least one of the afternoons from one of my two days that I work from home, I HAVE to go out to a coffeeshop and work from there (I’m at a Panera Bread as we speak). The reason is it is actually physically exhausting for me to be by myself for a long time. I literally get tired from being by myself, and sometimes it drives me crazy because there’s so many things I want to get done that I can do (or should do) by myself, but I get tired and depressed from being by myself, and my motivation and energy just goes right down the toilet. So I have to go out where there’s people, whether or not I actually talk to them, to get any energy back. Last night for example, I had been home most of the day, by myself, so I went out to a coffeeshop with my roommate, and I could literally feel the energy being pumped back in my body from just getting out around people and talking to someone.

While it’s a wonderful blessing to have such good people skills and have an entertaining personality, it is also incredibly frustrating when I get depressed simply because I haven’t been around people in eight hours, and I have things I want to get done. It’s also doubly frustrating when most of my close friends are gone and I don’t have people who are in my general vicinity to say “Hey what are you doing tonight? Let’s go…” (Ryan and Jacqui, those are the moments that I miss you SO MUCH!)

But I guess that’s just my curse that I have to live with, and truth be told I wouldn’t want to be any other way (who wants to just be by themselves all day? What’s the point?). I just wish I was a little better at being alone.

10 thoughts on “On Being Extroverted”

  1. My Meyers-Briggs scores were all over the place. Apparently I have what is known in medical parlance as a “morphing personality.” (Actually, I made that term up, partly just so I could use the phrase “medical parlance.”) I am really not comfortable around strangers, and I’m pretty quiet when I’m not comfortable. But when I have a group of friends I depend on, I can be much more outgoing–“Who *cares* if you like me or not? If you do, great! If not, I still have other friends who like me for who I am.” First semester freshman year: pretty much complete hermit. Second semester of sophomore year: winning the dorm award for “Most Talkative Female.” Possibly I’m a natural extrovert with an introverted side that comes from self-imposed psychological trauma. (That’s just a little more faux-medical-parlance for good measure.)

    Does the length of this comment qualify me as an extrovert? I never figured out how those personality indicators were supposed to work….

  2. Okay, the thing is, I keep addressing my comments to you as if you’re my friend Brittany, who shares practically nothing in common with you except for a certain website genius. For instance, she’s an introvert. She will sit quietly and absorb conversations. I, being only an introvert in medically diagnosed times of trauma, sit there wondering what I may have said that is making her so uncomfortable that she doesn’t say anything at all, and end up talking more and more to compensate. She sits there wondering if I think she’s boring. It’s an interesting relationship.

    Seriously, I just like listening to myself type. Thanks for this opportunity, Morgan.

  3. I can relate to the whole being energized by other people thing. I often find that if I am home by myself I somehow become incapable of accomplishing the things I need to get done, but having other people present, even to only mimimally interact with, somehow helps motivate me to be a more responsible and productive individual. It’s great that you have a job that you love! I like my job a fair bit of the time, and I think what helps to make it so good for me is the perpetual human interaction that I get to have at my job all day long. Even so, when I come home from work and/or class, many days I still find myself wanting more human interaction. I can relate to the difficulties that come when many friends move far away and/or are out of town, and I too wish that I was better at being alone sometimes. Shoot me an e-mail if you would like to hang out sometime and/or if you would be interested in joining me and some of my friends for a game and movie night on Friday.

  4. Oh, Morgan, I miss having extroverted friends who actually WANT me to call and and say “hey what are you doing tonight, do you wanna….” It’s strange when you move and you realize how easy and awesome your friendships from the old place are. Cuz it really sucks having to work at new relationships.

    Oh, and Morgan, what are you doing in June? You wanna hang out?

  5. Jacqui, yes I would like to hang out in June. I think I’ll do that (still waiting on the exact dates)

    Suzanne, well I’m not sure who your friend Brittany is, but she sounds wonderful. And I’m glad I’ve given you a place to voice. That’s what I’m here for.

    Rachel, I would love to on Friday, but that’s like the one night this whole week that I actually have something to do. Shucks.

    Also, I should update this and say that I do love having people call to say “Hey what are you doing?…” when I’m not doing anything, so that I can go “Yeah, let’s go…” (this always seems to happen on the nights that I’m already busy). However, I’m very bad at actually making the effort to call people when I’m bored or lonely, and I really should make more of an effort to contact people instead of waiting for them to contact me.

  6. I an definately more of an alone person than you, Morgan. I prefer to have a few hours of time to be by myself and think about things and get stuff done (I’m horrible at doing work when other people are around, I’d rather talk to them). But I know what it feels like to need to see other humans. Last semester I had whole days with nothing on my schedule except stay home and do work and by about 4 pm I’d usually go grocery shopping to keep myself from going crazy.

  7. They way I see it, everyone has to talk things over to get their ideas clear. Some people do this with the people inside their head, and some people do it with the people outside their head. I’m comforatable talking to both.

  8. I TOTALLY UNDERSTAND!!! Living by myself and not having any social situations has been SO frustrating!!! but, I finally got a job YAY! so I’ll be out of my apartment at least 4 days a week there and I start school in May, so… this will be solved.. but the last three weeks have been very trying!!!
    Anyway, thank you for explaining to people the extrovert thing. most people don’t get it.
    LOVE YOU!!!!!!

  9. don’t we all wish to be better at being alone? And who calls you once a week about $4/pitchers… anytime… you know my number… (sorry that I’m a bit introverted) though,,, 🙂

  10. There is no one more introverted than me. And the thing is Morgan, I’m glad you’re my friend, because I want to go out and learn to be extroverted, but I can do that if I am watching romantic comedies and trying to remind myself that I am not a looser for doing so. :o) I love you Morgan…I’m rediculously lucky that we’re good friends…and rediculously lucky that you like some of mine (Hi Allisa!).

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