One of the most common misconceptions people have about me is that I’m an extrovert. This probably stems from the notion that extroversion involves being outgoing and introversion refers to reclusive behaviour. In fact, introversion and extroversion are about social energy, specifically where the energy from social activity comes from. Its no wonder when I’m confident, or energetic, or willing to have a go that people think I’m outgoing. Especially when I am often in positions of visibility, such as performing.
An extrovert gets their energy from people. When things are draining and they need to recharge, they may seek friends out for fun. My bestie Mel described it to me as when she feels stressed; it’s time with friends that will recharge her batteries. As an introvert though, I can’t really give too much insight into what an extrovert’s experience is like.
An introvert gets their energy from time without people, or time without feeling like your energy is going to other people. As opposed to the feeling of recharge that an extrovert might feel in the company of others, I feel like my ‘battery’ is being used to give me energy to interact. Some people are more draining than others. If I find someone abrasive or offensive, my battery drains faster. If someone is too demanding of me, my battery drains faster. It doesn’t mean I’m shy. In fact, I’m often the first to start the conversation.
What is being demanding? People who require me to get out of my comfort zone can be really demanding to me. I’m already out of my comfort zone in a social setting, not matter how relaxed I look. Some people can smell introversion and seem to focus on me and demand that I interact. People who take up too much social space and make physical comments, or think that my body is up for discussion in any way are also really draining. If I find myself navigating negativity, judgemental attitudes or bad vibes from someone, of course it wears me out faster.
One extrovert I know that is really good at dealing with introverts is my best friend Mel. She never expects anything from me and is quite happy getting energy from just chilling with me.
Often when I meet new people I’m exhausted afterwards. Even though when I’m around people, I seem really energetic and am genuinely enjoying their company. Afterwards, I’m totally zonked. Because people confuse me as being extroverted, I wonder if they see me as being aloof. It often takes a lot to get me out into social settings, so going to parties or music events can seem too tiring for me and I’ll end up spending the afternoon alone.
I also find social media exhausting. It’s a big challenge having a blog that I use to interact with people. I love the experience of sharing with other people around the world and I love meeting many new beautiful people, but it does wear me out. Sometimes I need to take a little time away from social media and exist on my own in the real world. This trip to the beach was a classic example of switching off and being in the moment with myself. The more I practice, the better I get at not letting it drain me. It’s a real challenge being so visible and appearing to be so public with my life, when I’m a fairly private person. There is a balance between what you share and what you don’t. I am normally having to encourage myself to share more, unlike someone at the other end of the scale who may have to hold back constantly from sharing too much. My default setting is ‘private’.
My way of recharging is to tuck into a good book and spend some time alone. I like to walk alone, or sometimes hang around in the company of non-demanding people. That doesn’t mean by any stretch that I don’t get lonely. All introverts get lonely. I really do love other people. Sometimes it’s like having a feature like GPS activated on your phone. It might have loads of benefits, but my phone gets flat really quick (except I just got a brand new phone, so let’s see how that goes).
Bathing suit: Modcloth
Hat: David Jones
Shoes: BAIT Footwear via Modcloth
Skirt: Review Australia. I also love this print.
Photos: Goldfields Girl
So, what are your thoughts? Are you an introvert or an extrovert?