There are introverts, extroverts, and then there’s you – falling somewhere in between.
The term “outgoing introvert” is an oxymoron on par with “jumbo shrimp” and “deafening silence,” but for people who fall into this category, life can be an unusual mix of traits and tendencies that only they can truly appreciate.
So what are the signs that you’re an outgoing introvert?
1. You’re not anti-social, you’re selectively social
When you’re an outgoing introvert it’s hard for you to meet people that you like. You can be simultaneously charming as hell, but also introspective and reflective to an annoyingly mind-numbing degree. You live inside your head, but can also be the life of the party – it all depends on the people surrounding you.
2. Meeting someone you really like can feel like finding the Chupacabra
Outgoing introverts HATE small talk and avoid it at all costs, but when it’s inevitable that they have to interact with people, they can’t help but to try and make the other person feel comfortable. According to Psychology Today, the reason you may not like someone when you first meet them may be as simple as that the person you just met is an extrovert. Outgoing introverts, though still introverts at their core, tend to view extroverts as basic, simple, annoying, overconfident and pushy. This natural, almost subconscious tendency serves as a filter, often referred to as a first impression, through which a person’s future words and actions are judged.
3. Coffee can actually be counter-productive for you
Science of Us writer Melissa Dahl reported on findings from psychologist Brian Little’s latest book on personality science, Me, Myself, and Us: The Science of Personality and the Art of Well-Being, which showed that introverts are better off avoiding caffeine before a big meeting or important event. Since you have spectrums of introversion, coffee can actually overstimulate your central nervous system that may cause you to feel overwhelmed and exhausted, rather than excited and engaged.
4. You probably hate traditional systems
Most of our societal constructs cater to the extrovert – from large office spaces to loud bars to the structure of our educational system – despite the fact that anywhere from one-third to half of the population has an introverted temperament. Since an outgoing introvert can feel distracted or vulnerable when they are in overstimulating environments, you probably dislike traditional systems.
5. People always confuse you for an extrovert
Extroverts and outgoing introverts may seem almost the same on the surface, and if you’re an outgoing introvert you’ve probably been called an extrovert many times. Though the way extroverts and outgoing introverts process the world is quite different. Since introverts and extroverts have different world perspectives, they view each other as different and thus are naturally predisposed against one another. Extroverts focus on the outside world, while outgoing introverts remain mostly introspective.
6. You can be the life of the party, but you need time to warm up
While you may enjoy being the center of attention, you feel best it in a controlled environment. You need time to warm up. You tend not to outwardly express your feelings and spill your whole life story in the first hour of meeting someone. Or the first year. You have no interest or energy to prove yourself in a crowd of strangers.
7. Your energy level depends on your environment
Outgoing introverts often need to recharge after a large use of social energy. That’s why many people often annoy the outgoing introvert and social settings are often tricky for them; it’s usually a hit or miss. If you vibe with the crowd or a person, you can get your energy from human interactions. But if you don’t, those social interactions end up draining your social batteries and the extroverts in the room end up annoying the crap out of you for sometimes no specific reason. And when your batteries are drained and you’re annoyed, you will tend towards withdrawal into yourself.
8. You probably didn’t even know you were an outgoing introvert
Since you’re not completely an introvert nor an extrovert, in can literally take years to figure out that you’re an outgoing introvert. But once you do, you can understand why so many people easily annoy you and why you sometimes process experiences through your brain’s “reward” centers quite differently than other people. In fact, a 2013 study published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience found that people who are naturally introverted do not process rewards from external factors as strongly as extraverts do. So since you fall somewhere in the middle, that can sometimes explain why you’re such a conundrum.