introvert or extrovert?

I had an interesting conversation with some friends tonight.  There was a lull in the conversation, and Lizzie commented that we must all be introverts, not extroverts.  I’m thinking, absolutely, introvert, hands down.  I never feel like I’m good at being the center of attention, or coming up with a conversation topic, stuff like that.  But Lizzie went on to say that introverts get their energy from being alone, and extroverts get their energy from being with other people. 

So, I’m an extrovert all of a sudden???  🙂

I have always gotten my energy from being around people.  The more people, the better.  Some of my fondest memories from childhood involved staying overnight at Grandma’s when a bunch of other people did, too.  I loved going into the kitchen in the morning to find out who was up already, and what we were going to do that day.  Aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, sisters, neighbors, as I like to say, we’re a people family! 

Now, living alone and having much more alone time, I can see that my habits have changed, even if my personality hasn’t.  I feel better when I’ve been around other people.  I feel better if I spent a portion of my weekend hanging out with others, doing something social.  I feel better when I go to bed at night if I had something going on in the evening with other people.  However, my habits have me craving that alone time, even though it doesn’t give me the recharge I’m hoping for.  The down time that I know now involves being lazy, watching whatever I want on t.v., lonely stuff like that.  But when I go to bed after an evening or even a whole day of that, I feel even emptier than I did before. 

What do I want, ideally?  People to live with!  A husband, roommates, siblings, whoever.  It would be wonderful to wake up on a Saturday morning and wander my way to the couch, but have somebody to be with as I get my fill of laziness.

It’s like candy.  When you don’t get to eat it very often, one little piece of fudge is wonderfully delicious.  When you eat a lot of it, it makes you feel sick.  When I lived with people, those few moments of alone time really were precious.  I remember when I was in high school, the drive home from work late at night was like my escape.  At those big family get-togethers, hiding away with a book for a little while was a nice break.  In college, it was one of the reasons I went to the fitness center to work out…Even though there were people around, I usually could zone out and just listen to my thoughts for awhile. 

So am I an introvert or an extrovert?  I don’t know.  It’s a spectrum, so no one is totally one and not the other.  I think it probably depends on the situation also.  From this perspective, living alone and not liking it, I need the energy I get from being around other people.  From the perspective of the kid living in the dorms with people around all the time, I loved it, but I did need that energy I got from being by myself.


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