≡ Menu

Introvert or Extrovert?

The last few weeks I have seen two different articles circulating Facebook about introverts and extroverts. There’s the Huffinton Post’s “23 Signs You’re Secretly An Introvert” and BuzzFeed’s “25 Frustrating Things About Being an Extrovert.” I found both to be entertaining and they made me think. The signs you’re an introvert definitely resonated with me more than the extrovert stuff which is interesting to me.

Screen shot 2013-08-21 at 3.19.14 PM

Sometimes it seems like I am so extroverted because I love being in front of students teaching, I don’t get nervous with public speaking, I write a public blog about my life (to an extent) and I love being on the go, traveling and new experiences.

But sometimes I feel so introverted. The feedback that I often get from friends, family and co-workers is that I can be closed off, tough to read and withdrawn at times. I often feel more comfortable leading a class than staying after and having a one-on-one discussion with someone. It has taken me upwards of two years to open up to some of my closest friends after repeated invitations and offers to talk and reminders that they’re there (god bless them for their persistence and investment in me and my well-being).

Here are my personal favorites from the introvert list…

Screen shot 2013-08-21 at 3.22.03 PM

I am horrible at networking. I have a really hard time putting myself out there like that and sometimes networking makes me feel guilty because I know people are busy with their own lives and don’t want to monopolize their time or energy to help me achieve something.

Screen shot 2013-08-21 at 3.22.43 PM

I’m sorry Mom. And to everyone who leaves me voicemails. My voicemail stays 95% full! 😛

Screen shot 2013-08-21 at 3.22.15 PM

Give me a mic and put me in front of a class and I’ll smile and teach all day long. I’ll even sit in front of them, tell a personal story and cry.

Screen shot 2013-08-21 at 3.23.05 PM

Yes and yes.

Screen shot 2013-08-21 at 3.22.29 PM

I’m really good at “push, push, push” and then retreat. That’s part of why I love my job so much. I still get to personal train and teach but I also get quiet time in my office to do things like writing, websites, marketing, etc.

2.19jensullie

Sometimes I would rather hang out with Sullie than other people! 🙂

Okay, enough soul baring for one day. 

Which article resonates more with you? Introvert or extrovert? 

{ 26 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Emily August 21, 2013, 4:25 pm

    It’s funny you posted this, I’ve been thinking about this topic a lot lately. I work in a profession dominated by extroverts. Because networking and other things don’t come naturally to me, I’ve begun to wonder if I’m actually an introvert.

    However, in discussing this with a friend, she seemed surprised at that description of myself. She then asked how I derive energy- from interactions with others, or from alone time? That’s how she views the debate, of which she is firmly an extrovert.

    After thinking this over, I really think I’m a good mix of both. I do hate networking (although it could just be DC’s version of networking that I loath) and really enjoy time to myself. However, I’ve noticed that I often feel really great after social occasions. There are times when I might be dragging all day and have a social event after work that I don’t want to go to because I’m exhausted…but I always feel energized after a night of great conversation and memories with friends. This weekend, I was social non-stop, which is unusual for me, but honestly I felt very alive. I didn’t feel like I needed down time to recharge or anything.

    So… can’t there be a happy medium? Because I think I am!

  • 2
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine August 21, 2013, 4:35 pm

    I am definitely an introvert. I need my time to decompress after being in a social environment all day like at school. I just need to come home, go in my room and do my own thing away from others.

  • 3
    Erin @ Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost August 21, 2013, 4:37 pm

    I just posted almost the exact same thing. It really fascinates me how different some people can be. I’m sure there is some type of biological reason for it but it just seems so random and arbitrary!

  • 4
    Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run August 21, 2013, 4:37 pm

    I am definitely an introvert, too – no doubt about it.

  • 5
    Mary August 21, 2013, 4:41 pm

    I can definitely relate to finding it easier to talk to 500 people than mingle with them.
    I teach. All day, every day. I give assemblies infront of a 300 strong year group each week and love it! Put me with a group of people I don’t know very well and tell me to interact with them and I will fidget, drink lots of water, play with an imaginery zip on my bag, doodle and anything else I can think of to avoid contact!

  • 6
    She Rocks Fitness August 21, 2013, 5:25 pm

    This is so interesting…I can related to all of your favorites, EXCEPT the public speaking…I am petrified of speaking in front of a large group of people. It has taken me this long to just start doing YouTube videos and I’m not even talking. HA! Love the blocking phone calls too….LOL

  • 7
    Trish August 21, 2013, 5:37 pm

    that’s so interesting about the public speaking. It is spot on with me. My mom used to talk about the difference between introverts and extroverts – extroverts feel energized from socializing, introverts feel exhausted. I have long known I am an introvert, and yes, networking makes me feel phony.

  • 8
    kat August 21, 2013, 6:18 pm

    Introvert all the way here, identify w/ each one of these. Used to be an extrovert, though. I think we can change w/ age.

  • 9
    Emily August 21, 2013, 7:57 pm
  • 10
    Bess @ Bess Be Fit August 21, 2013, 8:14 pm

    I’m totally an introvert. I need my quiet alone time everyday or I will lose my mind a little bit! Too much time spent around other people or doing stuff can overwhelm me. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy the time I do spend with those people…but alone time is crucial!

  • 11
    Kate August 21, 2013, 8:39 pm

    I saw your post pop into my inbox after I had literally just sent this huffpo article to my husband 🙂
    Very interesting to hear your take, and I wouldn’t have pegged you as an introvert. I’m for sure an introvert, my husband isn’t too sure where he falls on the scale.
    (Also, off topic, but glad you enjoyed the Love Somebody video 🙂 I can’t get enough of that song this summer!)

  • 12
    Emily August 21, 2013, 9:17 pm

    I love love love this topic. If you understand what you are (and if you’re in a relationship what your partner is) it’s just SO helpful for averting uncomfortable situations.
    I’ve always thought I was an extrovert (I get a HUGE amount of energy in communicating with people…), but after I read this article a few weeks ago too, I was shocked to see how many “introvert” tendencies I leaned towards. Like the networking one… and the phone one (sometimes I hate how technology has advanced our society and the PRESSURE it puts on you to always.be.plugged.in.

    So I dunno, I think the jury’s still out on me.
    Great post!!

    • 13
      tara August 22, 2013, 1:29 pm

      i think you make a great point. i’m introverted from the standpoint that i NEED to have some quiet time at home to recharge or else i’m a huge b*tch. My boyfriend is the exact opposite and a weekend at home make him feel “trapped in the house”. It was huge in our relationship when we realized how different we were and learned to respect this rather than try to push the other our way. Now we try to make sure we have weekends with activity followed by weekends with some downtime and he no longer makes me feel lazy when i rest a bit on the weekend. He was able to physically see the difference in me when i would get enough rest, etc and it made both our lives better and our relationship stronger ! These are the types of thins they need to teach you in couples therapy because its these day to day things that make the biggest difference (exiting soap box : ) )

  • 14
    Megan (The Lyons' Share) August 21, 2013, 10:42 pm

    Yes, yes, yes! I am a total introvert, and have loved reading these articles. It does NOT mean I’m completely socially awkward or hate being around people EVER, it just means I really, really need my alone time to recharge, and I definitely get stressed out if I haven’t been able to “retreat” for several days on end (or even one full day). I love my friends who realize I’m an introvert, because we’ll schedule phone calls, which makes me feel 100 times better about it (I love the “BOO!” example), and I’m totally comfortable speaking with clients, which I do every day, but hate phony “networking.”

    By the way – there’s also a book called “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking” that’s been getting a ton of press lately – I have it on my Kindle but haven’t read it yet. It’s supposed to be good!

  • 15
    Corrie Anne August 22, 2013, 12:17 am

    YES! I read that today. So me.

  • 16
    Joy August 22, 2013, 7:11 am

    I am totally an introvert. When I read Susan Cain’s book Quiet a few years ago I kept nodding my head and saying “YES! That’s me!” throughout the whole thing. It’s all about introverts and it made me feel better, like there’s not something wrong with me.

    And I totally understand about you and Sullie. On a lot of days I’d rather hang out with my kitties than with people.

  • 17
    Caroline August 22, 2013, 7:45 am

    Definitely the introvert article. When I was reading the extrovert I was like wait.. some people actually feel this way? haha sometimes I wish I were an extrovert, but I’m learning to appreciate my introvert qualities as I get older. The points that I most connected with are the ones that you listed too! I was always told I needed to participate in class discussions more growing up and I would much rather present to a group than mingle with them afterward. Networking feels so phony and I always thought I was alone on that one!

  • 18
    Laurie August 22, 2013, 10:00 am

    Hey Jen,

    Read “Quiet” by Susan Cain. Changed my life.

    If you have time, check out her Ted talk, too: http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts.html

  • 19
    Laura August 22, 2013, 12:51 pm

    Definitely an introvert by nature, though like you, I’ve found that in the right situation I can dig up some extroverted qualities if need be. I also love and get energized by teaching classes or giving presentations, but I need a healthy dose of quiet, alone time too to balance things out.

  • 20
    Lauren August 22, 2013, 3:55 pm

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately too, actually. I used to think I was an extrovert (especially because I am when I’m with my family and friends), but in public and with people who I don’t really know, it takes a lot for them to see that side of me. And I guess it’s time to admit I really am an introvert…I do have mini panic attacks when my phone rings haha that never crossed my mind as being weird but I guess it is! Also I HATE networking! I do feel phony. Haha it’s like I wrote this article. It’s especially hard because I’m a recent grad looking for a job and I’m learning that you have to network to find a job. Other people I know have no problem with those interactions, but I feel like the other person can see right through me and I feel bad for “using them” just for networking purposes. This article is perfect.

  • 21
    Kathryn August 23, 2013, 8:25 am

    Jen, thanks so much for posting this 🙂 I have taken your bodypump class many times and I too am too introverted to introduce myself…I would rather put my equipment away and scurry away after class. I started following your blog more than a year ago after you gave it a shout out in class. You are so wonderful, so keep on keeping on 🙂

  • 22
    Clara August 23, 2013, 9:19 am

    I’m so with you Jean! And sorry I haven’t commented in forever, still read your site everyday and love it so much. I looove speaking in front of a crowd, exposing my life to thousands of people through a blog, and I actually don’t mind networking too too much- but in order to recover from all of that, I need to be alone. I actually really love being alone and have come to learn it’s really necessary in order for me to regroup. Exercise works the same way, and even if I’m in a class, I still feel like I’m completely in my own space. Anyway, in short, I feel ya 🙂

  • 23
    Annie @ herightfit.com August 24, 2013, 12:32 am

    This really resonates with me. I’m a teacher and trainer but by the end of the day I need alone time to reboot and feel like myself.

  • 24
    Eva August 12, 2014, 8:08 am

    saw this from your most recent post, and i had to click because i LOVE this topic. i think about it a LOT– until i start to feel lame about myself and how much i suck and then i hate the topic hahaha. all in all my conclusion is this: i have at least 8 different personalities. and am very very moody. but not in the typical angry sense of the word, more like i just randomly transition from one mindset to another out of what seems like nowhere. one second i feel talkative and open, the next i close up because i feel insecure about something. so basically, i am not “introvert” or “extrovert”–just human, and that is what i’ve decided to stick with.

Leave a Comment