December 2, 2013

Extroverts Struggle Too. ~ Edith Lazenby

We hear about the life and struggles of introverts, but what about those of us who are by nature extroverted.

It would seem we have it easy and that we don’t have a hidden side. But I find most individuals are complex and every introvert has an extroverted side just like every extrovert has an introverted side.

The best distinction my dear friend gave was that introverts thrive on being alone and extroverts thrive on being with people.

So as an extrovert, finding time alone seems easy, but my gut tells me introverts struggle to find enough time alone to feed their need. As an extrovert, I love being around others and as a yoga teacher, I am around others every day.

I rarely feel lonely and of course I always have my muse and writing so am never too alone.

I attract introverts. It’s balance.

I have one friend who told me years ago she liked being around me because she did not have to talk much. I talked enough for both of us.

And everyone seems to think I have so many friends, because I talk with ease. But I have very few friends and count myself blessed to have the ones I do, for many only have one or two. I make friends easily but only get truly close to a select few.

I am open. I trust easily and am not afraid being hurt.

Yet what many don’t realize is that I am as uncomfortable as the next person in groups or in new situations. Being an extrovert, I chatter. Being an extrovert, I flow with conversation and let my chatter hide my discomfort. Being an extrovert, I move easily in groups.

However, I am often just as uncomfortable, if not more so, than any introvert. And like most introverts, since I am a teacher and putting myself out there, too much socializing drains me even though I may enjoy it in the moment.

And being a poet, I have a strong introverted side, and though I am an open book, I rarely show myself without the veil of candor and chatter which clothe me.

It may seem I speak without thinking and my words are haphazard but I know the ease of noise in talking, and know when I am simply creating space by filling it and when I am delving deep.

Being extroverted and being the engine in conversation can also be tiring and feel like work. Yet with being extroverted, silence makes me uncomfortable. Therefore, I talk.

So for all those introverts who struggle with being social, know that extroverts struggle with being social in their own way as well. There are times I wish I was more comfortable with having quiet moments with others, and if those others are people I barely know, well, the greater the need to talk.

We all have our challenges and struggles. Finding the balance between when conversation eases anxiety and when it is invited is a beam I walk all the time.

Luckily, being a writer I have my muse  as company to feed my extroverted side and soothe my introverted side in helping find the solace in silence.

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Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: (Flickr)

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