A Recovering Extrovert

Hello, my name is Jacob and I’m an extrovert.

photo credit: Kumar Jhuremalani via creative commons

photo credit: Kumar Jhuremalani via creative commons

If there were such a thing as extrovert’s anonymous I would be there and I would be saying those words. We all go through life, especially the younger stages, trying to figure out where we fit in. As we navigate through it we often realize something about our self and want to change it.

In college I tried to be as outgoing as possible. I’m glad I did. It allowed me to meet incredible people who became lifelong friends and it allowed me to do some incredible things. However, I got into the mentality I needed to be outgoing. It didn’t matter if I felt like going out or felt like staying home, I always chose the former.

I told myself it was good to get out of my comfort zone and I needed to do this in order to meet friends and get used to living this way. I felt something was wrong with me because I didn’t want to be outgoing. I wanted to be alone some nights.

As a child I remember being able to entertain myself for hours. I always enjoyed having my friends over or going to my friends house to make forts, play football, play video games, and do other things boys like to do. I also enjoyed being alone just as much. I could create a world which I wanted to live in. I could be me and not worry about what others thought.

As I get older I understand I need a balance. I can’t go home from work every single day and lock myself in a room to be alone.

My favorite thing to do for a lunch break during the week is sit in my car and read. It’s nice to step away from the whirlwind of the workday and dive into a book. I’m tempted to do this every single day but I don’t. Sometimes I will go eat with co-workers and I miss the alone time. I don’t regret eating with others I simply want both.

When I travel with friends I often want to sit alone with my thoughts but it isn’t really possible. When on bachelor parties or other trips there are four people in a room and you have to take a shower to get alone. I don’t want to be waterlogged so I adjust. It can be stressful and it can be difficult but I know it’s necessary.

If you are an introvert or an extrovert it is important to understand both. It is important to interact with others. We weren’t meant to live life alone. It’s also important to be comfortable alone. For some it means spending five minutes of solitude and for others it means spending five hours of solitude.

As a recovering extrovert I understand what it means to be uncomfortable in large groups of people, which is why I gladly proclaim to be an introvert. However, I still push myself out of my own comfort zone.