I am not an introvert. I am okay with admitting that. Pretty sure people who have met me know that already. I am mostly outgoing, boisterous, and above all else, hilarious. Alright, the last one has a tendency to not always be true, but I try. Constantly. Much to my friend’s and captive co-worker’s chagrine. I talk a lot, I generally introduce myself to people, and I almost always have a story. Huge groups of people aren’t my thing. Meeting new people all the time wears me out. Generally I don’t get in situations where I have to do that. I may not be the most extroverted of extroverts, but I am one.
In recent years I have noticed a trend on the rise. Many of my extroverted kind – when it comes up in conversation – are saying, “I’m an introvert.” Why? It is cool to be an introvert! As introverts are perceived as being thoughtful and artsy. The cool quiet people that have their shit together and get shit done. Although those perceptions aren’t always true. I’ve known a few wallflowers that have quietly imploded from not having their shit together. I am also aware of a few silent types that, given the right conditions, can go on like a parrot vaccinated with a victrola needle. Some of them may just be really tired after.
Introverts seem to get shit done because they aren’t necessarily seen standing around flappin’ their gums, doing funny dances that include gyrating hips, fist pumps, and squawking. They probably aren’t pulling pranks and coming up with funny nicknames to replace the funny nicknames they made up the day before. However they can do all of these things, there isn’t a hard rule. This isn’t pre-third edition Dungeons & Dragons. Your dwarf can be paladin or a mage.
After a day of work, I am tired. I have worked hard and have extroverted. As I have gotten older I have found it more draining. I have never felt like going down to the club or local meat market. I may feel like going out to the pub, but only to be around people I already know. Mostly, I prefer to stay at home and read and write. Be in the company of my wife and dogs. I have had enough of being an extrovert for the day. I need to recharge my batteries and I do it by going into hermit mode. This does not make me an introvert, I am sure there are some hermits in the woods that would throw the best parties. Which is probably why they have been exiled in the first place.
Due to having two categories to fall under, it seems a bit too black and white and causes some confusion. Many seem to treat it as a true or false question. Where true is tied to extrovertism and if one does one thing associated with introverts, the answer is false. Meaning that said person is an introvert. Which may not be the correct prognosis. It isn’t necessarily the average of what one does. Energy is also a factor. Whether activities and actions are invigorating or exhausting. Both answers are fine and both may not always be true at all times for the same person. As one ages, they may find that they need to recharge more than before. Which may be why they are picking more energy conserving and energizing activities. The kind that are stereotypically associated with introverts. In the end, just because one goes home tired and chooses to stay in and read doesn’t make them an introvert. It may just mean they talk too damn much!