The Extrovert: Ten Lessons Learned

I think I’m a situational personality type.

There were times in my life when I was as introverted as I could be. All holed up in my first apartment with zero friends and a penchant for pizza rolls, I was the epitome of Introverted. I read books upon books, wrote in journals, painted watercolors, and worked in customer service, where I talked to people, but never really talked. I wore baggy clothes, had zero interest in makeup or fashion, and had no issues going to movies or out to eat by myself. I’m not sure it was because I didn’t like people though. It was fear, I think, that drove me into my rabbit hole.

Then there were the Extroverted years — the years I sold Mary Kay (God, I loved that job) and learned all about the DISC personality types. (Take that, PIPA.) I took the test, which revealed that I was an “I” personality. The “I” stands for Influential, and in sales, this was a wonderful thing. People are drawn to these magnetic personality types. We were the excited ones, the people who could talk a mile a minute about everything they loved about a product. We were persuasive because people wanted more of whatever we had. People wanted to be around us, because we were positive and outgoing and so. damned. happy. We were contagious. And we had gorgeous shoes.

I finally found a balance in my mid-20s. I was a cafe manager and my business needed both sides of my personality to shine, thankfully not all at the same time. Sometimes I had to hole myself up in my office and get my paperwork done and to get organized. I had to be a cheerleader for my team and use my contagiousness to upsell coffee to customers. I had a social life that allowed me to be the life of the party, to be funny, and be the center of attention.

Now? As I’m wiggling into a new role, getting more comfortable with my direction in life, and settling into my thirties, I am feeling like an Extroverted Introvert. I still crave recognition. I still love to be around people. I LOVE being the center of attention. But I’m also great at being alone now. I’m good at writing and being silent. I’m content being reflective. I’m organized. (which as an “I” personality was so far out of my grasp) I’m still an “I” personality, but I’ve learned, through my experiences, to balance it with responsibility. I’ve learned a few other things too.

Ten Things I Learned as an Extrovert (As a former Introvert)

1. Eating pizza rolls alone makes you fat. Sharing with others? Not.

2. Not being able to find your receipts does matter at tax time.

3. If you’re happy and you know it, so will others.

4. Alone : Content :: Loneliness : Depression

5. Crowds are not scary, small talk is.

6. It’s hard to be the center of attention in a crowd.

7. Being tall helps. Especially in heels.

8. I like hugs.

9. I have foot in mouth disease.

10. I’m an over sharer.

 

4 Responses to The Extrovert: Ten Lessons Learned
  1. Jerralea
    January 19, 2012 | 2:58 pm

    I enjoyed your post. And I totally agree with your #3.

    My daughter would agree with your #5 because she. hates. small talk. And that is what I am good at – small talk!

    Okay, well now I’ve done #10….

  2. kernersvillezumba
    January 19, 2012 | 3:50 pm

    I wish I was tall!!!! Interesting to read the different phases of your life! S
    Sounds like you are more confident now!

  3. Krysten
    January 20, 2012 | 4:13 pm

    I am a major introvert although supposedly I am great at faking being an extrovert.

  4. fojoy
    January 22, 2012 | 12:20 am

    I am horrible at small talk!
    If I have something to talk about, then its all good, but general chit-chat about nothing is something I can not do.

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