“I like people too much or not at all. I’ve got to go down deep, to fall into people, to really know them.” – Sylvia Plath
My amazing and relaxing winter break is officially over. I spent no more then a week home in Chicago, while the rest of my time was spread out between Las Vegas (more on this trip in a Bucket List update later) and Florida. I always knew I was an extrovert, but this break has rekindled my love for meeting new people and making new friends since I usually lock myself away when school is in session.
This is a pretty good description of who an extrovert is, from about.com:
Most people believe that an extrovert is a person who is friendly and outgoing. While that may be true, that is not the true meaning of extroversion.
Basically, an extrovert is a person who is energized by being around other people. This is the opposite of an introvert who is energized by being alone. Extroverts tend to “fade” when alone and can easily become bored without other people around. When given the chance, an extrovert will talk with someone else rather than sit alone and think. In fact, extroverts tend to think as they speak, unlike introverts who are far more likely to think before they speak. Extroverts often think best when they are talking. Concepts just don’t seem real to them unless they can talk about them; reflecting on them isn’t enough.
Extroverts enjoy social situations and even seek them out since they enjoy being around people. Their ability to make small talk makes them appear to be more socially adept than introverts (although introverts may have little difficulty talking to people they don’t know if they can talk about concepts or issues).
I tend to fall into the first category of Sylvia Plath’s quote–I like people too much. I am a hardcore extrovert with a bit of a wild side, and I enjoy meeting all different kinds of people. But I also enjoy alone time as well. I love that everyone impacts my life differently, and that everyone brings a different spark to my life or a new lesson. I’m quick to forgive, quick to trust (even as much as I don’t like this trait–it is so very true for me), and it is usually very easy for me to walk up to someone and start a conversation. The rigorous journalism program at UCF is partly the reason for this. In order to write my stories I had to scour Florida or even elsewhere in the world for people to talk to and who wanted to talk to me. Journalism was the perfect place for me to get over my social anxiety, but I will say that the whole process of scheduling interviews made me sick to my stomach until it became habit, and it became easier as I went along. I try hard to accept everyone for who they are and to just be there when my friends need me–no questions asked. Everyone is on a different path in life. We are always unsure of everything a person has experienced in their lifetime, and we definitely are not in a place to judge how another person lives his or her life. Sure, there will always be ideas or actions that we may not agree with, but all humans are not infallible. We live one life, and when we pass on—all of it is left behind. The idea is to live life fully, to continue growing as a person, and to continue learning more about who you are each and everyday.
It’s odd, really, how my husband is so different from me socially. I can remember seeing him sitting on a log in front of a blazing fire at an island party we were both at. His reserved and quiet demeanor drew me in. It was almost alluring and captivating. He had a little bit to drink that night so it was easy for him to talk to me, but once we were outside of that environment he reverted back to his reserved self. You could say my husband is an introvert–not quite an extreme introvert, but he definitely enjoys his own time. We seem to balance each other out, but this is solely because he accepts me for who I am and allows me to be me–free of judgment. He has never restrained me from anything I wanted to do, whether it be school-wise, career-wise, friend-wise or personally. As long as there is a strong foundation of trust and wishes/ideas/feelings are respected, relationships can withstand small differentials such as the differences between an introvert and an extrovert.