On this site we have spoken a bit about introverts and extraverts, we appear to have a fairly healthy combination of both on this site. Personally I have always leaned far towards the extroverted side of life, especially as my reaction to being uncomfortable is actually to get louder.
As a child I was always the loudest person in any room. This meant people would have a very strong reaction to me. Either I was too loud and they wouldn’t like me, or they wanted to be near me because I drew attention and they were able to gain further attention by being near me. The funny part of this was that it usually made those who stuck close to me look better as they, by comparison, were quiet calm people who were able to gather their thoughts and appear wise and sage, while I was running around like I’d had too much green cordial and then put my finger in a power socket.
I remember one new year’s eve in particular, at around 17 years old, lying on a trampoline in the wee hours of the morning talking with someone I’d just met about how the loud me was just a facade, I know people don’t like it but I can’t help it. They told me the person they had met 5 hours prior was not someone they would have ever been confident enough to talk to, but the person lying beside them on the trampoline now was much calmer, kinder and far less intimidating.
I found, as I grew up and became more comfortable in myself and more accepting of myself, I have become less loud. I have “settled down” although I hate the use of the term, and have become more introverted. More comfortable in my own skin. I think at this stage I’ve become an introverted extrovert.
The Viking is the opposite of me. He is an extroverted introvert, someone who is happy to be the centre of attention and commands a room, but would far rather be at home having a quiet evening or out at the pub with a friend or two.
It’s important to surround yourself with people who are like you, and who are the opposite of you. If anything I think people who are the opposite of you are more important. As a society we tend to value the loud, the charismatic, the opinionated, even the arrogant. But it’s a balance that is needed to get things done.
I recently saw this video that illustrates (pun intended) why that combination is so important:
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Are you drawn to people the opposite of you, or similar to you?