Surrounded : Confessions of an Extrovert

Introverts. They’re the worst. And by “worst” I mean the most intuitive, sensing, caring people I know.

And, in a stroke of brilliance (i.e God’s unfailing grace in my life) I married one of em. Turns out, he’s the worst of them all! So here are a few observations on introverts, through the eyes of a thankful extrovert.

Things to know before proceeding:

1) I am deeply in love with my husband, an introvert.

2) My role model is an introvert (and is related to me to boot!).

3) My best friend/college roommate is an introvert.

4) Most of my closest friends are… introverts.

In a word, I am – surrounded. Those sneaky introverts. You can always hear an extrovert coming into your life, like a bellowing bull charging the streets of Spain: “WE WILL BE FRIENDS AND YOU WILL LIKE IT!!” Whereas, with introverts, you’re just sitting at a park bench reading. They sit down next to you. A few months pass and before you know it, you can’t seem to live without them!  Crafty little boogers.

Extroverts usually get credit as being the “initiators” of relationships.  That’s understandable seeing as we experience less trepidation at the thought of talking with people we don’t know. But if you’ve ever been fortunate enough to have a relationship with someone that was meaningful and life-changing you know that it has to go past the initial, “Hi!” This is usually where extroverts are indebted to the stubborn fortitude of introverts.

In my experience, it’s been the patience and quiet persistence of introverts that feeds the depth of a friendship (or marriage). While I jabber on about the weather, my to-do-lists, and random musings about spiritual truths they tend to listen patiently, graciously laugh where appropriate, and as I take a breath they ask questions like, “So, how are you doing?”

*cricket cricket*

I’m not saying this is true of every extrovert but I can confess to it: I am a professional smoke-blower. My theatrical storytelling (sometimes including a smattering of onomatopoeia) and animated facial expressions usually make for a good time and I soak up the limelight like a cat in its favorite sun-soaked window sill (Truth be told? I really like being an extrovert!). I admit that my stories and ramblings are not always a way of deviating from real heart issues — but the people who notice the smoke are usually the ones listed above. And I am so grateful for them.

Yet let’s not make the mistake of painting introverts as a bunch of quiet, genteel, whispering poets. Some of them are just plain bonkers.  In my opinion, no one is more fascinating to watch than an introvert in their comfort zone. Extroverts can give the appearance of always being in their comfort zone but don’t be fooled — we’re just as in need of a place to be ourselves as introverts. And when we find an introvert who invites us into their little world of crazy, we often feel at home too. 🙂

Entering that little world of crazy feels like entering into an underground club full of snarky commentary, hilarious stories, and quirky hobbies. When you get in the club all you want to do is observe in delightful fascination the people you thought you had all figured out. My husband is a great example of this. He was sweet and funny when we first got married but I have come to discover he’s actually hilarious in ways I never saw coming!

Extroverts have no trouble being crazy in public, but for introverts you have to earn their trust before you see their crazy. I could learn a thing or two about that method. I usually become quite self-concious and anxious if my crazy is not readily accepted by the crowd. Introverts, however, choose their crowd and know them well. Isn’t that interesting? It’s brilliant, in my opinion! If you only pull your pants down among friends you’ll all get a good laugh. Conversationally speaking, of course. 😉

So thank you, introverts. Sometimes we think you’re weird with your “I just need to be alone” times, we don’t always pick up on your bizarre sense of humor, and we’re still trying to break the mindset that being quiet isn’t always a sign of being moody or angst-filled (but it looks like it ok?). We love you guys, and if we’re honest with ourselves – we need you.

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11 thoughts on “Surrounded : Confessions of an Extrovert

    • So true! You. Are. Welcome. John read this and was like, “Well, extroverts are good to you know!” and I totally agree but this was a shout-out to the weirdos so I figured I would tone it down on the praises of being an extrovert (maybe another blogpost in the making? 😉 )

  1. 🙂 Rachel, one of my favorite memories with you is still the time you knocked on my door to play a board game and when I said I didn’t want to you just stood there and said “What’s the point of having three siblings if no one will play with me?” I think we played a game after that because it was such an honest (and well-played) lament. I appreciate your understanding of our quirks and am so glad we have at least one extrovert in the sibling line-up to make sure the rest of us don’t become so self-absorbed that we forget to smell stuff and exclaim stuff and hear stuff and feel stuff and do stuff!

    I’m not sure how I feel about being a “booger” though – crafty or not 🙂

    • Haha! Well thank you for indulging my honest lament 😉 You guys can count on me to bring all sorts of stuff to the table in our family… Including board games! And you have to be honest that SOMEtimes… You like playing games.. As long as it doesn’t involve acorns. But that one wasn’t my idea so you can’t pin it on me haha

    • Awesome! I’m so glad you can relate 🙂 People are hard to unpack but after many experiences with introverts I think my insights are pretty accurate (but far from thorough!) Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!

  2. It’s definitely a different dynamic when you’re married to the opposite of you, introvert/extrovert wise! I can’t tell you how many times Justin has asked me if I’m okay or thought I was mad at him because I was being silent or needed to ‘get away’ to a quiet corner. I really enjoyed reading this post, Rachel! and even though you are an extrovert… I suppose we can still be friends… 😉

    • I thought I had already replied to your comment but I guess not! And that scenario you described happened ALL THE TIME when John and I first got married… I thought he was so moody (which was supposed to be MY job right? 😉 ) I’m still getting used to it but at least now I don’t take it personally haha

      I’m glad we can still be friends because I plan on creepily stalking you as much as I possibly can so that I can keep you in my life 🙂

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