I grew up on stage. I had no problem upstaging leads, singer louder than the person next to me, dancing my heart out or playing instruments for packed theaters and football fields. I had confidence… almost arrogance in my entertaining abilities. Performing was a rush and it made me the outgoing person I am today. But when the lights were off and the curtain was down, I’d rather be alone. My need for solitude only grew stronger as I got older, but I don’t look at this as a negative. I embrace it because it’s who I am and I don’t want to violate my natural rhythm.

It’s a common misconception that introverts are shy people. Sure, some of them can be, but I think, especially in my case, we’re just private and recharge our energy by being alone. I love being around people, but I find that my energy is drained afterwards. An extrovert would be the opposite; they gather their energy from being around others. Introverts have no problem doing things alone, and even in their solitude, they don’t feel lonely. I quite enjoy my own company and there are only a handful of people with similar energy that I can share my time with and enjoy it. It’s something I won’t apologize for.

The problem with being an outgoing introvert is… most people don’t understand you and won’t really take the time to, either. I get a lot of backlash, especially from family and very much so from an ex-boyfriend and his family. My door is always open, but I don’t like being bombarded. My choice to not be around people 24/7 is not from a lack of love for them, it’s literally because it feels like a sensory overload. An introvert is very sensitive to the energy of others, almost like the way an empath would be. Most of us have a carefully selected tribe and are very wary of new people, not because we don’t like making new friends, but because we’re careful to not bring the wrong energy into our lives.

It’s important to be honest about your personality type. “I love being around people, but I need a lot of me-time”. I have no problem telling people that they’re driving me up a wall. When I started dating someone new, I was honest about my need to sometimes disappear into another room. It’s not because I don’t want to be around them, it’s because my energy is low and I like recharging it with just me, myself, and I. When it comes down to it, I don’t ever want someone to take it personally when I hole myself up at home or leave the room at a party. An outgoing introvert just wants to honor their own, quirky rhythm so that we remain happy, energized, and levelheaded. It’s a delicate balance for us.