I’ve seen the words introvert and extrovert being banded around a lot lately. There’s a cartoon portrayal of both of these words; introverts don’t leave their homes and curl up in bed alone with a new Netflix series every night. Extroverts, on the other hand, will always be in the pub, cracking jokes and being the life of the party. In reality, it’s not much like that. I am a complete introvert, but I don’t have every trait that the more shy people are meant to help.
This is what I’m really like.
I love a night in with a takeaway just as much as the next person, but I can’t stand to stay in every night. There’s a whole world waiting to be explored, and I want to see and do new things with my friends. The part of this that makes me introverted is that I would much rather spend time with a small group of good friends who I have known for years. I don’t mind if that’s slobbing on the sofa or with cocktails in a bustling bit of London.
At work, we were recently on a training day and the coach said that he thought I would hate giving presentations. I can see where he was coming from. I hate being picked on to speak in group workshops, and I never used to raise my hand at school, even when I knew the right answer. Despite this, I don’t mind standing in front of 200 or more people and delivering a well-rehearsed presentation. It’s actually the networking afterwards that leaves me with shaking hands.
It’s just the same with blogging and vlogging. You’re reading this right now, and I may not even know who you are. Does that bother me? Not at all. Neither does talking into my camera in my bedroom, even though hundreds or even thousands of people could watch that back. I know some extroverts who hate talking to cameras. It doesn’t really add up, but that’s the way I feel.
In a group conversation (which are never my favourites – I prefer one or two other people), I usually hang back and let other people lead the chat. It means that I chip in every now and then, and, generally, it seems like people pay more attention when I do speak.
In the end, how I react comes down to a person’s perception of me. If I’m talking to someone who I’ve known for a long time, they won’t care if I say something stupid and we can all laugh it off. Someone new, however, could completely judge me. Plus, filming videos and writing blogs gives me the chance to edit any mistakes while thinking about exactly what I want to say. So really, I am a huge introvert but I don’t let that get in the way if I need to give a huge presentation or talk to thousands of people on my YouTube channel.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Do you fit the stereotype or not?