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Introvert: A shy, reticent person.
Extrovert: An outgoing, overtly expressive person.
These personality types are ones that we are all familiar with. They seem so black and white, but what if you are like me and are in that gray area in between? Being both an introvert and an extrovert can get confusing at times when trying to explain your emotions to others or even trying to understand them yourself.
Looking back on my life, I can see that I have always been in that gray area. As a child, I never wanted to be on camera, but I could talk gibberish to my mom, dad, or sister for hours on end. As I got a little older, it was the same deal. I could be around anyone and everyone, but would look forward to class because we couldn't socialize then. In high school, though, I found that I enjoyed my alone time a lot more than I did when I was younger. As much as it worried my mom, I needed to come home from school and just be alone in my room for a bit, not talking to anyone.
My cousin once explained it to me that there are two ways she thinks about people operating. Some people charge their social battery while alone and spend it while with people. On the other hand, some people operate by charging while with others, spending it while alone. I think I am more of the first scenario. I do enjoy being with people, but when I am around people for too long, I become socially drained.
For a bit, I thought it was weird for me to feel this way. With my outspoken, social butterfly mother that I take after so much, how could I not want to be with people all the time? I felt this way until I realized my sister is the same way I am. At my high school graduation party, I was going to take a break from all the hullabaloo of the party and stow away in my room for a bit where I found my sister doing the same thing. I became aware of how like our dad we are too, a product of both introverted and extroverted parents.
Although I need my time away from people and big groups, it is not good for me to be by myself for too long either. I have a problem with getting stuck in my head rather easily. What I mean by this is that I am a worrier and an overthinker and when I have too much time to let my worries and thoughts fester, it causes trouble for me and those close to me. I usually will need someone to pull me out of these "funks," but their efforts may not always work. It is hard to explain what goes on in my head, but having someone to be there with me while I figure it out is a comforting thing. Eventually, I will be able to pick myself back up.
The real struggle of being both an introvert and an extrovert that I find to be true for myself is the uncertainty of how you are going to feel in the future. There are no absolutes for me. I can be excited about going to a gathering when I am first invited, but by the time the gathering is about to happen, I may just be too drained to have the capability to deal with a social setting. Or the opposite can be true, where I feel too down to say yes to an outing, and then I see photos and hear stories about all that happened and have serious regrets about not going.
I have found I work best trying to find a balance between the two, my social time and my alone time. In all honesty, I think we all fall somewhere in the gray area of the introvert, extrovert scale. Some people tip the scale farther to one side, but at the end of the day, we all need some balance in our lives. That balance can be hard to find, but if everything in life was certain, where would the surprises in life be, right?
Peace, Love, and Happiness