Being an extroverted introvert in a crowded city

You’ve seen the myriad of posts on extroverted introverts shared on Facebook (if not, here’s  a good one). Maybe you’ve even been tagged in a few. I know I have. There are so many, you’d think all we EI sit and do all day is write about ourselves.

Maybe it’s an attempt to help people understand the different way we perceive the world or a desperate attempt to relate, to connect.

So, you’ve read the posts on the quirks of this beautiful paradox, you’ve related, you’ve shared the post and tagged everyone you know who made you immediately think “OMW THIS IS US!”, you felt the comforting connection that makes you feel less guilty about all the times you wanted to leave the party earlier or cancel a coffee date for a solo soul food stroll in the city. Now what?

Being an EI, I like being alone while still surrounded by a buzz. I sometimes like to just observe the energy around me. Lucky for me I live in a big city in South Korea, Daejeon, so being surrounded by a buzz is something I would actually have to make an effort to escape. As much as I have to admit that I love being in the spotlight, blending and observig is something my soul needs on a regular basis.

I love taking a random bus to a part of the city I don’t see as often and just disappear in the madness, thinking very deeply about what I see around me. Maybe too deeply sometimes.

So, what other hidden comforts does a busy city offer an EI? Here is a list of things I treasure most:

1.Bus/Subway Rides

Traveling alone on the bus can be a tranquil mindstroll through traffic. I travel more an hour and a half on the bus to work every morning. In this time I can just let my thoughts run and zone out completely while being surrounded by people who are all in their own worlds rushing somewhere else.

2. Short Coffee Dates

If there is something I hate more than canned laughter, it must be forced small talk. I can have deep, meaningful conversations for hours at once. It’s like fried chicken to my soul, but if a coffee date goes on for too long it can become draining and then I start to think about my dinner. In the busy city everyone is on a schedule, so no one has the time for hours long first coffees with new acquaintances. Just before you run out of interesting questions to ask each other, your time is up. Perfect. Now I can go stroll around in that vintage shop without feeling like I’m boring my companion.

3. Stimulation Overload

EI are known to get bored easily by superficial things. Unfortunately the city is infected. However, the beautiful contradiction is also true. There are literally hundreds of societies discussing interesting topics. I don’t really like committing to too many groups or societies, cause then I feel pressured to be there every time when I sometimes just feel like a hermit Sunday. However, most of these societies invite anyone to come even if you just want to sit and listen. Perfect for a brain adventure to gather some thinking food for your next bus ride.

In the city you will not only find interesting discussions, but you will also constantly meet interesting new people. Meeting new people is easy for the extroverted introvert, in fact, it causes some kind of euphoric high to be introduced to someone you find really fascinating. However, it might be difficult to maintain these new connections. You really, really want to see them and get to know them, but tonight you really just feel like a glass of wine and a Masterchef binge. Alone. That’s great and you deserve that, but if you don’t get out there, who knows what you’re missing out on? Balance between revitalizing alone time and inspiring new adventures is key.

6. Distraction from over-thinking

As much as there is opportunity for escaping into a thought bubble in the city, there are also many ways to pop that bubble when you start driving yourself crazy. With the city being restless, there is always something to do. You just need to allow yourself to fully give into the thing that demands your attention in the moment. Like going to a museum and just listening to what they are telling you or going to a park and just forgetting about anything else.

7. Exploring Alone

Being an EI, you are confident to walk into a crowded room and demand attention, but also completely comfortable with sitting alone. This comfort brings a freedom that is true bliss. You never have to struggle to match schedules see visit any cool new place. Also, you never have to deal with people bailing on you when you reeeally wanted to go. You can just go! This freedom is amazing, no”how’s your schedule next week, maybe Tuesday?”.

8. Living Alone

Living alone has set me free. I can go out when I want to be surrounded by people, but when I come home my space is only mine and I can give that satisfying sigh of “ahhh, alone time…yes” 🙂

In conclusion, the city can be an amazing place for an extroverted introvert. Just keep the balance.  Prioritize your alone time, so you don’t burn yourself out.

And remember, It’s okay to get bored with people, allow yourself to be quiet and escape from time to time, you don’t always have to be the life of the party. Appreciating and embracing all the different aspects of your personality is what makes the process of self discovery so beautiful.


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