They’re the best of both worlds, but if it’s going to work you should know…
1. Is your significant other a dazzling unicorn full of life and adventure?
2. Do they command a karaoke night like Barbara Streisand singing show tunes?
3. Do they also cancel plans last minute just to watch “Law and Order” with their pants off?
If you said yes to all three of the above, you’re probably in a relationship with an extroverted introvert. This is the type of person who’s the life of the party, as long as that party ends at a reasonable hour. As a fellow ambivert, I’ll be the first to admit my moods are complex?—?sometimes I’m as busy as sorority girl and other times I’m refusing to leave the house after 6pm.
Having a hard time keeping up with this rollercoaster? Us, too. That’s why there are a few things you should understand if this is going to work.
1. Don’t take it personally if we don’t always answer texts.
Sure, we’ll go with you to a party. We’ll probably impress all your friends with our witty banter and 90s cartoon references. We may even go to a bar with you the next night (MAYBE). But don’t be surprised if we retreat and ignore your texts the next day.
We’re not uninterested, just burnt out?—?and probably terrified you’re going to ask us to go out again. We need a nice, steady pace of activity, with plenty of time in between to burrito ourselves in our comforter.
2. When we tell you to go without us, WE MEAN IT.
Extroverted introverts are extremely self-aware. We know how inconvenient our mood swings are and we don’t expect you to be in sync with our energy levels 100% of the time.
We also don’t want to keep you from something you’d like to do. So when we tell you to go without us, we mean it sincerely. PLEASE GO. If you don’t, you may start to resent us for keeping you captive. It doesn’t make a difference to us if we split up for a night?—?just send us a cute goodnight text.
3. We desperately crave alone time, but sometimes we still get lonely, even if we specifically requested solitude.
We don’t know how to explain it?—?we don’t get it, either. The extrovert in us enjoys being around people, but the inner introvert is mentally and emotionally exhausted by high-energy interactions.
Don’t be surprised if you get an “I miss you” text, just after we’ve told you we need alone time. We aren’t doing it to mess with your head?—?we genuinely miss you. We just need time to recharge.
4. If we’re being quiet, that doesn’t necessarily mean something is wrong.
We love having thoughtful conversations, but unlike full-blooded extroverts, we also get a lot of our energy from internal self-reflection.
So if it seems like cat’s got our tongue, it doesn’t mean we’re mad or at a loss for words. In fact, we’re FILLED with ‘em?—?we’re just choosey about what demands our energy and input.
5. Any time plans are canceled, we’re secretly doing backflips.
Your cat is making a weird noise and you’ve got to rush it to the emergency vet? THANK GOD!
At first we were probably really excited for our plans, but the mere thought of over-stimulation is enough to make us feel—well, over-stimulated. As the event inches closer on the calendar, we begin to actively plot ways to flake out. So when someone beats us to the punch and cancels, we feel a confusing combo of extreme relief and FOMO.
6. We like meeting new people, but only when we feel like meeting new people.
In other words, give us plenty of advance notice before you introduce us to friends and family. If you spring new people on us willy-nilly, we’ll definitely be the arms-crossed weirdo in the corner.
Give us two days’ notice to save up all our zest and charisma, and we’ll give you the very best version of ourselves (and your family will love us, obviously).
7. If you can’t understand, you’re going to have to pretend.
You don’t always have to make sense of our unpredictable disposition?—?you just have to accept it. Learn to be OK with going it alone on a Friday night, or bringing a friend en lieu of us.
It’s a tall order, but if you give us that flexibility, we’ll give you our full undivided attention on date night.
8. “No” means “no fucking way in hell.”
Try to bully an extroverted introvert into being social when they’re not emotionally prepared and you’ll get a full-blown tantrum, complete with screeching and flailing (not speaking from personal experience or anything).
We know ourselves, so just trust us. If you try to force us, we’re going to have a horrible time and pout until you finally give in and let us leave the party prematurely. Our time spent socializing is valuable, so enjoy those two or so days a week when we’re social butterflies from the menagerie of God.