7 Things About Extroverts People Simply Don't Understand

Just because we're more outgoing than introverts, doesn't mean we're out partying every night.

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Memes abound over what it means to be an extrovert or not; blogs whine about "secret" extroverts. Or introverts.

Directions are telling each personality to behave at parties. How to make friends. How to cope in the workplace. How to do everything but have sex, because it's all the same once you turn off the lights. Or maybe not.

Extroverts, or people who thrive on and recharge through interactions with other people, have garnered quite a reputation. No longer are they just the saviors of stilted conversations. Extroverts must save us all, and entertain us all.


They must pack every party and throw up off the balcony. They live on the edge of the law, on the edge of social decency. If you listen to the Internet, extroverts are basically auditioning for the next installment of Jackass.

As a card-carrying extrovert who has been friends with, lived with, and dated other card-carrying extroverts, I assure you that none of that is true. Extroverts have a bad rap. We aren't all crass morons cracking dick jokes in front of Gramma. All the meme-ing, blogging, and clickbait are starting to get annoying. The internet has extroverts all wrong.

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Here are 7 things about extroverts people simply don't understand:

1. Sometimes, we want to stay in

Yeah, extroverts are the life of the party. We can talk to everyone and anyone. We can leave early and stay late; we like to mingle. But not all the time. Being a constant party animal gets exhausting, and sometimes, extroverts want to spend Friday night on the couch.

Like all people, introverts and extroverts alike, we want to slip into some yoga pants and snarf Ben ‘n' Jerry's. How else would we catch up on Downton Abbey? Everyone loves a good binge-watch. Extroverts especially love them with a binge-watch buddy.


2. We can be shy

Extroverts recharge by interacting with other people. But that doesn't mean we want to BFF every man on the street. Many extroverts get anxious in social situations. We worry about the same thing as introverts: do people like me and do they think I'm normal?

At a dinner party full of friends, we might flirt, mingle, and look like everything the internet says we should. But plop some extroverts in a roomful of strangers and the picture may change. We might clam up. We might pick only one person to chat with. A good number of extroverts will feel awkward and out of place. We might like people. But that doesn't automatically include every person, immediately.

3. We aren't ditzy social butterflies

The internet portrays extroverts as empty-headed chatterboxes, but most extroverts are far from vapid. We get advanced degrees. We're doctors and lawyers and writers. People holding public office are, in fact, more likely to be extroverted. Yes, we like to talk. But smart doesn't mean silent. In fact, extroverts invented intelligent conversation.

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4. We aren't shallow

One maxim people take too seriously: Still waters run deep. The internet pictures the introvert as some Byronic ideal of the tortured artist. Extroverts have feelings too. In fact, we're more likely to talk about them, because we're more likely to talk in general. You don't have to be an introvert to take the world seriously.

5. We aren't necessarily better in bed

The internet likes to say that extroverts are less likely to want vanilla sex. Instead, we're the wild-and-crazy, whips, chains, and Catholic schoolgirl uniforms type. Not necessarily. Like any group of human beings, our sexual tastes run the gambit.

Some extroverts love one-night stands. Others wear purity rings. I'd like to say that being an extrovert makes you a demon in the sack. But getting energy from other people doesn't automatically make you a sex god.

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6. We don't all love public speaking

In every small group in the history of ever, when it comes time to talk to the rest of the room, everyone turns to the extrovert. Um, thanks guys. Recharging through personal connections doesn't mean we want to spout out a report to a roomful of people.

Remember how extroverts can be shy? Moreover, talking to people is different from getting stared at by people. Some extroverts just don't want everyone looking at them. Some are afraid of sounding stupid. And some are just freaking shy. Don't assume the resident extrovert will do the talking.

7. We aren't happy all the time

Outgoing doesn't equal blissful. Extroverts have the same trials and tribulations as the rest of the world. We also don't hide them any more often than introverts do. So yes, your extroverted friends might appear unhappy about things like the weather, burnt coffee, or death. Unhappiness is part and parcel of the human condition. Liking people doesn't change that.


Everyone says introverts are shy, silent wallflowers with deep emotions. Supposedly, extroverts are outgoing, loud conversation-hogs with shallow feelings. Neither one is correct. Extroverts can be shy. We're sometimes unhappy. And the thing we have in common? We recharge by interacting with other people. If you've heard anything else, blame the internet.

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Elizabeth Broadbent is a writer and regular contributor to Scary Mommy. Her work has appeared on Today Show Parents, Babble, xoJane, Mamapedia, and Time Magazine Ideas.