I always felt pressured to be an extrovert.
More specifically, I felt like I was supposed to be this sunny, caring cheerleader type who brightened everyone’s day with my bubbly demeanor.
So that’s how I tried to act for years.
But it took so much effort.
And many times, I’d simply collapse back to my comfort zone of calm, quiet stillness.
The pressure never went away.
If asked, I probably would have said I felt like an extrovert trapped inside an introvert, looking for some way to finally uncover that bright buried star to let it shine for good.
I’d bounce back and forth between various versions of my idealized identity (none of which felt quite right, at least not enough to hold to forever).
Later, as I began to study Psychology, personality, and identity, I found a helpful framework for understanding different parts of myself.
Yes, society pressures all of us to be extroverts in one form or another. Extroverts do better in school, at working in industries, and taking part in other established social hierarchies.
But what I learned is my drive to always be so warm and outwardly joyful, really, occupies a place of motivation, ambition, calling…
That’s because helping people is what I care about.
But the “calling” part of personality isn’t what you are; it’s more the direction what you are should be pointed.
What I actually am is someone quiet and peaceful who’s most at home daydreaming, unconsciously picking up on connections between seemingly disparate worlds.
So to integrate what I am (my “home”) with what I care about (my “calling”), I don’t try to force myself to act like someone for whom my “calling” would be “home” . . . but rather take steps to direct my “home” toward my “calling.”
Your extroverted calling might not be the same as mine—perhaps yours is more results-driven, sensual, or excited about infinite possibilities…
But see whatever outside world you care about as the place to take, hone, and apply your introverted self.
Here’s an article that goes into way more detail about