Shy Extrovert (The Ultimate Guide + Image Quotes)

In junior high, I took my first personality test. The outcomes reminded me of Tris' aptitude test from Divergent. I was right on the cusp of being a “introvert” or a “extrovert.” This was mirrored in my life experiences.

I enjoyed being in groups and sought acceptance, but I did not enjoy talking or being the center of attention. I was very introspective, but I enjoyed sharing my thoughts with others.

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Fortunately, as more research on personality has been conducted, we are learning that there are more types than just “introvert” and “extrovert.” I'd come to realize that I'm a shy extrovert over time.

Is it possible that you, too, are a shy extrovert? Here are some scenarios you might face if you belong to this camp:

1. We are present at the party, but we are not the center of attention

Shy extroverts enjoy social situations but do not feel compelled to dominate the conversation. We might not speak up at a party because we don't think our jokes are funny or because we don't always enjoy talking about ourselves. We also enjoy observing those around us and may develop into expert “people watchers.”

One way I've learned to make the most of this ‘quirk' is to use my interest in observing those around me to connect with them. Most people enjoy talking about themselves, and shy extroverts are often more at ease when there is less of a ‘threat' of being judged. As a result, I ask people open-ended questions. When they tell me a funny story, I quiz them on it. Inquisitiveness is a hidden superpower that shy extroverts can cultivate, and it can give us a significant social advantage.

2. We have a reputation for being excellent listeners

Shy extroverts are good listeners because we are interested in those around us. We are often able to devote a significant amount of time to listening to those around us without appearing to prefer to be somewhere else. We can also listen to the speaker deeply rather than just thinking about our next words.

I've discovered that my ability to listen to those around me (especially now that I've learned to ask questions) has allowed me to connect with a wider range of people. I've made friends from all walks of life, and I hear all about the ‘drama' that my friends are going through without being dragged into it.

3. We are excellent at keeping secrets

Shy extroverts genuinely enjoy listening to others and do not feel the need to be the center of attention. That is, we are aware of everyone's secrets but have no desire to divulge them in a gossip session.

I've learned juicy, deep secrets from friends, acquaintances, and even complete strangers in the grocery store line! And I can honestly say that I have no need to reveal these secrets because I understand that the situation is about the person who shared it, not about me. I have no desire to take on someone else's drama.

4. We enjoy large, boisterous gatherings

We are wary of large but quieter gatherings. We don't want to be put on the spot when we could just observe and be a part of things. When we are caught between two conversations at the dinner table, or when someone asks us to share something from our personal lives, we feel uneasy.

What we really want is a loud, fun party with a lot of music and dancing. We have the option of joining the crowd on the dance floor or sitting down and taking in the sights and sounds around us. We enjoy watching and being a part of it all without having to speak.

5. We don't need constant conversation

While most extroverts dislike pauses in conversation, shy extroverts do not mind them at all. In fact, we look forward to the break because it allows us to process and collect our thoughts.

I've noticed that conversing with people who never pause exhausts me, and that I also become frustrated when someone tries to answer a question for me. As a shy extrovert, I require that processing time. The gears are turning, and my response will be well-considered because it will not be instantaneous.

6. We have lengthy conversations

Shy extroverts like to take their time processing things because we are introspective. We like to look at things from every angle and consider all of the possibilities in a situation. And, as extroverts, we prefer to do this with someone else present to bounce ideas off of.

I discovered early on that I enjoyed writing in my journal, but that I also enjoyed having someone else read it so that they could provide feedback. I wasn't looking for approval from the other person; rather, I wanted a third party to see my ideas and share their thoughts on them. When I'm trying to solve a problem, I still send long e-mails to friends.

7. We enjoy reconnecting with old friends

It can be very exciting for shy extroverts to hear all about a friend's adventures and learning when we haven't seen them in a long time. We enjoy watching people grow and seeing how they mature and change after a long absence. Add to that the fact that the meet-up is frequently a one-on-one conversation, and you have a perfect scenario for a shy extrovert.

I've discovered that meeting up with one friend at a time is much more comfortable for me, and I prefer the meet-ups to be somewhat spaced out. I enjoy spending a couple of hours in the evening catching up with an old friend over coffee, or going on a short picnic with a visiting friend from my hometown. Hearing other people's stories has always made me happy, and they do become more interesting after a period of absence.We despise public speaking.

While many extroverts enjoy speaking in front of large groups, shy extroverts find it difficult. We despise public speaking for a variety of reasons. We are the center of attention, unable to observe those around us, and placed in a position to be judged.

When I'm speaking in front of a group of more than three people, I notice that I stumble over my words a lot more. I'm also concerned about the lack of immediate feedback that comes with public speaking. When I'm not sure, I always assume the worst. I'd rather talk to someone one-on-one or write down my thoughts.

8. We require some (but not excessive!) downtime to recharge

Shy extroverts, like introverts, may feel overwhelmed in large social gatherings and require some downtime to recharge. We may decide to stay at home for the evening, believing that we will enjoy spending so much time alone. After a few hours, however, we become restless and crave human contact.

In my own life, I have found this to be true. I need my alone time, but I also need to spend time with everyone else, even if it's just observing and asking them about their lives.

Finally, the existence of shy extroverts demonstrates that humanity cannot be divided into two categories. We must recognize (and accept) the fact that our personalities are far more complex than that. All of our quirks are more than “okay,” and it is past time for us to embrace the one-of-a-kind individuals that we truly are!

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