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Moving on When You’re an Extroverted Introvert

An extroverted introvert is someone who is naturally introverted but can also display the typical extrovert qualities of being outgoing, talkative and social… depending on circumstances or mood of course. 

When I read the book Quiet by Susan Cain, I experienced a huge shift in how I thought about myself. For most of my life I just assumed I was different than everyone else! A square peg that just didn’t fit. Little did I know that my preference for quiet and introspection over being social meant I was a stone cold introvert.

Are you familiar with the Myers-Brigg Type personality test? It breaks us down into 16 different personality groups split between introverts and extroverts. An IN(TP) or IS(TP) type indicator for example means you demonstrate introvert personality traits. While the MBTI isn’t considered rock solid science, it’s one method to get the “big picture” on your personality type.

Image by Fallon Michael – Unsplash

What makes an introvert different than an extrovert?

Put simply, the main distinctions are:

Introverts: 

  • Are drained by too much social contact and prefer to be alone to recharge and process their thoughts and feelings.
  • Some introverts may be considered shy or reserved rather than outgoing
  • Introverts are more likely to focus on their inner life, thoughts and feelings

Extroverts: 

  • Thrive on social contact. Being with others keeps them charged, feeling plugged in and connected.
  • Extroverts love talking, parties and meeting new people 
  • Extroverts mainly focus on what’s happening on the outside, their external life

Who is an Extroverted Introvert?

An extroverted introvert is someone who mainly identifies as introvert, but also functions like an extrovert when the need arises or when the situation or mood supports it.

Extroverted Introvert Qualities:

  • While you enjoy your own company you also appreciate opportunities to be sociable with like minded individuals or small groups
  • Loud or boisterous people may cause you to shut down if you’re tired or not in the mood, so your extroversion depends on timing and the quality of the company
  • You’re able to indulge in small talk and casual interactions with others but you prefer to dive deep into conversations
  • You enjoy an exchange of ideas with like minded colleagues or friends but you prefer working at your own pace rather than part of a group
  • Working in sales or a customer or client facing situation can be fun and challenging but you need time to unwind on your own after a full on session

The bottom line is if you’re an introvert – like me – you may find you toggle between needing lots of time on your own to enjoying good company to balance out your “me” time. The key distinction is good company. 

An introvert – even an extroverted introvert or ambivert – will enjoy hanging out with a few special friends over a large social gathering any day. 

Moving on or Moving Abroad as an Extroverted Introvert.

Unless you’ve been living on a desert island, you’ll be familiar with the worldwide pandemic that began in 2020. 

While every extrovert has quite possibly been freaking out missing their social life, we introverts – both closet and self professed – have been quietly enjoying our new found freedom from the pressure to be social. Amiright?

I consider myself an extroverted introvert. I can be quite social when I need to be; usually followed by a big sigh of relief when I can be alone again! Moving to the UK just before the pandemic hit has reassured me my introversion has actually been a blessing in disguise and it may be true for you too.

While it can be lonely to move on in life; to a new relationship, no relationship or a new country; as an introvert with some extrovert tendencies you’re better prepared to weather the storm than most.

The Benefits of Moving on as an Extroverted Introvert 

  • You’re more likely to be prepared to do the research and inner work to make informed choices
  • When you meet new people you click with, you’re able to create deeper connections through meaningful conversations
  • Your innate ability to be empathetic and a good listener makes you an asset to a group or organization 
  • You’re happy to connect with new people casually – through Meetups or gatherings – that allow you to dip in and out of being social 
  • You’ll have plenty of beneficial recharging time while you navigate through your new environment at your own pace.
  • You can pick and choose how social you want to be because the pressure to maintain past relationships is off
  • You can be yourself. No more wearing a mask or pretending to be more into something or someone than you really are. 
  • With your natural empathetic qualities you’ll tune yourself into social situations with ease and meet new folks who appreciate what a good listener you are
  • You know how to do you. You’re not going to freak out at being alone for awhile. In fact you may just enjoy your new found freedom to do what you want when you want!

Moving Abroad as an Extroverted Introvert

I didn’t move to England because I thought it would be a great place to live as an introvert. But I’ve since realized I feel supported here in a way that I haven’t before because I no longer feel the pressure to be “on” socially all the time. In fact being quiet and reserved is appreciated here. You could say it’s almost the status quo.

Surprisingly as an “American” living in England I’m considered the extrovert! Probably because I’m more likely to say what I think or start a conversation about something that’s meaningful to me. 

Your extroverted introvert personality is really the best of both worlds. You’ll find you can fit in where others might struggle.  If you’re thinking of moving on or moving abroad as an extroverted introvert – just do it. 

Ready to make a move? See if these guides and advice can help!

6 Comments

  • Jane Cray
    March 15, 2022 at 12:21 AM

    Hi Tessa!
    Enjoyed that post so much. Comes at the perfect time as I just helped my husband open a temporary apartment out of state while we consider a possible relocation. I’m staying behind in our house with my hardly home college-aged son and some pets.
    After two weeks of constant activity I came home gratefully to a basically empty house for the first time since March 2020. I have been exhausted by the physical and emotional demands over the last couple months and was feeling a little guilty to be so happy to be alone. Your post just reminded me that it’s OK to have my own needs.
    This past month has also gotten me thinking about the demands of an overseas move and how if I contemplate doing that I need to mentally prepare and be kind to myself. As always I enjoy your posts.
    Jane

    Reply
    • Tessa
      March 15, 2022 at 4:30 PM

      Hi Jane – Oh I’m so glad this resonated with you. It’s often difficult to feel OK about needing time to ourselves when we’re used to the full on demands of family even if they are sneaking out of the nest!
      Yes please put yourself first – into the lifeboat or on the oxygen – as you are the most important person in your life. We forget that sometimes as women, but it’s so true.
      Thank you for your kind comments 🙂
      Tessa

      Reply
  • Mary R.
    March 5, 2022 at 12:06 AM

    I think extroverted introvert describes me to a T. Thanks for this insight into my personality tendencies that I could never quite figure out. And it’s a relief to know you don’t have to fit perfectly into one of the two standard personality types. I’m also glad to know that in England this type of personality, along with the more introspective types, are appreciated. Could explain why I enjoy British period dramas so much ☺️. Enjoy all your blog posts, thank you!
    Mary

    Reply
    • Tessa
      March 6, 2022 at 9:24 AM

      Hi Mary – thank you for letting me know this resonated with you. I agree …we so often think we have to fit into a particular box, but the fact is we’re all a lot more nuanced than that! I do feel a lot more “me” here and I think this is a big part of it. Enjoy your British dramas! 🙂
      Tessa

      Reply
  • Karen Couillard
    March 4, 2022 at 6:16 PM

    Amazing how you have wrapped me up perfectly! I have come to know myself as an introvert yet at the same time I look forward to spending time with a small group of people, who are actually family, who bring me joy, but even then I need plenty of alone time to recharge. I have always felt England calling me and now that I KNOW I’d fit in, I want to move there even more. THANK YOU for sharing your life in England and your wonderful insights! ❤

    Reply
    • Tessa
      March 6, 2022 at 9:27 AM

      Hi Karen – I so much appreciate your letting me know this spoke to you. I’ve often hid my introversion because it’s not widely understood (we’re not shy we just need time to recharge), but here in England I feel it’s easier to be myself.
      Good to know a fellow extroverted introvert 🙂 Hope you can make your dream of moving here a reality. Let me know if I can help!
      Tessa

      Reply

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