Introvert has occasional bursts of really being “on,” wonders if it’s common

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This college student has noticed that although he is absolutely an introvert, sometimes he is the life of the party. He’s not looking to fake being an extrovert but just wonders about these outgoing occurrences.

At age 20, I have come to the realisation I am an introvert. I’m embarrassed it took me this long as it’s blaringly obvious. My question regards a phenomena that happens to me in social situations and was wondering whether it was a standard trait of the introvert or something unique to me.

Very occasionally in social interactions I feel like I “am on”. For example most of the time at college I don’t bother starting conversations but just let people start conversations with me. I normally keep to myself and am fairly reserved but occasionally, once in a blue moon for just a couple of hours I “am on.”

I feel in the mood to talk with everyone. My jokes, for those few hours are really well received and my presence is felt. On days like these people often make comments about how funny i am and I feel like king of social interaction and feel fiercely independent and confident.

But later will retreat to my blissful place of solitude and reflect on what a great day it was, hoping to relieve that mood/state of mind tomorrow and it just doesn’t happen.

It’s like every now and then I feel like being social and everyones best friend but then get over it and go back to being my quiet self.

I don’t have an issue with being quiet or introverted but being that outgoing guy for a couple of hours is fun. I was wondering if lot’s of introverted people have these moments of being outgoing.

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Photo credit: Chris Toombes (muchmor)

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23 Comments

  1. As a fellow introvert who has done stand up comedy, I totally get where you’re coming from. Sometimes you do end up being the center of attention, but you don’t necessarily need it. When I’m with my friends I make jokes, but most of the time I’m just comfortable listening to them so I don’t have to talk. In a way its sort of like being an actor, you play the role of yourself as an extrovert, but then you go back to your default mode.

    The downside to being on sometimes is that people might think that you’re just shy and you need coaxing to come out of your shell.

  2. I am exactly the same. I will have periods where I am the life of the party, so outgoing, full of humor and great anecdotes. But even when I am “on” I never reveal anything about myself. I think a common misconception of introverts is that we are always quiet and reserved, when in fact, introverts just keep ourselves to ourselves. We are private, not necessarily quiet. I have met some introverts that will yammer on about everything under the sun, but if you pay attention, they never talk about themselves.
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  3. Hello all (first time poster, Student Introvert). I can understand this idea. I used to play (and rarely do now) alot of music and i did a few concerts here and there. doing music makes it easy for me to come out. even around my friends, i am loud and noticeabe but on my own i revert back to my usual self of keeping to myself.

    We have our moments of loud and outgoing but thats not us introverts 24/7

  4. I always have a few extroverted times when I am the life of the party. I feel confident and outgoing and it really is a buzz.

    For a while I thought I had bi-polar because of these times. The highs just feel so good. It wouldn’t last very long, perhaps a few hours or a day if I was lucky. My mother and sister are bi-polar so it is always in the back of my mind.

    However it is nice to hear others have it as well. It’s seems pretty normal. I just wish it went for longer periods.

  5. Cheers for the responses,

    Alex – Couldn’t agree more with what you’re saying. I forget where I read it, could of been this blog, but a quote that really resonates with me: ” Lot’s of actors are introverts and lots of introverts feel like actors when socialising.” It’s a different deal being on a stage and having the 4th wall separating you and the people.. I grew up acting, having done a few semi-professional musicals and also pride myself on public speaking ability.

    Sonya – I completely understand the bi-poloar thing as this crossed my mind several times before I began to understand the difference between being shy and being an introvert.

  6. Ally Bernales on

    Good article i must say… and I do agree that a person with a bit of both features will be successful in life. I also agree that this view is from an introvert’s perspective
    I think the worst thing that could happen to an introvert is ” not knowing that he’s an introvert people not knowing the true meaning of ‘introvert”
    and the best thing… the “internet” lol
    Whereas an extrovert’s best friend is his mobile!! I really do pity the mobile though…how does it tolerate the bad smell for such a long time..lol
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  7. Great post all i can say is it’s a big help for us a reader i had a great view introvert perspective,i am loud and noticeabe but on my own i revert back to my usual self of keeping to myself.am loud and noticeabe but on my own i revert back to my usual self of keeping to myself.
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  8. I can definitely relate to this post. I get bouts of extroversion every so often. During these times, I feel super confident and have the urge to talk or joke with anyone around me. And I know people enjoy my company when I’m like this. But after an hour or so (or sometimes a whole day), the confidence (and energy!) wears off, and speaking to people becomes a struggle again. I often wonder whether people think I’m a fake because I’m not this way all the time. I even feel guilty for being so ‘bipolar’ – especially if I’m in an extroverted mood when I first meet people. It feels as if I’m deceiving people into thinking I’m a really fun person, when in reality, I’m not – I’m pretty quiet and dull most of the time. Does anyone else ever feel like this?

  9. Great post!i can imagine to my past work that i having hard time,introvert I often wonder whether people think I’m a fake because I’m not this way all the time. I even feel guilty for being so ‘bipolar’ – especially if I’m in an extroverted mood when I first meet people. It feels as if I’m deceiving people.
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  10. @ Lucy, @Lyndy Lou. I also worry about being congruent around people. I’ve had times when I’ve been very extroverted and made new friends. They then ask me to dinner or to go out clubbing and I usually decline, until I have a extroverted episode again.

    It feels it really confuses people, especially when the friendship is new and they don’t know me very well.

  11. I have these moments too. Sometimes as you decribe it I’m “on” and yes, I can recognise the “on” feeling – I talk and mingle freely, much less reserved in my reactions. Unfortunately, this is where it goes awry sometimes. When I meet these people for a second time, they expect the same response and I’m back in my “observer” role.

    It surely confuses them and when the declines to invitations start, they eventually move on to collect new always on friends. Hmm.

    • I can relate to this, especially. Most times (in the past) when I’ve met people, I found myself putting on a very social/extrovert ‘mask’ (because it gets a much better response than the way I REALLY want to act… most people don’t know how to react to quiet people and I hate being called ‘weird’ or ‘shy’). Then, the more I am forced to be around those people — or when I meet them a second time — I feel embarrassed of the way I acted before and I’ll often try to just avoid being around them. The worst situation is when I am forced to be around specific groups of people, like classmates, for a long period of time. After I put on that initial extrovert ‘act’, I feel that I am expected to continue it. I’ve been able to do this for pretty lengthy periods of time. I’m not proud of that, but during those times, I wasn’t aware what I was REALLY doing. The worst reciprocal of all of this (for me) is that people end up thinking I am the extroverted person I was trying to be, or that I am a fake. The latter, I think, is more accurate. I’ve done this since I was a teenager, I think as a form of defense-mechanism. I wish it hadn’t taken me so long to realize what was going on, but I am glad I finally did. Now, I’m making an effort every day to remind myself in EVERY social situation that: I AM an introvert and that I cannot change that, that even though I feel compelled to give people what they want and act extroverted (I have a tendency to be a people-pleaser) I will only dig myself into a hole, and that I am not weird or strange being just the way that I am. Maybe this theory, involving people-pleasing and a sense of insecurity, doesn’t apply to every introvert who has these ‘extrovert’ spurts. But I really believe that it is the core reason for my false extrovert-like actions. I also strongly believe that the sense of insecurity is directly a result of the way I was treated in the past when I WAS being myself (made fun of, bullied, called “antisocial” and “too good to talk to us”… completely misunderstood and constantly forced to be more like the extroverts around me). Like I said, I am pushing past all of this insecurity and people-pleasing right now, but it was an awful pit to fall into! Maybe some of you can relate to this…

  12. i guess in this scenario you have to be the fit in person that you should be. Don’t let introversion eat you because it will just destroy you. Be happy on the things that you do with friends because it will just lift your mood.

  13. Yeah this is a good post. I also have surprisingly similar episodes . I just wish I had more control over it. How do you guys and gals turn yourselves “on”? Drinking with good friends is usually what gets me going .

    Wish I could do it at work or at my girlfriend’s parents’ house though haha

  14. I am a college student with the same types of… episodes (for lack of a better word). The random hours that you just feel outgoing and hilarious. I have found that this happens most often when I am joining a new group of people that I am excited about (well I am excited about the group, not necessarily meeting a bunch of new people). I find that I am more willing to volunteer suggestions, talk to people etc. I almost feel as if I am acting a part, one that I have seen others do so many times and it just becomes possible at random times. But like many, I would like to be able to harness this more effectively because I want to be a high school teacher once I graduate, and it would help to know how to channel that feeling.

  15. What i don’t understood is in reality how you are not actually much more smartly-appreciated than you might be right now. You’re very intelligent. You realize thus considerably in relation to this topic, made me in my view consider it from numerous varied angles. Its like women and men are not fascinated until it?s something to do with Woman gaga! Your personal stuffs great. At all times care for it up!
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  16. An individual who is suffering from this needs guidance to boost their confidence. I have a cousin who is an introvert and my aunt send him to a support group like the “AA’s” and constant exposing him gradually into the crowd. Now he is doing just fine talking to anyone…. Oh I’m sorry, I mean everyone.

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