A shy extrovert is someone who is engaging—but only in the right situations. Meeting people is not your thing, but enjoying time with friends is!
Confusing, isn’t it? Extroverted people are outgoing, fun, and engaging. The opposite of shy, they talk to anyone, put on a show, and entertain a crowd. So how is it that there is a shy extrovert?
A shy extrovert sounds like phrases such as the Great Depression, clearly confused, or deafening silence. An oxymoron to the highest degree, shy extroverts are ambivalent creatures.
Shy extroverts have the ability to be extroverted but get shy in social situations. The capacity to entertain the masses, they don’t want to be singled out or put on the spot. Once the party gets going, they are right in the thick of it.
11 key signs that point to a shy extrovert
If you sometimes feel like a shrinking violet but long for a big crowd, you not only confuse yourself; you confuse those around you. If someone were to describe you, they probably say you were the life of the party. If you were to describe yourself, you likely say that the party is the life in you.
#1 You love a good party, but only if it is big and loud. A shy extrovert loves to have a good time and meet new people, but only if it isn’t a small and quaint gathering. Often feeling socially awkward in a small group, shy extroverts enjoy the good times once they get rolling, but often the last to get the ball in motion. [Read: Life of the party: How to be noticed and loved by everyone]
#2 You don’t have to be immersed in conversation. Unlike other people, shy extroverts don’t mind being quiet. Most people feel the need to have a conversation, but not someone shy and extroverted. If you start a conversation, that is fine, if you want to sit idly by with them, that is fine too. Not typically the one to make the first move, they have no uneasiness about being completely non-communicative with the people sitting next to them.
#3 If you do have a conversation, it is typically deep and thoughtful. If you do start a conversation with a shy extrovert, they aren’t into small talk like the weather or something benign. Often only engaging if it is a subject that they find substantive, they are okay talking about heavy subjects right off the bat.
Not a shallow communicator, they don’t want to waste their time talking about things that don’t matter. But you hit the right subject, and they can go on for hours.
#4 You want to be alone… no, wait, you want to be with other people. When you are a shy extrovert there are times when you just want to be by yourself. If you have been at work all week or company in from out of town, you settle in on the couch and lock the doors.
After about two hours of that, you find you crave someone to be with. There is a constant dichotomy playing in your mind of wanting to be alone to recharge, then wanting to get right back out there to waste those batteries again entertaining other people. [Read: How to make the absolute most out of your alone time]
#5 Public speaking or being in front of a crowd is torture. A shy extrovert not only doesn’t like public speaking, but they are also the little kids who cried at their own birthday party when everyone sang to them. Being the center of attention is tantamount to torture. Although wanting to be constantly in the mix, the last thing they want to do is to be singled out or made the focal point of any activity.
#6 Keep the old: one is silver but the other is gold. Since shy extroverts like to entertain, but they aren’t into meeting new people, often you find yourself sticking close to old friends who are comfortable and predictable.
It isn’t that you don’t make new friends, it takes a whole lot of energy. Old friends are comfortable, and shy extroverts get right in the heat of it without all the awkward introductions and getting to know each other. A good night out with old friends simply can’t be beat. [Read: How to make new friends as an adult]
#7 You are open, friendly, and a great listener… not so much of a talker. You aren’t much of a talker at times, but you can be the greatest listener there is. Being a very thoughtful person, literally, you listen to the drama queen everyone else avoids.
Because you are all in your head, hearing about the intricacies of things doesn’t bore you. You like a good story and stick around to listen when everyone else has flown the coop.
#8 You can be found at the shots table but not on the shots table. Being a fun and engaging person, you are all for shots when the round comes around, but you are no Coyote Ugly.
A shy extrovert isn’t going to be the person up on the bar pouring shots into anyone’s mouth. They are the ones to go to the bar and bring shots back for everyone to take with them. Again, please just don’t call attention to them.
#9 You are a vault. Being a good listener, it comes naturally that you are a keeper of secrets. A more introspective person, no one has to say to you “this is just between us” because you already know that it is. When someone tells you something either on or off the record, it makes no difference. You just assume it goes no further.
#10 You can be two different people in various scenery. You confuse your friends by being quiet and subdued at big parties when they know you to be loud, fun, and crazy. If you aren’t in your element, you behave much tamer and uncharacteristic than your friends know you to be.
#11 Once you get turned on it is hard to turn you off. You don’t like to make the first move because you are, well, shy. But, if someone hits the right button, then it is on! All someone must do is break through the rough exterior to get to the place inside that is crazy and out of control for the shy extrovert.
A shy extrovert appears to be an oxymoron to anyone besides them. They can be outgoing and wild when in their element. Yet, they can be quiet, reserved, and downright standoffish in a small group if they don’t know anyone.
More in their head than out in the world, they keep secrets with grace, are great listeners, and, once you have found a friend in them, you are friends for life.