Confusing, isn’t it? Extroverted people are outgoing, fun, and engaging. The opposite of shyness, 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.
Before we define what a shy extrovert is, let’s look at what it means to be shy in the first place
Some people love having exciting experiences and meeting new people. They look forward to any opportunity to socialize. They jump into conversations and introduce themselves to others very easily. But other people can’t do that because they are shy. They have to warm up to new people or situations.
So, what exactly is shyness? Shyness is an emotion. And this emotion affects how a person feels and acts around other people. It can make them feel uncomfortable, self-conscious, nervous, insecure, or embarrassed. It can even produce physical sensations such as being speechless or a shaky voice.
In a nutshell, shyness is not being at ease with yourself when you are around other people. They feel unsure and don’t want to be noticed. [Read: 35 best text conversation starters for the shy and socially awkward]
When most people hear the word “extrovert,” they think of someone who is talkative, outgoing, and the life of the party. They think that they have “bigger than life” personalities and would be often seen dancing on the top of a bar and doing shots with a huge crowd around them.
But that’s not exactly what an extrovert is. It can be, but not all extroverts are like that.
Instead, being an extrovert is more closely related to where you get your energy from. You see, extroverts feel “charged up” by being around people. They like the stimulation it brings to them. When they are alone, they feel drained and less happy – unlike an introvert.
Introverts feel recharged when they have alone time, and they feel drained when they are around people for too long. [Read: Introvert vs. extrovert – why it’s fluid and what splits them apart]
So, you can have a friendly outgoing person who is an introvert because they can only handle being around people for so long. And on the flip side, you can have a quiet and shy extrovert who likes being around people and dislikes being alone for too long.
Now that we know what it means to be shy and what it means to be an extrovert, we can put the two of them together and talk about what a shy extrovert really is.
Shy extroverts are people who crave social time, but they lack the skills to socialize effectively. They might even seem avoidant in social situations despite their need to have quality social time. [Read: Can an introvert date an extrovert? How to balance the two worlds]
In other words, they want to go to social gatherings because they like the energy it gives them. But when they do go, they might prefer just to sit there and observe. They won’t be the one who starts every conversation or is the center of attention. In fact, they prefer to be on the periphery of the social situation – but in it at the same time.
As you can see, shy extroverts have the ability to be extroverted but get shy in social situations. They don’t want to be singled out or put on the spot.
In a nutshell, no. An ambivert is someone who has the ability to be extroverted and introverted. They have an equal balance of needing their social time and their alone time. [Read: Outgoing introvert – 16 signs you’re an ambivert caught in the middle]
As we discussed, extroverts get their energy from social situations and outer stimuli. And introverts get their energy from being alone and feel drained by being around people.
Ambiverts like both. They can feel energized around people, but then they also love their alone time too. So, they actually need a balance of both. Shy extroverts need social stimulation all the time to feel energized.
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.
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 are often the last to get the ball in motion. [Read: Life of the party: How to be noticed and loved by everyone]
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.
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 shallow communicators, 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.
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]
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.
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 heart of it without all the awkward introductions and getting to know each other. A good night out with old friends simply can’t be beaten. [Read: How to make new friends as an adult]
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.
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.
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.
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.
Once among your peeps, you typically suggest the crazy long nights, not the one sitting up against the wall at the party where you know no one. [Read: Be two versions of you – Live by the sun, love by the moon]
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.
Most extroverts don’t like silence. They always want to be talking to other people and are uncomfortable when no one is talking, so they feel the need to fill the void with their own words.
But shy extroverts aren’t like that. They don’t have a problem when there are lulls in conversations.
Since shy extroverts love being around people, they prefer to be around the ones they already know. They don’t really like meeting new people because it makes them feel anxious and uncomfortable.
So, once they have a solid group of friends, they stick to them. [Read: How to reconnect with old friends and rebuild your lost friendships]
Because a shy extrovert has a need to socialize and be around people, they will never turn down an opportunity to hang out with their friends. They prefer this over being at home alone. But as we said, it has to be with people they know really well.
When a shy extrovert has good friends, they have a need to stay in regular communication with them. They might text or even call other people a lot. They feel the need to have human connection on a regular basis.
Shy extroverts get their energy from being with others, so it’s not surprising that they want to be liked by people.
Sure, everyone does. But because a lot of their happiness is dependent on socializing with their friends, they want as many people to like them as possible. [Read: How to be charming – 15 adorable habits of really likable people]
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.
[Read: How to overcome shyness – 16 quick fixes to transform your life]
A rare type of person as a friend, a shy extrovert doesn’t always know which personality is going to show up, but you know they are genuine, true, and real.
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