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Introvert or Extrovert?

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Life as someone who is energy-sensitive is definitely interesting. There are so many characteristics that help define what it is to be energy sensitive. Most people believe that those who are energy sensitive are always introverted. But that’s simply not true! There are a lot of misconceptions about being energy sensitive and I’m here to set the record straight. It’s not bad being an introvert or extrovert…we just navigate the world differently! No matter which one you are, we can all live amazing lives! 

The Energy-Sensitive Extrovert

Being an energy-sensitive extrovert can be challenging at times. They make up around 30% of all energy-sensitives but are very different than their non-sensitive counterparts. When extroverts of normal energetic sensitivity are feeling energetically low, they get a boost by going and being around other people, socializing, and being exposed to plenty of external stimulation. That is how they recharge their batteries.  

Extroverts who are energy-sensitive do love being the life of the party! They love people, they love socializing, talking to others, and working in groups. But because they are energy-sensitive, they get overstimulated by too much togetherness and external stimulation. So they live a life of being pulled by opposite needs

One part of them longs to be with others, while the sensitive soul they are requires them to spend plenty of quiet time alone to recover from all of the energetic stimulation they were surrounded by. Without understanding their own energetic needs, this can leave them struggling with either feeling overwhelmed or lonely much of the time.

Here are a few other characteristics of extroverted energy-sensitives:

  1. Can be the life of the party, but experience sudden energy crashes.
  2. Love being around people, but also get drained by them.
  3. Pick up on subtle energetic cues and use them to put others at ease.
  4. Typically have a strong, but a small circle of friends. It’s easy for them to make friends, but can be more challenging to form deep friendships. So they have a small core group that they can open up to.
  5. Uncomfortable just sitting around and doing nothing.
  6. Typically enjoy working in groups. Collaboration inspires them!
  7. Loyalty is important. This is a requirement for friends, family members, co-workers, and partners!
  8. They struggle with loneliness.
  9. Seen as being friendly and approachable.
  10. Strangers often will share very personal things with them.
  11. Can struggle to work alone. Can even become depressed or lethargic is having to work alone for long periods.
  12. Arguments and tension in social situations make them feel sick.
  13. They often don’t feel like they fit…and it hurts!
  14. Can struggle to adjust to new situations.
  15. They question whether they are introverted or extroverted.
  16. They are picky about who they spend time with. Because socializing can be both energizing and draining, extroverted sensitives tend to be more selective about who they spend time and energy with. They want to save their time for the people they really like!
  17. Can have problem with people-pleasing.

While it may seem overwhelming to be an extroverted energy-sensitive, for those who are, having a better understanding of who they are can help!

The Energy-Sensitive Introvert

Now, we don’t want to forget the introverted sensitives out there! While the majority of energy-sensitives are introverts, this group is still very small when compared to the general population.

And just like the extroverted sensitives, when you are an introvert and energy-sensitive, it’s important to understand yourself better so that you can navigate the world with less struggle, and more thriving!

And some characteristics of energy-sensitive introverts:

  1. Introverts don’t like small talk. No…they REALLY don’t like small talk!  Nothing drains the energy faster! They would much rather have a deep, meaningful conversation that is relevant to them than to make superficial chit-chat…as long as they aren’t already feeling overstimulated! Then they would prefer you don’t talk to them at all!
  2. They often feel alone in a crowd. It is not unusual for introverts to feel alone….even when they are with a group of people that they know. They can even feel invisible at times.
  3. They’re often writers. Many introverts, express themselves much more easily through writing than through spoken word.
  4. They can talk your ear off too, especially when talking about things that they are passionate about with people that they know well.
  5. There is an inner dialogue that is always going in their brain. Yep….it’s always going. ALWAYS! They are the classic overthinkers!
  6. They are deep thinkers, so they are the people that sit and ponder the meaning of life.
  7. Sensitive introverts both love and hate their phone. It is not uncommon for them to screen calls…even from family and friends. They do the same thing with texts too. If they are in their quiet, alone time place, then they may not answer or may not text back right away. It doesn’t mean they don’t love you….it just means that they are recharging and simply don’t have the energy to communicate right now. Don’t worry though…they will call or text you back as soon as their batteries are fresh!
  8. Crowds are stressful. Being in a large crowd for hours really wipes out an introvert’s energy. And do you know how to spot the introverts in a crowd? They are typically around the perimeter watching the action, not taking part in it!
  9. They notice details that others don’t. By nature, they are definitely observers. And being energy-sensitive, they pick up on subtle energy cues that most people miss. That is why, when an introvert goes to a social event, like a party, typically they will stand off to the side observing others.
  10. They start to shut down after they’ve been active too long.  Staying past that point is uncomfortable, and all they can think about is getting to somewhere where they can be alone.
  11. When they become overstimulated they tend to get much moodier.
  12. Giving a talk in front of hundreds of people is much less stressful than having to mingle with them afterward. This goes back to the hatred of small talk. And it has nothing to do with hating people, but they would just much rather spend time having a meaningful conversation with others, than more superficial chatter.
  13. They are very protective of their personal space. They are very uncomfortable when others infringe on that space and can get downright grumpy when others invite themselves over when they are in the midst of our alone time. or when they overstay their welcome.

Although there are many introverts who are shy, many others are not. Having an understanding of how you operate in the world and how you respond to energy is an important step towards a healthier life as an energy-sensitive.  It is vital to understand who you are so that you can communicate your needs to those around you and help them to understand you better as well.

These are only a few of the major characteristics of introverted and extroverted energy sensitives. If you want to learn about more of the characteristics, take my energy-sensitivity quiz!

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