What I Learned from My Extrovert and Ambivert Friends
Being a big believer in the “I’m introvert and proud!” motto, this post, oddly enough, was very easy for me to write.
Perhaps because I know so many extroverts, some are even my friends, it was easy for me to pinpoint some of their attributes that I wish I had.
Just because you’re an introvert, it doesn’t mean you have to do all the things introverts are said to do or say or feel or… No.
Remember that personality is a continuum; it is not a fixed thing.
Most of my closest friends are introverts and one or two are most likely ambiverts. I feel blessed because of this. College, which I consider one of the most important experiences of my life, would not have been the same if it weren’t for them. They were part of the things that gave my life the sort of balance that I needed.
Four years of nursing school with these friends helped changed me without completely undermining my own personality. So I’d like to share the few important things my extrovert and ambivert pals taught me by example, without them even knowing it.
Initiate a conversation.
My friend, Gillyn, likes to talk. And she talks confidently. Reason why I think she has LOADS of friends. Now, we introverts don’t talk much, but when we do, we really talk. So let’s take a cue from Gillyn: why not try initiating a conversation next time you’re introduced to someone new? When you think of it, chances of small talk lessen when you initiate the conversation by choosing a topic you’re passionate about.
Be open to ideas.
To be honest, as much as I’d like to think most introverts are already open-minded than most, this ability of ours, of thinking things through, tends to stop us from experiencing new things sometimes. But it wouldn’t hurt to let go once in a while would it? It doesn’t matter how small of a deed your ‘letting go’ is.
Weeks ago, I allowed my friends to drag me into one of those BINGO events. I’m glad I went. I had fun and I even won the grand prize: gift certificates for a full body massage and other spa services.
Find the middle ground.
My calmest of friends, Brittney, is well, calm. She has this innate sense of diplomacy that comes in handy when you’re with a group of people with clashing personalities. As shameful it is to admit, I don’t always welcome opinion other than my own. At least that was the case when I was younger. But Brittney has diplomacy down to an art. She’s an ambivert. She has to be to survive me and Gillyn. She’s great at listening to both sides of whatever warring parties.
Humor, ladies and gentlemen, humor.
My friends are hilarious, noisy, and very quirky. Qualities I didn’t have before college. I had zero humor. Being an introvert has nothing to do with it, I think, because I laugh at my own jokes. In my head. I just needed an audience, a very understanding one at that. So college was a relief in more ways than one. I learned to joke and people actually laughed. (That or they just pitied me. I’m still not sure…)
It’s kinda cool…
It’s amazing that as I write this, I suddenly realize how cool it is that there are such things as being an introvert, an extrovert, or an ambivert. Not only do these “labels” help us explain and explore our personalities more, they also help us see that we can compliment each other.
I’d like to think that I tempered my friends’ overly excited nature with my seriousness, especially in important situations. It was mutual, complimentary, and perhaps even necessary. We helped each other survived college.
Do you have extrovert and ambivert pals as well? What are some of the things they’ve taught you?