Somethings in life can easily be categorized, eye color – check, clothes you will wear and won’t wear – check, the food you’re allergic to check, extrovert or introvert -Nah! I don’t think I can categorize myself into either.
Up until 2 years ago, I was told that I was an extrovert, so I acted like one. I was social and outgoing. I was loud, I just started embracing it more. I started to think I can’t spend time alone. I started to think being an introvert makes me ‘boring’ cause who will be friends with someone who doesn’t like people. I once spoke to a lady sitting beside me on a bus, she told me her whole life story! I used to talk to anyone I met, not shy from social situations. I was comfortable to strike a conversation with anyone I met on the street. Back then I couldn’t wait for the weekends to plan my outings. I loved the spotlight. This was the 18-year-old ‘extravert’ Yukti.
A year ago, I noticed socializing was getting exhausting. I preferred being alone. I loved my space and hated it when someone tried to invade it. During this time I noticed that I am becoming more introverted, and for some reason, I didn’t like it. In my head, I had this vision that being an introvert is boring. Nonetheless, I couldn’t help but find comfort in isolation. I used to cancel plans without thinking twice. I didn’t leave my house for weeks. Whenever any plans were being made I used to simply avoid it by saying I am busy. Meeting people seemed draining. Ironically, I loved my own company. This was the 19-year-old ‘introvert’ Yukti.
Extravert and introvert were coined by Carl Jung, and since then there has been lots and lots of debate about who is what. Myers Briggs and big five personalities have incorporated this concept in their personality tests. I have taken these tests tons of times and my answer has varied depending on my mood. Once I was super hyper and jittery when I took the test, my result was ENFP. A few weeks after that, I was really tired and sleepy and I got the result as INFP. This indicates that our mind is flexible and can compass different personality traits all at once.
The way you get passed labels and constructs like introvert/extrovert are to activate your imagination. When we were kids when we could imagine a cloud as a birthday cake with nine candles? As we grew up, our imagination weakened, and we started caving into what we were told. Now, if you were to ask me, is Santa Claus real? I would definitely say, no but an 8-year-old Yukti would have imagined waking up to a Christmas tree full of presents left by Santa.
I have been told that I should be good at public speaking cause I am an extrovert. However, I don’t want to give in to social norms. I want to be able to experiment and be who I am. I want to let my actions show what is possible
I am no one. I am a collection of energies that transform moment by moment. I react to situations and people depending on my mood, not on my innate personality trait. Extroverts can become introverts overnight. I don’t want to let labels like ‘quiet’, ‘loud’, ‘outgoing’, or ‘anti-social’ define me, I would like to look at these things to understand where I am at. I don’t want to be at one end of the spectrum, I am an extroverted introvert and I love it. This is 20 years old Yukti.