The night I learned I’m not an introvert

Therapy, man. You think you know yourself, but you are dead wrong.

I am 25 years old, and for many years I have operated under the understanding that I am an introvert.

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I was so sure of myself. Much of my life and relationships related back to the idea that I was an introvert.

When I first learned that I was an introvert, I took that shit to the bank. I crafted a damn-near formal proposal for my family, outlining the reasons to why they needed to leave me alone.

My identity, from early college all the way through grad school and the start of my career, has centered around my introversion.

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So. Introverted.

Until today.

I was sitting in therapy when all of a sudden we’re talking about isolation.

“I’m an introvert, though, I genuinely enjoy doing things on my own.”

My therapist, a bit of a smart-ass, just laughed. “Really?”

What followed was a conversation — and realization — that I am still reeling from.

I am an extrovert. And I am shook.

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Turns out being with people energizes me, not the opposite.

I have spent the last hour running this reality through my mind. Old memories and stories of me as a child are resurfacing.

The story of the time I talked non-stop on a three-hour car ride. I was three years old.

All the boys I chased after and tried to make them be my friend (or boyfriend).

The conversations I had with anyone who would listen, mostly my poor but loving teachers.

The joy I feel after spending time with people.

The sadness I feel after going too long without social interaction.

For years I have given my extrovert friends crap for lacking in their ability to be self-aware. And today I learned that I am the epitome of that stereotype.

My name is Parker, and I am a recovering introvert. I like people, and can be a bit overwhelming to my unsuspecting introvert friends.

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