The inner-workings of an unsure ambivert


From the moment I was born, they were there, surrounding me like vultures waiting for a look at their prey: people.

I came into this world and was immediately coddled and caressed by my three siblings.

As a toddler, I accepted and thrived off of this constant attention, and I transformed into the most exuberant extrovert that my parents had ever seen.

I loved being in the spotlight, and I loved the never-ending adoration that the spotlight offered.

I loved people.

My adoration of social interaction followed me through my elementary years. I chased boys on the playground; I prodded and begged my older sister to let me play with her and her friends; I eagerly raised my hand to answer any question that my teacher had.

I loved being surrounded by people, and I could barely stand the boring confines of solitude for more than a few minutes.

But as I grew, I found myself losing my once intense desire for social interaction.

I wasn’t destined to be a social butterfly—my wings never grew.

My desire for socialization and popularity dropped from me slowly, like water from a broken faucet. And with every day that passed, I found another bucket-full of desire gone.

It wasn’t a sad departure; it was simply inevitable. I wasn’t destined to be a social butterfly—my wings never grew.

I used to wonder why.

Was something wrong with me?

Was I sad?

As I started my teenage years, I began to accept myself as an introvert. I focused on things that isolated me, and I found myself happier that way. I wasn’t necessarily shy; I just preferred my own company to others.

I continued to be reserved for a while, but soon I found myself craving the socialization that had once come so easily for me. 

I felt trapped, and I didn’t know what to do. I had isolated myself from the people who I had been closest to, and I was too shy to reach out again.

Even if I could work up the confidence to reach out, I was scared that the people who I had once been so close with had moved on.

Finally, I was given an opportunity to meet new people, and I found the best friends that I’d had in a long time.

I was again an erratic extrovert; I grew the wondrous wings of a social butterfly, and I was disappointed in myself for hiding my wings for so long. 

I developed a new schedule with the introduction of new friends, and I tried as hard as I could to spend time with them despite my other obligations.

But eventually, I grew tired of the social interactions yet again. Deep down, I knew that these were the best friends I could find, but I still found myself exhausted at times.

It was then that I realized it wasn’t the group of friends that determined my desire for social interaction; it was me.

I wondered for so long why I was the way I was. 

Why wasn’t I exclusively extroverted or undividedly introverted?

I know the reason now. I am an ambivert. I love people. But I love solitude. I am not a social butterfly, yet I’m not a diffident caterpillar.

I know now that this is okay, and I am thankful that I am the way I am. I can grow my wings and fly when I want to, but I am also content with staying on the ground.