Writing by Olivia Ireland // Illustration by Helena Ravenne
Oxymorons are rare and rich, yet when you come across them, they’re difficult to un-see. Thus, begins the phenomenon of the insecure extrovert. Two words that don’t appear to make sense next to one another. An extrovert is a person who generally thrives off being around others,and is stereotypically loud, passionate and fearless with their opinion. An insecure person is seen to be shy, quiet and over analytical about every move they make, and admittedly an introvert. The issue with these stereotypes though, is it often leads to people becoming complacent and blind to the realities of our much more complex world.
The idea that there are only two categories for the way people function – extrovert and introvert – is a very vague and general approach to the way the world works. Humans are everything weird, confusing,frustrating, and these complexities are defined by two categories Therefore, there really is no full extrovert or introvert, but rather a mixture, much like a spectrum. The insecure extrovert is simply a variation of many types of people, a conglomeration of what makes me me, and you you.
Confidence and noise are two key identifying factors of an extrovert, making it difficult for people to ever imagine how they could have problems with their self-value and sense of identity. As I’ve grown older, myself and many people around me are much more than a loud mouth with little regard for others, it is to cover something deeper. I have always given the appearance of being confident, discussing openly about current events and adoring it when people tease me for my over advertisement that “I’m a runner” and “I’m a writer”. However, underneath all of that there is more to it than my imperative extrovert nature. Large events, meeting new people and putting myself out there requires an extreme amount of energy. Yet once I feel comfortable with several people, effort is no longer required. It is a deep imbedded insecurity I hold that people will reject me if I act in a way that is different or unusual when I first begin in a new social setting. That is the type of extrovert I am, and the deeper insecurities that I hold.
Through spending more time watching, analysing and understanding people, I have grown to realise it is a phenomenon. There are so many forms of insecurities extroverts will cover desperately. They will hold the ability to have solid banter, yet ironically coming into contact with people can be one of the most difficult experiences. Those who lack the emotional understanding of an extrovert’s complexity can have the greatest effect. An endless shower of banter gets sharper, like shards of ice digging into your skin, which is masked through the appearance of over confidence growing louder and louder throughout the room. Deeper and deeper within yourself you go, true thoughts and feelings rarely expressed due to the concern others will immediately shut you down for calling them out on the hurt, as you “constantly dish it out but clearly can’t take it”. This leaves many extroverts with nothing more than their own noise, desperation for friends and lovers to stay with them and a stream of empty pieces of validation through popularity.
In a world of complex personalities, it is important we all acknowledge the difference between face value and what really goes on beneath that. Seek it out, reach out to support your friends, even when they seem like an arrogant and obnoxious asshole, because there’s a reason they’re being that way.