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7 Struggles Every Extrovert Understands

No Regrets With Susie Moore In our hyper-social culture, which tends to favor outgoing personalities (not to mention nonstop connectivity and networking), there’s an unfortunate stigma that surrounds introverts; it’s generally perceived as less advantageous to be one. But as it turns out, extroverts (myself included) face an entirely different set of social struggles and judgments:

1. You’re apparently not allowed to be sad.    

“What’s wrong with Susie/Clare/Marianne?” people ask if ever we’re not our talkative selves for any reason. The truth is, extroverts need a little down time too. I purposefully choose the end of a table at a dinner party on nights when I feel less chatty or a bit tired. That’s OK! It does not mean we’re unhappy or upset.

2. You’re expected to be the entertainment, everywhere, every time.

It’s an incredibly helpful skill to have a knack for talking, laughing, and engaging with others, especially strangers. So, naturally, extroverts receive a lot of social invitations. But oftentimes extroverts are expected to bring the party wherever they go. We like to do that a lot—just not 100 percent of the time.

3. You’re perceived as superficial and/or insincere.

Vivaciousness has become a synonym for shallow. Extroverts are just as capable of intellectual discussion and complex thinking as introverts are of talking to people. Two extroverted friends of mine are some of the brightest people I know, but sadly, not everyone perceives them that way. In fact, they feel they have to prove themselves or highlight their education or career accolades to dispel negative presumptions. But it’s so important for everyone not make these assumptions. Communication styles are all unique!

Friends Drinking Coffee

4. You’re expected to carry the conversation.

 Just because you are gifted at something doesn’t mean you have to put that talent on display constantly. Introverts are not always expected to just listen to everyone, all the time. Women, in particular, have expressed to me in coaching sessions the pressure they feel to be social lubricants at work and with family. It’s no one’s job to keep an environment light and chatty. Plus, you’d be surprised how often discussions can stay on track without you directing them. So give your vocal chords a break! 

5. You worry you’re a little intense.

A common fear that extroverts have is that they are “too much” for some people. That might be true. But not all people are your people. That’s true (and fine!) too. Extroverts don’t conceal their passion, and it shows. Some perceive this trait as a flaw, as it can appear a little forceful. But we can’t help it.

6. Your friendliness gets mistaken for flirting.

Just because someone smiles, engages, and talks with zest does not mean they’re romantically interested in their conversational partner. My friend Sarah once said to me, “Just because I’m friendly doesn’t mean a man can make a pass at me! Nor should I have to tone down my personality, right?” It feels like a bit of a tricky balance. All that’s important is that you feel comfortable. And remember: You don’t owe anyone a thing! 

7. You’re high-maintenance.

Extroverts love to share a crisis, a win, and everything in-between (with a lot of people). That means we actually need you to pick up your phone! And no, it cannot wait. Sorry. But does being high-maintenance have to be a bad thing? What if it were re-framed as making your needs a priority? That’s a very healthy thing to do.

article divider asterisk asterisks asterix Making the world a colorful and balanced place requires both extroverts and introverts. No one personality type “has it all” or should be celebrated over another. In the end, we all just want to feel heard, seen, and accepted. We may express this in diverse ways and require different forms of support, but at our core, we’re more alike than not. And that simple truth is worth celebrating.

Susie Moore is Greatist’s life coach columnist and a confidence coach in New York City. Sign up for free weekly wellness tips on her website and check back every Tuesday for her latest No Regrets column!

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This Woman Is Owning (and Wearing) Every Word Someone’s Said About Her Body

When it comes to our bodies, it seems like everyone has something to say. Even when those remarks are “positive,” they can make us feel like crap— especially since we aren’t asking people for their constant judgment. Plus when the comments are negative, they can lead to a lifelong body-image struggle. That’s why Jojo Oldham, a designer from the U.K., decided to do something about all the things people have said about her body over the years.

She took all the phrases—the good, the bad, and the ugly—and painted them onto a white dress. By wearing and owning them, not only does she looks like a total badass, but she also proves that we are way more then what what people say about our bodies:

Photo: Lucy Ridges You’ll notice that there are both nice (“stunning”) and nasty (“porky”) remarks, and that’s part of what makes it so powerful.

jojo oldham dress Photo: Lucy Ridges jojo oldham dress Photo: Lucy Ridges As she explains on her blog, Oldham didn’t make this dress for your pity or to show off the more positive comments. Instead, she’s trying to celebrate the newfound love she has for her body and hopes to inspire others to do the same:

“I’ve reached a point in my life where I finally feel at peace with my body. I still long to be in just one photo wearing a sleeveless top where my upper arms don’t look like giant hams. Or to find a pair of denim shorts that my thighs don’t bulge out of like sausage meat making a desperate escape from the confines of its casing. But I am very happy with my lot. I’m healthy (cross fingers touch wood), strong, and have a body that enables me to do all the things I love (dance, walk, wear tropical print jumpsuits, fling kettlebells around, and sit on my arse watching back to back episodes of The Walking Dead). So what if my upper arms continue waving long after my hand has stopped? Those same upper arms enable me to carry massive boxes all by myself, punch punchbags really hard, and wave my arms in the air like I just don’t care for a really long time.

I respect my body and I look after it. Occasionally I test its limits by trying to cram too much pizza or wine into it, or dancing a bit too enthusiastically, but on the whole we’re good. I’ve stopped treating exercise as a means of bullying my body into fitting into things it’s never going to fit into. Now I exercise in celebration of it, not in battle with it.”

jojo oldham dress Photo: Lucy Ridges Oldham also opens up about her own body-image struggles:

“The urge to delete unflattering photos of myself is overwhelming, even when they represent really happy moments which I never want to forget. I had an absolute blast at my wedding. I felt on top of the world and my husband and I loved every minute. But when I first looked at my photos, my stomach lurched. My eyes skipped past the smiling face, knockout dress and movie star hair and all I could see were chins and bellies. Everywhere. I had a go at myself for not sucking my tummy in more and not learning to smile in a more photogenic way when I’m ecstatically happy. Then I got over it. Turns out that when I’m having the best day ever my chins come out. All three of them. And frankly who can blame them. It was one heck of a party.”

jojo oldham dress Photo: Lucy Ridges Her message is one we can all get on board with— loving your body is not easy, but we all deserve to love the person we are right now:

“I’d rather be the me that isn’t afraid to go out or to eat the cheese or drink the wine or do the running man at wholly inappropriate times, than the me who’s half a stone lighter. And if that means I’m never going to find a pair of denim shorts I feel great in, and that my arms are probably always going to look like giant hams in photos, then I’m good with that. Because we should all be able to celebrate and love ourselves without fear of criticism from others, whatever shape or size we are.”

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