People who are outgoing in public but introverted behind closed doors usually display these 6 behaviors

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Contrary to what some of you may think, being introverted doesn’t mean you prefer being a reclusive hermit 24/7. 

Introverts are far more complex than being “quiet” or “shy”; we should give them more credit. 

The problem is that humans tend to label one another based on broad stereotypes. 

In reality, an introvert can have a far-reaching range of qualities, some of which many people associate more with extroversion. 

Frankly, introverts are some of the most interesting, multifaceted people I’ve come across in life. 

In this article, for instance, I’ll take you through the behaviors of people who are outgoing socially but introverted in private. 

If you think the latter two qualities don’t fit together, think again. 

Let’s get to it! 

1) They’re socially savvy 

It’s no secret that being socially proficient is a quality far more associated with extroverts than introverts. 

But this isn’t always the case. 

There’s a certain category of introverts that can socialize with the best of them; they just don’t partake in it as often as their more outspoken counterparts. 

At parties or events, they can seem like the most animated person in the room, cracking jokes and sharing anecdotes, and so on. 

They can come across as self-assured, saying the right things at the right times, and handling their interactions with grace and charm. 

The difference between introverts and everyone else is their frequent need for downtime. 

This brings me to my next point… 

2) They know how to manage their energy 

Sure, some introverts can be sociable and energetic (even downright extroverted) in public–but doing so typically means expending a significant amount of energy from them

Like the smartphone you’re scrolling this article on, to stay in peak form socially, they will need to recharge their mental and emotional batteries now and then.  

The more intense or full-on the social event is, the longer the recharge period will be. 

Last year, I went on a week-long trip to Bangkok with some friends. 

As you might expect in a city as vibrant and exciting as Bangkok, it was an incredibly fun and memorable excursion. 

One thing I noticed though was how one of my friends, Dennis, would regularly disappear after spending consecutive days with the rest of the group. 

When he was around us, he was completely present. He was energetic, fun, hilarious, open to trying new things, etc. 

But then he’d vanish for the next 24 hours, effectively going radio silent. 

His sudden absence left some of us perturbed, ruminating if we had done or said something that offended him. 

But I soon realized this wasn’t the case; I realized that he simply needed his downtime to rejuvenate. 

He wasn’t intentionally avoiding us because of some imaginary offense. 

He was an introvert who was well aware of his boundaries, limits, and needs.

And I say, more power to him. 

Solitude is a big deal for introverts, regardless of where they are on the social spectrum. 

Speaking of which…  

3) They have a preference for solitude 

While many feel energized from being around other people, this isn’t always the case with the introvert. 

I have my share of friends who identify as introverts. 

All of them unanimously value spending time alone; they consider it almost sacred. 

They don’t need others to entertain them, they are self-sufficient, preferring the tranquility of isolation or hanging out in quiet and familiar settings like that cozy cafe around the block. 

They may also actively choose solitary activities to relax and unwind, such as reading, watching Netflix, writing, listening to music, or other solo hobbies. 

Generally speaking, they’ll pick a quiet night in, rather than attending a boisterously loud party. 

This brings to mind something the English actor Tom Hardy once said: “Being alone for a while is dangerous. It’s addicting. Once you see how peaceful it is, you don’t want to deal with people anymore.”

Well played, Tom. 

4) They have a limited social circle 

As I get older, I value closer, more authentic bonds over trying to be friends with everyone. 

Like many young people, fifteen years ago, I sort of wanted to hoard friends and acquaintances. 

Being well-liked and popular made me feel validated and worthy

But as I grew up, I realized how hollow the latter pursuit was. 

Having smaller circles is more meaningful and intimate–a sentiment introverts of any age tend to get more than the rest of us. 

At the end of the day, you’d be lucky to say you have five genuine and loyal friends in life–a way of thinking that most introverts, sociable or not, understand deeply. 

5) They control their exposure 

My girlfriend is an introvert.

She can be incredibly outgoing at times–but for her to reach her optimal level of sociability, she has to mentally prepare. 

Her bouts of approachability and friendliness are controlled and deliberate.

I can’t simply tell her now that we’re going out to lunch with friends in an hour or two. 

She doesn’t work this way. 

If we’re going out on a Saturday with other people, I’ll need to give her a heads-up at least several days before. 

And when she’s on, she’s on–she can charm people as well as anyone I know. 

Still, she will need her mental and emotional preparation time. 

She also needs to limit the duration of her exposure to people–which will allow her to manage her energy levels more efficiently.

6) They share selectively 

I have my fair share of extroverted friends too. 

I have friends who easily meet people, say on public transport or at a bar in a foreign country, and proceed to tell them their respective life stories in great, unprompted detail. 

While introverts can open up about their feelings and emotions, hopes and dreams, they are usually pretty selective about what they specifically share and with whom. 

They tend to open up more in trusted, intimate relationships and environments rather than a person they randomly met an hour ago. 

Fair enough. 

Final words 

Nothing in this world is truly linear, particularly when it comes to people. 

Therefore, we shouldn’t paint everyone with the same brush, basing our opinions on tired stereotypes and generalizations. 

Introverts are no exception. 

So if you know someone who may be sociable one minute, but off the grid the next, don’t take offense, you may just be dealing with an introvert. 

Lucas Graham

Lucas Graham, based in Auckland, writes about the psychology behind everyday decisions and life choices. His perspective is grounded in the belief that understanding oneself is the key to better decision-making. Lucas’s articles are a mix of personal anecdotes and observations, offering readers relatable and down-to-earth advice.

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