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The Antisocial Extrovert: I’m Not Depressed—I Just Don’t Want to Hang Out Right Now

Close portrait of a beautiful woman with blue eyes.

I was supposed to casually meet some friends with all of our kids at the park the other day. We decided on late morning, before lunch and naps for the littles. We were going to get outside, enjoy the weather, and catch up. But when I woke up that morning, going about my daily tasks, I just wasn’t feeling it. One friend called an hour before we were supposed to meet and I mentioned I probably wasn’t going to make it. Another friend texted about thirty minutes after the meetup time, “Are you coming? Is everything okay?” I responded with a, “Meh. I’ll be there next time.”

Most people answering the way I did would get a response like, “Okay! Miss Ya!” Yet my half-hearted reply started a general inquiry as to the state of my mental health. “What happened? Are you okay? You seem depressed. Are you safe? I can come over if you need me to.” Why the line of questioning? Because I’m an extrovert. All-in, life of the party, will be friends with anyone and everyone, can turn any situation into a good time, is energized by social interactions, textbook extrovert. But since hitting 30, I’ve started to really settle into my own rhythm and have discovered that rhythm doesn’t always involve the bass thumping from a speaker at a block party. Sometimes that rhythm is just the quiet ticking of the hall clock while I sit in my overstuffed chair, in my comfiest of sweatpants, reading a biography of someone way more interesting than me. But wait…isn’t that what introverts do? Avoid draining social interactions? Prefer to be alone? Become anxiety-ridden at the thought of having to entertain people?

No, I’m definitely still an extrovert. It turns out there are just diverse kinds of extroverts. A popular article was making its way around the web describing “Extroverted Introverts,” or maybe it was “Introverted Extroverts.” Both would make sense. There are also the Ambiverts. But I think I’ve found my people among a different category: The Antisocial Extroverts.

Bear with me here as I try and explain the innerworkings of an Antisocial Extrovert. On the surface, we are as described above—textbook extroverts. We love people. We love meeting them, talking to them, hearing their life story, sharing our own with them. We like getting attention. We are willing to open up to anyone and are definitely not reserved. We are the people you want at your weddings, planning meetings, social gatherings, and weekend parties. Oh, and you most definitely want to be invited to our parties and events because they are A-MAZ-ING. Just like your typical extrovert. And your typical extrovert, after having a thrilling weekend, can’t wait to do it all again.