I may be an extrovert but I am more exhausted after socializing than my INFP partner. For a long time, I was so confused by this. As a highly sensitive person, I absorb my surroundings with intensity - the noise, the light, the smells, the emotions, the stress of other people. I can’t not feel it all. It is only when I am home, alone, and in the quiet, that I can reset from these experiences.
70% of Highly Sensitive People are Introverts so a lot of the information out there is targeted at those who get there energy from being alone. For those of us 30% who are both HSP and Extroverts, managing the desire to be around people and do new things, with the profound exhaustion that comes after can be really tough.
Here are 12 signs you might be a Highly Sensitive Extrovert.
1. Loving how beautiful fireworks are, but hating the noise, and reeeeeally hating how they go on all night and sound like gunshots
2. Coming out of a period of isolation (depression is common among HSP) and wanting to see all your friends, then overbooking yourself and getting exhausted by Wednesday.
3. Being overstimulated and lonely at the same time - desperately needing both company and quiet
4. Both excited by and dreading phone calls - this is confusing to me still
5. Desperately wanting a clean, peaceful environment but feeling too tired by the clutter to clean
6. Feeling guilty about not showing up - there are always important social justice events that I don’t have the energy to attend
7. Getting halfway through Ikea and wanting to curl up in a ball and cry
8. Deciding to host a party with all your friends and then immediately realizing the energy is off and feeling disconnected the whole time
9. Wanting to create art, write, play music, or sit still but your phone keeps sending you notifications from Facebook and gchat that you can’t ignore
10. Feeling weirdly excited after cancelling plans, all the free time you weren’t expecting
11. Loving your children/partner/friends more than anything on the earth, and wishing they’d let you think for just a few minutes in peace and quiet.
12. Needing to control your space, what music is playing, what images you see, what people you let in. Your home is your sanctuary and you feel most sensitive there.
Sound familiar? What are your experiences with being a HSP and an Extrovert?