Our big biennial company Christmas party this weekend, and my social anxiety is peaking. I’m not too fond of events.
I have always been this way, but it’s gotten worse since I became self-employed. That’s also when I learned my introversion is all over the spectrum. When I worked for Levy, I carried the room. I ran the meetings, rallied the troops, and kept everyone’s spirit high. I was known as the funny one. And in return, I got a ton of energy and self-confidence. In those days, my introversion tipped to the extroverted side of the spectrum.
Why I quit working at Levy to focus entirely on The Hair Standard is a different post I will likely only write if it has a happy ending. That said, I lost much more than a paycheck when I gave up my time at Levy. I lost the energy that extroversion (another word I just learned) provided.
We currently own three, soon to be four, The Hair Standard locations, which demand many events. Owning a big house designed for entertaining inspires a ton of events. Lastly, being married to the absolute pleasure (not sarcasm) of an extroverted woman who brings up the energy of everyone around her requires a lot of events.
It’s too many events for me, but I am alone with that feeling. Emily and Grandpa Joe thrive off them. I sometimes am the definition of charisma and can still carry a crowd, but these days, I am more awkward than not. I get stuck in my head.
I start to shut down anytime an event draws near. I act out and become cold to Kelly and everyone around me. Another issue with my behavior is that I am entirely self-aware. It may be easier to forgive if I did it without knowing, but I know I am not being my best self.
So, what is the answer to extroverted introversion? To find the answer, I must ask myself who I am and what I want. Deep down, I am more of an introvert. If I had all the money in the world, I would sit in a room, on a beach, on top of a mountain, or whichever had faster internet, and watch movies and play video games every day until the end.
However, I know that dream doesn’t contain the whole truth. I value what Kelly, Emily, and my peers think of me. I got a ton of worth out of my Levy years and being great at extroversion. The extroverted certainly weighs on me more. It’s difficult and full of stress, but it’s worth it.
I want to choose the difficult path, in this moment anyways. I need to get back to the center of the room. New Year’s is right around the corner, and there is never a better time to bet on a new version of yourself than in a new year.