Recently, I reached out to my sorority to see if anyone had any interest in writing a guest post for my blog. I’m so happy to share one written by my amazing sister, Amanda Baldi! She is a rising sophomore majoring in Studio Arts. She is one of the most artistically talented people I know, and she is currently in a competition to win a scholarship for her artwork. Click here to vote for her!
(Follow Amanda’s art Instagram!)
I’m an anxious extrovert.
Weird concept right? Well, to my knowledge there are not many people that feel this particular way about their personality. Now I’m not saying I’m some kind of special snowflake – because I’m not. Just to my personal knowledge, and from everything I’ve experienced nobody else labels themselves this way.
Normally folks will label themselves as either extroverted or introverted. Once given, these labels both have certain personality traits more distinctive of one versus the other – which is why they are dominant personality traits. For example, extroverts are typically more outspoken, loud, etc. while introverts are stereotypically quieter and seen as shy. Now, it’s actually very well known that introverts aren’t actually shy, they just need alone time to become energized, and extroverts get more energized around people.
For a long time, this shy thing had me really puzzled. I don’t necessarily label myself as shy, but I do have very bad anxiety and depression, thus these can lead me to have felt like I could be shy. However, when I think of myself as a whole I know I’m very outspoken, and friendly, and I love parties and I really do get energized around people. However, it can take a hot minute for me to warm up to other people and become comfortable in a situation. So you can probably see where this confusion comes from, right?
I remember when I first got diagnosed with my anxiety, and I told my best friends. It was freshman year of high school, and I had just gotten out of the hospital due to my depression. Boy oh boy, was I in for a shock when I learned that SURPRISE! I won the annoying prize of having both Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Major Depression! I told my best friends this, because well, duh, they were my best friends. One of them looked at me like I had two heads. We had another girl in our group who had social anxiety, so she was more of the “shy” kind of girl. What you’d normally imagine when you think of an anxious introvert type girl, you know? So right off the bat, she didn’t really believe me. And my parents were also shocked when they heard my diagnosis. Like I said, I’m kind of a really loud, fairly outgoing, laugh-a-lot kind of girl – it’s a weird mix to have with anxiety. If I’m honest I don’t think my mom even fully believed I had anxiety until this past year when I told her I literally vomit because of my worries sometimes (Ha, on a separate note – it’s kind of funny I do this because let’s be real, I would never have survived natural selection).
But anyway, I guess my main point in this is that us, the Anxious Extroverts of the world – as weird a combination as it is – well, we exist. And I guess if I have to add a moral to this it would be that if your extroverted friend comes to you and is like “lol I have a really bad mental disorder, surprise!” just like accept them? And like, don’t be a total jerk and not believe them? I don’t know, just a thought.