Polka dot dress and striped headscarf

Polka dot dress and striped headscarf | www.eccentricowl.comPolka dot dress and striped headscarf | Lately, I have realized something about myself: I don’t like making new friends.

Now, that’s not to say I don’t like people. I love people! I loved growing up next to my uncle who had nine kids; I love my in-laws and their huge family; I loved working as a barista and a secretary and chatting to new customers daily; I love throwing big parties and being the recipient of big parties.

But making new friends is something else. Maintaining a new relationship past the awkward “how much do I share/we need to hang out often” stage and into the “I will tell you everything/we could go months without seeing each other and be okay” flow is just… hard. Making new friends totally drains me. And to be honest, so does staying at big parties without my “anchor” person (my husband, best friend, or friends I’ve known for ages), being expected to socialize with people I rarely see, or, sometimes, being at family events from either side when there are many children running around with minimum supervision. (All the kids are fairly well behaved, mind you, but still.)

Polka dot dress and striped headscarf | www.eccentricowl.comPolka dot dress and striped headscarf | I’m not sure why this is. I’m a friendly person. I’m known for liking to talk. I don’t find it hard to converse; in fact, I find it hard to stop talking sometimes. However, that’s my “mask”; some people retreat into themselves when faced with strangers, I talk about anything and everything to hide the fact that I feel awkward and nervous. Perhaps that’s part of why I always feel drained in new friendships; I feel as though I have to fill the silence so nobody feels awkward, because I’ve been in so many situations where there was silence and I felt awkward.

Perhaps it’s my tendency to take charge. Kids need corralling? I will head them off. Dishes need clearing? I’ll take those. People want attention? I’ll try to make them feel comfortable if I can. New friends aren’t talking much? I’ll make up for it by oversharing! And by the end, I’m just craving alone time, to sit by myself and not be spoken to or needed, to recharge in the quiet, to not have to talk or entertain. Polka dot dress and striped headscarf | Polka dot dress and striped headscarf |

I told my husband once that making new friends is hard, and he laughed at me. I am very much the more outwardly social person in our relationship, and someone on the outside might classify me as the extrovert and him as the introvert. But after reading articles about extroverts and introverts, how they gain energy, what they need, what they hate, what they like… I think really, I’m just an outgoing introvert, and my husband is a shy extrovert. I need quiet and alone time to recharge — introvert status. He loves big groups and gets energy from a crowd — extrovert all the way. I would gladly entertain myself with a book all day and not have to talk to anyone — definite introvert. He needs to see people and do things to pass the time — definite extrovert. He considers everyone his friend. I only consider people I actually hang out with consistently my friends (everyone else? acquaintances.)Polka dot dress and striped headscarf |

Shirt, dress, and belt, thrifted | boots, Kohl’s | headscarf, Modcloth | glasses, c/o Firmoo | earrings, Target

And, though I am the “talkative” one, I actually prefer friends who talk more than I do, because then I don’t feel as though I have to entertain them, while he prefers people who let him talk too. So while outwardly, I look more social and he’s the quiet one, inwardly, I think our roles are flipped. At home, with just him I tend to be the quiet one while he is the talkative one. I tend to sit in my corner at well-known friends’ parties, while he’s the one hanging out and talking and being the social butterfly (of sorts; his talkative is not like my talkative.) When I’m really comfortable with people, I tend to observe and listen rather than talk and entertain.

It’s been quite eye-opening to me; it explains why I like blog friendships (on my terms, in my pajamas, no pressure to chat on the spot) and why I can talk to anyone at church or, in the past, work, but feel less comfortable pursuing relationships outside of those areas. It explains why I, the “social” one, don’t like going places where there will be new people I have to talk to. It explains why I preferred my job as a barista, where no customer could befriend me outside of work and there were no holiday events, to my job at Hallmark, where there were holiday parties with employees I had to attend that felt too intimate for a work relationship.

And I know labels are beginning to be old news, that people redefine who they are every day, but I like “fitting” a certain mold. Maybe I’m not an obvious one, but knowing I am more an introvert than extrovert is comforting. I’m not just really weird for being social but not liking having to make new friends.

What about you? Do you consider yourself to be more of an extrovert or an introvert? Shy or outgoing? No label? In between? I am curious to know if there are more people like me.

Happy Wednesday!


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  • Mom

    Hey you, sweet lady Lou! I’m going to read up on that, too! I bet you are more like me than I thought. I have never made friends easily and avoid close relationships like the plague, except family, of course. You were very “shy” as a child and we tried to at least make you say please and thank-you and hi and good bye, but it was hard. Now I know why. I am thinking I’m an introvert and Daddy is an extrovert, but who knows? I will look into it! Love you!

    • Eccentric Owl

      I think maybe you’re a shy introvert, and dad might be an outgoing introvert… or he might be a quiet(er) extrovert. I don’t know! I wish I could find the list I read about introverts vs extroverts and the different things they need to recharge.

  • Sarah Whiting

    I am most definitely an introvert and a shy one. I make friends best with people who are more outgoing than me and can carry a conversation so that I don’t have to. I’m also a follower, so it’s easier to make friends with people who can lead and make decisions and I can just follow, although in some situations I can be a leader if it’s called for. I completely get drained from being around a lot of people, even family. I need loooooong moments of quiet alone time to recharge. I will mostly refuse to attend any big event/gathering without an anchor person (husband, close family member, close friend). Interacting with people online is much easier for me, and my online personality is more outgoing than I am in person.

    • Eccentric Owl

      I know you are! 😀 Haha! I think that’s why we get along so well, because I talk more but we’re both comfortable not HAVING to talk if the silence comes. And we’re both introverts so there’s no pressure to be super duper entertaining for each other.

      My online personality is more outgoing too, I think. It’s easier to be friendly online, cuz you aren’t forced to maintain a relationship unless you want to.

  • jacquelinefrey

    As a total introvert, I feel you 100% on this! I also LOVED working as a barista, and found it a safe-feeling environment to be outgoing. Thanks for sharing, Kristina!

    • Eccentric Owl

      Yes! It was so nice being a barista because you know these people are never going to try to befriend out outside of the coffee stand! And it’s always a quicker interaction, so there’s no expectation to be super chatty for long periods of time (except this one old man regular who would sit and talk for ages, but we all loved him.)

  • Pam

    It’s funny you mention you are an outgoing introvert. My friend and I decided that’s what I am as well a few months ago. She is a full on introvert that was forced to be in drama etc. by her mother as a child. I was quite shy as a kid, but must have inherited by dad’s charisma. Lol. I do enjoy spending time with my friends and husband, but sometimes I just need time alone to recharge.
    It’s funny now that I’m pregnant, because I talk to the baby (who we will call Gurmy until he or she is born) all the time. He’s such a conversationalist! I find as you get older it becomes harder to make friends. I just moved, and I don’t really have very many friends. I am so glad I am working, because I have some nice people at work! Enjoy your day! Polka dots are my favorite pattern along with paisley 🙂

    • Eccentric Owl

      Yeah, I think I inherited my dad’s charisma, too; I can be super friendly, but need my alone time to recharge for sure!

      I love that you call the baby Gurmy! Haha! I have mental conversations with my babies before they’re born, but not so much vocal. I hope you have a great day, too!

  • Salazar

    Yeah, at parties I’m pretty much the shy introvert who stays in the corner making friends with the resident pet instead of mingling and talking. I get what you’re saying though, because sometimes I do tend to talk a lot to mask my nervousness – I once ended up on this whole rant about Benedict Cumberbatch with two girls I just met, because they had no idea who he is (they do now :D) and another time I went to a comedy show and spent the night quoting Dylan Moran back and forth with the couple sitting next to me.

    But I don’t mind that. As introverted as I am, I like meeting people who can get me to talk (and talk about things that are interesting, instead of the dreaded “small talk”). People like you, in fact – who like to talk but understand what it means to be introverted.

    • Eccentric Owl

      I think small talk is a BIG factor with me; I don’t know how to do it. I can’t think of small talk questions at ALL and I prefer to launch into discussions about what people love or “educate” people on things they should definitely know (like you and Benedict Cumberbatch — what rock were they hiding under???). Or if I’m talking to another mom, I definitely start in by asking about birth stories because those fascinate me even though they’re in the overshare category. I just hate small talk. I’m not good at it, and I never have been!

  • Crissy

    I actually want to make new friends but I end up feeling so drained and want to do my own thing. I read an article about outgoing introverts. I’m pretty sure that is me when I have a few drinks in me. I could talk to anyone about anything haha

    Otherwise I’m not really talkative and prefer others talking my ear off. Some people just do it well naturally and it’s easy for them to entertain. A few of my friends are like this but only with their good friends. Perfectly understandable!

    Your outfit is looking super cute!

  • Emily

    The whole “how do you recharge” part of it is, I think, really interesting and telling! It’s what made me realize that my daughter is an extrovert for sure – she is SO charged by a day spent at day care, vs. one spent in the house all day. And I definitely see my husband’s need to “recharge” with alone time, which is something I try very hard to give him each day whenever possible. As for me, I feel like I don’t fit nicely into either box: I definitely enjoy socializing with others and probably would seek out more social companionship if I didn’t work outside the home, but I also LOVE those rare days when my daughter is at day care, my husband is at work and I have the day off, and the house to myself! Bliss – but it might not be so if it were every day.