Struggles of Being an Introvert With an Extrovert Best Friend

By:Maclin Lyons
Photo by jens johnsson on Unsplash

I love my best friend, but I don’t need to hang out with her all the time.

I truly hope somebody can relate to this and that I don’t sound like a horrible person.

I am an introvert. I am so much of an introvert that I took this random quiz that is supposed to tell you how you rank on the introvert/extrovert spectrum. My results: I was ALL THE WAY on the introverted side. Y’all, I love to be alone. My idea of the perfect day is going to the gym alone, making my breakfast smoothie and eating alone at my dining table (I have a roommate) with the current book I’m reading, taking myself to the movies alone in the afternoon, taking myself to the park with my computer and writing whatever I’m inspired to write that day, and lastly curling up in my room to read some more or watch TV before I fall asleep. I don’t even feel the need to spend every day with my boyfriend. We see each other every other day or every couple days and I love it.

I know that might sound so sad and incredibly solitary to a lot of people, but it works for me. There have been days that I realized I never spoke out loud, because I didn’t interact with anybody. Now, this isn’t every day, obviously. I have a job where I have to talk to and deal with people the whole time and it’s fine. I just have this strong need to be alone to balance out all the people time.

The one problem with this is that my best friend THRIVES on people. If I’m on the introverted side of the seesaw, she’s on the other extroverted side trying to keep me up and out of my solitude.

She works from home, but hates being home alone. If her roommate is ever out of town, she always makes plans to have a little get together or to go out so she’s not in the house by herself for a long period of time. She has A LOT of friends. I met her a couple months after I moved to LA. I’ve been in LA three years now and can say that she’s the only friend who I actually consistently hang out with. If it were up to just me, our friendship probably wouldn’t have lasted this long only because I’m terrible with keeping friendships going. I’m bad with keeping in touch and reaching out first to hang out.

She keeps me social. She gets me out of the house. I love her for that and I love hanging out with her. The only problem is that I feel like I’m being a bad friend if she calls me up to hang out and I say no only because I’m totally loving my current Netflix binge in my sweatpants. I just need a heads up. I need to prepare myself to be social. I rarely say yes to impromptu social plans because I haven’t mentally prepared to be around a lot of people. It’s just how I’m wired.

Once I’m at a party and the people are nice and there’s music and the vibe is fun, I’m good. I can dance and drink and have a good time with everyone. When I tell people I’m an introvert, sometimes they’re surprised. I’m good when I’m around people, but they just don’t realize, I’m SO GOOD not being around people. I often feel so relieved to be back home alone once I leave a party. I can’t recharge around people. I feel emotionally drained after being in a crowd. I need to be alone to recharge.

With all that being said, I am so grateful that I have my friend in my life. LA can be a very lonely place and while I love being alone, feeling lonely is horrible. If I didn’t have her, I’d definitely be lonely. So I’m glad I have her to balance out my social life and I’m glad she still puts in the effort to be my friend. I’ve expressed my introverted struggles to her so I know she understands. She doesn’t take it personally if she doesn’t hear from me for a couple days. She makes me appreciate how important it is so step out of your comfort zone and that life is meant to be shared, maybe just not every day.