my journey from extrovert to introvert.

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I have recently come to realize something about myself.

Something groundbreaking.

I…..am an introvert.

I haven’t always been an introvert, and it’s taken some recent self reflection to realize this about myself. Per usual, I process best while writing, so I have decided to share my latest life epiphany with you. Thank you in advance for reading, for hearing, for understanding.

……………

Growing up, I was no doubt, an extrovert. My parents would probably tell you that they noticed this about me at the ripe age of two. I loved to sing and dance and be the center of attention all the time. In high school I was a cheerleader, bubbly, easily excited, loud, and super outgoing. I was the girl who asked a boy to the Sadie Hawkins dance in front of the entire school in the middle of a pep rally. I never missed a school dance or other social gatherings; I was daring and outspoken and an overall “people person”.

I met Brett when I was 18, and this is who I was at the time. I could small talk for hours and charm the pants off of anyone. I was a waitress and loved my job, not necessarily because the tips were good but because I loved talking to new people every night. This was the Ashlee that Brett fell in love with.

When I was 20, I moved to Sacramento (alone) to attend UC Davis. I knew exactly two people on my first day of school. Brett and I had just purchased our first home, and I lived there by myself for the nine months leading up to our wedding. While I spent a lot of time on campus with a small group of friends I had found, I was overall pretty disconnected from college. I was planning my wedding, settling into a new house, and adjusting to my new long-distance relationship with Brett. I didn’t always like living alone, but I started to appreciate the quiet and solitude of an empty house.

From ages 20-24, I fell into this weird place socially where I was not really an extrovert anymore, but not really an introvert either. I was 50/50, dancing on the line between E and I, easily swayed either way depending on the day and crowd. I felt myself shifting, changing, and transitioning. I became more introspective and more quiet. I started writing regularly. I began to crave alone time, and started shifting away from big gatherings or large groups of people. I never joined a sorority, and instead focused on fostering friendships based on smaller, more intimate settings. I was more extroverted around some people, and more introverted around others. I was, perhaps, turning into an introvert with social skills.

At 25, I got pregnant, and felt myself shifting again, this time into a person who was mostly introverted, and rarely extroverted. Being pregnant is hard. I was slowly turning into a hermit, only encouraged by the decision to quit my full-time job and start working for myself. I spent the majority of my pregnancy at home on the couch, in sweatpants, pondering life and motherhood. I was anxious and scared a lot of that time. I was hormonal and emotional (like, WHOA). I didn’t really like going out or being around groups of people. I was silent a lot of the time. I had constant inner dialogue with God and with Everett. I had constant outer dialogue with Brett, but not very many others.

And then Everett was born. And it was amazing. I became a mother, and it forever changed me. I felt another shift, another transition, as I became super withdrawn and anxious. If Everett was not in my arms, I was worried about him. If I couldn’t see him in the room, I felt anxious. Everett is nine months old now and I still feel this way often. I think a lot of it has to do with breastfeeding and the biological, instinctual bond of our bodies still needing each other.

When Everett was a newborn especially, in those first couple of months, I saw everything as a threat to his protection. I didn’t like anyone holding him for more than a few minutes at a time. I needed to make sure he was close to me, to hear me and see me and smell me, all the time. I started to dread bringing Everett to big family gatherings or parties. I constantly felt overwhelmed, anxious, and threatened. I never felt in control of myself or of Everett, and I couldn’t wait to get home where we were safe again. I hated making small talk and found myself too distracted by worry to enjoy conversations with people. I started to love being alone with Everett far more than I loved being around people, which became draining and exhausting for me.

As I’m typing this, I’m aware it sounds like I have a legit anxiety disorder. I don’t believe that to be true, as all of these feelings are fading with each passing month. I think all first-time moms suffer from minor anxiety in the beginning, right? Anyone? Bueller?

And now here I am, nine months in to this motherhood gig and still figuring it all out. Just when I think I know “who I am”, I change my mind. And amid all of these jumbled thoughts, here is what I know for sure:

-Marriage changed me.
-Moving to Sacramento changed me.
-Becoming a mother changed me.

All of those things changed me for the better, and through each change, I have found myself leaning more on God and less on myself. God has used those changes to strengthen me, challenge me, and help me grow into the person that He created me to be. And at this point in time, that person is an introvert.

I love quiet. I need quiet. I like writing more than I like talking. I like having a few close friends and spending quality time with them in one-on-one settings or in small groups. And despite all of this, I would never describe myself as “shy” which is the term the dictionary uses to describe an introvert. I love the way the Myers-Briggs Personality Test defines introversion and extraversion—as a measure of where your energy comes from. Does your energy come from an outer world of people and things? Or from your inner world of ideas and images?

Right now, in this season of new motherhood, my energy comes from resting, reading, reflecting, processing, and writing.

I don’t know how long this season or phase will last. I think my natural disposition is to be more of an “ambivert” — someone who falls in the middle of the spectrum. The professionals will tell you that it’s impossible to be 100% extroverted or 100% introverted, and I agree with that wholeheartedly.

I think you can possess qualities of introversion and extraversion simultaneously, and I also believe you can transition from one to another with the passing of seasons and life stages.

Today, I am an introvert.

What about you? Are you an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert? Have you transitioned from one to another during major life changes? If you’re a mom, did motherhood affect your introvert/extrovert tendencies? I’d love to know your thoughts!

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85 Responses to my journey from extrovert to introvert.

  1. Jennifer says:

    I can identify with pretty much all of these feelings, Ashlee! Thank you SO much for writing this. I think, in general, we’re taught that extroverts win at life, so we should adhere to that mold. I’ve never been a true extrovert, but as a former marketing gal, I remember it being completely expected of me. After reading “Quiet” by Susan Cain, I finally started to feel like it was okay to be an introvert — that introverts could win at life too. I suppose we all have to follow our own path and trust our instincts throughout the various phases of life. Good for you, for following yours!
    Jennifer´s last blog post ..Cover to Cover: Off Switch Magazine {+ an interview with Founder and Editor-in-Chief Katie Michels!}

  2. No, you are so not alone on the new mom anxiety issue. Not by a long shot. Motherhood has demanded something out of me that I didn’t even realize I had, so in some ways Harper gets my best and everyone else gets what is left, so in that way, my personality toward and around others has changed, too. You are a great mom, Ashlee, and I think it is safe to say that no matter what journey God takes you on personally you will always give your babies your very best!

  3. Meghan says:

    This is so fascinating to me! I definitely fall far to the introvert side of the spectrum (and I agree that shyness is a separate animal). I’ve been reading the book Quiet by Susan Cain, which I found out about after watching her TED talk called The Power of Introverts. The topic of introversion and extroversion is so interesting to me, and it is especially interesting to hear how you shifted so much on the spectrum! Great post!
    Meghan´s last blog post ..This is what happens the day after a really good dance

  4. Claire says:

    You and me, we are very similar. I had the same thing when I was, newly married, first pregant and then pregnant again (and again). I think part of my transition to a more introverted personality was due to post partum depression. I don’t mean to say that you are, just that I was and introversion was my take away gift from that experience, ha. Though, I am sure that anyone who spends more than 5 minutes with me will say that is laughable I can talk the socks off of anyone. And I can, just one person at a time!
    Claire´s last blog post ..Downton Abbey Season 3 Finale

  5. Jo says:

    I think this is a very interesting post and I completely understand how those steps you took in your life changed you. I haven’t had a baby (yet) but I did get married last summer and I did move to another city away from my family and old friends. I also became an introvert and I most definitely was an extrovert only 5 years ago. The change definitely started happening before I got married but marriage solidified the deal as a matter of speaking. I think it’s important to remember that it’s not because you’re introvert that you are asocial. Like you I prefer to have a small circle of friends but when I am with those people I laugh, I cry, I’m silly, I’m serious, I listen to their dreams and complaints and they listen to mine. I just choose to have that with fewer people than before and I also crave more alone time. Great post, Ashlee.

    • Ashlee says:

      Totally. Introverts can still have social skills, and I think you and I both fall into that camp. As more studies and research and books come out on this topic, I think people are becoming more accepting of the introvert label because they understand it better.

  6. Amy says:

    I always say that I’m an introvert who masquerades as an extrovert. I am friendly, but I desperately need alone time to recharge. I think people are surprised to learn that I consider myself an introvert because I can talk to anyone, but I have been known to hit an invisible point in a night where I just decide, “I NEED TO GO HOME RIGHT NOW.” It’s weird. I think that life events definitely have the power to change how we interact with the world. The more we realize these things about ourselves, the better we can care for ourselves, right?
    Amy´s last blog post ..By my own spirit…

    • Ashlee says:

      I felt that way when I was working for the Citizen, an introvert masquerading as an extrovert. To a certain extent, I felt like I was playing the role of “marketing girl” even when it didn’t always suit me. And yes, the better we understand ourselves the better we care for ourselves!

  7. Sam says:

    Do you know what you Myer-Briggs personality type is? The reason I ask is that I am an ENFP, E for extrovert, but they are unique in one way: they are an extrovert that can charge up by being either an introvert or an extrovert. So while sometimes the ENFP likes being around people and parties, they also need time to themselves to recharge, just like an introvert. ENFP are also mothering types so there’s that too. My husband is super into MBTI, like overly so. I really enjoyed your post as I feel that I have had a similar journey as you. Thank you for sharing.

    • Ashlee says:

      I took the test in college but I know I have changed so much since then (and I don’t even remember what I scored as the first time). I would love to take it again but I don’t want to spend the $50!

      • Amy says:

        I can totally relate to you on this and glad to hear that I’m not alone! I was a very extroverted child, but became an introvert somewhere between high school and college. I took the Meyers-Briggs a few times in high school and always got ENFP. I am now a mental health counselor so in Grad school I took it again, and I always get INFJ. I have a copy of the assessment, although it is not the official assessment, it’s basically the same questions. I can send it to you if you’d like but wasn’t sure how.

  8. Kayla Sue says:

    i love your thoughts on the subject. i would recommend reading “Personality Plus” by Florence Littauer. it is a fascinating look into the 4 different personalities. it has changed the way i see and interact with people. i love it!

  9. lauren says:

    This helped me so much. Thank you Ashlee!

  10. Kelly says:

    Very interesting post! I’ve never heard of an ambivert, but that is definitely what I am. I have also become more introverted as an adult and I think a lot of that is that as a teacher, I am constantly being “social” all day so at the end of it a lot of times I’m just tired and want to relax.
    Kelly´s last blog post ..Portland ME: Where to Eat and Sleep

  11. I feel like most people I know are actually introverts who like spending time with people, but who recharge alone. You can enjoy being social and outgoing *and* still be an introvert, because like you said, it’s where you get your energy from. I personally find it draining to be on all the time, so I think of myself as an extrovert. When I’m with people, I can definitely be talkative, open, etc. but that’s not what revives me. I think there are more of us than we think! Power to the introverts!
    Allison @ With Faith & Grace´s last blog post ..Liebster Award!

  12. Natalie says:

    Love this, Ashlee. I would definitely call myself an introvert, though it surprises people because in a crowd, I hate “awkward silence” and don’t mind being the one to tell a joke or get the conversation going. I like other people to be enjoying themselves. But once that’s done, I sit back and like to listen, then go home to quiet. 🙂 Life seasons have definitely heightened what I’m already prone to- new marriage drew me in more often than out b/c I wanted to be with my husband and, as I’m pregnant with our first, I’m already preparing for how new motherhood could draw me in more while getting used to everything. Getting my bearings of what’s new makes me introspective and observant (also qualities of a writer, so it’s no surprise we turn to writing!). Anyway- you shared thoughts I’d been thinking lately approaching motherhood and I thank you!

    • Ashlee says:

      Thanks Natalie! Glad you could relate. I hate awkward silence too, but I’m not usually the first one to break it, so I’m thankful for people like you who do 😉

  13. Kiki says:

    I’ve never really thought much about my introversion changing, but there are definitely times when I feel like I come out of my shell. That’s not to say that I don’t crave my alone time and alone time with Him, but there are times when I guess I feel more outgoing than others. And I feel like I’m more outgoing than I used to be (at least compared to those awkward teenage years!).

    I’m not really sure where I’m going with this post, but I just wanted to let you know that I really love this post. It’s just another reminder that God is always working in us, changing us, and working through us as well. 🙂
    Kiki´s last blog post ..you’re gonna wanna read this.

  14. I’ve always been an introvert, which comes as a surprise to some because I enjoy parties, gatherings, talking to people, being goofy and loud. It’s just that it does drain my energy. Even though I look forward to social events and have a lot of fun, I’m always happy to come home to the peace and quiet and recharge by writing, reading, art. My favorite times are being at home, just me and my husband playing a board game, watching a movie, or cooking together.
    Laura Marcella´s last blog post ..8 Commonly Misspelled Authors’ Names

  15. Lisa says:

    Loved your insights in this post and can absolutely relate to how life experiences can change you. Funny how it seems like such a major confession to admit to being an introvert. There’s no right or wrong, just a shift in how you relate to people. Personally, I find that the best writers tend to be introverts.

    Depending on who you ask and where you met me, most would say I’m an extrovert. But when you get down to the heart of it I’ve always been and always will be an introvert at my core. I just have figured out how to turn it on and off to suit my environment. At the end of the day, I find the most inspiration and energy when I’m alone in my head. Enjoy the quiet – while it lasts.

    • Ashlee says:

      I never really thought of writing as being related to introversion, but looking back on the past 5 years, I can definitely see how I became more introverted at the same time I started writing. Interesting…

  16. Lottie says:

    i think i am naturally intriverted but went through a stage of being more extroverted or an introvert with really good social skills 😉

    now i don’t know probably a bit of both but more intoverted…unless you get me in the right environment

    to me it seems a confidence thing and i have become more intoverted when my confidence has taken a hit but it is through these trials i have learnt the most.
    Lottie´s last blog post ..sunday: richmond park

  17. Lesley says:

    We’ve talked about this a little bit in person, but I’ll just say publicly that I can very much identify with your physical need to be with Everett, and how it’s difficult for you to be away from him. My experience was identical, and it was at its strongest when Anna was a newborn and it became less and less as she weaned. I am convinced it’s a hormonal bond between mother and child, meant for good reasons. This is not to say other people wanting to help is bad, it’s just natural for a breastfeeding mama to feel threatened when her child isn’t close by… after all…the kid only has you as a feeding source! 🙂
    Lesley´s last blog post ..Five books for skeptics

    • Ashlee says:

      I wonder how you will be with your second baby, if it will be the same or if you will be a little more relaxed with your second. Sometimes I wonder how much of this is just normal hormonal mom stuff and how much is first-time mom stuff. Time will tell I guess!

  18. Ashley says:

    Hi Ashlee. I’ve been an avid reader of your blog for some time, and I love your thoughts on this. I’ve always been an introvert, and it’s interesting to read about other people’s thoughts on the subject. I recently picked up a book titled “Quiet” by Susan Cain about the subject of introverts, and I definitely recommend it. 🙂

  19. whoa. i’m totally relating to the anxiety of always wanting to be physically close to ruthie. Im the same when it comes to too many hands on her. I’m trying to process why i feel this way. At times it feels selfish and silly and i hate this about my new role as mother. I should feel so blessed and lucky to have so many wonderful people in her life but for reasons i dont understand yet, i want to keep us sheltered in a little bubble. Like you, i’m most comfortable with myself or just a very small amount of close friends. I think this happens as we age and dont feel the need to constantly stay up to date socially. Im happiest with my family and im okay with that.
    Lindsay @ Little One Love´s last blog post ..SO I GUESS I’M A MOM BLOGGER NOW

    • Ashlee says:

      I think we have a mother’s instinct and motherly hormones for a reason. If we were suddenly thrown into the wild, we would need those to survive, right? 😉

  20. Ruth says:

    I tested as an Extrovert when I took the Myer-Briggs test, and I think that’s true to an extent. I LOVE making new friends and being in social settings, but only after I’ve had my quiet/alone time. I’ve never been able to jump from one social situation to another without having some downtime in between.
    Ruth´s last blog post ..Our little Valentine.

  21. Gina says:

    I can definitely relate to this post!

    When I was in college, I was super outgoing, had tons of friends, and always wanted to go out on the weekends. Now that I’m out of college and married, I’ve noticed that I enjoy staying in a lot more and don’t feel the need to go out EVERY weekend. I really think it has to do with getting older and shifting my priorities: spending time with my husband, saving money, not staying out too late so I can get sleep, etc.

    I also resonate with Amy’s comment: I am a very friendly person and can talk to complete strangers, but I definitely crave my alone time every few days.

    Intro/extroversion is a funny thing.
    Gina´s last blog post ..Five on Friday v7

  22. Gina says:

    Ashlee,
    If you’re interested in learning more about this you should read Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. It’s a fascinating read; I highly recommend it!

  23. Elly says:

    I’m an introvert too. I didn’t realise I was until we had to take a Myers Briggs test for work, and I came down as slightly I. I definitely have extrovert moments, but when I realised that this test said I was an introvert it felt like now I had permission to be more of an introvert, and I’m much more comfortable taking down time away from people. I also really like how it’s a sliding scale, that sometimes in your life you can be an extrovert, and others an introvert. Makes sense, actually, that there’s no absolute. 🙂
    Elly´s last blog post ..Dan Deacon (on Valentines)

    • Ashlee says:

      Isn’t it funny to feel like we need permission to be introverts? I felt the same way for a long time, and always called myself an extrovert because that’s a label I had worn my entire life and I know it’s how people saw me. I also think I never really understand the meaning behind extraversion/introversion and assumed that being an introvert meant I was shy or awkward, which I’m not. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  24. molly says:

    i love this. it is so honest and relatable. i too used to be super extroverted, but more and more i am loving staying in with a book or some blogs or a big dinner to cook.

  25. Christine says:

    When I took the Myer Briggs test (ESTJ!) , I was just barely an extrovert over an introvert. The more I thought about the definition, the more I understood that–especially as a Gemini! I can be a total social butterfly at parties and bars, but I also adore quiet nights in with a stack of magazines and a cup of tea. I really derive my energy from both–I can’t do too many nights in in a row, but I also can’t party every night. All about finding a balance to keep my energy levels high 🙂
    Christine´s last blog post ..Turn off your phone, tune back into life

  26. Angie says:

    Ashlee-
    I love this post! I’ve been following your blog since I got pregnant and now have a sweet little 5 week old boy . And man can I relate! I’ve been really noticing this change in the past year and half as well. At first I thought something was wrong that I’ve all of sudden enjoyed my alone time and the peace and quiet and not being in huge crowds and really valueing my close relationships. So thank you from one new mom to another for your post! Let’s embrace the change god is doing!

  27. Jen says:

    I think a lot of people go through what you are going through – I don’t think anyone stays exactly the same person they were from the time they were 18 to 25 – Those are huge years in figuring out who you are going to be for your adult life. Most people I know are not married, home owners or have kids yet at your age, you’re still figuring a lot out, right?? You’re lucky you can reflect and write from the heart on it. I completely agree on wanting to have Everett with you all the time, I was the same, especially with Jessie and it has to be some kind of primal/hormonal/evolutionary thing based on how many moms above agree!!! As Everett is learning to crawl, then walk, then run, and gets weaned, you will find yourself able to let him go. You will watch him discover the world he lives in. I can san without a doubt, that as my kids have gotten older and letting them out of my arms has become less of a struggle, there is nothing that makes me happier knowing how many people love them and how much joy they bring to others – friends and family alike.

  28. Jamie says:

    Totally an introvert. I was more outgoing in high school but even then I got my energy from the down time. And I have to say, regarding your Growth Chart post – there’s nothing about little Everett in this pic that looks malnourished. Use your Momma instincts, get a second opinion, don’t feel guilty because he doesn’t match the charts! Just sayin’. = )
    Jamie´s last blog post ..Deep Thought Thursday (on being scared)

  29. I’ve always been an introvert, yet for some reason I always felt like that was a disadvantage in life. I guess I still do feel that way (my reviews at work are always “speak up more, we want your ideas!), so I intentionally try to be more extroverted. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. 🙂

    I am initially very resistant when someone invites me to do something, because I know I’d rather just sit on the couch at home on my computer (is that sad?!) after a long day at work, and that has gotten worse since becoming a mother, because I am giving of myself more to Rooney (which drains me, as sweet as she is), and I also feel bad leaving her on the weekends, since I leave her during the week when I go to work. (Although, Wednesdays are our day together, since I work 4 days a week, and that has made a huge difference for me.) Great post! Love the comments, too!
    Kelsey Williams´s last blog post ..Would You Have Birth Photos Taken?

    • Ashlee says:

      Another mom recently said that to me…..that it makes sense for new moms to become more introverted because their babies are vying for their attention all day and it’s completely draining. I can definitely relate!

  30. Maggy says:

    This was really interesting for me to read, because I can completely relate – except I think I might have gone the other way around? When I was little I literally got sick to my stomach at the thought of meeting new people…but in college I completely blossomed and loved being in, what I felt, was my ideal community. Although, I will say that since then I might have swung back towards being more introverted (the same: move/marriage shift happened to me) and now when I take those Myers Briggs tests, it tells me I am on the E/I line…which I didn’t think was even a real option. I think the Lord gives us the (social) grace we need for each season He brings us to. 🙂
    Maggy´s last blog post ..But we DO have Ben & Jerry’s

  31. carey says:

    my daughter is now 15months so i’m way past any anxiety of being away from her since she has family care-givers 75% of the time since going back to work month 3 (i didn’t really have a choice)……. but i remember the breastfeeding need to be with my child and almost scheduling time away on the breastfeeding clock. the first couple times away from her seemed wrong and odd and void, but it slowly got easier… and i have to say the time away has made me a healthier more balanced mom. (so it was a nice surprise, actually). as for the extrovert to introvert, wow, i’m so with you. i feel like i’ve been back and forth my whole life, but i’m happiest when it’s our family of 3 doing things and taking in life. i, too, get my energy from writing and reading and reflection and it has increased with age. what’s hardest is finding out you are in a spot and finding a lot of your former friends aren’t in that spot and still sharing connections. have you experienced the latter with your friends? thanks for sharing you reflections.

    • Ashlee says:

      Hi Carey! I think I’ve been blessed during this life phase because most of my friends are a) introverts, and b) mommas. Not only that but most of them had babies before I did so I’ve been able to watch them and ask for advice. I can imagine though that if my friends were still single, wanting to go out all the time, while I was in THIS phase, that would be really hard. I think it can be hard for unmarried and/or non-mothers to relate to the need for quiet and space after having a child.

  32. Iris says:

    I’m not a mom, but I can see how being a mother and having a new baby could be exhausting. I watched both of my sisters when they had their children and it seemed like everyone wanted a piece of them. People always wanted to stop buy to visit or wanted them to stop by so they could see the kids. When they would go out in public, people had no shame just reaching out to touch the baby or constantly wanting to hold them whether it was friends, family or total strangers! I think I would have been overprotective and wanting some peace and quiet too!

    • Ashlee says:

      Totally. That is such a peeve of mine. Nothing makes me crazier than people grabbing Everett out of my arms without asking. He’s MY baby! Rawr! 😉

  33. Paige says:

    Studies have shown that our personalities are hardwired into our brains, it’s our activity and behavior that changes. I can see the need to fit in and please others or live up to our own expectations being a reason to see change. I recently went through a lot of life changes, and suddenly acceptance from everyone stopped being important. I believe when you find the ONE thing you truly love in life and would give up anything for, that is when most people stop feeling the need to fit in or have approval. I am glad you’ve found that, and I hope your anxiety subsides, because you are you and there’s no need to feel crappy about anything.

  34. Sarabell says:

    I am such an introvert too! I am actually even a little nervous sometimes about what it is going to be like to suddenly have somebody around me and needing my attention all the time! I’m sure it’ll help that he/she will be tiny and adorable though. =]

  35. Jessica says:

    WOW I could have wrote this. I am glad I am not hte only one. I moved to a smaller city 5 years ago, had my daughter who is now 4 years old, got divorced, am remarrying this year, ended and started so much. I am definitely leaning towards being an introvert more now than ever. Socializing has become so draining fo rme and sometimes it feels so forced that I would rather not do it at times.

  36. Shannon says:

    I had a realization only days ago that I may have moved from being an extrovert to an introvert. I don’t know when the shift happened- I think it may have been when I first decided to live by myself 4 years ago. I lived by myself for 3 years and hated it for the first year. I felt alone, a little scared some nights- however, I knew it was important to do it. Something for me. After one year I began to love my own company and living alone. I was 31 and felt like I was moving into womanhood beautifully.

    Then after the 3 years I moved to a ski village where I lived in a house with 40 people for 3 months. It was great fun. I didn’t have to do a lot to socialize- all the fun was on our doorstep. I still spent time alone in my room alone- reading, writing, looking at photos.

    And now I have moved countries temporarily on a working holiday. I have been living here in this new country for 8 months and I am the least social I have ever been in my life. I have options, I have friends but for most the time I prefer my own company. I prefer to be at home chatting away to my housemate of 1, or being on skype to family back home or watching a movie or checking facebook, or reading on spirituality- I really only want social one day a week, at most 2.

    I am 32, single and I am not a Mom. I am not dating after internet dating proved to be tiresome and not for me. My job is as a Nanny of two wonderful children and for a wonderful family. I like them very much. I exercise. I eat well, mostly. I love yoga. I love to read, eat, write, make jewelery…

    But I have lost the desire to socialize. I barely want to do anything with anyone (even those I am most comfortable) and I avoid lots of invites. I am starting to feel like I need to do something about how much I decline from offers..?

    I typed in ‘extrovert to introvert’ in google today after I decided to research my realization. Your post was the first search result. I have come to understand from your post and comments of others that we move through changes like this at different phases and times.

    One thing that no one has mentioned is the almost total loss of desire to socialize. I am almost at the point of disliking socializing with most people. I find it tiring, unrewarding and prefer spontaneous connections. Sometimes I have a good time if I go and am happy I go but most of the time I would rather just stay at home. I would love to hear some more thoughts from people.

    • Marjorie says:

      I know where you are coming from Shannon. I too, just found this blog when I googled “can extroverts change into introverts?” Over the past few days I’ve been thinking about the numerous gatherings I’ll have to attend, with my two children, around Christmas time and I’m dreading it. I’ve been seeing my friends Pin “Introvert” things lately and ignored them, but then today I thought, “Wait. I think that’s me.”
      I’m pretty sure mine came from motherhood – my 6.5 year has Autism and my 20 month old probably does too. I have found Autism to be really isolating. My youngest can’t eat, doesn’t poop and screams all the time. He’s been tested and tested and there’s no medical reason for whatever’s happening with him and it’s extremely hard to take him out in public. If he hasn’t pooped in three days, he’s miserable with a belly ache and if the poop does come, it’s an event. It’s safest just to stay home.
      I dislike making plans to see other people, I get anxious and nervous and want to cancel if a friend says they’re going to come over here. Like you, I have lost all desire to socialize. I had to take my older son to a birthday party yesterday and it was one where the parents hang out too. All the other parents seemed to know each other and though I chatted with the hosts a lot, I felt out of place and I couldn’t wait for the 2 hours to be over so I could take my son and go home. The only two places I like going is to my Mom’s house and to my in-law’s house because they know the ins and outs of our lives and I don’t feel judged at all about why my son is always screaming.
      Is there anything to be done to get over this? I would like to LIKE to socialize.

    • Ashlee says:

      Hi Shannon,

      I’m not a therapist or counselor by any means, but I would imagine that a temporary loss of desire to socialize is normal throughout different life seasons. If this feeling persists though (like onward of months and years), maybe you should consider seeing a counselor? Sending you my best….

  37. Tara says:

    Hi Ashlee. My name is Tara, a 31 year old newlywed. I am so thankful that you have posted something i can relate too. I find it difficult writing out my thoughts, but you write yours so beautifully and i am able to relate to your story. I was BORN an extravert just like you, and through life; choices and circumstances, i find myself craving alone time and avoiding any large groups. I also find i am way more awkward socially… never used to be! I am also very sensitive and this never was the case. I feel strange sometimes in this new ‘me’ i’ve become, but i wouldn’t change it either. You are right tho when you say it is a balance, we are never one way or the other 100%, but it amazes me still how we can change so drastically. i hope that made sense. thanks for sharing!

  38. I can relate to the feeling of going inward and one’s world getting smaller. I’m wondering if it’s nature’s way of allowing one to cope with the intensity and pressure (lovely though it is) of being a new wife and then new mother? There’s been times in my life where I’ve been an extrovert and have craved excitement, adventure and meeting people. Thinking about it now, this has coincided with periods of my life where I’ve not had much responsibility, pressure or direction (motherhood provided all that). The extrovert part of me is loving the fact that so many people have responded to this blog and the introvert has enjoyed the thought process. Hmmm, guess I’m both then! Thanks for opportunity, all the best with your little one and this new phase in your life. 🙂

  39. Leo Lundgren says:

    I had always been and Loved myself being my own special me, introverted when I was in the age before 14…
    At 14 years old, after finish the 8 class and in the summer vacation to start the 9 class, I did a FORCED changed in my personality, in my world and in my thinking… I missed something in life and it was deep contacts with others, I of course understand how the most popular guy in the school behaved, and I felt during many times the feeling he most have to be so social with others. And so one night I was laying in my bed in the summer and had this thinking “WHAT A, YOU CAN FEEL HIS CONFIDENCE IN YOU, JUST DO IT”. 24/7 after that I were thinking like him. But I promised myself that it has to look like me, so I get something out of it, and will not be like anybody else who tries and fail being someone else, because everybody see he is a fake… So I even concentrate to convince other people this is me, with the believe that I will be like this naturally later. When I came home from school shouted loud inside my head that I am destroying myself. I understood that I am not thinking on my future anymore, My inner self and my future. Doing this will only be now 110% energy on it And then I will die.. or what Was my thoughts”
    I often feel vacuum or like a zombie when I try to be alone.
    I cant anymore I hate this, I am 22 years now, all my contacts my ex girlfriend and all my “friends” now is not me it is the forced me that is creating this. I am having thoughts I think that other people would like me to have. I have a Girlfriend from russia. Which also just been forced imaging on how to be act with her, She is one of the hottest in Russia, and she wants kids and marriage, mainly for the 12 days she were in Stockholm and I used the forced 110% image that of her dream man…
    I can not leave this state of mind and I want to get back to where I where

    How can I get my sanity back without loosing the GREAT short-term positives that I can have with this suicidal thinking…

  40. abby says:

    hi, i used to be extrovert, but due to my situation now i’m 50% extrovert, 50% introvert.. sometimes i miss being an extrovert. =)

  41. Christina says:

    Hi Ashlee! I’m new to your blog and I absolutely love snuggling up to your corner and hearing your stories. In high school I tried so hard to be extraverted, but as I came to better understand myself I found that I am definitely an introvert. I get energy from quiet, from reading, from writing, from warm cups of coffee and a journal. I find that as I accept the needs of my heart, body, and mind, and cater to them, I am a better wife and friend. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Much love, Christina

  42. Gwen says:

    Hello, Ashlee. I found your blog when I googled, “Can an extrovert become an introvert?”. I love that I’ve found some like-minded people. I started out as a defender of the underdog – both at home and as a career (law). I was an E-N-T-P. Then I ended up in an abusive relationship and made a career change. I am now a single mother and a classroom teacher. I have found myself working under the supervision of someone who reminds me a lot of my ex-husband. If you challenge her, she punishes you. She, like he, wants to be the center of attention and the most-loved teacher. And I have now become an I – N – F – P. Reading your blog makes me think that rather than just feeling isolated and in dire need of another “team” at work, I may need to talk to someone professionally. Thank you.

  43. Stephanie says:

    Hi, Ashlee. I’m Stephanie.
    You know, I was almost drop a tear when I was reading that post of you. It is happening to me now. Not in the exact way, but you know, pretty much similar. I had never been a cheerleader like you, but I know, I am that talkative person in the group. I was pretty much confident back then. Now that I’m still 17 years old, I think I’m transiting in your 20-24 years old phase.

    Thank you for letting me know that this thing – changing into an introvert, is okay. Thank you for writing this down perfectly neatly. Thank you for giving me a relief, from knowing that someone out there, living far away from me, has experienced the same thing. Thank you for mostly everything, Ashlee.
    I wish you and your family have a fulfilled and happy live.
    God bless you.

    • Ashlee says:

      Thanks for reading, Stephanie. You are definitely not alone! You are so young…..God is still molding you into the person He created you to be <3

  44. Pingback: Weekly Momscope: June 2-8 | Momstrology

  45. Fenn says:

    It sounds to me like you don’t really know what an introvert or an extrovert is. You’re assuming being extroverted means you are social, but introverts can be social too. Newsflash : introverts can be cheerleaders and waitresses and the girl who asks the guy to the Sadie Hawkins dance in the middle of the school pep rally. But you know, thanks for perpetuating stereotypes.

  46. Mel says:

    This is a great post, you’re a talented writer. I would consider myself an ambivert.

  47. Pingback: Am I Autistic Or Just Introverted Extrovert | Autism Help For Both Parents And Children

  48. Lily says:

    I was an extreme extrovert all my life and I am 43. My career path has kept me in front of people, building relationships, troubleshooting, managing clients and relationships. But I am bored and tired of it.

    The past year I am burned out on being around people, being fun and upbeat just makes me tired. I thought maybe I was depressed, but I’m not. I just don’t enjoy being social anymore. I was social all my life, loved parties, very involved with my kids lives and their friends and the parents of their friends but now since they are in college and high school I have the need to be alone more. Besides they don’t want Mom hanging around all the time nowadays.

    I also was always so aware of others feelings, encouraging peers and being a mentor. Now I just want to do my own thing without having to always be “on” for everyone else. Does that make me a negative person or just someone who likes being alone?

    I even have to change my entire career path and goals to accommodate this shift in myself. I am considering going to school again for grant writing that way I can help others without having to be in front of them much. The future feels strange but I will figure it out.

  49. Trish says:

    Hello I am beginning to feel that I am turning into an introvert. I feel that maybe I am too old for this stuff most of the time. I used to be the center of the attention. The party starter. The loud girl. I don’t understand myself now. Since my dad passed away, I feel my life changed. I need more quiet time. I enjoy listening to music. I get more emotional too. I don’t know what to do. I am losing my friends now. I feel that I don’t know how to communicate with people now. Or maybe I just don’t want to try. Someone told me that I have too much of negativity in my life and I should be more positive in life. I don’t know how. I am so sad now. I don’t know what I want in life. I just want to sleep. Anyways, thank you for sharing your story.

  50. Abigail says:

    I think I was probably an extrovert as a child and deep-down, naturally an extrovert still. I used to be the kid that was singing and dancing and couldn’t stop talking to people. The sub-culture that I was raised in and something that happened when I was about 9 years old changed me. I am definitely an introvert today at 25 but there are still days when my “introvertedness” leaves me and I feel like I’ve become who I was always meant to be…the girl who sings and dances and loves being with people every moment of the day. I’ve always hated that I was an introvert, not because I have anything against it but because I’ve always felt like it was holding me back from taking over the world the way I wanted to.
    Last week I told a man I’ve liked off and on since I was 14 that we should go out sometime. He was super sweet about it, but basically said that he goes for more extroverted women and doesn’t think we would be a good fit.
    When I was 18 I met and got to know a man who eventually broke up with me because I was not the same person later on that I was at the beginning. At the beginning he saw my more extroverted side that only comes out online and every once in a while in person…just long enough to make someone start to fall in love with me and then leave me as soon as he gets close. It’s not fun.
    I found this blog while looking for tips to awaken my inner extrovert. 🙂
    Abigail´s last blog post ..Introduction to a Study of Jesus Christ

  51. SabaHR says:

    Hey Ashlee, i was recently searching on something like “has-marriage-made-me-an-introvert” sort of, n first thing i stumbled upon was ur above article. Believe me, i felt that I am reading about my own life, starting from what you used to do at what age and when….everything matches..even giving birth to a kid at 25!! 😀 And most important of all, my personality transition just as u described. Although, i have become more attached to God now and also have begun to analyse my own persona, I feel i am lacking what fun I previously had when i was absolutely impulsive at expressing pleasure. I also feel a burden of keeping negative emotions under-check in my times of stress, it has made me more hot-tempered than what i previously was. My kid is now 4yreas old and i am doing my post-grads. So being occupied whole day with family, then my own time for studies has made me introvert all the more, because whenever i feel like talking with people and connecting with them, i find my day wasted- devoid of my studies. Of course, i have to give time to my studies as well because without books and knowledge i feel very empty (I have had those “what-to-do-now” days right after marriage, as I had college life just the previous year…believe me, i cannot do without studies as long as i am sane.)Sooner or later i know i’ll get back to being an extrovert and more expressive of my emotions too, as i find my present personality a little gloomy and melancholy. I know i don’t want to die alone without people around me, its this feeling that’s making me to get back my original personality. I am working on it slowly step-by-step. Hope you too do the same. 🙂 As for now, i’m an ambivert too. I joke and laugh aloud with my friends and back home i am a different person.

  52. Felicity says:

    Dear Ashlee,
    I came upon your article as I was wondering myself, “Can an extrovert become an introvert?” As a mother of three, ages 12-6, who homeschooled my darlings for three years, I find myself in need of solitude, even from my husband. Sometimes, I just want to be left alone by everyone, even by other adults. I want to think, process, be, without someone needing or expecting something of me. Being a wife and mother is exhausting, and the way my exhaustion is changing me is a little frightening (my desire for solitude), simply because I don’t like change and have a slight fear of the unknown. I worry that something is wrong with me, but I think it’s just the nature of my current station in life. One day, my children will be grown, and it will just be my husband and me, God willing. Until then, it is up to me to determine the delicate balance between people and solitude.
    PS I had postpartum depression with child #2, and what you describe in your article suggests that may be what you are experiencing as well.

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