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HSP: extrovert 10 challenges

Let’s explore the world of the extroverted HSP. It is very important to me to talk about this aspect, because extroverted Highly Sensitive People are often left a little aside.

a group of people talking

So let’s get into this topic right away…

Because you are an out-going person, you like to socialize, people are drawn to you and oftentimes you might even be the light of the party, so you have always considered yourself an extrovert. On the other hand, and along with all these social qualities, you also have all the attribute of an HSP... sensory sensitivity, great empathy, overstimulation, and so on... but the only problem in all of this, is that you don’t recognize yourself in the definition of high sensitivity where, being introverted, is one of the major characteristics.

I get you and I am going to stop you right away. This doesn’t mean that you are not highly sensitive. It is true that the majority of HSP are introverted, 70% according to studies, so obviously the information you can find about HSP is mainly focused on them. This, at first glance, can be confusing and make you doubt your high sensitivity, but I can assure you… you can be highly sensitive and extroverted. I am one of them.

But unfortunately, as I said, because we are a small percentage, only 30% of HSP are extroverted, we are somewhat overlooked. Much of the information about high sensitivity is mostly targeted and intended for introverted HSP. So no surprise here when I am contacted by people very confused by the information they read or hear on social media. They recognize themselves in all the HSP’s characteristics except for that of introversion.

So in this article, I will cover how being a social, outgoing person and highly sensitive, at the same time, can create conflict and extra challenges in your life. You can experience even more confusion inside yourself, just because of the added ambiguity of being extroverted and highly sensitive.

First, remember that extroversion should not be confused with assurance or confidence. As a matter of fact, an extroverted HSP is not necessarily someone with good self-confidence.

Extraversion is neither positive nor negative in itself, it is useful in some situations and detrimental in others just like introversion.

Take this short quiz (below) if you want to know if you are a highly sensitive person.

test : are you highly sensitive

But let’s look now at 10 of the most important distinctions, struggles or funny things that extroverted HSP have to deal with.

1. You live an opposite life between craving for social interaction and the need to be alone.

How many times have you found yourself alone, enjoying this quiet moment, but also feeling an urgent need to talk with someone? Many times, right?

It's like having two opposite types of need: on one hand, the desire to connect with others, on the other hand, the feeling of being overwhelmed by these interactions. I know the feeling… It can be frustrating. But these moments of solitude are needs, real needs and, as frustrating as they are and seem, sometimes, like a lost opportunity, your brain’s wiring requires them.

2. You pay attention to the smallest details - and you use them to please others.

Your attention to tiny little details, which often eludes the majority of people, is an extraordinary quality that you often use later to make someone smile or to make a task easier for them.

For example, you will remember personal details like someone’s favorite color,... how a person prefers their coffee… black or with milk… You will turn the handle of the cup in the right direction so that the other does not have to do it… I could give hundreds, thousands of examples of the little things you do for others and they don’t even observe it.

You are simply very caring.

3. You often wonder if you're an introvert or an extrovert… here we go…

As I said at the beginning of this post, this ambiguity comes from both your desire for social connection and your need for solitude.

Some people have found another denomination… they simply declare themselves ambivert, why not? This is also a solution!

But let's say you're an extrovert who has a slightly lower boundary than any other extrovert. I know, it is not easy to juggle, between your fulfillment turned towards a desire for a social life, and your need for time alone. But you must accept that this duality is simply dictated by your brain and your nervous system which process much more information than another person, and this can quickly exhaust you. So just be aware and take the time you need when you need it and, if you need interaction… pick up your phone… It is less invasive. :))))

4. At work, you are a team player.

Even though introverts can also be team players and excellent colleagues, as they are very meticulous and attentive to detail, most of them still prefer to complete their task alone, so that they can concentrate. On the other hand, you extroverts, you love group work. The catch is that you can only do it for shorter periods of time…in small doses. So keep it in mind!

5. You count your super-close friends on the fingers of one hand.

Often introverts are the only ones credited for having a small circle of friends. But this is also the case for extroverted HSP. But for you, the reasons are a bit more complicated, it's not just about preferring "depth" over "number".

Because you are extremely sensitive to people's emotions and attitudes, and because of your caring and giving nature, you have often found that you attract toxic people who only take advantage of you.

So, after many clashes and disappointments, you have understood that spring cleaning in your surroundings is absolutely vital, and even if you have a fairly vast network of acquaintances, your very close friends, those who actually get you, can be counted on the fingers of one-hand.

6. You crave new experiences.

While introverted HSP prefers a certain routine, for you it's just the opposite. You like to discover new places, have new experiences, meet and talk with strangers…. Sure, big changes can sometimes be a challenge for you, but having the same routine every day isn't your thing.

For example, going out to the same place with the same people every week probably won’t do it for you.

However, this desire for new experiences has also to be on your own terms because, as any other HSP, you are just as likely to absorb external stimuli and people’s emotions, which can be exhausting.

7. You often find yourself in the role of confidant, adviser...

Whether you like it or not, whether you want it or not, your colleagues, your friends, even complete strangers approach you to confide their problems, pour out their sadness or express their fear. Nothing surprising, your sensitivity, your empathy are felt by others. It is a question of energy, of vibration. People are attracted to you without knowing why and feel safe to open to you. They feel seen and heard by you.

But here we go again, another way for you too to take in on others' emotions… so be aware!

8. You suddenly go from "out-going" to "crash".

Because you like social interactions, so when you are with a group of people, you go from one person to another, interacting with everyone around you, but sometimes you forget to take your limits into account. That's when, without warning, at some point, you’re going to crash! You completely forgot that your brain records everything, analyzes everything and is on the verge of exploding! What to do then? Withdraw immediately to a quiet place or… simply leave. But above all, try next time to avoid this kind of situation and… moderate your enthusiasm. I know, it's easier said than done when you feel happy and full of energy at a party, for example. But just try to not get to the point of power-down!…


9. You are "the sunbeam" of your entourage... family, friends, neighbors...

Because you are caring, kind, open, you easily connect with almost anyone. And thanks to your empathy, you intuitively grasp others, their state of mind, even the unsaid. You adapt to almost any social situation, and you attract people.

But unlike some other extroverts, you don't dominate the conversation or act out of sheer profit or self-centeredness. You listen to others and know how to self-efface when necessary.

10. It is hard for you to schedule fun times for yourself.

Sometimes you find yourself in delicate situations that can have repercussions, not only on you, but also on those around you. Let’s say for example that you organized a day out with friends. You planned everything and you are eagerly awaiting the moment, only that on that day, that long-awaited day… boom… you feel completely overwhelmed, and the only thing you want is to go into hermit mode. Now what?

In most cases, you will drag your feet and go out with your friends, so you won’t disappoint them, but it will be at the cost of your own discomfort and stress. On the other hand, if you choose to cancel everything, you will feel guilty and the result will be the same… discomfort and stress.

Can you see how tricky it can be for you to plan any events, even if you crave them? Your extroversion, depending on how your level of energy is, can make things pretty complicated to predict whether you will be up or not for something in a week from now.

So now that I listed some of the little or big distinctions, struggles or funny things that extroverted HSP have to deal with, I also want to talk about how extraversion and high sensitivity can manifest and affect childhood.

The extraverted HSP child is more likely in danger than the introverted sensitive child. Why? Because the adults will not see or perceive that the child is highly sensitive. Therefore they won’t think about preserving, defending or protecting the child as they would do if they knew that the child is highly sensitive. So when they become adults, the extroverted HSP will tend to have no limits and no boundaries in what they do, in what they undertake, in the love they give to others. This can put them in danger in many situations, as you can imagine; and more than often, it will take a long time for them to realize it, sometimes even too late.

Generally, extroverted HSP suffer rather more in adulthood because they have generally already given everything,... love, attention, time, care. So entering adulthood, they will already feel exhausted, drained, washed out, because they have very often devoted a large part of their life to another, to others, and have forgotten themselves.

To sum up… The problem for extroverted HSP is that during childhood, extraversion will act as a bulwark, like a façade which will mask the high sensitivity of the child and it will lead adults to believe that this child is like any other, and that there is no need to take special precaution to protect the child.

So now you can understand better why being extraverted and highly sensitive can be confusing and a little more challenging.

It is true that high sensitivity associated with extraversion can be very conflicting, but understanding this duality will help you navigate more easily in daily life, and you will be able to protect yourself more.

Are You a Highly Sensitive Extrovert?

If you’re a highly sensitive extrovert, you know that it can be both a blessing and a curse. But rest assured that you’re not alone, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with you. The world needs your kindness, your wisdom, and most of all, your caring spirit.

I hope that this article helped you to understand yourself better if you are an extroverted HSP. This topic is really close to my heart and I really had to talk about it. If you want me to cover more aspects about it, please send me your questions in the comments section.

And remember…be you…always!


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