Lifestyle — Crossbreed: How It Feels To Be Both An Introvert And Extrovert
by Marisa Strauss

You're not an extrovert, but you're also not an introvert — you're both. You can't place yourself into just one category because you are a perfect blend of the two.

Merriam-Webster defines an extrovert as, "A friendly person who likes being with and talking to other people; an outgoing person," and an introvert as, "A shy person; a quiet person who does not find it easy to talk to other people."

Your friends don't quite understand you and you often confuse them. You have days when you're ready to talk to anyone, including the lady at the cash register and the stranger on the street.

Then, you have days when you don't want anyone to talk to you at all and you could spend days keeping yourself company with just Netflix and a book. No, you're not bipolar; you're selectively social.

Your spirit animal is a cat; you interact on your own terms and no one else's, but when you do interact, everyone loves you. You have the ability to be the most outgoing person in the room and the life of the party, but only if you feel like it.

Your personal hell is being forced to go to a party on a night when you were dying to be alone. The entire time you're there, you're just wishing you weren't, and everyone you meet thinks you're pretty lame. You know you're not lame, but you're just not into making small talk tonight. Maybe next week. Maybe.

Your friends can go weeks, sometimes months, without seeing you on the weekends because you just don't feel like going out. When they ask, "Why?" Your honest reply is something like, "Eh, just because."

Friends may ask why they never see you or why you haven't been out in a while, and you don't feel any need to be defensive. You just haven't been in the mood to pretend to care about getting all dressed up or dealing with annoying, overly-drunk strangers in crowded rooms.

Just because you don't feel like playing ice breakers with strangers every weekend or pretending to care about in which field someone majored in college doesn't mean you're a hermit. It just means you value your time.

Aside from your mindset being in a constant state of hot and cold, you also are very careful about whom you call a "friend." You absolutely love your friends, but you're very careful about who you let into your deepest inner social circle.

You'll be friendly to anyone, but extremely cautious when it comes to trusting others. You prefer to understand a person's motives, or what makes him or her tick before you start spilling your secrets. People will call you shy or anti-social, but this could not be further from the truth.

You know exactly what you're doing. Your social life is a game of strategy, and one at which you are very, very skilled.  You've seen too much drama, had too many flaky friends and disappointments to let just anyone into your world.

The name of your game is observation, and it never fails you. Initially, you watch others from a distance in order to determine the way they behave, how they interact with others, what they talk about and what other people say about them.

Once you've gathered enough info, you'll evaluate and make a decision. Yes, they can be your friends or no, they are the weakest links, goodbye. Outsiders may call you harsh or a tough judge of character, and maybe you are. So what?

You've reached a point in your life that you know what you do and do not want. You know yourself well enough where you know if you want to socialize or hibernate under the covers.

A selectively social person has created standards of what it means to be a great friend as well as a decent human being; you expect both yourself and those around you to abide by those expectations. You have perfected the art of being both outgoing and chill, all at the same damn time.

Now that takes skill.