3 Secret Struggles That Show You're A Socially Anxious Extrovert

Four women having poolside drinks

Are you shy, introverted...or an extrovert with social anxiety?


Are these introverted and extroverted personality types a myth?

I've noticed something intriguing. Often those people showing a mix of personality traits—extroverted yet socially anxious—seem to be the most perplexed. 

They see themselves as outgoing and gregarious, but they also have moments when they just want to disappear.

Talking at a family gathering? Pass. Asking their crush on a date—absolutely not. Joining a panel discussion? Mind blank.

Are we surprised? The average person rates their fear of public speaking at a 62.48 on a 0-100 scale.

But here's the thing: many extroverts have this mental picture of themselves as being unshaken in ALL social situations. This perfectionism can be problematic.

Because they might be sociable and confident in most scenarios. But there are always those new territories, where even the most outgoing among us might feel sick. Totally normal!

If you think you might be a socially anxious extrovert, you're not alone. Many people feel the same way.

But here's the kicker: some of these extroverts don't even realise they're up against social anxiety. They just assume they're not extroverted. That confusion can really throw them for a loop.


Is This Introversion…or Social Anxiety?


Let’s talk about the difference between introversion and social anxiety.

You see, introversion and extroversion boil down to where you draw your energy from. 

Extroverts thrive on excitement, often finding their energy in the company of others. Meanwhile, introverts have a lower tolerance for stimulation, preferring solitude or small, intimate gatherings to recharge.

Now, here's where things get interesting. Even the most extroverted of extroverts need downtime. Yep, they crave those moments of peace and quiet, just like everyone else. And on the flip side, even the most introverted among us still crave connection, community, and love. 

And here's the catch: social anxiety isn't just introversion dialled up to eleven.

It's a whole different ball game. Think of it like comparing night and day. Introversion is about a specific energy, whereas social anxiety is about fear—fear of judgement, rejection, you name it.


Being A Socially Anxious Extrovert Is Totally A Thing


You love the get togethers, the interactions and the buzz BUT... 

  • deep down, you're worried that nobody wants you there.
  • you're secretly terrified that the audience is just waiting for you to mess up.
  • you constantly worry about saying the wrong thing or being judged by others.
  • underneath it all, you're anxious about not fitting in with the crowd.
  • you're worried about embarrassing yourself in front of others.
  • you're nervous that people might see you insecure and vulnerable. 


Let's be real—it's tough. Feeling torn between craving connection and fearing rejection? You’re caught between a rock and a hard place. 

But here's the bottom line: whether you're an ‘extrovert’, an ‘introvert’, or somewhere in between (most likely!). You’re enough just as you are.

It's time to give up on the overblown sense of perfectionism that's at the root of this problem.

This perfectionism fuels feelings of insecurity. We can take away its power by understanding how social anxiety can affect anyone, no matter their personality type.

Mental health issues, like social anxiety, need compassion and understanding.


Misconceptions And Stigma Surrounding Social Anxiety


Misconceptions and stigma surrounding social anxiety are widespread, and they often lead to many people feeling ashamed of having this condition. 


Struggle #1: Shouldn't 'Extroverts' Breeze Through Social Situations?


One big misconception is that only introverts experience social anxiety, while extroverts are somehow immune to it. 

Just because someone is super outgoing at a party, we assume they couldn't possibly be struggling with social anxiety. But  social anxiety can affect even those who seem to be the life of the party. They might be masking their social anxiety with alcohol for example.

Or they might indeed feel super comfortable swinging from the chandelier at parties. 

But their social anxiety might boil up in other situations. For example when they have to host a livestream on instagram or when they have a job interview to attend to. They feel ashamed of this 'weakness' because they usually act so bold.


Struggle #2: Why Can't I Shake This Shyness?


We assume we're being shy when in reality we're having a fit of social anxiety.

They're not quite the same. Shyness, means you're a bit hesitant to step onto the dance floor, maybe a little nervous about making a move.

On the other hand, social anxiety disorder is a mental health condition. An overwhelming anxiety of social interactions, coupled with a deep-seated fear of being judged, embarrassed, or humiliated.

It's like comparing dipping your toes in the water to diving into the deep end of the pool. Both might make you a little uneasy, but one's a gentle ripple, while the other's a tidal wave of fear.

Social anxiety can manifest with physical symptoms like sweating, trembling, or a pounding heart. Loss of words or stumbling over what you were going to say follows these sensations of alarm.


Struggle #3: Not Confident All The Time? Loser...


Here's a common situation.

One of your friends is feeling overwhelmed by the idea of going to a social event because of their social anxiety. Instead of showing understanding, their friends brush it off with remarks like:

'What are you on about? Just come out with us!'

These comments can make your friend feel even more alone in their struggle.

They might start thinking something is wrong with them because they can't handle social situations like everyone else. Feeling judged or dismissed by others makes them want to hide even more. This only adds to their feelings of shame and isolation.

This internal struggle can prevent them from seeking help or talking openly about their issues with social anxiety.


How To Dissolve The Internal Conflict


You're naturally outgoing. The life of the party, always eager to jump in and soak up the energy of a lively crowd. You thrive on connecting with others, starting conversations, and being right in the thick of things.

But here's the catch. Lurking beneath that outgoing exterior is some deep-seated fear. The little voice in your head constantly whispering:

  • What if they don't like me?
  • What if I say something stupid?
  • What if I'm not good enough?
  • What if they think I'm weird?
  • What if I mess up and look like an idiot?
  • What if I don't fit in?
  • What if I laugh too loud?
  • What if I'm not interesting enough for them?
  • What if I make a fool of myself?

This inner dialogue can turn even the most outgoing person into a bit of a wreck.

Imagine our extrovert friend gearing up for a party they've been looking forward to. They're excited. But as the event draws nearer, those excited butterflies in their stomach morph into knots. Suddenly, the thought of walking into a room full of people becomes utterly daunting.

This internal tug-of-war is real, my friends. It's like being pulled in two different directions. Part of you wants connection and community, while another part wants to hide. One foot's on the gas and the other on the brake.

What's even tougher is that this internal struggle often goes unnoticed by others.

Our extrovert with social anxiety may put on a brave face, cracking jokes and engaging in conversation. All while battling a storm of anxious thoughts and feelings inside.


4 Actionable Steps Toward Healing


  1. Let's not overlook the silent battles fought by extroverts with social anxiety. Let's recognise the bravery it requires to step forward and be visible. Especially when every part of you is screaming to run and hide. Make some time for self-compassion.
  2. Let's create a world where authenticity is celebrated, vulnerability is embraced, and genuine connections are nurtured. You might have to shed the impenetrable facade for this one.
  3. Let's put an end to relentless perfectionism. Let's acknowledge that we can't always be polished and composed in every circumstance. Especially as we strive to grow in life and tackle bigger challenges. Remember, you matter, and what you have to say matters and you are perfect as you are.
  4. Let's get you the help you need. If you suspect that social anxiety might be lurking beneath your confident exterior, don't hesitate to reach out. I'm a cognitive behavioural hypnotherapist and a social anxiety coach. I have helped lots of clients overcome this condition and have healed myself from its grip.

if this resonates then do contact me on [email protected]


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