Search Pinterest for “extrovert” and you’ll be greeted with dozens of memes, quotes and pictures describing a character of endless energy. She’s the life of the party, surrounded by friends, who never wants to rest and can fill any silence with an abundance of noise.
But ask any real-life extrovert if that’s her modus operandi, and you’ll get a much different picture.
Most extroverted girls are nothing like the Pinterest extreme. The confidence and smooth conversation that so often characterize outgoing women come with a set of insecurities. Whether you’re an extrovert reading this or an introvert seeking to understand your vivacious friends a little more, here are five secret fears of the extrovert you might never guess were there.
1. The fear of being “too much”
Behind the confident exterior, many extroverted girls fear coming on too strong. To compensate for this fear, they actually become MORE outgoing, sometimes using humor as a cover. To those watching, their conversation seems effortless. But after the party is over and everyone goes home, she’s second-guessing half of what she said.
Was I intimidating?
Did I come on too strong?
Should I have held back?
Particularly when Christian culture emphasizes a “gentle and quiet spirit,” the extroverted woman can feel out of place and like her personality is “wrong.”
2. The fear of alienating someone
Linked to the fear of being too much for people is an extrovert’s deep fear of alienating someone. Extroverts tend to have a lot of friends, though only a few of those make the inner circle. Part of the reason they have so many friends is because extroverts don’t want people to feel unwelcome. They don’t want to alienate anyone, so they work hard to include as many people as they can. Unfortunately, this is physically impossible.
For me (the resident extrovert in this article), my desire to include everyone came from my own experience. Excluded by cliquey girls in high school, I wanted to do everything I could to prevent others from feeling what I felt. While this is a great goal, it’s not feasibly possible with everyone we meet. This fear must be given to the Lord and the people we want included be entrusted to Him.
3. The fear of being disliked
Extroverts tend toward people pleasing. We want to be liked, especially since we gain energy from the people around us. Nobody wants to hang out with people who don’t like them!
This fear can drive extroverts to work even harder for popular approval through humor, kindness or achievement. We have to be careful not to let this fear become a driving force or idol in our lives. The approval of man is passing and temporary, and living for it only leads to pain. Live for the approval of God, and everything else falls into place.
4. The fear of saying the wrong thing
This may come as a surprise since most extroverts are at no loss for words. Yet many of us fear making a dumb comment, asking a silly question or muffing a compliment. Because we want so badly to be liked, we fear saying something that might compromise our likeability.
Once again, this comes back to insecurity and committing popular approval to the Lord. Our greatest fears can be overcome by His strength when we allow Him to lead us!
5. The fear of loneliness
Last but not least: Extroverts fear loneliness. Extroverts can actually be extremely lonely, even when surrounded by friends. Since we tend to attract people with humor and light conversation, it can feel like we are incredibly misunderstood for the deep people we are (cultural references to extroverts as “party animals” don’t help). It’s important for extroverts to cultivate a few deep, godly relationships to help stave off the loneliness that pervades a life full of shallow friendships.
Fear is not of God. His perfect love casts out fear! So while we may battle these fears in our own lives, we should take a daily step of faith by committing them to the Lord and letting Him transform us into women of confidence in every way—not just what people see.