Can HSPs be extroverts?

In short: yes!

While the Highly Sensitive trait is commonly associated with introverts, it’s also totally possible to be a Highly Sensitive Person and be an extrovert. 

Going back to basics, extroversion and introversion are descriptions of how we deplete and recharge our energy. Extroverts gain energy from being around people and can be drained by being alone. Introverts are the opposite- gaining energy from being alone and drained by being around people. 

You can see how it’s hard to differentiate. Highly Sensitive people can be overwhelmed by lots of stimulation, like the amount found at a party or a crowded event. But there’s a key factor- the high sensitivity is reacting to the amount of noise or light or social pressure at the event. An introverted HSP might feel each of these drains similarly. But an extroverted HSP feels both energized by the human energy of the situation and drained by the overstimulation. 

As an extrovert who works at home, I love going out for dinner on Friday nights. I feel like I’m literally buzzing with energy from being around the other people at the restaurant. Similarly, if I have more than one social event on the weekend, I feel totally drained because social events tend to be overstimulating for me. Often, I can feel the tipping point between the buzz of people energy and the overwhelm of social engagement. 

But it’s also true that the majority of Highly Sensitive people are introverts, and if you’re an extrovert you may find that you can’t necessarily relate to information or posts that are supposed to reflect the HSP experience but are actually about introversion. You are not alone in your Highly Sensitive extroversion, and you are not less valid as an HSP because of your extroversion. 

Are you a Highly Sensitive extrovert? Let me know! I’d love to connect.

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