For years I'd considered myself an extrovert. But that was mostly me bluffing my way through Myers-Briggs, pushing the needle just enough to safely get me out of the dreaded introvert territory.
But as the testmakers themselves reassure you, being an introvert is not necessarily a bad thing, and the ability to actually be extroverted in certain situations does not essentially change your underlying nature.
As I grow older, I find myself becoming more and more introverted. Or maybe I'm just giving in to my normal impulses, worrying less about ego.
I've dated extroverts, and found relief in social situations where I could let them take the lead, participating when and how it suited my inclination and mood. And I've dated introverts, who I admit I sometimes resented for "holding me back." But the truth is, the things that bug us about other people are almost always the things that we find most troubling about ourselves. And those people weren't holding me back, they were simply allowing me the comfort to indulge my true nature, to be the wallflower I sometimes want to be.
I've found I'm especially self-conscious lately, particularly around the acting scene, where there are all these big personalities -- comedians, cut-ups, lives of the party. And there are all these pre-existing tight-knit groups that make you feel like an outsider trying to break in. Which is basically my story of the past few years, jumping late in life into acting -- this feeling of being a sort of party crasher. Someone who hasn't earned his stripes.
I do all the things you're supposed to do. Truly listening instead of always talking. Asking questions. Etc. But still, it's hard getting past this basic awkwardness. I think I'm going to start trying really hard to not try so hard. Maybe that'll help.