By Mikey Rox
Being gay and an extrovert seems to go hand-in-hand. Many of us have an innate ability to connect with others that makes being outgoing look effortless, but the truth is, sometimes we need a break just like the rest of the world. Take a breather and reflect on everyone else’s obsession with you with these five reasons why being an extrovert is sometimes the pits–even though you wouldn’t have it any other way.
- You’re Expected to Be ‘On’ From the Minute You Pop Out of Bed
I wouldn’t say that I’m not a morning person–I like to think I’m fairly agreeable when I wake up–but I also work from home on a regular basis and generally take my time getting ready for the day, which probably contributes to my upbeat demeanor. But even when I have an off day, people notice, and I’m sure you’ll recognize the same. Just try keeping to yourself during the first couple hours at the office and see what happens. By noon, an all-hands meeting will be scheduled to discuss how your personality is affecting productivity, your cube mate will have a doctor’s appointment on your calendar, and your mother will be blowing you up on text because your boss called with concern. Alas, this crisis can be avoided; you just have to grin and bear it on life’s rainy days too.
- Your Straight Pals Rely On You to Be Their Social Director
When I go out on the town, I’m usually the axis of my group. It’s not that I surround myself with wallflowers either; all my friends are perfectly social, yet they seem to like it when I take the wheel. We go to sporting events, shows, bars, restaurants–all the typical things you do with friends. Not only am I the one planning the activities, but it also happens that I’m literally and physically the center of attention. I’m smack dab in the middle of the situation so everybody can benefit from my wit and charm equally while not worrying about having to work so hard for laughs themselves. It’s tiresome, and it’s resulted in canceled plans more than once when I’m not up for being everybody’s tour guide/comedian/camp director.
- The Fate of Your Friends’ Weddings Is in Your Hands
I’m asked one specific question by nearly every bride to whose wedding I’m invited: “You’re gonna dance, right?” You see, over the years I’ve built a reputation of being a mover and shaker on the dance floor–so much so that that reputation precedes me, and even before I accept the invitation I’m expected to be part of the evening’s entertainment. There have been a few weddings, however, where I just wasn’t feeling the boogie. Perhaps the music wasn’t right, maybe I was a little hungover from the previous night’s festivities, or, and this is the most likely scenario, I didn’t feel like being a show monkey for a free buffet and a slice of stale cake. Just let me be. Just once I’d like to select a couple overpriced kitchen items from the gift registry like the rest of the guests and be allowed to sit at my assigned seat while getting blitzed on the open bar as I cry inside about how I’ll never find someone to love me. You know, like a normal person.
- People Are Worried About Your Health and Safety If You Take a Break from Social Media
True story: I’m currently traveling as I write this column and I haven’t had time to post my quippy and, oftentimes, hourly observations on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as much as my friends and followers are accustomed. Hand to God, earlier today I received a message from one of my social media contacts asking me if I’m OK because I “haven’t posted in days.” In reality, I updated my status about 24 hours ago, but he’s about to call in a missing person’s report because I’m enjoying my vacation. Next time, I’ll send out announcements so people can prepare.
- Basically If You Don’t Have Rainbows Shooting Out of Your Butt at All Times, the World Might End
Don’t get me wrong here. Even though I’m probably sounding a little complain-y, I’m glad I’m an extrovert. I mean, I can’t imagine what it’s like being a gay introvert who inevitably gets treated like the extrovert everyone else wants you to be because me and the rest of the constant attention seekers in the LGBT community have ruined anonymity for you. But even though it seems easy being us, we have a lot of the same insecurities, feelings of isolation, and even loneliness. We’re just better at hiding it, mostly by bending over backwards to please other people–or else. Frankly, I wish rainbows did shoot out of my butt just so I didn’t have to talk so damn much. Wouldn’t that be nice? I’m sure my hangers-on would agree–if they could ever get a word in edgewise.
Mikey Rox is an award-winning journalist and LGBT lifestyle expert whose work has been published in more than 100 outlets across the world. He splits his time between homes in New York City and the Jersey Shore with his dog Jaxon. Connect with Mikey on Twitter @mikeyrox.