What Is An Extroverted-Introvert – And Are YOU One?

What Is An Extroverted-Introvert – And Are YOU One?

Are you one of those people who has never quite felt like an introvert but are definitely not an extrovert? Have you read descriptions of either personality and thought, “Mmmm, close, but not quite?” If so, you might be what is called an extroverted introvert (EI).

Extroverted introverts, also called “outgoing introverts”, “ambiverts,” or “social introverts” have qualities of both personalities. They are not entirely loners but don’t necessarily enjoy spending time with large groups of people.

Most people are, in fact, somewhere in the middle of the extrovert/introvert spectrum, sharing qualities of both introversion and extroversion. Let’s take a look at some of the characteristics of an extroverted introvert.

You are Sensitive to Your Surroundings

How you feel can be directly linked to your environment. What kind of music is playing, how many people are there, and the overall noise level can affect you greatly. If you’re an EI, you will either feel energized or drained depending on your surroundings.

You Have a Love/Hate Relationship with People in General

There is a part of you that truly enjoys meeting new people and hearing their personal stories. Then there is the other part of you that loathes the idea of spending every second of the day with other people. You like people, but you can only take them in small doses.

You’re Both Outgoing and Introspective

You’ve been known to hold your own in witty small talk and can make a room full of people chuckle. But when alone, you are generally thinking about the meaning of life and other huge topics. You like to have fun, but if you’re honest, you prefer to be left alone to think things through.

You take A While to Warm Up Around Others

You’re more like a cat than a dog. While you can be outgoing and find other’s company enjoyable on occasion, you’re not going to feel comfortable around strangers right off the bat. It takes you awhile to warm up to new people and situations before you are truly comfortable enough to let loose and be yourself.

No One Believes You’re an Introvert

Whenever the topic comes up and you tell your friends and relatives that you’re actually an introvert, no one believes you.

If this sounds like you, welcome to the club. Many artists, writers and other creative types often identify as extroverted introverts so you are in good company!

The Enneagram: An Introduction

The Enneagram: An Introduction

Being a therapist, I value transformational work. Over the past 10+ years I have studied the Enneagram, a holistic system based on many ancient wisdom traditions combined with modern psychology. For me, it’s a model of personal transformation that leads to a path for growth.


The Enneagram is a geometric figure, stemming from the Greek for ‘nine’—ennea—and ‘figure’—grams, giving us the ‘9 pointed figure’. The actual origins of the symbol have been lost to history, though many of the abstract ideas, geometry and mathematical derivation suggest it has roots in classical Greek thought (Riso Hudson).


In the early 1900s, Greek-Armenian born teacher and philosopher Ivanovich Gurdijeff brought the Enneagram symbol to light. Through his teachings of psychology, spirituality and cosmology Gurdijeff enlightened students to their place in the world and purpose for life.


It wasn’t until the 1950s when Oscar Ichazo discovered the connection between the symbol and personality types that the wisdom of the Enneagram formed what we know of it today. Ichazo unlocked the connection to the 9 passions, based on the 7 deadly sins plus fear and deceit to further describe each persons tendency to ‘miss the mark’ in some way or, as a therapist I like to call it ‘distort’ our thinking, feeling and doing in ways that cause us to lose center.


In 1970, Claudio Naranjo, a noted psychiatrist who used gestalt therapeutic techniques, studied with Ichazo to further develop and teach the Enneagram which grew in popularity throughout the western world. From there, Don Riso and Russ Hudson, along with other authors, have spent countless hours developing further material to succinctly categorize the 9 personality types for us who long to grow in self discovery.


The Enneagram presents 9 personalty types and where each of us may recognize within ourselves behaviors from each type, there are defining characteristics of one that dominates.


What I love about the Enneagram is how holistic and thorough it is. Generally, when clients are new to the Enneagram, I urge them to gather the information, learn about the primary instincts, read about the types, take a test, but more importantly, sit with the information awhile, talk to others who know you best and see what resonates.


A helpful resource to start with is The Essential Enneagram by David Daniels.


If you’re interested in learning more, click the link below to find out how Heather can lead an Enneagram training for your group or organization!


About the Author

Heather Mitchell is a licensed mental health counselor with Star Meadow Counseling. One of her career passions is studying and teaching the Enneagram as a tool for self-growth. 

3 Common Misconceptions About Therapy

3 Common Misconceptions About Therapy

Until quite recently, people were uncomfortable discussing therapy because of the stigma attached by our society. As a result, there are still some fairly big misconceptions about it. Here are 3 of the most common misconceptions about therapy to help you feel more comfortable and hopefully, take that step to seek treatment.

It’s Just Like Talking to Your Friend

While friends are there to listen and support you, they are not equipped to offer real solutions to your problems. Therapists, on the other hand, are uniquely qualified to help you by offering more than just good advice.

Therapists have trained to have a deeper understanding of human nature. They can help you recognize your own behavioral patterns as well as offer tools to make necessary adjustments. They can also help you to gain a fresh perspective on the events of your life and the choices you’ve made.

And finally, we don’t always want our friends or family to know what’s going on in our lives. Because therapy is confidential and because your therapist’s only vested interest in you is helping you improve yourself and overcome your challenges, it is generally easier talking openly with them. Only by being totally honest and transparent about your life and yourself can you hope to create lasting change.

Therapy is All About Dredging Up the Past

Many people assume therapy consists of spending 45 minutes each week, laying on a couch, talking about their childhood. You can thank Frazier Crane and Sigmund Freud for those stereotypes! In reality, therapy isn’t all about the past. Counselors care about how you are doing present-day and what your goals are for the future. Every counselor has a theoretical approach to therapy (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Psychodynamic, Solution-Focused, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Jungian, etc.), and each approach has a unique perspective on the role of the past in therapy. Counselors that adopt a solution-focused approach don’t care about the past much at all!

How does the past come to play, then?

First, therapists do have to look at a client’s history to get a clear picture of their experiences and patterns. While many people who are new to therapy may not want to spend any time “wallowing in the past,” they must understand that the first phase of therapy is to gather information. A therapist must ask some questions about their new client’s life history in order to truly understand him or her. Past experiences do have a way of shaping our personalities and our beliefs about ourselves and the world around us.

Secondly, significant life events from the past may be worth processing, but only if it’s something both you and your therapist both agree would be beneficial. Some clients specifically seek out therapists with a trauma specialty for the explicit purpose of healing past wounds. Even then, processing past events is meant to improve your life as it exists today. Clients are taught a variety of coping skills to alleviate any anxiety or triggering that may occur when discussing sensitive events from the past.

You’ll Start to Feel Better Immediately

Many people new to therapy make the mistake of quitting when they don’t feel better after one or two sessions. The truth is, it will take one or two sessions just to tell your story and develop a sense of trust. Therapy shouldn’t be thought of as a quick fix but a process that is unique to each individual. And, it is important to understand that the process won’t always feel good, though it will be completely worthwhile in the end.

If you or a loved one is interested in exploring counseling, please contact us today. We have a counselor that might be able to help!

Answers to 3 Questions about Boundaries in Counseling

Answers to 3 Questions about Boundaries in Counseling

1. How does confidentiality work in therapy? Seeing a counselor is sort of like being in the witness protection program. Even the fact that the counselor knows you is kept private and confidential. That means that when they run into you out in public, the counselor...

Negative Thoughts are Like Country Music

Negative Thoughts are Like Country Music

Imagine for a moment that the negative thoughts running wild in your brain played like a country song on repeat. Would any of the songs have titles like these?   “She Don’t Think My Beard Is Sexy” “All Alone Again (In My Truck)” “My Guitar Only Has Three Strings”...

How to Get the Most Out of Counseling

How to Get the Most Out of Counseling

Most people start the counseling process with a readiness for change. Some may not know the specifics yet for how they’d like that change to look (maybe that’s why they’re in therapy), but in some way, they are not 100% satisfied with the status quo. When you step...

Embody Boldness: Overcome Your Fear of Failure

Embody Boldness: Overcome Your Fear of Failure

The fear of failure can be paralyzing. In fact, a fear of failure can derail a life's passion, sap out motivation, and sometimes stomp the brakes on all forward momentum. It's what convinces you NOT to apply for that promotion, NOT to ask that girl out, and invites...

6 Ways Counseling Helps You Get Unstuck

6 Ways Counseling Helps You Get Unstuck

Do you ever feel like a hamster on a wheel—as if you are going through the motions of life, but not actually moving forward? People often come to counseling when they are in this state of stuck-ness. Here’s how we’ve heard clients describe their personal brand of...

7 Photos of Our New Office

7 Photos of Our New Office

We’ve moved to a new office!

Don’t worry; we didn’t move far. Our new office is in the same building (10000 NE 7th Ave, Suite 403, Vancouver, WA 98685). You’ll take the stairs or the elevator up to the 4th floor for your counseling appointment. Our new space is in Suite 403.

Enjoy our expanded lobby, the upbeat instrumental music, and the convenience of an iPad check-in system! Welcome in!



We can’t wait for you to see our new space!