Introverted or extraverted
Extrovert vs. Introvert: How They’re Different
There are a lot of myths surrounding the concept of introverts versus extroverts — one of the main ones is that it’s an “either-or” situation.
You’re either an extrovert or an introvert. End of story.
But reality is a bit more complicated.
Extroversion and introversion live on two opposite ends of a spectrum. The way you get and put out energy helps determine where you fall on this spectrum. But you can fall anywhere on this spectrum, not necessarily at one end or the other.
The other huge myth? Introverts are shy and extroverts are outgoing.
Megan MacCutcheon, LPC, further explains that “people sometimes assume introverts always have social anxiety or dislike being around others while extroverts are always loud, aggressive, and boisterous.”
Here’s a more realistic look at what the extrovert-introvert spectrum looks like and why one end isn’t any better or worse than the other.
The extrovert-introvert spectrum is just one of the “Big Five” traits that researchers use to study personality. The five traits are:
- openness to experience
You can be high or low on a particular trait, or fall somewhere in the middle. But your “level” of a trait — for example, how extroverted you are — is thought to be stable across different situations and times in your life.
Let’s focus in on the extroversion trait. In our day-to-day lives, we tend to call people high in extroversion “extroverts,” and those low in extroversion are the opposite, “introverts.”
People who tend to fall near the extrovert end of things draw their energy from the outside world: the people, places, and things around them.
You enjoy working in a group
Extroverted people tend to feel most comfortable when working with other people, whether the task is a work project, party planning with friends, or a school assignment.
You might organize the group, keep it running smoothly, or even jump in as the leader.
No matter how you participate, you most likely feel energized to do your best work when that work involves active collaboration with other people.
You’re always ready to try something new
Are you confident and outgoing? Not afraid of taking a chance on something you’ve never done before, even if it’s a little risky? Maybe you find it easy to change plans or adapt to a new situation.
If so, you probably have a more extroverted personality.
Extroverts tend to take action rather than ponder. Once you decide to do something, you usually just go for it without worrying too much about what might happen.
You may not spend a lot of time considering all potential outcomes, and people might even describe you as impulsive.
On the bright side, some studies suggest that people who are more extroverted are also more innovative.
Talking through a problem often helps you solve it
Extroverted people often find it easier to understand and solve problems when they can talk through them, restate them in their own words, or seek input from other people.
What’s your go-to approach when faced with a challenge or difficult problem?
Say you’re dealing with a homework assignment, sticky situation with a friend, or tough task at work. Do you talk about it to as many people as you can to get different perspectives? Sort through your thoughts out loud?
If so, you’re likely more of an extrovert.
You find it easy to express yourself
Extroverted people usually have little to no trouble expressing thoughts, feelings, and opinions. These can range from minor preferences, such as the foods you dislike, to deeper emotions, including romantic feelings.
While some people might think of you as blunt, the ability to clearly communicate how you feel without hesitating or worrying what others might think can often be a positive trait.
Spending time alone can drain you
Extroverted people recharge best in the company of other people. You might move from one social setting to another, like to have people around you most of the time, and avoid spending time by yourself whenever possible.
“If spending time with other people energizes you after a long, stressful day, you’re likely more extroverted,” MacCutcheon explains.
Feeling tired, cranky, or out-of-sorts after too much time on your own also suggests you’re an extrovert.
You find the good in everything
Optimism is one key way extroversion often shows up.
Keep in mind that being optimistic doesn’t have to mean you’re relentlessly cheerful and never sad. If something bad happens, it still affects you, and you probably still have days where you feel down — just like most people.
But you may have an easier time finding silver linings in a negative situation. You’re also more likely to focus on those and bounce back more readily when something bad happens instead of feeling drained and overwhelmed.
You make friends easily
Extroverted people are generally known to be very sociable.
If you fall on this end of the spectrum, you might:
- have a large circle of friends
- enjoy meeting new people
- find it easy to have heart to heart conversations with strangers or people you don’t know very well
Some studies link higher extroversion with longer life, but it’s impossible to know whether being extroverted is really the cause. However, one theory is that extroverts’ strong social networks may support better health.
Some people might view your expansive social circle as a sign that you aren’t that close to anyone in particular, but this isn’t necessarily the case. You likely have a few best friends or people you feel extra connected to.
Folks on the introverted end of the spectrum sometimes get a bad rap.
It’s often said that they’re:
- shy or socially awkward
- lack strong interpersonal skills
- don’t make good leaders
But these characteristics don’t really have anything to do with introversion, which simply means your energy comes from within — instead of from people and things around you.
You consider things carefully
When faced with a new opportunity, or any big decision, you probably spend a good amount of time thinking it over before you make any plans to proceed.
Research may back this up. A 2020 study found that a person’s level of extroversion may be associated with the strategies they use to make decisions. In addition, people who were more extroverted scored lower in rational decision-making.
This means that extroverts may use less rational methods to make decisions than more-reflective introverts do.
People with a more action-oriented approach may not always understand why you devote so much time to reflection, but this tendency to look before you leap may help you feel confident you’re making the right choice for yourself.
You prefer to avoid conflict
Generally speaking, introverted people are less likely to strike up conversations with people they don’t know well, or even with people they do know well.
This can relate to a preference for internal dialogue and reflection. But a dislike of conflict can also play a part.
Research suggests introverts often have a higher sensitivity to negative feedback. If you’re worried someone might criticize you or view you in a bad light, you won’t have much interest to put yourself in any situation that leads to that outcome.
If you do join a debate or discussion, you might be more likely to share your ideas in written form, anonymously, or both. Responding in writing gives you the chance to think over what you want to say first, which is probably what feels most comfortable to you.
You’re good at visualizing and creating
People on the more introverted end of the spectrum often spend a lot of time in their heads. Your friends and loved ones might say you’re always off in your own world, or something along those lines.
But that world is where you do your best work. You might think through challenges or use your imagination to brainstorm new ideas.
Sharing those thoughts and feelings out loud may not come easily to you, but it might seem completely natural to write, illustrate, or set them to music.
You’re a natural listener
If you’re introverted, socializing can drain your natural energy reserves, so you prefer to listen and absorb what’s happening around you.
When at work, among friends, or in other social settings, you usually settle comfortably into the background.
The myth that introverts are shy or socially anxious stems from this natural tendency to quietly observe.
Sure, you might avoid small talk, prefer to let the noise of the crowd wash over you, or feel better when you can tune everyone out with headphones. But you also listen and weigh ideas carefully, and when asked for your opinion, you often have quality ideas to contribute.
And the whole thing about introverts not being leaders? There’s a lot of value in a carefully considered perspective, especially one that includes not only your thoughts but those of your coworkers and peers.
You need plenty of time for yourself
Needing to recharge your batteries after a long day by enjoying some quiet downtime alone tends to suggest an introverted nature, according to MacCutcheon.
This doesn’t mean you always avoid people, but you probably don’t have a large social network. Instead, you most likely share your available social energy with a handful of close friends.
Even if you don’t make friends easily and see no need to widen your circle, you highly value the people you do feel comfortable with.
“But wait,” you’re thinking, “neither one sounds like me!”
Maybe a combination of traits from the two lists best fit your personality. For example, you might take a little time to think over a decision that involves some risk, but then you take action decisively without looking back.
Well, there’s a word for that.
Ambiversion describes a personality style that lies somewhere in between introversion and extroversion. If you’re an ambivert, you’re closer to the middle of the spectrum, so you might feel more introverted at times and extroverted at others.
If the signs below ring true for you and you’ve never fully identified with introversion or extroversion, you just might be an ambivert.
You do well in social settingsand alone
Introverted people usually feel exhausted and worn out after a lot of socializing. On the other hand, when extroverted people spend a lot of time alone, they often notice a drop in mood and energy levels.
As an ambivert, you might not feel too drained by either situation. Maybe you enjoy spending time on your own and around other people in fairly equal amounts.
You might notice small changes in your mood if you’ve been doing more of one than the other, but it may not deplete your energy as much as it would if you were closer to one end of the spectrum.
Active listening comes naturally to you
A key communication skill, active listening goes beyond simply listening.
When you actively listen, you’re engaged in the conversation. You consider what’s being said and offer thoughtful responses.
In conversations, you’re more likely to listen carefully and respond, often helpfully, instead of quietly absorbing the conversation or immediately jumping in with your take on things.
You’re flexible when it comes to problem solving
Ambiverts may not feel too committed to any one approach to figuring things out. You might be comfortable talking over some types of problems, while you might like to take notes or doodle when solving others.
This can be really helpful since trying a new method can sometimes offer a new viewpoint you hadn’t considered.
You’re more decisive than impulsive
Introverts tend to think things over carefully, while extroverts may show more of an inclination to take chances without spending too much time pondering possible outcomes.
As an ambivert, you might be willing to take chances after giving them some brief thought. Once you make up your mind to do something, you generally don’t devote too much time to reconsidering.
You do spend some time considering choices before you make them but generally make a decision fairly quickly. And while you might get some background information about what you want to do, like moving to a new area, you don’t feel the need to do exhaustive research to support your decision.
Drawing others out is a natural talent
Ambiverts often have a knack for keeping group dynamics running smoothly.
In a group of people, you’re comfortable speaking when needed, but you’re also ready to give others a chance to say their piece. If a conversation falters, you might add a quick comment or ask a thoughtful question that gets people talking again.
This can also help you balance out friend groups or other social situations. You likely find it easier to understand how both introverts and extroverts might feel in the same setting. As a result, you might have a good instinct for the best ways to engage someone of any personality type.
You adapt easily to new situations
Even if you don’t always need to have people around, you might feel fairly comfortable engaging with others on short notice.
Maybe you don’t feel too bothered by putting down your book to talk with the person next to you on a plane, switching from a night out to a night in (or vice versa), or giving an impromptu speech at a meeting.
This may not have been your first choice, but you’re generally able to work with what’s happening around you.
Your personality can help you make important life choices: the kind of work you do, the environment you want to live in, even the type of person you want to date.
Like other aspects of personality, your position on the introversion-extroversion scale is an innate part of who you are. Your unique combination of genes contributes to your personality, and your genes aren’t something you can change.
Research suggests there are some key differences between brains of introverted and extroverted people, including differences in:
- learning and motor control
- language acquisition
- language use
Extroverted people may also have higher levels of dopamine in their brains. Experiencing more of a dopamine release when trying new things, making new friends, or simply engaging with surroundings can link these activities to increased positive feelings, strengthening these extroverted traits.
It takes all kinds
Some people see extroverts as more successful and consider this an ideal personality. Others may think of ambiversion as “the best of both worlds.”
If you’ve ever wished you could change your personality style, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- No personality style is right, wrong, or better than any other style.
- Introversion and extroversion simply indicate preferences for getting and expending energy, but there’s room for variance.
- People generally aren’t exclusively an introvert or an extrovert. Understanding your nature can help you learn more about how you see and deal with the world.
“If you feel compelled to change your introverted/extroverted/ambiverted nature,” MacCutcheon says, “ask yourself why you want to change.”
Do you feel like there’s something lacking in your life? Or something you wish you were better at?
Instead of trying to change your personality, try to put that energy toward learning and developing new skills that will help you meet those goals.
You may not be able to change your nature, but you can play to your strengths and work at developing new skills.
Your personality is uniquely yours — whether you tend toward extroversion, introversion, or ambiversion. There’s nothing wrong with any one of these styles. They’re just ways to describe how you get your energy and relate to the world.
It can help to know where you fall on the spectrum, since knowing more about your personality style can teach you more about your decision-making process, your emotional needs, and your ideal self-care toolkit. But don’t let this knowledge hold you back.
“In reality,” MacCutcheon concludes, “we all utilize both sides of the spectrum in various circumstances. In order to be most successful in the world, it’s important to develop skills to exercise both ends.”
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This article was medically reviewed by Sharon Greene, LCSW, who specializes in treating anxiety and depression at Providence Saint John's Child & Family Development Center in Santa Monica, CA.
Medically ReviewedReviewed By Check Mark IconA check mark. It indicates that the relevant content has been reviewed and verified by an expert
Our stories are reviewed by medical professionals to ensure you get the most accurate and useful information about your health and wellness. For more information, visit our medical review board.Experts say that introversion and extroversion exist on a spectrum, and most people fall somewhere between the two. Lyndon Stratford/Getty Images
- Most people aren't strictly introverted or extroverted, but fall somewhere in between.
- Introverts tend to feel drained after a lot of socializing, while extroverts tend to feel energized.
- There's nothing wrong with being either an introvert or extrovert and there are benefits to each.
You might use a variety of characteristics to describe your personality, including whether you tend toward introversion or extroversion. Renowned Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung is credited for developing these terms, which refer to how a person focuses their energy.
In basic terms, introverted people direct their energy inward to their own feelings and thoughts, while extroverted people direct energy outward to other people and their environment.
Plenty of misconceptions surround these core personality types. Stereotypes often present introverts as naturally withdrawn, shy, and antisocial and extroverts as charismatic, outgoing, boisterous, and assertive.
In reality, personality is far more complex. In fact, most people fall somewhere in between these two types, says Laurel Steinberg, PhD, a licensed psychotherapist in private practice.
Below, experts distinguish between introverts, extroverts, and ambiverts, and offer tips for embracing your personality, however you define it.What's an introvert?
Contrary to popular belief, introverts don't necessarily dislike socializing — rather, it tends to tire them out.
If you're an introvert, you might feel most energized being alone and even need a rest day from socializing to recalibrate, the same way people need a day off from activity after a vigorous workout, says Aimee Daramus, PsyD, a licensed clinical psychologist at Urban Balance. That said, you may still deeply value socialization. In fact, a 2015 study found that high-quality relationships play a key role in introverts' overall happiness.
Some signs you may be more introverted, according to Daramus and Steinberg:
- You find it easy to make alone time enjoyable and meaningful.
- You prefer smaller, more intimate gatherings.
- You need to internally process events for longer before sharing thoughts, feelings, and reactions with others.
- You tend to keep your schedule on the lighter side to avoid overstimulation.
- You have very close relationships with a smaller number of friends.
- You spend considerable time internally reflecting on your options before making big decisions.
- You need downtime before and after socializing.
There are many pros to being an introvert, particularly when it comes to maintaining and strengthening relationships:
- Thoughtfulness: Introverts are often highly self-aware and excellent listeners, says Steinberg — which tends to breed long-lasting relationships.
- Strong observational skills: A 2018 study found that introverts tend to make more accurate observations about human behavior than extroverts. In other words, they may be able to "read" people and understand them better. This is likely because they spend more time observing than interacting, which can make them very insightful, says Jennifer Dragonette, PsyD, Clinical Services Instructor at Newport Healthcare.
- Less impulsive: They also tend to think before speaking, says Dragonette, meaning they're less likely to say something hurtful or unkind out of impulsivity.
- Potential awkwardness in social settings: Introverts may feel awkward in larger groups of people, says Steinberg. Introverts are often misunderstood as well, says Dragonette — people may assume they're unfriendly or aloof due to their more internal, observant nature.
- Difficulty managing emotions: A small 2020 study also found that introverts may have more trouble managing their emotions. Researchers suggested this could happen in part because introverts have a tendency to turn inward to grapple with negative feelings. As a result, they might ruminate or dwell on unwanted emotions, rather than seek help coping with them.
As a result of these traits, introverts might have a slightly harder time making new friends or networking, according to Daramus.What's an extrovert?
An extrovert is someone who thrives on and is fueled by connecting with others, says Steinberg.
Overall, they place more importance on their social relationships. They still may occasionally need alone time, says Daramus, but they can typically handle less rest between social interactions.
Whereas introverts process things internally, Dragonette says extroverts often prefer to "think out loud" in order to work through problems.
Some signs you may be more extroverted, according to Daramus, Steinberg, and Dragonette:
- You feel energized or refreshed after social events.
- When something big happens, you instantly text or call a friend to unpack it.
- You'd rather work in a group than independently.
- You enjoy talking to strangers.
- You have hobbies that involve social interaction, like a running club or volunteering for an organization.
Extroverts are often very comfortable and confident in social situations, which can make a strong impression on others. This strength can lead to the following advantages:
- An easier time connecting with new people: Extroverts have no trouble forging connections with people in a variety of situations, from dating to professional networking, says Steinberg.
- A strong drive to achieve goals: A 2019 review linked extroversion to a greater motivation to pursue goals.
- Plenty of social support: Extroverts may benefit from having a large network of friends and acquaintances.
- Fewer close-knit relationships: While extroverts may have many friends, Steinberg says these relationships may not feel as strong, simply because they have so many connections to keep up with.
- Less skilled at listening: Extroverts sometimes enjoy sharing their own thoughts and feelings so much that they may fail to actively listen to others — which can result in more superficial connections, says Daramus.
- Potential to come across as overly aggressive: A 2016 study found that although extroverts can energize their teammates on group projects, they are often seen as domineering in situations that involve conflict.
Here's a breakdown of the main differences between introverts and extroverts.
What's an ambivert?
Introversion and extroversion exist on a spectrum, experts say, and most people fall somewhere between introversion and extroversion, though they may lean farther in one direction.
Someone who has a balanced mix of introvert and extrovert traits is called an ambivert — a term first coined by American psychologist Edmund D. Conklin in 1923.
In some ways, an ambivert might enjoy the best of both worlds.
Pros of being an ambivert include:
- The ability to oscillate between introvert and extrovert traits: According to Dragonette, ambiverts can feel out a situation and respond according to what's called for — listening and observing like an introvert, or leading the conversation like an extrovert.
- Social agility: Ambiverts are able to function well both independently and interdependently, says Steinberg. They might make new friends easily while also benefiting from the introspection that comes with solitary time. Since ambiverts feel equally comfortable alone as they do with people, they can relate to both introverts and extroverts.
All that said, there is one potential disadvantage. Being an ambivert can become tiring if you become hyper-focused on reading social cues and balancing conversations to ensure everyone feels understood and included, says Dragonette.Embracing your personality type
There's nothing wrong with being either an introvert or extrovert. Dragonette advises embracing your own unique traits rather than trying to fit into a specific category.
While you may not be able to change your basic personality, you can adopt new habits if your current practices aren't serving you or your goals, says Steinberg.
Introverts, for example, might want to work on developing a more assertive voice in conflict, rather than withdrawing, says Steinberg.
This may involve learning to set boundaries to preserve energy, says Daramus — like leaving a situation that becomes draining or uncomfortable. Or, it may mean learning to express negative feelings through writing when verbal confrontations feel overwhelming.
On the other hand, Steinberg says extroverts might benefit from exploring the benefits of alone time to pursue personal goals, which can boost self-sufficiency and also offer new stories to share with others.
Since extroverts may tend to dominate conversations, Dragonette suggests they practice asking open-ended questions as a way to encourage more introverted loved ones to participate.Insider's takeaway
Both introversion and extroversion lend themselves to unique strengths.
More introverted people might glean valuable insight into social situations through listening and observing and take advantage of alone time to pursue personal interests and goals. More extroverted people, on the other hand, might find it possible to make new connections and grow a large social network almost effortlessly.
Wherever you fall on this spectrum, just know there's no wrong or right way to be. In other words, you don't need to change your personality. Leaning into your strengths, and actively working to adjust any habits that may be holding you back, can have more of a lasting impact on day-to-day happiness, health, or success.
Rebecca Strong is a Boston-based freelance writer covering health and wellness, food and wine, fitness, and travel. In addition to contributing to the Health Reference and Kitchen verticals at Insider, she has also written for Healthline, Health magazine, Bustle, StyleCaster, PopSugar, AskMen, and Elite Daily. You can follow her work on Twitter.
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what personality types are and how they differ, who are ambiverts
Many people think that an introvert and an extrovert are just two sides of the same coin. Will you stay at home on Friday night or meet up with friends? Will you be the center of attention or away from the spotlights? In fact, a person is not white or black, there are no pure types in psychology, experts assure. There are people, for example, very tall or short, but most strive for average values. So it is with extroversion. This is just one of the five main personality traits (openness to new things, conscientiousness, pleasantness, neuroticism), so it cannot completely determine our behavior. Let's take a closer look at what introvert and extrovert mean.
Psychology of communication
The famous psychiatrist Carl Jung at the beginning of the 20th century identified types of people - extroverts and introverts. In psychology, this distinction became convenient and popular, and over time began to be used to define a person in ordinary life. Knowing who you belong to, it is easier to understand yourself and choose a circle of friends. Sometimes it seems to us that the world is ruled and dominated by extroverts. Although, in reality, they can just make themselves louder, making more noise. But is the gulf really that deep between an introvert and an extrovert? Do the former really need help and support in order to develop their own talents and not remain on the margins?
Everything is not as categorical as it seems at first glance. Yes, open and closed people exist. But there are many examples when an extrovert and an introvert behave in unexpected ways, because each person throughout life demonstrates flexibility and opens up from different angles. And in these categories there is a place for the golden mean. We will talk about it and the main opposites from the point of view of psychology below.
What does introverted personality type mean? The tendency to introversion is manifested if you like to spend time alone with yourself, your thoughts and ideas. If you do not know how to determine whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, try to find the following main features in yourself. They are characteristic of those who prefer to isolate themselves from the outside world more often.
- love of being alone;
- unwillingness to be the center of attention;
- one-on-one preference;
- first think, then do;
- recovery alone;
- work in a quiet independent environment;
There is a big difference between introversion and shyness. Shy people are often also afraid of what others will think of them, while introverts do not have negative emotions and such fears.
Just because introverts don't like big groups doesn't mean they can't make friends and relationships. In this sense, they are almost no different from extroverts. In addition, they can make great careers simply by sticking to roles in which loneliness is possible: accounting, engineering, writing, driving trucks, etc.
The main difference between an introvert and an extrovert is the desire to focus more often on their own feelings and thoughts . They are characterized by a greater concentration than representatives of the opposite camp. It is unfair to call them socially isolated, selfish or unhappy people.
Introverts also desire to communicate, show feelings, and care for others. But the difference is that an introvert will do all this with more restraint, "impartiality" than an extrovert. So the talk that people who are less generous with emotions love order too much, are sensitive to negativity, or are “on their own minds” are also groundless. These are already other characteristics, from the category of neuroticism.
How an extroverted personality type manifests itself
It is difficult to blame anyone for being passive or loving solitude, but this is an extrovert. He just needs to draw strength from external sources. To shine and find grateful listeners in the society is about them. Hence the significant differences: an extrovert knows how to present himself, and an introvert, no matter how smart and educated, is not always capable of this.
Such people direct their energy outwards - to other people and the realization of their ideas. We have looked at personality types in which an introvert manifests itself, and you can compare the main traits with an extrovert.
- many acquaintances and friends;
- love of attention;
- fast decision making;
- getting energy from being among people;
- enthusiasm and positive attitude;
- work in a team or group.
Extroverts tend to get more support from other people when they find themselves in difficult situations. And in general, there is a stereotype that society loves extroverts more, so they more often become leaders and choose sales, marketing, PR and other areas where communication with people is important.
It is important to remember that this is only one of the characteristics. And there is a big difference between a pleasant introvert and a rude extrovert.
By the way, people often talk about introverts as being too sensitive, unlike extroverts. The latter, they say, go through life easier and are not led to mental troubles. American psychologist and researcher Elaine Eyron has carefully studied the issue of sensitivity and came to curious conclusions. In particular, the writer noticed that Jung singled out in extroverts a love of risk, the ability to enter into a conversation without a shadow of a doubt and speak their mind. In his opinion, introverts are completely incapable of these feats.
And Elaine Ayron believes that about a third of highly sensitive people can be called extroverts. She singled out the concept of "social extrovert", which differs from Jung's introvert in that the former easily make acquaintances and feel confident in crowded places. Otherwise, they are even similar.
The definition of introvert and extrovert can help leaders and managers when working with employees. In particular, when issuing orders. It will be more difficult for an extrovert to cope with a task that requires perseverance and attention to detail. And it is desirable to encourage the initiative of introverts, not allowing extroverts to become "irritants" in the team.
Despite the fact that the extrovert and introvert have significant differences, they are able to get along in the same unit of society. You probably noticed in the company a ringleader and a “quiet woman”, in a pair a more impulsive spouse and her “obedient” husband, and so on. They find compromises and interact with the whole world, and not just representatives of their "clan".
An introvert and an extrovert at the same time: an ambivert type
As soon as a friend refrains from a verbose conversation or wants to read a book alone on the weekend, you involuntarily begin to write him down as an introvert. Labels are always easier to attach. So there is a feeling that the person was able to “bite through”, which means it will be easier to build an appropriate relationship with him. But you should know that there are not only extrovert and introvert, but also other concepts.
Introverts and extroverts view pleasure differently. Their source for this is different. For one, this is a quiet rest, and for the other, being in the center of attention. But if after a noisy party there comes a desire to sit alone, this is the golden mean. The ambivert is the bridge between the introvert and the extrovert, containing the qualities of both. Psychologists believe that it is mixed personality types that prevail. Barry Smith, professor emeritus and director of the Laboratory of Human Psychophysiology at the University of Maryland, claims that ambiverts make up 68% of the total population.
Thanks to this view, we understand that not everything is so simple in the psychological portraits of people. Ambiver is the middle between the introvert and extrovert, it has its features:
- Flexibility in communication
- The ability to value charms of loneliness
- The desire to go out (dosed)
- ability to adapt to situation
- A good listener and an speaker
They took the best from two fronts, combining the character of an introvert and an extrovert. According to psychologists, ambiverts become worthy managers because they show leadership qualities and remain reasonable, able to stop and delve into issues. They are equally comfortable shining in society and secluded from prying eyes.
Indiana State University Shyness Research Institute Director Bernardo Carducci believes that the prevalence of introversion and extraversion is strongly influenced by genetics. The cross between an extrovert and an introvert - ambiversion - is also a hereditary tendency, not an acquired one.
How to know if you are an introvert, extrovert or ambivert
Most people are in the middle of the extroversion scale. This means that an introvert and an extrovert in their absolute form are extremely rare. And this is very good. Everyone has their own temperament, which reveals our emotionality to one degree or another, reflects actions. But this is only one of the puzzles of the multifaceted nature of man.
Extroverts and introverts, whose characteristics should not be reduced to the peremptory "open soul" and "lone wolf", can actually make friends. To do this, it is enough to mark the boundaries and build a dialogue.
There are many tests to determine your type, but they are of little importance and should not determine your life as the ultimate truth. Experts believe that one cannot forcibly change one's personality by stepping on one's own throat. But with a signal to leave the comfort zone, everyone can show and develop the necessary qualities. Therefore, the difference between an introvert and an extrovert is the same as between all people - there is a common thing, but individuality always comes first.
We briefly reviewed the concepts of extrovert and introvert, but it's like a horoscope - a conditional division, common points, but you can't treat everyone with the same brush. It doesn't matter if there are two people nearby or a hundred. It is much more important to cultivate positive personal qualities in oneself!
Extrovert: who is it, signs, difference with introverts
Dividing people into extroverts and introverts began about 100 years ago. We tell you who an extrovert is, what are its disadvantages and advantages, and how such a person can succeed in a career
Who is an extrovert
An extrovert is a sociable, expressive person with an active social position. His experiences and interests are directed to the outside world. Extroverts meet most of their needs through interaction with people. So they replenish energy, receive information and rest.
Extraversion is one of the main personality parameters. This is evidenced by the five-factor model of personality - the "Big Five". According to this theory, personality consists of five main dimensions: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotionality, openness. Each of them has two poles. For example, extraversion is the opposite of introversion. Some people may lean towards one particular extreme, but most fall somewhere in between. In modern psychology, experts don't divide people into extroverts and introverts. According to research, each of us has traits of both personality types.
The history of the concept
The division of people into introverts and extroverts, as well as the terms "extroversion" and "introversion" was first proposed by the German scientist Carl Jung in the 1920s. According to Jung, extraversion is a behavioral type, and an extrovert person concentrates his interests on society. Introversion, on the other hand, is characterized by a focus on one's own thoughts and feelings.
As early as 1923, Jung recognized the existence of a third type, ambiversity, but did not include it in his typology of intro-extraversion. Carl Jung typed people in the direction of their life energy - libido. So, for extroverts, attention and pleasure is directed to objects, and for introverts, personal experience and subjective experiences are of paramount importance.
Jung's research was subsequently developed by the German-British psychologist Hans Eysenck. He developed his own three-factor theory of personality, in which he singled out three main personality dimensions. One of them is "introversion-extroversion". Eysenck argued that a person directs energy inward or outward - on other people, which determines the type of personality.
It is generally accepted that there are more extroverts in the world than introverts, but there are no exact statistics. Psychologists suggest that extroverts are more often "in sight", hence the conclusion that there are more of them. But adapted introverts can easily behave like extroverts.
Barry Smith, director of the Human Psychophysiology Laboratory at the University of Maryland, says that 68% of the world's population are ambiverts. Such people combine the traits of extraversion and introversion.
Signs of an extravert
American psychologists identify such signs of extraversion as:
- the need to communicate regularly;
- love of public speaking;
- habit of speaking without thinking;
- feeling of discomfort in silence;
- love for noisy companies;
- pronounced leadership qualities;
- desire to please everyone;
- desire to always be in the spotlight;
- the pleasure of working in a team;
- the ability to talk about one's feelings;
- the presence of a wide circle of communication.
In 2015, American experts described two types of extroverts:
Agentive extroverts are persistent, purposeful, stubborn people. They care about career and personal success.
- At work . They occupy leadership positions. They take on maximum responsibility, but do not always rationally distribute forces. Such people are able to quickly navigate and make decisions, but rarely think through steps ahead. It lacks patience and perseverance.
- Alone . It is difficult for agentive extroverts to sit still, as their nature requires constant dynamics, new emotions and victories. It is important for such people to feel that something is happening around them.
- In the circle of close people. Openly share emotions and experiences.
- With strangers. Grab attention due to self-confidence. Becoming the leader of a group of strangers is a challenge for such people. An extrovert does not get tired of constantly being with someone, on the contrary, for him it is a comfortable environment.
Affiliative extroverts or "social butterflies". For these people, communication is the most important thing. Affiliative extroverts easily establish contact with people, they tend to have many friends and acquaintances. Among the main values for this type of people are warm relationships.
- At work. Team players. The best option for them is if the work is related to communication: many meetings and calls, business trips; responsibilities include organizational tasks and supervision of team members. For affiliative extroverts, the microclimate in the team is especially important.
- Alone with yourself. Feel discomfort. In this they are similar to agentive extroverts - they restore energy through communication with people.
- In the circle of close people. They try to build trusting relationships. Do not be afraid to talk about feelings and experiences. This is influenced by their main priority - high-quality communication.
- With strangers. Quickly find a common language due to openness and sociability.
Pros and cons of extraversion
Extraversion helps in building a career, but it also has a negative impact on everyday life and communication with people. This was found out by American researchers during a survey in 2012. They compiled a general list of the pros and cons of extraversion.
- Perseverance. The ability to achieve what you want even in difficult circumstances.
- Self-confidence. This quality helps to start a conversation with strangers or people of higher status.
- Flexible thinking. Quickly navigate and adapt to new circumstances - the routine of an extrovert. Without this, a person of this type can get bored.
- Ability to make quick decisions. But this advantage has a downside - the decision will be rash. A typical extrovert does not like to think about something for a long time, weigh the pros and cons and find the most suitable option. He just knows how to make decisions quickly.
- Ability to communicate.
- Potential for quality public speaking.
- The ability to switch quickly.
- Ability to grasp on the fly.
- Obsession. Excessive persistence can turn into a significant disadvantage.
- Selfishness turning into narcissism. An extrovert always wants to be the center of attention. He is interested in leading the process and eventually receiving praise. This can grow into hypertrophied vanity.
- Inability to plan.
- Tendency to not see things through to the end. The reverse side of the ability to quickly switch from one task to another.
- Distracted attention.
- Tendency to quickly change interests and priorities.
The difference between an extrovert and an introvert
An introvert is a person who tends to accumulate energy within himself. He chooses solitude and creation, concentrates on his own interests and intentions. Communication is not a priority for an introvert.
Colin DeYoung, a psychologist at the University of Minnesota, described the differences in the brains of extroverts and introverts. He found that extroverts have a more active dopamine reward system, so they need constant stimulation from the outside. That activity that brings pleasure to the extrovert and helps to satisfy the needs, the introvert irritates, and sometimes depresses. Differences in the work of the reward system lead to the fact that introverts are the least prone to sociability and an active lifestyle. But they have a more “quiet” neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, that works faster. He is responsible for all human movements. Acetylcholine brings the brain out of a state of rest when it is necessary to act, and vice versa, inhibits the transmission of impulses when it is time to concentrate.
Other American researchers use the term "adventurism gene". Extroverts are distinguished by the desire to get new experiences. For an introvert, on the contrary, interaction with people, activity, quickly turns into overexcitation and fatigue. Therefore, unlike extroverts, they are less prone to sociability and an active lifestyle.
To determine what type of personality you have, take the TED test (or this one in Russian, but you have to answer more than 200 questions). And with the help of the Myers-Briggs indicator, you can more specifically determine your personality type and strengths.
Is it possible to change your personality type?
Susan Kane in the book Introverts. How to use the features of your character "writes:" Introversion and extraversion are formed in the first months of life or even during pregnancy. By the age of four months, a baby can most likely be assigned to one of two groups. Genetics play a significant role in determining personality, but people can become more or less extroverted.
To develop extraversion , researchers offer to participate in interest clubs or engage in favorite hobbies in a group. So it will turn out to expand the circle of communication and interests, make new acquaintances and improve communication skills with each lesson.
To reduce extraversion, scientists recommend practicing meditation to give yourself the opportunity to focus on your own thoughts and feelings. It pays to spend more time alone. Walk in nature, read, cook and eat alone, reflect. The bridge from extrovert to introvert is journaling. Writing allows you to better understand your own feelings.
How to raise an extroverted child?
Psychotherapist and communication trainer Ivan Pritulyak notes that extroverted teens are prone to aggressive behavior and disregard for social norms. This is accompanied by complex and strong emotions of the child. The expert recommends talking to children about how they feel and why they may behave aggressively. Every day a child experiences a full range of feelings. For the development of a healthy psyche, this entire spectrum must be recognized and experienced.
“It is highly likely that introverted parents will have an extroverted child. In this case, parents should try to maintain their peace of mind and not move away from the child, ”says Pritulyak.
Introverts are good listeners. It is important for extroverts to discuss what is in their hearts, to experience emotions. “An introverted parent is able to build a trusting and close relationship with an extroverted child by listening. The child will say everything himself, ”adds Pritulyak. He should be able to communicate when and with whom he wants - ask a stranger about something on the bus or say hello to neighbors. Such communication can confuse an introverted parent, but it is enough to ensure that communication does not threaten or harm the child. It is also important to provide extroverted children with regular physical activity. Such a child needs to expend energy, and not accumulate it in himself.
Where it is better for an extrovert to work
It is important for an extrovert to find a place where the hierarchy levels are clearly defined in order to methodically rise to a managerial position. According to Russian psychological studies of pedagogy, our social role depends, among other things, on the type of personality. The need for frequent communication directs the extrovert to work in areas where it is necessary to contact people.
Jobs for extroverts:
- HR specialist. For the typical extrovert, this is the perfect job. For a recruiting manager, every working day consists of communicating with dozens of job seekers.
- Journalist. The applicant must be, first of all, sociable. Extroverts have good potential for building social connections.
- Teacher. Being the center of attention is the most comfortable state for an extrovert. This is one of the tasks of the teacher - to keep the attention of students. And each lesson is a small public performance.
- Tour guide. He should become an interlocutor for a dozen tourists. In addition to the fact that you need to establish a dialogue with the group, the guide should be the center of attention throughout the tour, giving information about the sights. It's also a kind of public speaking.
- Sales manager. Its main task is to interest a potential buyer. This is not only the art of communication, but also the ability to convince.
- Event leader. Such work can leave psychological trauma if a person is not ready for a long public speaking. In addition, the presenter must constantly stir up the interest of the audience and keep its attention on himself.
Find out if you can find a job and build a career according to your temperament and personality type, read here.
Is an extrovert a bad leader?
The leader must be sociable, self-confident, energetic and active. However, scientists from Harvard, Stanford and the University of Chicago found the opposite. Their research shows that introverts perform best in leadership positions because they:
- think over their words and decisions, which prevents them from taking rash actions;
- are good listeners. An extrovert often ignores opinion from the outside and makes a personal intuitive decision, because he is not able to concentrate and carefully think about anything. Due to the developed critical thinking and the habit of "digging deep" introverts have a good understanding of people, their actions and motives;
- is more effective than extroverts in leading the process in times of crisis. Introverts do not sow panic, but approach problems rationally. This is good for the team.
The introvert's management style is called "servant leadership". Such a leader empowers employees, increases their areas of responsibility, boldly delegates and provides opportunities for growth. For an accurate understanding of the leadership style of extroverts and introverts, the researchers suggest comparing Barack Obama and Donald Trump - how they behave and how they act as the President of the United States. So, Obama is known for his thoughtfulness and accurate statements. He was often criticized for being arrogant and aloof.