Is it better to be introverted or extroverted

Introverts Or Extroverts: Here's Which One Has It Better

Introverts Or Extroverts: Here's Which One Has It Better - Barking Up The Wrong Tree

In the US, it’s always seemed like the answer was “extrovert.” Being social is lauded and most people seem skeptical of all that skulking about that introverts do.

There’s no doubt research has shown a number of advantages to being a people person.

Plenty of studies say extroverts are happier:

We compared the upper 10% of consistently very happy people with average and very unhappy people. The very happy people were highly social, and had stronger romantic and other social relationships than less happy groups. They were more extroverted, more agreeable, and less neurotic, and scored lower on several psychopathology scales of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory.

What happens when you take an introvert and make them act like an extrovert? They get happier:

Results replicated and extended past findings suggesting that acting extroverted produces hedonic benefits regardless of disposition. Positive affect increased and negative affect did not, even for participants acting out of character… We conclude that dispositional introverts may indeed benefit from acting extroverted more often…

That’s some pretty eye-opening evidence. (But, to be fair, those chatty extroverts are much better at PR, so let’s reserve judgment for the time being.)

Other research shows there may be a connection between extraversion and intelligence but that’s been debated. On the other hand, what predicts college grades better than IQ? Being an introvert.

Via Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking:

At the university level, introversion predicts academic performance better than cognitive ability. One study tested 141 college students’ knowledge of twenty different subjects, from art to astronomy to statistics, and found that introverts knew more than the extroverts about every single one of them. Introverts receive disproportionate numbers of graduate degrees, National Merit Scholarship finalist positions, and Phi Beta Kappa keys. They outperform extroverts on the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal test, an assessment of critical thinking widely used by businesses for hiring and promotion. They’ve been shown to excel at something psychologists call “insightful problem solving.”

Need a top expert in a field? Might not want to pick that outgoing fellow.

Via Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking:

Teens who are too gregarious to spend time alone often fail to cultivate their talents “because practicing music or studying math requires a solitude they dread.” …Ericsson and his cohorts found similar effects of solitude when they studied other kinds of expert performers. “Serious study alone” is the strongest predictor of skill for tournament-rated chess players… College students who tend to study alone learn more over time than those who work in groups. Even elite athletes in team sports often spend unusual amounts of time in solitary practice.

What about more social areas of expertise, like leadership? It definitely gets more complex. Extroverts are better leaders of passive employees, introverts shine with proactive workers:

…although extroverted leadership enhances group performance when employees are passive, this effect reverses when employees are proactive, because extroverted leaders are less receptive to proactivity.

Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking sticks up for introverts in her TED talk:

Overall, I doubt there’s a clear “better” between introverts and extroverts. They both have strengths and weaknesses, which we’re learning more about every day.

Here are a few more interesting tidbits:

  1. You can generally trust your gut when trying to determine how introverted/extroverted someone is. Faces, handshakes and Facebook profiles are all accurate predictors.
  2. Taste in music is predictive of personality. Enjoy upbeat and conventional tunes? You’re probably an extrovert.
  3. Dog person or cat person? Dog people are 15% more extroverted.
  4. Are you a morning person? They’re often introverts.
  5. Extraversion and introversion predict what sex acts people are interested in.

Me? I remember taking a personality test in college and blowing away the instructors with my introversion score. They were curious to learn more about me but, unsurprisingly, I had little interest in talking with them.

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Key Traits, Pros, and Cons of Each

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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. 

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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.

Potential advantages

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 disadvantages
  • 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.

Potential advantages

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. 

Potential disadvantages
  • 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.

Comparing the two

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

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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who is better to be / HB

  • 9000 then you will probably treat introverts condescendingly. And in vain. They can teach you a lot.

    An extrovert is a personality type aimed at maximum interaction with the outside world and enjoying it. Unlike an introvert, he cannot sit in one place for a long time.

    Video of the day

    Extroverts are not prone to introspection and other "debriefings", they do not dwell on old grievances and failures, easily forget about the bad and try to move on all the time.

    An introvert, on the contrary, is immersed in his inner world, focused on his own experiences and thoughts. Introverts are little dependent on the opinions of others, it is more difficult for them to establish social ties, establish and maintain contacts with the outside world.

    Many people think that extroverts have many advantages over introverts. They attract more attention to themselves, get along better in a team. They are often more motivated to succeed because they are more dependent on what others think of them.

    “In today's world, where technology makes social connections easy, extroverts often have an advantage,” says Mark Warmeyer, a British psychotherapist who has a private practice in Brighton.

    However, according to him, this does not necessarily mean that all people without exception should strive to be extroverts.

    According to psychologists, introverts have some characteristics that extroverts can envy.

    Photo: Pexels

    1 Think first, speak later

    Introverts have a very valuable quality - they tend to collect their thoughts first and then vocalize them.

    Extroverts, on the other hand, prefer to think out loud, notes American psychotherapist Carolyn Ball. It is easier for them to build inferences and come to a certain conclusion by speaking thoughts aloud. Moreover, they prefer to do it in the company of other people. That is, interacting with the outside world.

    Introverts most often first form a certain point of view, and only then voice it. This helps them appear more rational and measured, Ball points out. And in many cases, this becomes an advantage.

    2 Don't worry about other people's opinions

    According to Warmeyer, extroverts are very dependent on social approval. In other words, from someone else's opinion.

    The approval of others is the basis of their self-esteem, Warmeyer emphasizes, while introverts do not have such dependence. Or it is much less pronounced.

    This is the weak side of extroverts. Being at ease with yourself is an important quality, Warmeyer says, because it ultimately allows you to build normal relationships with other people. Normal in the sense that they do not have an endless search for someone else's approval.

    3 Learn to listen

    Introverts are good listeners, less likely to get distracted and interrupt, says Erin McGinnis, a Los Angeles-based psychotherapist.

    Being a good listener is a great quality, she emphasizes. Because giving the interlocutor the opportunity to express their point of view, you contribute to a productive discussion.

    Thus, introverts are the best interlocutors, they can achieve great success in communications.

    According to psychologist Cynthia Lawrence, it is important that, unlike extroverts who like to talk a lot and literally about everything, introverts are the best interlocutors also because they only speak when they really have something to say.

    Photo: Pexels

    4 Be Yourself

    Introverts spend more time with themselves, which is essential for inner growth, says Stephanie Johnson, marketing and communications expert.

    Introverts are more inclined to dialogue with themselves, to introspection. “This is very important because it does not allow a wave of external factors to outweigh the really important and valuable thoughts that arise in your head,” Johnson emphasizes.

    Introverts also know how to be honest with themselves. "It's not always fun, but it's always rewarding," she says. Pexels

    When introverts need to make a decision, they tend to hesitate, reflect, and delve into themselves, she explains.

    Extroverts, on the other hand, are more likely to make quick, impulsive decisions, losing sight of other options and various important factors. Pexels And they learn to appreciate it, and with it the boundaries of personal space.

    Extroverts tend to easily step over them without even noticing how they invade other people's privacy, states Mary Joy, a Florida psychologist.

    Also, according to her, extroverts are more likely to enjoy some activity or event only if they share it with other people. Introverts, on the other hand, are often content to share their impressions of what happened later.

    7 Learn to spend time alone

    Modern society promotes extraversion in every possible way, and the desire for loneliness is not welcome, psychologists state.

    In the corporate world, the ability to work in a team is celebrated in every possible way, and the desire to work alone is considered almost anti-social behavior.

    However, in practice, people who are able to spend time alone, and even more so alone to cope with difficult tasks, are happier.

    After all, one can learn to build relationships with other people only by learning to live in peace with oneself.

    Extroverts should learn from introverts the ability to spend time alone. After all, they do everything on the run, without paying enough attention to introspection, says American psychologist Jeff Nalin.

    In addition, periodically being alone with themselves, taking time to read and think, introverts find new sources of wisdom and inspiration, states Cynthia Lawrence.

    Legal information. This article is for general reference only and should not be taken as a substitute for medical advice. HB is not responsible for any diagnosis made by the reader based on the materials of the site. HB is also not responsible for the content of other Internet resources, links to which are present in this article. If you are concerned about your health, see your doctor.

    Editor: Alexey Bondarev

    Tags: Psychology Health Happiness

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    Is it better to be an introvert or an extrovert? | Ideonomics - Smart about the main thing

    An attempt to answer the eternal question

    In the US, it has always been thought that the answer is obvious - an extrovert. Social skills are encouraged, and most people are skeptical of all these attempts by introverts to hide and not draw attention to themselves. And researchers have no doubt that sociability has its advantages.

    Many studies show that extroverts are happier:

    “We compared the happiest 10% of people with average happiness and very unhappy people. The very happy people were more outgoing and had stronger romantic and other social relationships than people from other groups. They showed more extraverted qualities, were more agreeable, less prone to neurosis, and had fewer points on various psychopathological scales of the MMPI questionnaire.

    What happens when you take an introvert and make him act like an extrovert? He will be happier:

    “Repeated results suggest that extroverted behavior is beneficial in terms of happiness, regardless of baseline conditions. Positive emotions increased, negative emotions did not increase, even if the participant did not behave in the way that his personality structure prompts ... We conclude that even for people prone to introversion, more frequent extraverted activities can really benefit . .. "

    These findings can change your view of the world. (However, to be fair, these extroverted talkers are much better at promoting themselves, so let's leave conclusions for later.)

    Other research suggests that there may be a connection between extraversion and intelligence, but this is debatable. On the other hand, what indicator predicts university grades better than IQ? This is introversion.

    From Introverts by Susan Cain:

    “At the university level, introversion predicts academic success better than cognitive ability. One study examined the knowledge of 141 students in twenty different fields, from art to astronomy to statistics. It turned out that in each of these areas, introverts had better knowledge than extroverts. Introverts account for a significantly larger proportion of academic degrees, finalists in the national scholarship competition, and the most distinguished members of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. They outperform extroverts on the Watson-Glazer Critical Thinking Test, which companies often use in their hiring and appraisal process. They excel at what psychologists call thoughtful problem solving.”

    Need a leading expert in a particular field? Then, perhaps, you should not choose the most sociable guy.

    From the book Introverts:

    “Teenagers who are too sociable to spend time alone often fail to develop their talents because “the practice of playing musical instruments or studying mathematics requires loneliness, which they fear” ... Erickson and colleagues found similar effects of loneliness while studying other professional performers. "Serious solo study" is the best predictor of competitive chess skill... College students who tend to study subjects alone learn more over time than those who work in groups. Even the top athletes in team sports often spend an unusually long time in solo training.”

    What about more social areas like leadership? Here, of course, everything is more complicated. Extroverts are the best leaders for passive employees, introverts shine when their subordinates are active workers:

    worker activity.

    Susan Cain, author of Introverts, defends them in her TED talk:

    In general, I doubt that when comparing introverts and extroverts, it is possible to clearly indicate that one of them is “better”. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, and we learn more about them every day.

    Here are a few more interesting observations:

    You can trust your gut when you're trying to figure out how introverted or extroverted a person is. A face, a handshake, a Facebook profile are pretty accurate indications of this or that.

    Musical tastes say a lot about the type of personality. If you like upbeat and massively popular songs, then you are probably an extrovert.

    Are you a dog or cat person? Dog lovers are 15% more likely to be extroverted.

    Are you an owl or a lark? Early risers are often introverts.

    Extroverts and introverts are prone to different types of sexual activity.

    As for me, I took a test in college and amazed the instructors with how many points I scored on the introversion scale.

    Learn more