Extroverts, Introverts, and Everything in Between
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.
Reality is more complicated than that.
On one side of the spectrum are Extroversion. and introversion. The way you put out energy affects where you fall on this spectrum. You can fall anywhere on this spectrum, not just at one end or the other.
The other myth? People who are shy and outgoing are called introverts.
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 is a more realistic look at what the spectrum of the sceptics and the sceptics is like.
The extrovert-introvert spectrum is just one of the “Big Five” traits that researchers use to study personality. The five traits are:
- To experience openness.
- neuroticism is a problem.
You can be high or low on a trait. Your level of a trait 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 are near the end of things draw their energy from the outside world.
You enjoy working in a group
People who are stroverted tend to be more comfortable working with other people than with people who are not stroverted.
You could organize the group, keep it running smoothly, or even jump in as the leader.
You most likely feel good about your work when you work with other people.
You’re always ready to try something new
Are you outgoing and confident? Do you not fear taking a chance on something you have never done before? Maybe you can change your plans easily.
You probably have a more withdrawn personality.
Extroverts tend to take action. You usually just go for it, not thinking about what might happen.
“People might describe you as impulsive if you don’t spend a lot of time considering all potential outcomes.”
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
Whentroverted people can talk through problems, restate their words, or seek input from other people, they are more likely to understand and solve problems.
What is your go-to approach when faced with a challenge?
You are dealing with a homework assignment, a sticky situation with a friend, or a tough task at work. Do you want to get different perspectives on it? Do you have to sort through your thoughts out loud?
You are likely more of an individual.
You find it easy to express yourself
Extroverted people usually have no problem expressing their feelings. Minor preferences, such as the foods you dislike, can be included in these.
Some people think of you as blunt, but the ability to clearly communicate how you feel without hesitation or worry can be a positive trait.
Spending time alone can drain you
People who aretroverted are best in the company of other people. You might move from one social setting to another, like having people around you most of the time, and avoid spending time alone.
“If spending time with other people energizes you after a long, stressful day, you’re likely more extroverted,” MacCutcheon explains.
It suggests you are an escort if you are tired, cranky, or out of sorts after a long day on your own.
You find the good in everything
Optimism is one key way Extroversion. often shows up.
“Being optimistic doesn’t have to mean you’re cheerful and happy. If something bad happens, you probably still feel down, just like most people.”
You may be able to find silver linings in a negative situation. You are more likely to bounce back when something bad happens instead of feeling drained and overwhelmed.
You make friends easily
People who aretroverted are usually very friendly.
You might fall on this end of the spectrum.
- Have a group of friends.
- Enjoy meeting new people.
- “It is easy to have heart to heart conversations with people you don’t know.”
“Some people might think that you aren’t as close to someone as you think, but this isn’t necessarily the case. You have a few friends that you feel connected to.”
People on the introverted end of the spectrum get a bad rap.
It is often said that they are.
- shy or socially awkward
- lack strong interpersonal skills
- “Good leaders don’t make good leaders.”
These characteristics are not related to introversion, which is the idea that your energy comes from within.
You consider things carefully
When faced with a new opportunity, you probably spend a lot of time thinking about it before you make any decisions.
Research may back this up. A
This means that more-reflective introverts use more rational methods to make decisions.
“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 be related to a preference for reflection. A dislike of conflict can also be a factor.
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 join a debate or discussion, you might be more likely to share your ideas in a written form. Responding in writing gives you the chance to think about what you want to say first, which is probably what you’re most comfortable with.”
You’re good at visualizing and creating
People on the more irrately inclined end of the spectrum spend a lot of time in their heads. Your friends and loved ones might say you are always off in your own world.
That world is where you do your best work. You can use your imagination to come up with new ideas.
Sharing thoughts and feelings out loud may not be easy, but it might be natural to write, illustrate, or set them to music.
You’re a natural listener
If you are an irrately inclined person, socializing can drain your natural energy reserves so you prefer to listen and absorb what is happening around you.
You usually settle into the background when you are at work, among friends or in other social settings.
The myth that people are shy or anxious is caused by their tendency to quietly observe.
You can 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. You listen and weigh ideas carefully, and you often have quality ideas to contribute.
“Is it a problem that people don’t like being leaders? A carefully considered perspective that includes not only your thoughts but those of your coworkers and peers is a lot of value.”
You need plenty of time for yourself
It is suggested that if you need to replenish your batteries after a long day by enjoying some quiet time alone, you are an irritative nature.
“You probably don’t have a large social network, but this doesn’t mean you avoid people. You most likely share your social energy with a few friends.”
“You value the people you do feel comfortable with even if you don’t make friends easily.”
You are thinking, “neither one sounds like me!”
Maybe you have a combination of the two lists that fit your personality. You might take a little time to think over a decision that involves some risk, but then you take action without looking back.
There is 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 settings and alone
People who are irrverted feel exhausted after a lot of socializing. Extroverted people who spend a lot of time alone often notice a drop in their moods.
You might not feel drained by either situation, as an ambivert. You can spend time on your own and around other people in the same amount.
“If you are closer to one end of the spectrum, you may notice a small change in your mood, but it won’t deplete your energy as much as if you were at the other end.”
Active listening comes naturally to you
A key communication skill, active listening goes beyond simply listening.
You are engaged in the conversation when you actively listen. You consider what is being said and offer thoughtful responses.
You are more likely to listen carefully and respond helpfully in conversations, instead of just jumping in with your opinion.
You’re flexible when it comes to problem solving
Ambitious people may not feel committed to any one approach to figuring things out. You might be comfortable talking about some of the problems, but you might like to take notes or draw on the paper.
This can be helpful since a new method can offer a new viewpoint.
You’re more decisive than impulsive
Extroverts tend to take chances without thinking too much about possible outcomes, while introverts tend to think things over cautiously.
“You might be willing to take a chance after a brief thought. You don’t devote a lot of time to reconsider once you make up your mind to do something.”
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
Group dynamics can be kept running smoothly by mbiverts.
You are comfortable speaking when needed, but you are also ready to give others a chance to speak. If a conversation is faltering, you might add a quick comment or ask a thoughtful question that will get people talking again.
This can help you balance out your social situations. It is easier to understand how both people might feel in the same place. You might have a good idea of how to engage someone of any personality type.
You adapt easily to new situations
“You might feel comfortable engaging with others on short notice if you don’t always need to have people around.”
“Maybe you don’t feel like giving a speech at a meeting or talking to someone on a plane because you put down your book.”
“You are able to work with what is happening around you, even if it wasn’t your first choice.”
Your personality can help you make important life choices, such as the type of work you do, the environment you want to live in, and 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.
There are some key differences between brains of people who are both in and out of the picture.
- 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
Extroverts are considered an ideal personality by some people. Others think that ambiversion is the best of both worlds.
If you ever wanted to change your personality style, here are a few things to keep in mind.
- No personality style is better than any other style.
- Introversion and Extroversion. simply indicate preferences for getting and expending energy, but there’s room for variance.
- People are not always an introvert or an escort. Understanding your nature can help you understand how you see the world.
MacCutcheon says to ask yourself why you want to change.
Do you feel like there is something missing in your life? Or something you wish you were better at?
Try to put that energy into learning and developing new skills that will help you meet your goals instead of trying to change your personality.
“You can play to your strengths and develop new skills if you want to, but you can’t change your nature.”
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.
“Knowing more about your personality style can help you understand where you fall on the spectrum, and teach you more about your emotional needs. Don’t let this knowledge hold you back.”
MacCutcheon says that we all use both sides of the spectrum in different circumstances. It is important to develop skills to exercise both ends in order to be successful.