What is the difference between introvert and extrovert? And which one are you?
What does an INTROVERT look like?
Introverts tend to be people who are most comfortable in their own company or spending time with a small, familiar group of friends. They are analytical in their thinking, like to have all of the available facts to hand before making a decision and are probably a little bit uncomfortable when forced into the limelight. Introverts think before they speak.
What does an EXTROVERT look like?
Extroverts, on the other hand, think as they speak! They’re happy to take centre stage, love to talk about anything and everything that comes to mind, are happy being part of a large group and make fast decisions. Extroverts are less happy in their own company and tend to get bored without someone around to keep them amused.
In short, introverts are often described as being energised by enjoying time spent alone with their thoughts, whereas extroverts recharge their batteries by being in a roomful of equally extroverted people!
Am I an INTROVERT or an EXTROVERT?
You probably instinctively know if you’re more one than the other, and you could even be a mix of introvert and extrovert. If you’re not sure, think about this: you’ve had a crazy busy day, you’ve been around a lot of new people, learned lots of new names and spent the whole day chatting.
Now – how do you relax after a day like that?
If the answer is you feel the need to lie down in a darkened room with a good book, you’re probably on the introverted end of the spectrum – but if you’ve already made plans to go out to a party with all of your new friends that same night, we can probably mark you down as a more extroverted type.
Younger people are more likely to think of themselves as extroverted; people may tend to be more willing to accept themselves as introverted as they get older and more comfortable with who they are and the strengths they bring.
And why not, right? It’s not easy being a teenaged introvert. You’re not seen as introverted, you’re seen as a geek or a nerd or an emo. You’re not seen as an analytical, cool-headed decision maker, you’re seen as a boring, swotty stick in the mud.
But here’s the thing; it doesn’t matter whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert – honestly. There are shy extroverts all over the place, who love being outgoing with friends but are just scared of bigger social functions. Just as there are introverts who prefer solitary activities to group ones, but it doesn’t mean they’re never in the mood to steal some limelight; it would just be in a time and place they feel comfortable with.
Introverts and extroverts are fundamentally quite different in the way they prefer to spend their time – of course that’s true. But there is no right or wrong, there is no better or worse, cooler or geekier. Both groups just have a different set of gifts and strengths that they bring – to their families, in the classroom, to their friends and later on, in the workplace.
That friend who is a great listener that you can trust your life with? Introvert.
The friend you can call up any time you’re bored and you know she’ll talk you into going out and having fun? Extrovert.
And you love them both for the different gifts they bring to your life. It’s a cliché, I know, and one we hear a lot, but in the most profound sense – when it comes to differing personalities, it really is all good