‘Extroverts sparkle, introverts glow. Extroverts are fireworks; introverts are the fire in the hearth’ ~ Sophia Dembling
Are you an extrovert – Gregarious and the life of the party?
Or, are you an introvert – Self-contained and reserved?
Ever heard of an ambivert? It is someone who displays classic traits of both introverts and extroverts in specific situations. An ambivert might engage in boisterous conversation at a party but at the same time, they also enjoy dinner and a movie alone.
Extroverts love meeting new people. They are the life of the party and their outgoing, vibrant nature draw people to them. They thrive being the centre of attention and usually like it that way. Social situations fit them like the proverbial glove. They are the ones who introduce themselves to others at a party or gatherings and don’t shy away from unfamiliar situations. They seem fearless of the unknown and do not always cope well alone. Too much alone time drains their natural energy and they recharge the internal batteries by being around other people. Extrovert personality traits you might recognise:
Extroverts are friends with many people from all walks of life. They engage well with others and feed off of the energy from those they are in conversation with. They usually have a large social network and are not afraid to expand their horizons with new interests and activities. They discuss their problems with others and are likely to express themselves openly and make clear their preferences and choices.
Extroverts are flexible and able to adapt to any situation when problems arise. Usually armed with a plan of action, they begin a project, plan a holiday or undertake any task. While extroverts also experience troubles or difficulty like anyone else, they are often more able to let it roll off their backs.
Extroverts are sometimes wrongly accused of overly-talkative or attention-seeking individuals. This is an unfair assumption. In reality, they simply gain energy from engaging in social interaction. They gain inspiration, stimulation and excitement from talking and discussing ideas with others.
“I am rarely bored alone; I am often bored in groups and crowds.” ~ Laurie Helgoe
Introverts are sometimes labelled as weird, eccentric or even uninteresting because they don’t portray the characteristics of an extrovert. They prefer silence for a reason and it’s usually to listen attentively as others converse. In a world where interaction with others is encouraged, silence for the introvert holds the potential for creativity, problem-solving and healing. Introvert personality traits you might recognise:
Introverts can enjoy the company of others as long as the interaction is minimal. They are usually highly sensitive individuals and are quite content in their own space. They find it difficult having ‘meaningless’ conversations with others and could feel uncomfortable, wondering why on earth they accepted an invitation.
These individuals enjoy solitude, space and quiet. They would much rather curl up in their favourite chair with a good book than make small talk at a gathering they’d much rather avoid. Introverts would rather be where the big crowds aren’t and it’s not because they dislike people. They actually crave meaningful interaction and empty chitchat is avoided at all costs where possible.
In a working environment, they work best when they can focus deeply without any interruptions. They process their thoughts, emotions and ideas internally. In general, introverts are creatures of habit and they prefer to know what’s coming, especially when socialising is involved. They love spending time alone and feel strangely happy when plans are cancelled.
Extroverts may label introverts as unenthusiastic or apathetic when discussing routine, generic conversation topics. But get them going on something they really love and their passionate response might just come as a surprise. Introverts are good listeners and because they process information internally, they tend to hear, understand and provide careful considered insight when they do respond.
They are observant individuals and they notice things others might not. When sitting quietly in a conversation, they are actually soaking in the information and thinking critically. They might use their observant nature to take notice of people’s body language and facial expressions. These traits make them better at interpersonal communication.
So what it boils down to is it doesn’t matter where in the spectrum you fit in. Maybe you have traits of both an introvert and extrovert. We are all special in our own way. Celebrate your uniqueness instead of hiding it in the fear that you might be misunderstood!