If you love an extrovert and happen to be a little introverted, or just a bit different, here are some pointers about what is going on. The first is that Carl Jung defined the introvert/extrovert difference as a spectrum of behaviors.
The introverts tend to be reflective, contemplative and are not great socializers nor conversationalists. At the other end of the spectrum, the extroverts are outgoing, gregarious, love company, and talking. They also tend to make quick decisions and thrive on immediate gratification.
The truth is that most people will display both tendencies (ambiversion) but one end of the spectrum usually dominates. Here are 10 points to remember about extroverts to help you understand them better.
1. They know the value of a really good conversation
Come back extroverts – all is forgiven! In this day of Facebook and smartphones, nobody seems to be into real live conversations anymore. When you go to a restaurant with friends, people seem to be attached to their devices and so conversation suffers. Everyone is connected but nobody is talking anymore as the New York Times reports. Extroverts will usually put that right and get people talking, laughing and telling jokes. If you are a quiet type, just remember they are now performing a very useful social function!
2. They want their rewards now
The study of biological psychology is a fascinating one. The parts of their brains which govern the dopamine flow which controls reward, learning and how they respond to new situations seem to be more active. This is the main reason why they generally will want to get immediate gratification. An example would be the urge to spend a windfall on an outing or a holiday rather than save it up to buy a car or house later on. Now you understand why they are not great savers.
3. They know the limits of social media
Extroverts want to make real social contact and have a great time rather than slaving over a hot screen! An extrovert may have lots of friends on Facebook but cannot wait to have offline interaction.
“Strangers are just friends I haven’t yet met.” – Carol Pinchefsky, writing in Forbes Magazine
They are also less likely to post sentimental stuff on their page. It is also interesting that they would rather share their joys about their relationship in a face-to-face situation. Researchers at Albright College, Pennsylvania found that those people who were more reliant on RCSE (Relationship Contingent Self-Esteem) were more likely to boast on Facebook about their relationships. They were also more likely to monitor their partner’s activity on social media.
4. They find it easier to move into the career fast lane
Being outgoing, charming and cheerful has enormous advantages in the workplace. The extrovert can really gain an advantage over shyer and more introverted colleagues, simply because they come across as being more assertive. Just think of networking inside and outside the office. In one interesting study chosen by the American Psychological Association, researchers found that these people could come across as being more competent. This was not always a reliable yardstick of their real competence, though.
5. They love being in the spotlight
While shyer people like me will steer clear of the spotlight, the extrovert just basks in the attention and loves it. This also explains why many stars in media and entertainment happen to be extroverts. It also affects their choice of hobbies and their sports as they are always thirsty for adventure and new experiences. It is hard to imagine an extrovert being a stamp collector.
6. They tend to get bored easily
Many extroverts find that being in a quiet room with a book is not an ideal situation for them although they also need their quiet moments. They fail to see any advantages in being bored. They may have a short attention span and they usually need some external stimulus to keep their batteries charged. The upside of all this means they tend to be more innovative as they seek out new experiences. If you are an introvert, you may find that you have to negotiate some quiet time for yourself, at times.
7. They are more likely to live much longer
Extroverts may not know it but having such a wide social circle is one hell of an advantage when you want to live longer. If you are an extrovert, you have an enormous advantage over lonely people. You have a vast network of friends and acquaintances to call, in case of need. In fact you have a 50% greater chance of living longer than those poor lonely souls. There were 148 studies which involved over 300,000 people which showed this very clearly. Now, if you are committed to a long term relationship with your extrovert loved one, this is good to know!
8. They are happier than most other people
“Extroverts are simply more cheerful and high-spirited,” – Paul Costa and Robert McCrae, researchers at the National Institute of Aging.
A new study shows that extroverts, regardless of their nationality or social and economic status are just happier all round the globe. Timothy Church, the author of this study, has said this is the first one in which personality traits seem to override cultural differences. Now if that happiness is infectious, you may be on to a good thing.
9. They comprise 75% of the US population
Yes, there are a lot of extroverts around, it seems. They also seem to get promoted to leadership roles, but they have to careful to let other team members and let quieter staff get a word in edgeways. In other words, it is better to take a back seat at times and let others contribute when the company is formulating new strategies. Some extroverts have to count to three to help them ‘dial it back’.
10. Compromise is the name of the game
If you love an extrovert, you may find that some reciprocal respect and compromise will work wonders for your relationship. You can reach agreement on what socializing you want to do as a couple. You can also negotiate what kind of quieter activities you want to do alone or as a couple. Introverts find socializing a drain on their energy while extroverts thrive on it. Once you both understand and appreciate where your energy is coming from, you will be able to learn and grow.