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10 Things To Remember If You Love An Extrovert

10 Things To Remember If You Love An Extrovert

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.

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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.

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“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.

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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!

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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.

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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