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Introvert or Extrovert? Everything You Need to Know About Them

Introvert or Extrovert? Everything You Need to Know About Them

Say you’re organizing a getaway trip. Erica, the extrovert, suggests a wild Vegas weekend extravaganza; Irene, the introvert, wants to stay in a cabin in the mountains; while Amber, the ambivert, prefers a staycation.

Isn’t it frustrating? Your friends are clearly of different personalities, and there’s no one single solution that can accommodate to everyone’s needs.

But truthfully, it boils down to the age-old “extrovert vs. introvert” showdown.

So what’s the difference between an extrovert and an introvert?

Before I get into any definitions, the most important thing you need to know is introversion and extroversion are only a spectrum, and most of us fall along this continuum, which means no one is strictly one way or the other. Famous Swiss psychiatrist Carl G. Jung once said,

There is no such thing as a pure introvert or extrovert. Such a person would be in the lunatic asylum.

    ▲ An extroversion-introversion continuum.

    To differentiate an extrovert and an introvert, the biggest difference is on how they recharge themselves.

    • Extroverts (or those with extroverted tendencies) gain energy by placing themselves in social situations. They don’t mind being under the spotlight, or the center of attention. However, spending too much alone time drains them mentally.
    • On the other hand, introverts recharge by spending time alone. After a long period of time in crowded social situations, they need a desperate break to regain their energy back.
    • The third personality, surprisingly constitutes most of the population, is an ambivert. Ambiverts recharge and regain their energy through a mixture of social interaction and alone time.

    Does it sound a bit too vague? Let’s dig a little bit deeper into each personality type.

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      1. Extroverts: the ones who talk the most

      • People and social situations excite and energize them.
      • They usually initiate and engage in conversations.
      • They can talk about anything with anyone.
      • They don’t mind others paying full attention to them.
      • Meeting new people doesn’t faze them.

      2. Introverts: the ones who prefer thinking over speaking

      • Alone time is the way to recharge.
      • They use their eyes and ears more than their mouths.
      • They don’t like small talks.
      • They prefer standing away from the spotlight.
      • It is quite uncomfortable to meet new friends.

      3. Ambiverts: the ones who are a mix of extroverted and introverted tendencies

      • They often wonder whether they need alone time or external stimulation.
      • They could be quiet during the entire conversation, but also share what they are passionate about.
      • Sometimes, they find small talks insincere.
      • If in the right context, they don’t mind attention, but often they prefer standing at the sidelines.
      • They are fine with talking to new people, but it’s better to do it with their friends.

      Researchers believe our tendencies are related to our genes.

        Psychologist Hans Eysenck discovered that extroverts and introverts have different levels of arousal, which is “the extent to which our minds and bodies are alert and responsive to stimulation”.[1]

        Comparatively, people with extroverted tendencies have lower rate of arousal, which explains why they usually look for stimulations and excitements from their surroundings and other external matters. And introverts are the opposite case.

        Why does it matter though? I already know who I am.

          Sure, you might have already done personality tests a bajillion times, and probably know a thing or two, but for some of us, we still don’t know how to embrace our true selves.

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          Extroverts are often told to stop being obnoxious, introverts are perceived as anti-social, while ambiverts think they have a split personality. The truth of the matter is, learning about who you are allows you to understand yourself better.

          Also, this is a chance to get to know other personality types, and learn to interact with others, which can greatly improve your social and romantic lives.

          We are all unique in our own ways, learn to embrace ourselves.

          There isn’t any preferred personality, and it’s more important to accept everyone for who they are.

          Introverts, socialize in small doses and retreat when needed.

          You are often mistaken as a shy person who lacks interpersonal communication skills. Don’t pressure yourself to be more extroverted. As you think deeply, express your thoughts eloquently, you are developing authentic and meaningful relationships.

          At the same time, don’t criticize extroverts for being obnoxious or annoying, they are simply expressing their emotions to you. They might be constantly reaching out to you, you should protect your alone time to not over-strain yourself mentally.

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          Extroverts, on the other hand, there’s nothing wrong to speak up.

          Others probably think you hog the limelight all the time because you are insecure about yourself, but don’t let them stop you from sharing your thoughts and opinions.

          Also, you like cheer people on, but keep this in mind — introverts need their space, so find the right timing to be the comforter, or else your empathy will backfire.

          Ambiverts, you are not abnormal.

          Are you ever confused of whether you are an extrovert or introvert? Believe it or not, the majority of us are ambiverts. With traits from both sides of the spectrum, you are more flexible than others, because you are equally comfortable being alone and with people.

          You are also more emotionally stable, as you find a balance in being sensitive, while not being influenced easily. The stability also makes you more intuitive — you know when to speak up and when to shut up.

          It doesn’t matter where you stand in the extroversion-introversion continuum, just remember, you are special and it’s time to embrace your true self!

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          Reference

          More by this author

          Chloe Chong

          Chloe is a social media expert and shares lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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          Last Updated on September 12, 2019

          12 Things You Should Remember When Feeling Lost in Life

          12 Things You Should Remember When Feeling Lost in Life

          Even the most charismatic people you know, whether in person or celebrities of some sort, experience days where they feel lost in life and isolated from everyone else.

          While it’s good to know we aren’t alone in this feeling, the question still remains:

          What should we do when we feel lost and lonely?

          Here are 12 things to remember:

          1. Recognize That It’s Okay!

          The truth is, there are times you need to be alone. If you’ve always been accustomed to being in contact with people, this may prove difficult.

          However, learning how to be alone and comfortable in your own skin will give you confidence and a sense of self reliance.

          We cheat ourselves out of the opportunity to become self reliant when we look for constant companionship.

          Learn how to embrace your me time: What Your Fear of Being Alone Is Really About and How to Get over It

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          2. Use Your Lost and Loneliness as a Self-Directing Guide

          You’ve most likely heard the expression: “You have to know where you’ve been to know where you’re going.”

          Loneliness also serves as a life signal to indicate you’re in search of something. It’s when we’re in the midst of solitude that answers come from true soul searching.

          Remember, there is more to life than what you’re feeling.

          3. Realize Loneliness Helps You Face the Truth

          Being in the constant company of others, although comforting sometimes, can often serve as a distraction when we need to face the reality of a situation.

          Solitude cuts straight to the chase and forces you to deal with the problem at hand. See it as a blessing that can serve as a catalyst to set things right!

          4. Be Aware That You Have More Control Than You Think

          Typically, when we see ourselves as being lost or lonely, it gives us an excuse to view everything we come in contact with in a negative light. It lends itself to putting ourselves in the victim mode, when the truth of the matter is that you choose your attitude in every situation.

          No one can force a feeling upon you! It is YOU who has the ultimate say as to how you choose to react.

          5. Embrace the Freedom That the Feeling of Being Alone Can Offer

          Instead of wallowing in self pity, which many are prone to do because of loneliness, try looking at your circumstance as a new-found freedom.

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          Most people are in constant need of approval of their viewpoints. Try enjoying the fact that  you don’t need everyone you care about to support your decisions.

          6. Acknowledge the Person You Are Now

          Perhaps you feel a sense of loneliness and confusion because your life circumstances have taken you away from the persona that others know to be you.

          Perhaps the new you differs radically from the old. Realize that life is about change and how we react to that change. It’s okay that you’re not who you used to be.

          Take a look at this article and learn to accept your imperfect self: Accept Yourself (Flaws and All): 7 Benefits of Being Vulnerable

          7. Keep Striving to Do Your Best

          Often those who are feeling isolated and unto themselves will develop a defeatist attitude. They’ll do substandard work because their self esteem is low and they don’t care.

          Never let this feeling take away your sense of worth! Do your best always and when you come through this dark time, others will admire how you stayed determined in spite of the obstacles you had to overcome.

          And to live your best life, you must do this ONE thing: step out of your comfort zone.

          8. Don’t Forget That Time Is Precious

          When we’re lost in a sea of loneliness and depression, it’s all too easy to reflect on regrets of past life events. This does nothing but feed negativity and perpetuate the situation.

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          Instead of falling prey to this common pitfall, put one foot in front of the other and acknowledge every positive step you take. By doing this, you can celebrate the struggles you overcome at the end of the day.

          9. Remember, Things Happen for a Reason

          Every circumstance we encounter in our life is designed to teach us and that lesson is in turn passed on to others.

          Sometimes we’re fortunate enough to figure out the lesson to be learned, while other times, we simply need to have faith that if the lesson wasn’t meant directly for us to learn from, how we handled it was observed by someone who needed to learn.

          Your solitude and feeling of lost, in this instance, although painful possibly, may be teaching someone else.

          10. Journal During This Time

          Record your thoughts when you’re at the height of loneliness and feeling lost. You’ll be amazed when you reflect back at how you viewed things at the time and how far you’ve come later.

          This time (if recorded) can give you a keen insight into who you are and what makes you feel the way you feel.

          11. Remember You Aren’t the First to Feel This Way

          It’s quite common to feel as if we’re alone and no one else has ever felt this way before. We think this because at the time of our distress, we’re silently observing others around us who are seemingly fine in every way.

          The truth is, we can’t possibly know the struggles of those around us unless they elect to share them. We ALL have known this pain!

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          Try confiding in someone you trust and ask them how they deal with these feelings when they experienced it. You may be surprised at what you learn.

          12. Ask for Help If the Problem Persists

          The feeling of being lost and lonely is common to everyone, but typically it will last for a relatively short period of time.

          Most people will confess to, at one time or another, being in a “funk.” But if the problem persists longer than you feel it should, don’t ignore it.

          When your ability to reason and consider things rationally becomes impaired, do not poo poo the problem away and think it isn’t worthy of attention. Seek medical help.

          Afraid to ask for help? Here’s how to change your outlook to aim high!

          Final Thoughts

          Loneliness and a sense of feeling lost can in many ways be extremely painful and difficult to deal with at best. However, these feelings can also serve as a catalyst for change in our lives if we acknowledge them and act.

          Above anything, cherish your mental well being and don’t underestimate its worth. Seek professional guidance if you’re unable to distinguish between a sense of freedom for yourself and a sense of despair.

          More About Finding Yourself

          Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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