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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 30, 2020

          How to Live a Stress Free Life in a Way Most People Don’t

          How to Live a Stress Free Life in a Way Most People Don’t

          Learning how to live a stress free life may seem impossible, but the truth is that there are specific things you can do to begin eliminating sources of stress.

          No, it doesn’t look like a made-for-television movie. No, it doesn’t look like something only people with extra time and money can do. It looks like your life—but without any self-created stress triggers.

          Here are 11 ways to help you live a stress-free life:

          1. Stop Overanalyzing Situations That Haven’t Happened

          The first step to living a stress-free life is to stop overanalyzing imaginary scenarios. It’s easy to spend time in the world of worst-case scenarios. People tend to cultivate this world for one of two reasons.

          First, because if you know what the worst-case scenario is, then it won’t surprise you when it happens. Second, if you know what the worst-case scenario is, then you can do everything in your power to control the universe so the worst case never happens.

          If that’s really the world you want to cultivate, then become a professional risk assessor. If not, then ask yourself how you are benefiting from continuing to live that way.

          Does it make you feel better about yourself and your life? Does it make you want to leap out of bed in the morning, eager to embrace the worst-case scenario? Does it bring you joy or fulfillment?

          If your answer to these three questions is no, then stop living in the future and bring yourself back into the present.

          2. Don’t Take on Other People’s Problems

          The whole advantage of other people having problems is that they aren’t your problems. When you frequently take on other people’s problems, you get into the habit of enabling.

          Let’s get crystal clear about the definition of enabling: enabling is the art of continuing to take responsibility for other people, thereby disallowing their personal responsibility[1].

          It is of no service to other people to take on their problems because they can’t/won’t/don’t know how to fix the problem.

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          It is of service to empower others to take responsibility for themselves and their lives, to encourage, teach, and motivate others to address their own problems. So stop enabling, and start empowering.

          3. Get Present in the Moment

          Being present in the moment involves being in your body and feeling your feelings—two things that lots of folks actually don’t know how to do.

          Ask yourself these two questions: What does fear feel like in your body? What are you afraid of?

          If you don’t know the answer to these questions, you probably aren’t present in the moment. Being present involves vulnerability, humility, and openness[2].

          How to live a stress free life by being present

            The past and the future stop being so relevant and intriguing when you’re able to get in your body and feel your feelings. When you can do these two things, you actually want to be in the present moment.

            To get started, close your eyes, focus on your breathing, and watch your stress levels drop. Then, try these tips: How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying.

            4. Focus on What You Have, Not What You Don’t

            The easiest way to stop focusing on what you don’t have is by not watching TV commercials. Marketing teaches us to focus on what we don’t have, and advertising campaigns spend millions of dollars convincing us that we must have what we don’t yet have.

            Can you think of a marketing campaign that teaches you to enjoy what you already have without buying something to enhance it? Odds are you can’t.

            In a world dictated by Super Bowl commercials and Facebook ads, it takes stalwart focus to recognize what you have more than what you don’t. If you want a stress-free life now, get stalwart, and stop letting other people dictate your focus.

            In order to do this, try cultivating a gratitude practice to help refocus your mind toward what is good in your life. You can get started with this guide.

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            5. Stop Surrounding Yourself With People Who Don’t Make You Happy

            Honestly, what kind of people do you really like to be around with? People who get you, who see you clearly, who accept your flaws and all; people you can be yourself with; people who have shared interests?

            How many of those people are in your life? What characteristics do all of the other people in your life have?

            If you find that the people in your life aren’t adding anything positive, it may be time to make some changes. If you find that other relationships you have are downright toxic, start working to cut out those relationships immediately.

            6. Find a Job That Makes You Feel Good

            You don’t have to stay at a job just because it pays the bills. Most people spend more time working than sleeping. The average person spends 40 to 80 hours a week—or 2,000 to 4,000 hours a year—working. That is a significant investment!

            If your best friend or child told you that they were going to spend 4,000 hours giving their emotional, mental, and physical energy to something (or someone) that wasn’t going to value them, give anything back to them, or pay them what they were worth, what advice would you offer? Give that same advice to yourself. You won’t be stress-free unless you don’t learn this[3].

            Here’re 11 Signs That You Should Leave Your Job.

            7. Only Take on What You Can Handle

            Busyness is an addiction. Slowing down can actually be terrifying because it causes you to notice that you have feelings that you now have time to feel.

            I get it.

            By the time I slowed down, I had decades of busyness under my belt. I went into a tailspin depression because I didn’t understand how to be in the right relationship with my own emotions.

            When I finally figured out that feelings are just feelings and allowing them to express themselves is healthy and natural, I stopped experiencing withdrawal from my addiction to busyness and started figuring out the pace of life that felt best for me.

            Remarkably, I discovered that I don’t actually like being busy. What will you discover about yourself?

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            8. Let Go of Grudges and Anger

            For me, it took 20 years of adulthood to figure out that holding on to grudges and anger only hurt me. Lucky for you, though, you can benefit vicariously from my experience just by reading one short paragraph!

            No one is holding your feet to the fire, demanding that you hold on to grudges and anger. The energy of anger slowly eats away at your body, mind, and spirit, until one day you wake up more resentful than optimistic.

            One day, people no longer want to be around you because the stink of negativity is oozing out of your pores. One day, you even get tired of hearing yourself get angry. And the person or people you are angry at or holding grudges against probably haven’t been affected at all.

            Who gets hurt the most in that process of repeating negative thoughts? You do.

            Some good advice for you here: How to Let Go of Resentment and Anger

            9. Stop Reliving Your Past

            To live a stress-free life, you have to stop reliving your past. I know it seems like fun to compare everything in your present to your past, and to experience the present through past-colored glasses, but it actually isn’t.

            When you wear past-colored glasses, you can’t truly experience the present for what it is. Your boyfriend or girlfriend gets compared to a list of expectations and failed relationships rather than recognized for the unique blessing they are in your life.

            Your boss gets compared to all the bosses who came before her/him. Your friends’ ability to parent gets compared to your parents’ ability to parent.

            People, including you, deserve to stand on their own past-free merit.

            10. Don’t Complain About Things You Can’t Change

            There are always going to be people elected into office whom you don’t like, taxes that you don’t want to pay, idiot drivers who refuse to move out of the left-hand lane, and a person ahead of you in the check-out line who won’t stop chatting with the clerk.

            The great benefit of being human is that we get to experience all of what life offers us. To live stress-free is to learn to deal with this fact.

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            Dwelling on your frustration with something that can’t be changed doesn’t do anything other than drag you down. You are the only person who will ultimately decide how to respond to what is.

            11. Stop Living Through Other People’s Lives

            Someone else’s life is not your life. Your life is your life.

            What that means is you get to live your life in the way you want. You get to make ridiculous mistakes, take leaps of faith, and stuff things inside your handbag of fear just as much as the next person.

            Going through stuff is the whole great messy adventure of being human! Being alive and living life is terrifying and glorious and everything in between.

            Stop living through social media, trying to soak in all of the experiences everyone else is having. Focus, instead, on what it feels like to be you in this moment. You may find you like it.

            Final Thoughts

            An astounding thing happens when you reduce stress and anxiety, get into a relationship with your body, mind, and spirit, and just be yourself without judgment.

            Your life literally slows down. You stop wishing for the weekend. You begin to live in each moment, and you start feeling like a human being. You just ride the wave that is life, with this feeling of contentment and joy.

            You move fluidly, steadily, calmly, and gratefully. A veil is lifted, and a whole new perspective is born through improved mental health. And this is how you live a stress-free life.

            More Tips on How to Live a Stress-Free Life

            Featured photo credit: Drew Coffman via unsplash.com

            Reference

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