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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 July 3, 2020

          30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

          30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

          In today’s world, true peace must come from within us and our own actions. Here are 30 small things you can do on a regular basis to increase your overall sense of harmony, peace, and well-being:

          1. Don’t go to every fight you’re invited to

          Particularly when you’re around those who thrive on chaos, be willing to decline the invitation to join in on the drama.

          2. Focus on your breath

          Throughout the day, stop to take a few deep breaths. Keep stress at bay with techniques such as “square breathing.” Breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, then out for four counts, and hold again for four counts. Repeat this cycle four times.

          3. Get organized and purge old items

          A cluttered space often creates a cluttered spirit. Take the time to get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year and invest in organizational systems that help you sustain a level of neatness.

          4. Stop yourself from being judgmental

          Whenever you are tempted to have an opinion about someone else’s life, check your intentions. Judging others creates and promotes negative energy.

          5. Say ‘thank you’ early and often

          Start and end each day with an attitude of gratitude. Look for opportunities in your daily routine and interactions to express appreciation.

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          6. Smile more

          Even if you have to “fake it until you make it,” there are many scientific benefits of smiling and laughing. Also, pay attention to your facial expression when you are doing neutral activities such as driving and walking. Turn that frown upside down!

          7. Don’t worry about the future

          As difficult as this sounds, there is a direct connection between staying in the present and living a more peaceful life. You cannot control the future. As the old proverb goes, “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.” Practice gently bringing your thoughts back to the present.

          8. Eat real food

          The closer the food is to the state from which it came from the earth, the better you will feel in eating it. Choose foods that grew from a plant over food that was made in a plant.

          9. Choose being happy over being right

          Too often, we sacrifice inner peace in order to make a point. It’s rarely worth it.

          10. Keep technology out of the bedroom

          Many studies, such as one conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have connected blue light of electronic devices before bed to adverse sleep and overall health. To make matters worse, many people report that they cannot resist checking email and social media when their cell phone is in reach of their bed, regardless of the time.

          11. Make use of filtering features on social media

          You may not want to “unfriend” someone completely, however you can choose whether you want to follow their posts and/or the sources of information that they share.

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          12. Get comfortable with silence

          When you picture someone who is the ultimate state of peace, typically they aren’t talking.

          13. Listen to understand, not to respond

          So often in conversations, we use our ears to give us cues about when it is our turn to say what we want to say. Practice active listening, ask questions, process, then speak.

          14. Put your troubles in a bubble

          Whenever you start to feel anxious, visualize the situation being wrapped in a bubble and then picture that sphere floating away.

          15. Speak more slowly

          Often a lack of peace manifests itself in fast or clipped speech. Take a breath, slow down, and let your thoughtful consideration drive your words.

          16. Don’t procrastinate

          Nothing adds stress to our lives like waiting until the last minute.

          17. Buy a coloring book

          Mandala coloring books for adults are becoming more popular because of their connection to creating inner peace.

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          18. Prioritize yourself

          You are the only person who you are guaranteed to live with 24 hours a day for the rest of your life.

          19. Forgive others

          Holding a grudge is hurting you exponentially more than anyone else. Let it go.

          20. Check your expectations

          Presumption often leads to drama. Remember the old saying, “Expectations are premeditated resentments.”

          21. Engage in active play

          Let your inner child come out and have some fun. Jump, dance, play, and pretend!

          22. Stop criticizing yourself

          The world is a hard enough place with more than enough critics. Your life is not served well by being one of them.

          23. Focus your energy and attention on what you want

          Thoughts, words, and actions all create energy. Energy attracts like energy. Put out what you want to get back.

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          24. Assign yourself “complaint free” days.

          Make a conscious decision not to complain about anything for a whole day. It might be harder than you think and the awareness will stick with you.

          25. Surround yourself with people you truly enjoy being in the company of

          Personalities tend to be contagious, and not everyone’s is worth catching. Be judicious in your choices.

          26. Manage your money

          Financial concerns rank top on the list of what causes people stress. Take the time each month to do a budget, calculate what you actually spend and sanity check that against the money you have coming in.

          27. Stop trying to control everything

          Not only is your inner control freak sabotaging your sense of peace, it is also likely getting in the way of external relationships as well.

          28. Practice affirmations

          Repeat positive phrases that depict the life and qualities you want to attract. It may not come naturally to you, but it works.

          29. Get up before sunrise

          Personally witnessing the dawn brings a unique sense of awe and appreciation for life.

          30. Be yourself

          Nothing creates more inner discord than trying to be something other than who we really are. Authenticity breeds happiness.

          Featured photo credit: man watching sunrise via stokpic.com

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