What is the Difference Between an Introvert and Extrovert?
Are you an Extrovert? Or Introvert? How would you know?
When people think about the terms “Extrovert” and “Introvert” there are, invariably, many assumptions attached to them. But few of the connotations regarding either label are totally accurate when it comes to describing the type of person we call “Extroverted” or “Introverted.”
When working through personality assessments, always try to think “which description is the most natural me?” After all, everyone has both Introverted and Extroverted tendencies. The goal is to work our way down through the years of nurture, choices, life experiences, and cultural “oughts and shoulds” to identify our reflexive, most naturally comfortable tendency.
What is the difference between an Introvert and Extrovert?
In order to determine this natural tendency, however, we must briefly clarify what we mean by “Extrovert” and “Introvert.” It may come as a surprise to learn that these terms have very little to do with whether you are gregarious and known as a party animal, or whether you sit in the corner and watch quietly at the party. True, some of these behaviors can come out of an “Extroverted” or “Introverted” preference, but the truth is – in the right circumstances – Introverts can also become the life of the party while Extroverts sit back and quietly observe.
So the real distinction between extroversion and introversion is not whether you are outgoing or not, but how do you recharge? Where do you get your energy from?
Extroverts direct and receive energy from the external world.
If you are an Extrovert by preference, it means you direct and receive energy from the external world.=
There’s a clue in the title. People, activity, outward actions are all energizing for the Extrovert. We describe them as “solar powered” because it’s a bit like they get all their energy by drawing from the external world to themselves. Therefore, most Extroverts prefer to talk things out in order to understand them. They will do as much as they can in the world they love most (the external world), often thinking out loud and then trying to move all the words around to work out what they think. In short, they tend to process and evaluate their thoughts out loud and in real-time.
Many Extroverts can recall moments in their lives when they thought out loud and really wish they could rewind time and take back their words, because what came out “wasn’t really what I meant.”
Rate Yourself: Between 1 – 100, how much do you resonate with extroversion?
Introverts direct and receive energy from the internal world.
Introverts, on the other hand, prefer to recharge in the internal world: that complex inner sea of thought, reflection, and ideas milling about inside their head.
They often need to break away from the external demands of people and activity in order to truly recharge their (emotional and mental) batteries. We often say they’re “battery-powered.” Whereas Extroverts are “solar powered” and recharge from external energy and activity, Introverts tend to recharge best from the inside. That’s why others don’t necessarily see it happen. It’s the internally generated thoughts, reflections, contemplations, and evaluations that bring them back to full power to take on the day and the external world. This often includes reading, meditating, solo workouts or runs, etc.
Rate Yourself: Between 1 – 100, how much do you resonate with introversion?
Your Action Plan
Which one do you resonate with most?
How can you begin to use the information above to begin to be more energized in your day-to-day life?
In the next post we’ll take a look at communication and how Extroverts and Introverts approach it differently, and how you can begin to communicate more effectively.
This was originally posted by GiANT Worldwide and I wanted to share it here as well. If you’re interested in learning more about how your personality affects your life and leadership, I’m happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let me know!