Do you prefer spending a Friday night in a crowded bar? Or would you prefer being curled up in front of the television watching a movie? Would you rather spend a holiday filled with adventure activities with a large group of friends or do you prefer to spend a peaceful holiday with a just a close friend? Maybe your answers to these questions are crystal clear or maybe you find yourself somewhere between the two extremes. Whatever your answers, the origin of your feelings may depend upon how you recharge yourself. Have you ever thought about what makes a person introvert vs extrovert?
Most people would think that it works something like this:
• Extroversion relates to how outgoing someone is;
• Introversion is the same as being shy
Be sure you’re defining introvert vs extrovert accurately
”There is no such thing as a pure introvert or extrovert. Such a person would be in the lunatic asylum”. ~ Carl G Jung
If we go a bit back in history, we find that the terms introvert vs extrovert were popularized by psychologist Carl Jung at the beginning of the 20th century. Unfortunately, their meanings have gotten a bit diffused, and many people think that everyone belongs to one side or the other. But actually, Jung’s point was that these are very few people that belong to an extreme. Meaning that most of us are falling somewhere in the middle. Though many of us claim to fall somewhere in the middle, we do tend to lean one way or another. You can also behave more introvert vs extrovert in specific situations. A great way to find out whether you are more of an introvert vs extrovert is this:
Do you need time to recharge after spending time with other people?
If the answer is a clear yes, then there is a chance that you are an introvert. But if you are feeling more like a medium yes, then you might be more extroverted. And unlike what most people´s theory about how outgoing or shy we are, introversion vs extroversion may actually relate to how we recharge our brains. This distinction might not be scientifically proven, but it´s just a practical way:
- Introverts (or those of us with introverted tendencies) tend to recharge by spending time alone. They lose energy from being around people for long periods of time, particularly large crowds.
- Extroverts, on the other hand, thrive on being out among people, love meeting new ones and having many activities going on. Extroverts might actually find their energy lowering when they are spending too much time just by themselves.
Knowing where you are on the scale can make a big difference on how well you understand and collaborate with other people. When we are aware of how to make the best out of other people and our differences, we can achieve remarkable results. This story about an introvert and her extroverted sister is a great illustration of how unaware we can be of how much these differences can affect us:
“My sister and I was constantly at war with each other when we grew up since we didn´t know how to meet each others needs. I would always try to give my sister her space by knocking on her door when it was closed. She got very annoyed because I kept knocking, and wouldn’t let myself in. On the other side, I got annoyed when my sister just came in my room without even a warning!
Here are a few of the problems that can occur as a result of introvert/extrovert differences. Can you identify yourself with any of these in either your workplace or in personal life?
Thinking it through / Talking it out
Introvert people need time to process their thoughts while extroverts are impatient waiting for introverts to finish their thoughts. They also tend to feel frustration about having to always ask questions in order to pull out information from introverted people. Extroverts may not have fully formed their ideas, but are forming them aloud as they speak. This can be very confusing for introvert people as they often feel that that extroverted people are changing their mind constantly.
Being private / Being an open book
Introvert people are in general very private and they choose very well the people to share information with. Extroverts on the other side prefer to connect quickly with people and are not afraid of opening up. They might even recognize introverts as distant or cold when first meeting them. That extroverts need to talk and they like to open up with almost anybody, which often make the introverts frustrated.
Summary: Figure out people and achieve remarkable results
In order to collaborate with different people, we need to understand how introvert vs extrovert function differently. If we just ignore the distinctions it might cause a hardship in being productive at work, satisfied among other people and serving others. Your natural preference for thinking or talking out loud and being private or an open book might result in conflicts. But if extroverts and introverts learn how to get the best out of each other’s differences, magic happens! We can achieve remarkable results when collaborating together.
You might also want to do a strengths test to get to know your true self? Take HIGH 5 Test to find out if you are more of an introvert or extrovert person. It is a free test that helps young people make happier conscious choices in life by focusing and building upon what they are naturally good at.
What has your experience been in dealing with both extroverts and introverts? HIGH5 would love your thoughts on this topic!