Introverts Vs. Extroverts

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This topic seems to have come up a lot recently in my life, therefore I thought it might be something of interest to you. Introverts and extroverts are two very different types of people, neither of which are better than the other. Introversion and extroversion is all about the transfer of energy – the circumstances in which it is renewed and the situations that drain it.

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Introversion

The common misconception about introverts is that they are shy, which may or may not be true. Shyness really has nothing to do with it. By nature, introverts renew their energy or “recharge” when alone. Large groups of people can be overwhelming and draining for most introverts.

About health explains that:

Introverts are more concerned with the inner world of the mind. They enjoy thinking, exploring their thoughts and feelings. They often avoid social situations because being around people drains their energy. This is true even if they have good social skills. After being with people for any length of time, such as at a party, they need time alone to “recharge.”

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Being an introvert myself, I can attest to the fact that, while I do not dislike being around people, I do have to be aware of my mind and body when in busier environments (ie: grocery stores, malls, family gatherings, parties etc). Often times when I have my day planned back to back without any room for a few minutes of “alone time” I find myself getting easily irritated, snappy, exhausted and loosing my normal amount of patience.  The United States tends to be an extrovert oriented country. Therefore, it is important for those introverts out there to be aware of their need to have time alone and accommodate for it, even if it is just means being alone for a half an hour car ride. This “me” time is a requirement in order for you to be your best self for your friends, family and colleagues.

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Extroversion

The definition of an extrovert would be the exact opposite of the introvert. Extroverts tend to gain energy from others and being alone can often cause them to be more low energy, getting easily bored and antsy.

According to About Health:

Extroverts tend to “fade” when alone and can easily become bored without other people around. When given the chance, an extrovert will talk with someone else rather than sit alone and think. In fact, extroverts tend to think as they speak, unlike introverts who are far more likely to think before they speak. Extroverts often think best when they are talking. Concepts just don’t seem real to them unless they can talk about them; reflecting on them isn’t enough.

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Extroverts tend to be more outgoing, love social situations, like to talk through difficult situations and get energized when going from being one on one to a group.  It is a visible, palpable change.

Have you ever noticed that when you are particularly down that you automatically call up a group of friends and immediately feel you mood lifting? You may be an extrovert.

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Often times, this can be a struggle but a good balance. It is difficult for the extrovert to understand the introvert’s desire to be at home on a Friday night rather than at a club or party. In reverse, introverts often find it hard to keep up with their extrovert friends and their desire to get  out and “do”.

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Any relationship between extroverts and introverts is going to be a struggle and it is important to be aware of the opposite individuals natural preferences and needs. However, the combination between the two can create a beautiful friendship. Extroverts can often help introverts open up to new things and in exchange introverts can help extroverts see the benefits of alone time.

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Ambiversion

While the existence of ambiversion it debatable with some, it is worth mentioning because, as is life – things are rarely black and white.

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For those who would like a more in depth look at this personality type, the article Ambiversion: The Lost Personality Type, presents a strong argument toward not only the existence of Ambiversion, but also, allows “for the possibility that the majority of the population are in fact Ambiverts.”   As technology advances, travel becomes easier and interactions with others is more accessible. The distinct lines between introversion and extroversion seem to become more blurry, increasing the size of this grey area some call ambiversion.

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Dictionary.com defines an ambivert as a: 

“person exhibiting features of an extrovert and an introvert,” coined by Kimball Young in “Source Book for Social Psychology” (1927), from ambi- “about, around” + Latin vertere, as in introvert.

This individual can be described as someone who can easily thrive in large groups or in a high stimulus environment, while also equally relishing in their time at home alone with a good book.

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Which are you?

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Not sure which personality type you would be? Try taking the quiz to find out!

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