Updated: Jan 9, 2021
First of all, there’s nothing wrong with either introvert or extrovert. It is just a way to describe how you get your energy. Nobody is fully introverted or extroverted. You could be middle ways on the spectrum, what is called an ambivert. There are common traits that introverts and extroverts seem to identify with that I will mention below.
I remember in my teens/early 20's, I would over do the socialising but often found myself tired and drained for when I really needed the energy to perform or show up at my best at work or for others. I was more introverted trying to be extroverted. It is common in our youth to not fully understand our own needs. I noticed early in my career that I performed better when I gave myself a recharge and time-alone.
It is a myth that introverts are shy and extroverts are outspoken. I would consider myself a confident introvert, but generally I am a natural conversationist and I actually enjoy to network but with healthy boundaries. I actually enjoy meeting new people, however, I am happy to spend a lot of time alone especially when engaging in my creative project work or need to restore my energy. People might assume I am an extrovert because I am friendly and bubbly. Again, I am trying to make you aware it is really only about where you get your energy. It is not right to assume introverts have social anxiety or dislike being around others while extroverts are always loud, aggressive, flirtatious and boisterous. It also doesn't mean introverts have relationship issues or lack of friendships. Both extroverts and introverts can have meaningful and close relationships.
Introverts get their energy from being in solitude. They are happy to be alone and well able to entertain themselves. An introvert finds with alone time and space that they perform at their best and come up with better ideas and solutions. It is not shyness or social anxiety or snobbiness. Introverts can be very confident and chatty once they are asked questions or feeling comfortable with the environment. Introverts can also be extremely successful in their careers. The only difference is they tend to gravitate more towards roles that have an element of solitude, such as an individual contributor, program management, change management, entrepreneur, accounting, engineering, writing, or long-haul truck driving.
Common introvert traits
Enjoy spending time in solitude and time to reflect and process
The interest of the introvert is directed inwards; they think, feel, and act in ways that suggest the subject is the prime motivating factor. They like to talk about philosophical and meaningful topics. They do not enjoy small talk.
It matters how your environment looks, the music playing, how many people are present, you don't like crowds
You are intrigued by people, fascinated to learn from them, however you won't over do the socialising and you like to have few close friends
After socialising, you are tired, even exhausted, you will disappear again for a while to recharge (That can take a few days/weeks)
Don’t like to be the center of attention
Value close one-on-one relationships
Think before they speak/not as talkative
Prefer working in quiet, independent environments
Deeply focus and think about specific interests
Can be seen as reserved
Extroverts get their energy from people engaement. Being more of an extroverted person means you thrive on the energy of the people and things around you. They feel drained and lonely if they spend too much time alone. They prefer to discuss ideas and projects in groups. They get their inspiration and confidence from networking and working with others. Networking and meeting new people comes really natural to them which is a huge bonus if used wisely. They can speak their mind and that is often with no filter, which can show their openness and honesty, once they grow in awareness this can become more mellow. They tend to gravitate towards roles that involve people engagement like events planning, public relations, human resources management, recruitment, people management, customer success management, sales management and retail.
Common extrovert traits
The interest of the extrovert is more directed outwards in the environment around them. They enjoy people watching, observing others and chatting.
Extroverts like to talk things out with others rather than process things internally
Have large social network and are okay with crowds, the more the merrier for the extrovert
Will be the first to organise a social event as they need people and can get easily bored
Enjoy being the center of attention
Tend to think out loud and express their thoughts or ask a lot of questions
Can make quick decisions and can be impulsive
Gain energy from being around other people
Lose energy from too much alone time
Outgoing, enthusiastic, and positive
Thrive in team-oriented and open work settings
Which one do you identify more as?
The main learning here is where you get your energy so you know how to recharge and feel at your best for work and life. The common traits are not set in stone. These are general traits that have been observed in introverts and extroverts. If you do not identify with all, that is okay but I am sure you relate to some. Being aware of your personality can definitely prove beneficial and when you understand the differences between introvert and extrovert, you will gain more patience and acceptance towards others rather than frustration. I have often heard people give out about the other and then when I dig deeper into it, I realise it is just a lack of understanding for each other. It provides some sense of consistency, predictability, and reliability of our expression of ourselves across time. Growing in self-awareness can help you make important life choices: the kind of work you do, your self-care routine, the environment you want work in, even the type of people you want to work with or simple healthy boundaries with others.
If you have any questions or anything to add, please let me know in the comments box below. You can share this article with your friends and colleagues to help them also learn if they are introvert or extrovert. We can help you create greater results for you by innovative thinking. You can book a consultation here . Take care, mind yourself and follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook for more inspiring ideas during this working from home era.