INTROVERTS VERSUS EXTROVERTS
One of the biggest discussions for the longest time has been the whole introvert versus extrovert thing. Whats the better personality? What’s their strengths and so on. And after some research we’ve come up with our own conclusion… that this sum bullshit…but let’s start from the beginning.
Do you ever experienced these people? They just suck the energy out of some and fill the space up. They always seem more confident, they get remembered very easily, they always seem to say the right thing. They are loud sometimes and say what they think. And you just have to sit there and fight much harder for everything. To be heard, to be seen, not to be interrupted and so on this sounds familiar? This feeling comes from my very own place from my early twenties -
I’ve never heard or experienced someone extroverted being told, please pay better attention so you don’t suffocate quieter people or please, be more sensitive and let others finish or please, let them do it. It feels like, it’s always the introvert that needs to be more confident, more outspoken and so forth. The focus really lays there - it always feels like the introvert needs to improve. Even though extroverts don’t mean any harm obviously - it’s just how they roll.
For a long time I believed that I have to change to be successful, to be heard, to be popular etc. Because teachers, parents, friends, coaches told me so. It took me awhile to figure out that that I am a bit of both - depending who I am around with. Newsflash, you don’t have to change.
Being an introvert is still sometimes associated in a negative way. After diving into the topic we think it’s not either or, not black or white, not this or that. At least not 100 % percent.
Yes, it might mean that for your career and relationship you have to work harder to be and feel seen, to be heard, to be understood, to be trusted with things and so on. But there is nothing about your personality that you should feel less or not worthy enough.
First of all, the most common mistake is that being an introvert is a synonym for being shy, which is simply not true. Shyness is something completely different. An introvert usually feels fine bing on his own and someone who is shy is maybe even afraid to interact with others. Extroverts get their energy from interacting with each other and introverts get their energy within themselves.
There is something that scientists call the „Big 5” which are personality traits, which have the acronym OCEAN: openness to experience, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. The extroversion indicates how outgoing or social someone is or if not, that they are comfortable with working or being on their own. It never says this is better than the other.
Being described as an extrovert only or an introvert only might be too extreme as we probably both have components of the two in us. Either or is not likely. Don’t let you put in boxes.
You can and probably have traits of both. If it says you are tall doesn’t mean necessarily that you are the tallest with 2,10 meters. These are extremes. Most of us are probably in the middle.
You can be loud in your circle of friends and quieter and more thoughtful speaking when in a work meeting.
If you really want to characterize some more, here are some characteristics that help to know if you are leaning more towards being an extrovert or introvert:
Let’s start with the introverts (Source: Prevention.com)
Enjoy spending time in solitude
Don’t prefer to be the center of attention
Value close one-on-one relationships
Think before they speak/not as talkative
Need time alone to recharge and reflect
Prefer working in quiet, independent environments
Deeply focus and think about specific interests
Can be seen as reserved
…and some of the common extrovert traits:
Have large social networks
Enjoy being the center of attention
Tend to think out loud
Make quick decisions
Gain energy from being around other people
Outgoing, enthusiastic, and positive
Thrive in team-oriented and open work settings
I believe both characteristics have their strengths and their advantages and disadvantages. Don’t obsess over why you are not like this or like that. Don’t be intimidated. As an introvert it’s about respecting the extrovert and vice versa. You probably have both traits in your body - it just depends on who you show it to. There is plenty of room for everyone to evolve - whether you are opening up more or someone loud takes a step back in the right moment. It’s hard to say life is better as an extrovert or an introvert. If it’s just a feeling or a misconception we have. Stay in your lane. Don’t force yourself being someone you are not comfortable with or beating yourself up over it.
There is nothing wrong with being one or the other - or yes, a little bit of both.