Introverts and extraverts are two approaches to the way people experience the world around them. One is not better than the other, but understanding these different ways of being is helpful for all of us! Here are some key differences between introversion and extraversion that can help you make sense of your own behavior and that of others.
Introversion is a temperament that prefers quiet, minimally stimulating environments, and tends to be more reserved when in social situations. Being an introvert does not mean that you are shy or socially anxious; it simply means that you recharge your energy (mental and physical) by spending time alone instead of with others.
You know this if you've ever felt drained after being around people for too long, or had difficulty focusing on the task at hand when there's too much going on around you. You may also find yourself more comfortable working remotely than being in a loud office environment all day.
Extraversion is the tendency to be energized by interaction with other people, and to do things in groups. Extraverts enjoy large social gatherings, such as parties or nightclubs. They are likely to be involved in a wide range of social activities, from volunteer work to sports clubs or political groups.
How do you know if you're an introvert or an extravert?
The first thing to ask yourself is whether you're shy. If you are, then there's a good chance that you tend to prefer solitude and quiet over socializing. You might also be sensitive and thoughtful—two characteristics that are common in introverts.
If your answer is "I'm not sure," then try taking this quiz from psychologist Jonathan Cheek: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-introvert-advantage/201407/can-you-tell-if-youre-introverted-extraverted
If you answered "yes" to all three questions, then congratulations! You're an introvert! But if not, don't worry; there's still time for self-discovery before the next meetup with friends or family.
4 Things to Remember about Introverts vs. Extraverts
Introverts and extraverts are both normal.
Extraverts and introverts are both good.
Introversion and extraversion are both important.
Introverted people, as well as extraverted people, are each valuable to our world in their own ways.
So it's critical to remember that introverted people don't need to become more extroverted to be successful—and vice versa!
Don't judge them.
As a person who is extraverted, it's easy to judge introverts. We might think they're shy or socially awkward, but that's not necessarily true. They are just wired differently and need time to recharge their batteries before getting back out into the world again.
It's also important not to ask them to explain themselves or change themselves in order for you to better understand them; this isn't fair either (and will only cause resentment). Instead, understand that introverts don't operate like extraverts do—and that's okay!
Give them space.
It's important to give introverts the space they need. They need time alone to recharge and reflect, so don't pressure them into social situations. It can be draining for an introvert to be around other people all the time, so try not to make them feel guilty for needing some alone time.
Introverts also have their own way of speaking and communicating with others that may seem different from yours or another person’s—and it doesn’t mean that they are trying to be difficult or give you a hard time! Some examples include:
- Talking less than other people in most situations (although this doesn't necessarily mean that they aren't listening)
- Asking questions instead of answering them when given an opportunity (or sometimes not saying anything at all)
Know that they can't help it.
Remember that extroverts can't help being extraverted. They might not understand what you mean when you say, "I'm going to go sit alone in my room for a while," but they won't be upset with you or think less of you because of it. It's not a character flaw, and it's not something that should make them think worse of themselves either.
Extraversion is an aspect of personality and behavior—it isn't something people choose, nor is it a personal attack on the introvert who doesn't want to join the party (even if they often do). In fact, there are many benefits to being an introvert: they tend to be more thoughtful people who focus on deeper issues rather than superficial concerns; they tend to be great listeners; and because their energy levels are lower than those around them (particularly if there are lots of people), they're able to handle situations in which there are too many stimuli better than most extroverts would!
Understand that it's not personal.
It's also important to understand that introverts are not trying to be rude or make you feel bad. They're simply experiencing a different way of being that you may never fully understand, but it has nothing to do with your character or worth as a person. This can be difficult for extroverts who have been conditioned to believe that anything less than constant interaction is unfriendly or off-putting, but the truth is actually the opposite: an introvert who turns down an invitation to hang out probably values you and your friendship more than an extrovert who accepts every social opportunity thrown their way.
We all have things we like and don't like, no matter what our personality type is!
We all have things we like and don't like, no matter what our personality type is! Being aware of both introversion and extraversion can help you understand yourself better, make the most of your strengths and find ways to overcome your weaknesses. If a trait feels natural to you, it's likely that it matches up with one of the two types. For example: if you're naturally quiet, speak softly and get easily overwhelmed by large groups—those are all signs that you may be an introvert.
Another thing to keep in mind: just because someone has certain traits doesn't mean they always act on them! For example, if someone is an extrovert at work but prefers spending time alone with their partner or family afterwards—or vice versa—that doesn't mean they're not an introvert or extrovert overall (though I'm sure their partner would disagree).
Overall, we should remember that introverts and extraverts aren’t two different species. If you feel like you want to be more outgoing or if your friends tell you that you should be more social, try to embrace your introversion! Don’t let it define who you are. Being an introvert doesn't mean that there's something wrong with your personality; instead, it's just an important part of how we all operate in this world!