Recap from Understanding the Introvert: The terms introvert and extrovert, rooted in the work of Carl Jung, describe people’s personalities and the effects of social interaction on their energy levels. Personality terms like these can give us language to help us explore and better understand ourselves and others. No one is 100% extroverted or introverted, but most people fall on one side of the spectrum or the other. (There is a third category, ambiverts, which we’ll discuss later this month.)
What Is an Extrovert?
An extrovert is someone who recharges through social interaction. While they may appreciate and even need time alone, what gives them energy is interacting with other people.
Despite stereotypes to the contrary, extroverts may be chatty and boisterous or reserved and quiet—the shy extrovert is not a fictional character. They may be comfortable in front of a microphone or absolutely terrified of public speaking. They may be friendly, aggressive, or withdrawn. They may have social anxiety, which can manifest in a variety of ways.
6 Things Extroverts Wish Everyone Understood
#1 They Love People
Extroverts do not just love being around people—they deeply love people. A common misconception about this group is that they are superficial, surrounding themselves with people and activity for the sake of the energizing (or frenetic) bustle. Being around people does fill up their energy reserves, but investing in relationships with people they care about is deeply meaningful to them.
#2 They Need Time with Others
Extroverts actually need social interaction. They feel nourished when they socialize with others, which means they have more to give.
#3 They Love a Good Conversation
Introverts aren’t the only ones who love to discuss things deeply. Extroverts love a good conversation. Many extroverts might naturally start with small talk, but they’ll go deep with you—and they may want to skip the chitchat entirely. You want to talk about the brilliance of Jay-Z or the Pantone colors of the year or your first love? Extroverts are pretty comfortable hopping between topics and often find a variety of topics fascinating. They really enjoy the interaction as well as the conversational exploration.
#4 They May Think Out Loud
Extroverted people are often told that they talk too much or are too loud. This is because many extroverts process things by talking them out. Where introverts might think through things privately in their own minds, many extroverts tend to need a sounding board in order to arrive at resolution and understanding. Thinking out loud helps them work through situations constructively and enlist the insight and support of others.
#5 They Enjoy Alone Time
The vast majority of extroverts do, in fact, enjoy alone time, just in a different way from their introverted counterparts. Though extroverts don’t get energized by being alone and often need less solitude than introverts, being alone can be self-care for them too. Finding quiet through mindfulness, allowing their bodies to rest from stimulation, and giving attention to their own thoughts can help extroverts refresh, even if it won’t give them fuel for the next big thing.
#6 They Can’t Read Minds
Extroverts are often the social drivers—the connectors, the gatherers, the instigators. But don’t assume you have to do things their way just because they got the ball rolling. Share your own input. The extrovert in your life probably wants to hear it! Don’t assume extroverts know how they’re coming across, either. If it’s appropriate to your relationship with them, give them constructive feedback.
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