introverts and extroverts

Introverts And Extraverts: Can’t We Just Get Along?

Being an introvert is a bad thing, right? Well, a lot of people seem to think so, judging by the number of articles I’ve read about how to “cure” introversion. In response to these articles, I wrote The Introverts Strike Back, in which I argued that (1) introverts can’t become extraverts, and (2) they shouldn’t particularly want to.

First, let’s get clear on what we’re talking about. I’m going by the definitions used by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. According to the MBTI, introverts get their energy from the internal world of ideas and images, and they feel drained if they spend too much time with people. On the other hand, extraverts (and yes, that IS the correct spelling as used in the MBTI) get their energy from the external world of people and things, and they go crazy if they spend too much time alone. It really has nothing to do with social skills, as evidenced by introverts like Jerry Seinfeld.

Whether you prefer the internal world or the external world, that preference is fixed. You can force yourself to act outside of your element, but an introvert can’t become an extravert and vice versa. Let’s face it, if hosting The Tonight Show for 30 years didn’t turn Johnny Carson into an extravert, I doubt tips like “say hi to more people” will do the trick.

However, introversion certainly has its advantages. For example, introverts make up a slight majority of the upper levels of government, the military, and the corporate world, despite being only 30% of the population. The social outcast doesn’t represent all introverts, any more than the dumb jock represents all extraverts.

But I’m not here to debate whether it’s better to be an introvert or an extravert. The fact is, we all have to interact with both types every day. Regardless of which type you are, you can greatly improve your relationships by learning to get along better with people of the other type. Here are some tips for getting started.

For Introverts:

1. Indicate to others when you’re busy.

When an extravert sees you reading, writing, or maybe just thinking, they might assume that the only reason you’d do this is because you don’t have someone to talk to. So they think they’re doing you a favor by striking up a conversation, when they’re actually interrupting.

To prevent this, be sure to give an indication that you’re in the middle of something and aren’t looking for socialization right now. This can be a visual sign (e.g., closing your door) or verbal (e.g., “I’m sorry John, but I’m racing to get this done. Can I get back to you later?”).

I know one person who tended to get a lot of visitors at work, and while he was actually an extravert, the frequent visits were slowing him down too much. He put a sign on his door saying “If I don’t make eye contact or respond to you, I apologize. I’m not trying to be rude, I just have a lot of work to do. Thank you for understanding.” While I don’t think many people need to go that far, it certainly worked!

2. Try to verbalize your thoughts more.

Introverts tend to keep most of their thinking to themselves while they’re working out ideas, and not speak much until they’re sure of what they want to say. The problem with this is that other people can’t see you thinking. If someone comes to you for your opinion on something, and they don’t hear you talking, they might assume you don’t care.

To show that you are in fact considering what they said, try doing some of your thinking out loud. It’s OK if you verbalize rough drafts of thoughts that you end up changing. If all else fails, just say you need time to think about it (e.g., “Lisa, this is very interesting, but I’m not sure what to suggest just yet. Let me give it some more thought, and I’ll get back to you.”).

3. Realize that extraverts often need to talk.

Because extraverts are more in touch with the external world, for them talking is sometimes as necessary as breathing. They might think out loud by bouncing their thoughts off other people, and they might need to chat in order to boost their energy.

For an introvert, this can be the most difficult part of dealing with an extravert. The same conversation that energizes the extravert also drains the introvert. But keeping in mind that the extravert is not being intentionally malicious, the introvert has at least two options for handling this in a polite way. They can patiently participate in the conversation, and then when it’s over they can be alone to recharge. Or they can cut off the conversation early by mentioning something else they need to be doing, or even by saying “I’d like to help, but I’m not sure that I’m the right person for you to be talking to.”

Of course, sometimes a conversation can be very enjoyable for an introvert, in which case this isn’t a problem.

4. Don’t forget to socialize.

As great as your internal world is, don’t forget that the external world is also good in moderation. Be sure to set aside some time to spend with other people, and take advantage of social opportunities that present themselves to you. And when you’re around other people, make yourself fun to be with!

For Extraverts:

1. Ask if someone is busy before spending time with them.

If someone appears to be lonely, they might not be. Even if they’re just sitting there and don’t seem to be doing anything, they could be deep in thought and not at a point where they want to be interrupted.

If you need something, try to ask for it up front (e.g., “Mary, do you have a few minutes to talk about a problem I’m having?”). Otherwise, look for clues that they might not feel like talking right now, such as lack of eye contact.

If they seem uninterested, don’t take it personally. You just don’t know what you’re interrupting.

2. If someone doesn’t speak up, ask them what they think.

Sometimes when you’re talking to someone, they’ll be so engrossed in thinking about what you said that they forget to tell you what they’re thinking. If you’re waiting for someone’s feedback and they’re not giving it to you, try asking them what they think.

3. Realize the draining effect a conversation can have on someone.

No matter how fabulous a person you are, keep in mind that introverts simply prefer their internal world to the external world. They might start off with a fully charged battery, but while they’re engaged in conversation, that battery is steadily draining. How long it lasts depends on various factors, but be sure to keep an eye out for when they’re starting to lose interest. Be more to the point with introverts, and save most of your chatting for extraverts who will appreciate it more.

4. Remember that introverts need their alone time.

Perhaps the hardest thing for extraverts to understand about introverts is that someone could actually want to be alone. Not because they don’t like to have fun, or because they hate people, but just because they prefer their internal world, and they need to return to it to be energized. If someone doesn’t want to hang out with you, don’t try to push them, because they just need their “me” time. Of course, there’s always the possibility that they just don’t like you!

The world has lots of introverts and lots of extraverts. Instead of debating which is better or asking how we can change people, let’s try to be more accepting of others. With a little effort, we can all get along just fine.

 

Hunter Nuttall wants you to stop sucking and live a life of abundance. Visit his site to learn how to improve your life and your income.

Image by Daniel E. Bruce

162 Responses to Introverts And Extraverts: Can’t We Just Get Along?

  1. Pete says:

    I never realized I was either one. After reading this though, it is clear I am more of an introvert. It’s funny though, cause maybe I should carry this post around for my family.

    When I was younger, I had two younger sisters and all girl cousins. They each hung out with each other, and I was usually left to my own world. When I got older, both my mother & my wife complained that I did not speak to them as much, that I should open up. In fact, I barely talked about anything personal at all. My best personal communication has always come through my writing & my filmmaking.

    However, on the flip side, I am extremely adept at communication. I have a great understanding of people and rarely, if ever anymore, do I lose my emotional composure. I am actually in charge of customer relations in my own business, Reimagine.

    So, I think being aware of how people act, without judging them for it, will help us all get along better in life. And being one or the other does not mean you can learn to walk between both worlds.

    http://yinvsyang.com/

  2. Guys, thanks for publishing my guest post! I’ll be back to reply to all the comments.

  3. Shanel Yang says:

    Great post! While it’s true that introverts and extroverts can’t really change their innate inclinations, we can very well change our external manifestations of these personality traits — as you seem to acknowledge by providing these tips on how to do exactly that. I provide a more personal perspective on how I became an extrovert — at least externally — as a matter of survival in a rather tough neighborhood when I was bullied almost to death in the 8th grade. That article “How to Be an Extrovert” is at http://shanelyang.com/2008/06/20/how-to-be-an-extrovert/

  4. Jackie says:

    I always knew that I was an introvert and in high school, after the day was done I just wanted to go home, relax, and listen to music. I had 7 hours on interaction and it always bothers my extravert friends that I didn’t want to hangout. At least now I know I’m normal because I use to think something was wrong with me for wanting and loving my alone time.

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  6. Alex Fayle says:

    According to every MBTI test I’ve every done, I’m exactly 50% extravert 50% introvert, which is how I am. I need to get out and socialize, but I also need to be alone a lot.

    When I ran my small business, I would get tonnes of energy by standing up in front of a group of people and doing a presentation, with questions and the whole bit. However, put me in the middle of a networking meeting and I’d latch onto just a few person and spend the night talking to them one at a time.

    As I’m learning to speak Spanish, I find my introversion coming to the fore. I really enjoy one-on-one conversations but group situations exhaust me – and I mean EXHAUST me.

  7. Ali says:

    I really like your tips for dealing with the “other side” of the world, Hunter! I’m a friendly and easy-to-get on with person — not a social recluse — but I am definitely an introvert. I enjoy being with friends, but find myself tired and losing focus after a few hours.

    I find online socialising easier, often — I think because it doesn’t involve the same focus as being face-to-face with someone. Do other introverts have a similar experience of this?

  8. bunnygirl says:

    Nice article!

    I spent my teens and twenties driving myself crazy trying to “fix” my introversion. Much of the advice one reads about what to do when feeling out of sorts is geared toward extroverts– call a friend, host a party, get a group together and do something. Ugh. Those sorts of things only made me crazier. There were days I was a nervous, paranoid (Quit looking at me!!!) mess. Drinking helped, until it made things worse.

    My whole world changed when I realized I was an introvert and it was OKAY. Nothing wrong with me. No need to take abuse from boyfriends and family members over it. I started following my natural instincts, taking care of myself by not giving away my alone-time to all and sundry and I blossomed.

    Funny thing is that I’m not shy. People confuse introversion with shyness or misanthropism. Not so! I’ve done dance and theater, music solos and presentations. I’ve been a tech trainer and I’m happy to give a speech (even impromptu) at events. Not shy at all! But now I realize that without corresponding quiet time, I’m a hostile, nervous freak of nature. No more.

    Gonna go shut my door now. :-)

    (And to Ali– YES, I’d rather be online than in person about 75% of the time. I hate the telephone, I’m not crazy about most face-to-face meetings, and I adore my email.)

  9. Hi Hunter,

    I don’t totally agree with what you’re saying when you wrote,

    “Whether you prefer the internal world or the external world, that preference is fixed. You can force yourself to act outside of your element, but an introvert can’t become an extravert and vice versa.”

    I don’t agree with you. I’ve had moments where I’m being totally introvert and I’ve had moments when I’m being completely extravert. I’m not one or the other, I’m both!

    Now I may lean to one side more than the other but I still don’t believe that means my preference is fixed.

    We’re evolving and changing human beings. We change every minute of ever day. If there is one constant in the world, it is change.

    When you look at change from a biological point of view, we can see that the human body is changing and evolving all the time. If you were to take an inventory of all the cells in your body one year ago and compare those cells to the ones you have today, you would discover that 100% of your old cells have been replaced.

    In effect you have created an entirely new body. This is a scientific fact. Your cells are continuously splitting and developing new cells to further your progress and growth. In a years time you’ve successfully created entirely new organs, bones and tissue. You are continually changing and evolving as a human being.

    If there is one constant in the world, it is change.

    Regardless of where you are now (ie. introvert or extravert), you can always change.

  10. Vered says:

    “When an extravert sees you reading, writing, or maybe just thinking, they might assume that the only reason you’d do this is because you don’t have someone to talk to. So they think they’re doing you a favor by striking up a conversation, when they’re actually interrupting.”

    This is SO TRUE. Extroverts do tend to assume that being by yourself or doing something quiet is something that you do because you don’t have anything “better” to do. Thank you for the tip. I tend to feel obligated to “socialize back” even when I really don’t feel like it. It’s good to know that it’s OK to gently let the other person know that I’m busy.

  11. Stephen, I agree that everyone uses both introversion and extraversion, depending on their mood and the circumstances. Calling someone an introvert or extravert simply indicates which side they tend to lean towards. But this isn’t meant to say that everyone is 100% introvert or 100% extravert. Someone may have a very clear preference for one side, or they may have only a slight preference.

    And I agree that we’re always changing. But I think some things don’t change. According to Carl Jung, introversion/extraversion never changes, just like a right-hander can learn to use their left hand, but they’ll always be right-handed. Actually, I’m still open to the possibility that an introvert could become an extravert, but I’ve never seen it happen. I think the people who claim to have gone from introvert to extravert are confusing extraversion with social skills.

  12. Pete, introverts are often told as kids that they need to talk more or go play with someone. Extraverts are often told to sit down and be quiet. What a shame that people aren’t encouraged to be themselves! It seems that you’ve found a good outlet for your abilities, and walked between both worlds without losing yourself.

  13. Shanel, exactly–there’s a difference between our innate inclinations and our external manifestations. That’s why I wanted to clarify that I was using the MBTI definition of extravert instead of the layman definition. I think it’s a great idea to learn social skills, but I prefer that people use the term extravert in its original sense of getting energy from the external world.

  14. Jackie, isn’t it great to have confirmation that you’re “normal?” I felt the same way when I came to understand this.

  15. Alex, have you ever taken the official MBTI instrument (they use that word instead of “test”) from someone who was certified to administer it and interpret the results?

    The official one should be more accurate than the clones, and as far as I know it will always say you’re one type or the other, never 50/50. However, even the official one is not always accurate, and the guidelines say that you are the best person to determine your own type.

  16. Ali, I think friendly introverts are great! As for online socialization, I guess I find it easier because I can join in on exactly the conversations I want, when I want. I don’t want to use it to completely replace offline socialization, but I do enjoy it.

  17. bunnygirl, wonderful story! There’s no need to fix yourself, because you’re not broken!

  18. Paul says:

    I agree with this a lot, and these tips are great.

    Too many people think of introversion as a disease, when really it’s just a different style of thinking.

  19. Lana says:

    Thank you for the article, it’s so comforting to know, that I am not alone and that it’s absolutely normal to feel alone in a crowd.
    I am an introvert, and every day I am learning to be comfortable with it. I tried to change myself: it doesn’t work. It’s not that I don’t want to talk, somehow it’s just fine listening or avoiding the company (face-to-face or on the phone) altogether. As for being shy, I think I developed it from people always asking why I am quiet. I started questioning myself, too and, as a result, keeping to myself more.
    And I agree with everything Bunnygirl said, especially last paragraph.

  20. John Grahm says:

    Over time introverts are going to disappear. There are fewer in existence now than there were 1,000 years ago. We can argue how it is a good thing, but eventually the extreme introverts are just going to disappear. From a Dawinian perspective introversion is a bad thing because it starts getting bred out of society.

    Of course that doesn’t mean that it is actually bad to be an introvert–there are other non-dominate traits that aren’t undesirable.

  21. Paul, that’s right…not a disease, just different.

  22. Lana, it’s definitely normal to be an introvert. Shyness, on the other hand, isn’t so good. You might check out this post on overcoming shyness, written by extravert Tina Su and introvert Amanda Linehan: http://thinksimplenow.com/happiness/20-ways-to-attack-shyness

  23. Well, the entire world population was about 310 million 1,000 years ago, and there are about 2 billion introverts today, so tell me how there are fewer in existence now.

    It would be really hard to rid the world of introverts. Even if someone managed to kill them all off, they’d come back. Introversion is not purely genetic.

    And thankfully so. Who wants to live in a world without introverts and everything they do and create?

  24. Jeff Janer says:

    My sense is that there are many more introverts than extraverts in the digital world; i.e., those who read posts, reviews, other facebook friends’ wall musings, Wikipedia updates etc. but have never personally posted, commented or participated in the conversation. I wonder if that tracks with “real-world” leanings and behaviors – or if it’s particular to the digital world?

  25. Vered, I think people tend to project themselves onto others. We imagine how we’d feel in someone’s situation, and we assume that they must feel the same way, so we step in to help. It’s understandable, but we can train people to understand that “me time” isn’t something we’re just making up!

  26. I totally agree with Stephen here. We are constantly changing… This constant changing and evolution will determine whether or not we are / will become introverts or extroverts. We are all “unique individuals” and because there are so many different degrees of “extroversion” and “introversion” I prefer to throw these “labels” in the garbage! People are people, everyone is different, everyone can change.

    I really enjoyed the article though. Thanks :)

  27. Jackie says:

    Yes actually it is good to know that I’m not doing anything wrong. My brother always made me feel bad because I didn’t want to hang out with friends after school or on the weekends. Now I can show him this article and say “Look, see, there is nothing wrong with me.”

  28. Juan says:

    Interesting. Not much to say.

  29. Jeff, I would guess that introverts make up a higher percentage of the online world than the offline world, but I don’t think that someone who observes online without participating is necessarily an introvert by any means.

    Only a tiny percentage of the people who read this post will comment, but I’m sure there are plenty of extraverts among those who don’t comment. And here I am replying to many comments even though I’m a very clear introvert. I think it’s much harder to tell if someone is an introvert if you can’t meet them in person.

  30. Pol says:

    Very interesting. I am an introvert, married to a foriegn extrovert who I took to initially when I mistook his lack of confidence in a new society for introversion! We have rubbed along mainly happily for 17 years and have one introvert and one extrovert daughter. I also come from a line of female introverts on my mother’s side. My grandmother was almost reclusive and never left her house and garden yet seemed happy and relaxed with a small stream of family and friends calling in.

    I would say that my husband and I don’t fully understand one another but it is a work in progress and an interesting and worthwhile one at that. The main cause of tension is when I want to shut the world out when I am stressed and he wants to invite all his friends around and have a party.

    I wonder what the statistics are for marriages amongst intorverts and extroverts?

  31. Another great article, Hunter. I’m glad that you give the correct definition for introverts and extraverts. It’s often incorrectly understood and this results in there being “solutions” to being introverted. Introverts aren’t a problem that needs to be solved anymore than extraverts are. Your tips for getting along are great very useful. Thanks.

  32. Evelyn Lim says:

    Hello Hunter, I’m glad that you present action items for both sides. I’m more of an introvert compared to an extravert. But I know that I can do okay on the social scene as well…and sometimes, successfully. I can therefore see the “balance” you are providing in your article!

    Thanks for sharing,
    Evelyn

  33. As an introvert who “extraverts” in public, I totally agree that we cannot change our innate preferences…we can only create ways to cope with our environment. For instance, when I extravert all day, I need lots of time to myself at night to regroup and re-energize.

  34. Bryce says:

    Interesting article, but I disagree that a person’s preference is fixed. I have noticeably shifted from being extremely introverted to being much more extraverted over the past 6 to 8 years. I still very much value alone time, but my need for it has decreased significantly and my need for human interaction has increased dramatically. My introvert-to-extravert transition has even evidenced itself in the contrast between my MBTI results from different times in my life.

    That said, I don’t think that one is better than the other. I value relationships so much now… sometimes I wish I was more introverted so that I could focus more on work and be more productive.

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  36. GrantTLC says:

    I’m an Introvert in a relationship with an Extrovert, and lots of times I’m convinced she doesn’t understand why I do or say things or need to be alone so much. I’m going to get her to read this article, and hope she at least starts to get it! 😉

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  39. Hi Hunter,

    It’s great to see you guest posting over here. As always you’ve written a superb article.

    My favorite is “introverts need their alone time”. That sure is true for me, If I don’t get it, I start getting cranky and that’s not a pretty sight. Thank goodness my loved ones know me and give me my space.

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  42. petter says:

    hell yea im an extravert
    til now i never seemed to understand why u people never come up with a nice joke, common its something that needs to be fixed we’re humans not machines
    Petter

  43. Tony Austin says:

    Malapropically (malapropism?) speaking, perhaps extraverts have that “something extra” over extroverts, much less introverts! And maybe some of us are “interverts” hovering somewhere between the two extremes… Go on, laugh at me: as a youth I used to think that people who wore clothing of the opposite sex were called “transversites” — but I suppose that this latter term describes yet another sort of behavior (possibly could be used for people who always look at you via sideways glances, or who are cross-eyed).

  44. Tim says:

    “From a Dawinian perspective introversion is a bad thing because it starts getting bred out of society.”

    I argue the opposite: From a Darwinian perspective, introversion is a good thing because it’s still here.

  45. Jim says:

    notes to self: all extraverts are not online posting in this blog.

  46. It’s true that a lot of people feel both introverted and extroverted – I feel like I’m an extrovert, but I wonder now if I’m an introvert that becomes an extrovert as a defense against anyone intruding into my introverted world.

    Hmmmm….

    Thanks for the article!

    Joe

  47. Wouter says:

    Funny thing, same thing happened to me a year ago or so.

    Weird thing is that I do not always seem to be an introvert. Most of the time I feel drained, like the article states, after a lot of social interaction. But in some (rare) other occasions I gain energy/don’t get drained by it at all.

    I do like being an introvert actually. I love just being able to get drawn away from the world, often reobserving social situations or discussions/debates I have had.

    Especially the social influence other people can have over eachother really amazes me.(And often is ridiculous.)

    I don’t know if other introverts do this too, but it wouldn’t surprise me 😉

  48. Wouter says:

    Ofcourse we change, but I think what Hunter is trying to say is that we cannot force ourselfs to change from introvert to extravert or vice versa.

    Sorry if I misinterpreted you Hunter.

  49. Pete says:

    Thanks! I think there is definitely a fine line, and individuals may be introverted in some ways, and extroverted in others. Especially on the internet. This is a way to be extroverted while still feeling introverted.

  50. I never really felt a need to label myself as either an introvert or an extrovert. Is that a bad thing?

  51. Alex Fayle says:

    @ Jonathan:
    What? You live without a label? How can you survive? Quick! Someone give this man a label! 😉

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  53. Chris says:

    I write for a site about social skills.

    Initially I made the mistake of using introvert as shorthand for someone who’s reserved and a little socially indifferent, and extravert for someone who’s outgoing.

    Now I’ve stopped using the terms altogether. I decided they were too vague, people got too defensive about them, and they were a false dichotomy anyways.

    One thing that happened is I immediately noticed a drop in critical emails. I don’t know what it is, but the word introvert just gets people’s backs up. But if you say the same thing, but without that one word, people are more receptive to it. I can relate, as I also used to get really irritated about people calling me an introvert as if it was a flaw.

    I also was forced to be more clear in what I wanted to say. As much as people like to go, “This is what introvert really means, not this and this as is commonly believed”, everyone uses the term differently. Dropping the word meant I had to think about what term(s) I really wanted to communicate, instead of using a shorthand and hoping people understood what I was getting at.

  54. I second what Steven said. Introversion and extroversion is something that all people express to one degree or another, but I don’t think it’s so clear cut or akin to what you’re saying.

    While you wrote about I/E from a largely psychological viewpoint, sociology would completely disagree with everything you wrote. Sociologists view personality traits as being completely dependent on the situation at hand and NOT on an individual’s personality (remember, in sociology, the individual does NOT exist). Your degree of introversion vs. extroversion largely depends on what social roles you learned in the past and how you interpret the situation at hand… not due to ingrained personality traits.

    “According to Carl Jung, introversion/extraversion never changes…”

    I don’t know anybody who would seriously quote Jung as if that idea of his had any psychological merit in 2008. 😛 99.99% of psychologists would disagree with him based on the research out there now.

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  56. David Fetrow says:

    Alex. I have to agree. Labels have been around for a long time. I ignore all labels placed on me. I really do not care what labels are placed on me by other people. I live to better myself, not for other peoples standards, but for my high standards.

  57. Doug B. says:

    I’m glad to see someone else point out that introversion and shyness are not synonymous. Any MTBI test I’ve ever taken puts me pretty far over on the introversion side of the spectrum. However, in my life I’ve done things like sing and play guitar in a rock band, speak in front of business audiences, lead Cub Scout meetings, and so on. If I’m confident in what I’m doing, then I have no shyness about performing in these situations.

    Just don’t ask me to hang out afterwards. I’m done with people for a while after that. :-)

  58. james says:

    Nice article. I’m an introvert and appreciated the parts 3 and 4 for extraverts. After work all day, spending time with friends all night makes me exhausted. I love my friends, but I often find myself offering to get drinks or clean up, etc. anything that allows me a few minutes by myself while everyone is hanging out together. Those few minutes for me are better then taking a nap!

    Oddly enough, my wife is one of the only people I’ve met where I don’t get tired when I spend an entire day with her. I might not feel “recharged” but I don’t feel drained either.

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  60. Supernetuser says:

    I had to post on this one. I’m an introvert who fakes being extroverted to please other people on the outside. I’m very mad at having to do this but I talk to people who want to talk. I’m extroverted to the extent that people really notice but they don’t get me when they don’t know its fake. I’m pretty furious at having to be extroverted because its valued more. I need my down time typical of introverts, I can’t always be bubbly, and I have my moods.

  61. Good question, Jonathan! In this case, these labels really aren’t constricting. It’s not like having to declare yourself as either a Democrat or Republican, when it’s perfectly valid to be neither.

    Everyone falls somewhere on the continuum from pure introvert to pure extravert. You can choose not to label yourself, but the fact still remains that you’re one or the other (or, according to some people, exactly in the middle).

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  63. Ian says:

    I tested several times and sometimes I would get E and sometimes I would get I. Then I took a version which gave me percentage breakdowns, and I was pretty much even on both. I believe this from personal experience. I spent most of my life alone and sometimes when people come home I cringe at the thought of no longer being alone. But the time I have spent alone far outweighs times when I needed to be alone. I’m reserved at first but extremely talkative, like people and crave human social interaction. And yes, it energizes me and I love it, but I prefer small groups. My best friend is an extrovert and she loves to be with people always, and surround herself with large groups of people at that. Not really me, being around crowds makes me nervous and tired most of the time.

    However if you see me reading a book and come up to talk to me, most times I would really welcome the break, but this doesn’t happen that often, I wish it would. When I want to be alone, I close the door. So I’m having a hard time knowing what to do with myself. I really need more friends I guess. I wish my friends would be always trying to get me out like they do to introverts in those sitcoms but life is not always that way.

  64. Chris, you’re right–using the word “introvert” can be opening a can of worms. Unfortunately, the word has come to be used in a purely negative way by most people. Meanwhile, people tend to associate the word “extravert” with only its positive qualities and not its negative ones.

    We’re forced to use these words when talking about the MBTI, but I think you have the right idea in dropping these terms and using language everyone can understand and agree on. Like you said, people are more receptive when you say the same thing without saying “introvert.”

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  66. Petter, I can barely understand what you’re trying to say, but I think you’re saying that extraverts are funny and introverts are not. And that’s just not true at all.

  67. Actually, the overwhelming majority of Geniuses are Introverts, so the modern world you enjoy was provided by us. Cheers! 😛

  68. i used to be an introvert for quite a long time and this past year or two… i’ve changed a lot

    and i’ve changed for good as well. i’ve been more communicative with ppl and more social.

  69. Ryan says:

    Shyness should always be discussed along with these two terms. A person who is quiet and does not interact much is probably shy.

    An introvert does not have to be shy. And there can be shy extraverts. I am an introvert but I’m quite outgoing when I want to be. I enjoy it. But my world happens in my own mind.

  70. Matt,

    “Introversion and extroversion is something that all people express to one degree or another, but I don’t think it’s so clear cut or akin to what you’re saying.”

    Sure, we all use both introversion and extraversion. I’m simply talking about which side we tend to lean to. These are not meant to be confining roles or perfect predictors of behavior.

    “Sociologists view personality traits as being completely dependent on the situation at hand and NOT on an individual’s personality.”

    What? Did you just say that personality traits don’t depend on personality?

    “Your degree of introversion vs. extroversion largely depends on what social roles you learned in the past and how you interpret the situation at hand… not due to ingrained personality traits.”

    Here our disagreement is just a matter of semantics. Introversion and extraversion refer to ingrained personality traits by definition, but someone’s behavior is definitely influenced by factors such as social roles in addition to personality.

    “I don’t know anybody who would seriously quote Jung as if that idea of his had any psychological merit in 2008. 99.99% of psychologists would disagree with him based on the research out there now.”

    If that’s true, then apparently the other 0.01% of psychologists are the ones writing all the MBTI books and running all the MBTI workshops!

  71. David, would you mind being labeled as “male” by someone? I mean, everyone has to be either male or female, right? That’s just a fact, not a judgment.

    Likewise, everyone is either an introvert or extravert. There’s just no other possibility (OK, some people will say that you can be exactly in the middle). But according to the MBTI guidelines, you’re the one who gets to do your own labeling, no matter what any other person or test wants to call you.

    And whatever type you are, this has nothing to do with living up to someone else’s standards. Introverts and extraverts are both free to make their own rules.

  72. Olli says:

    “I have noticeably shifted from being extremely introverted to being much more extraverted over the past 6 to 8 years. I still very much value alone time, but my need for it has decreased significantly and my need for human interaction has increased dramatically.”

    I experienced the same thing, but I was shy as a teenager and very unsure of myself. When I got over it and picked up some social skills, I started to enjoy being around people lot more.

    That being said I still get more enjoyment from “the music of the spheres”. I also tend to take world of people as a project to analyze. Interesting project, but project nevertheless :).

  73. Randall says:

    Great article. The only part I disagree with as an introvert is this:
    “And when you’re around other people, make yourself fun to be with!”
    See, the problem with being a fun person to be with is they (extraverts) want you to show up all the time for social events, and they get fussy when you turn them down for those things. Not that I’m condoning the idea of being a social repellent. Just don’t be TOO fun, if that makes sense.

  74. Really insightful post. A book that put this in perspective for me was “The Introvert Advantage” by Marti Olsen Laney. It explains a lot of the same stuff in more psychological and scientific terms.

    One thing I really liked about the book is that the author explains that since extroverts outnumber introverts, it makes the typical introverted behaviors seem to be not normal. Especially in the U.S., we appreciate the go-getter that reaches for the stars and happens to succeed on the first go.

    She also explained that both sides have a role to play. Introverts tend to be thoughtful, but slow to act. Extroverts tend to be the “doers”, but are often too impulsive. By working together, you have a good mix of consideration and action.

    I’m a small-scale game developer and businessperson, so as an introvert I’ve had to learn to extrovert well and talk to people to maintain contacts and find business and consulting opportunities. I attend lots of conferences, so I wrote up a post on my blog about conferences and the introvert (http://www.psychochild.org/?p=204).

    Anyway, very insightful post. Definitely going to show it to some introverts I know. :)

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  76. shiza says:

    well im just glad someone finally accepted us introverts as normal for once!

  77. Majorca says:

    at last someone who doesn’t mention “introvert” as though it’s a dirty word – i’m an introvert and proud!

  78. A.Rafael says:

    Great post. I have known for a long time that I’m an introvert even though I didn’t always know that it was called that. The office environment can be extremely draining for me even if I’m not doing any physical labor. Just the constant conversations all around me that never stop eventually break me down. Then when I get back home, I have a few hours of peace that I can recharge with until people come home and the noise returns to drain me again.

    I’m in the military so the open bay plan with 20 people is not very conducive to my peace of mind. I end up having to make excuses as to why I don’t want to join people in activities or I stay out for long hours.

    I also have bought “The Introvert Advantage” and have learned some good lessons there. I think the ideas in this post are great and I will be applying them in the future as well. Thanks.

  79. tara says:

    this is really interesting. my husband, the introvert, sent it to me, the extravert. he’s been really great at telling me how he works and what he needs so not much of this info was surprising. the hard part is making it work in a relationship!

    our son is almost 2 and we have a baby on the way. it’ll be interesting to see which way they lean and how the others cope.

  80. “What? Did you just say that personality traits don’t depend on personality?”

    Yes, yes I did. 😉 Personality traits, from a sociological standpoint, are dependent on the situation the person is in and nothing else. For example, a lot of people act different when in the company of their parents vs. the company of friends vs. the company of their boss. Which personality is their “real” personality?

    “…but someone’s behavior is definitely influenced by factors such as social roles in addition to personality.”

    See, I disagree; I stand by the sociologists 100%. 😛 Social roles + context = your entire personality.

    “If that’s true, then apparently the other 0.01% of psychologists are the ones writing all the MBTI books and running all the MBTI workshops!”

    Personality tests, including MBTI, are REALLY controversial in personality psychology because there’s basically no validity to the results. You could take the same test 3 times and get 3 different results based on how you answer question.

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  84. “For example, a lot of people act different when in the company of their parents vs. the company of friends vs. the company of their boss. Which personality is their ‘real’ personality?”

    Your Myers-Briggs type is about your preferences, not your actions. I’m an INTP, and that doesn’t change whether I’m with my parents or my friends or my boss. If I decide to act differently in a particular situation (say, as an extravert), I’m simply acting against my preferences; my personality type hasn’t changed.

    “Social roles + context = your entire personality”

    How do the sociologists explain why different people act differently given the same social roles and context? Like say you have two identical twins, one introvert and one extravert. If you put them in the same situation, they’ll act differently. Why is that, if you don’t believe in personality types?

    “Personality tests, including MBTI, are REALLY controversial in personality psychology because there’s basically no validity to the results. You could take the same test 3 times and get 3 different results based on how you answer question.”

    I mostly agree here. The tests really aren’t that great. Even the official MBTI is only accurate like 80% of the time. When I’m reading the questions, I’m often like “um, need more context.” And the ones you find on the web are theoretically even less accurate. I’ve tested as INTP, INTJ, and ISTJ.

    But according to the MBTI guidelines, each person is the best judge of their own type. That’s why your type isn’t official until you confirm it when working with someone who’s certified to administer and interpret the test. Because I understand it, I know for sure that I’m an INTP, no matter what any test says (and BTW, the official test did type me correctly).

  85. Jamie says:

    I thought one of those comments was interesting. As an introvert, I frequently have extroverts asking me what I’m thinking. I hate that question. It’s especially annoying in relationships, because I get the impression that my significant other is thinking the answer will be something romantic. Where as I’m usually on a completely different track. “I’m thinking that board will need to be sanded down before I use the router on it or I’ll get splinters.” One problem with introverts is if we’re around people, we’re doing what we can to keep our minds off the fact that we’re around people.

  86. sulochanosho says:

    A good psychology stuff on pure practical plane. Thanks.
    Yes, we need a balance of both introvert and extravert traits and moves in life.

  87. I have to say this whole “Introvert/Extravert” discussion upsets me. Be careful how you label yourself. We have a tendency to give ourselves labels. We very quickly believe the labels that other people slap on our heads. I had a good friend when I was a child. His dad reminded him how lazy he was daily. Each bad comment convinced him further and further. Today he will tell you he is lazy. I give my children positive comments everyday. I have a 10 year old that is brilliant. I have a 6 year old daughter that is a caring person. I have a 4 year old son that is a cleaver little boy. I try to put positive labels on my kids as much as I can. Be careful of the negative labels. Introverted to some people is a bad thing. The opposite can be true for extraverts. If you have labeled yourself as an introvert, or you are about to put any label on yourself. Take a one question test. Ask yourself if that label is negative or positive. If it is negative, label yourself as the opposite. Sure, you will not believe it at first. Keep pressing. You will end up middle of the road most of the time. Just because I like to be alone quite often does not make me in introvert.

  88. selfhelpblogger, I don’t see why this would upset you, since it’s about how to be more accepting of people who are different from us. Negative labels such as lazy are damaging indeed, but no one is using negative labels here.

    If someone thinks introversion is a bad thing, then they simply don’t understand what it is. Did you read my post “The Introverts Strike Back,” which was linked to at the top of this post?

    And you may be interested in this post I wrote in response to the comments here about labeling: http://hunternuttall.com/blog/2008/08/dont-label-me/

    If you like to be alone quite often, then of course you’re an introvert–that’s the definition! But don’t ever think it’s a bad thing!

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  90. Penny says:

    Hey — look at the 1998 type manual – in a national representative sample of US adults, introverts actually outnumbered extraverts!

  91. joel says:

    I’m an INFj(highly introverted). Met some extroverts that LOVE to hang around me. Sometimes they will get mad that i’m not really like them, in an extraverted way. but in the end they are really just caring for you, it’s just their way i guess.

  92. sulochanosho says:

    There’s a solid view among the comments here: ‘dont label me’!
    Yes, that’s right and sheds some good freedom and light. All these psychology stuffs, dualities, labels are good enough to make a sense out of that, otherwise it should never be followed in a ditto copy cat manner for OUR LIFE will never fit into any set cotegories defined or refined by somebody or some psychologists. Every human being is unique. Every moment of life is unique. To define life in a robotic set stagnant pattern is to defile it. You can never do that.

  93. Mark says:

    After reading these posts I realise that I am an Introvert(Hurray). Even thougth I do alot of activities after work. When me and my friends go out at night. I get bored towards the end. Now I fully understand what an Introvert is I know why I have low energy towards the end of the night. I know their’s nothing wrong with me. I will however make a balance between extravert and Introvert I think it helps alot.

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  95. reno says:

    I really enjoyed reading this. It seemed to shed some light into how I feel most of the time. Like a wave in the ocean, I go in and out of feeling introverted. Hmmm, very interesting.

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  97. Kat says:

    Wow, thanks, PTB, I’m an extreme extravert and work with an intravert..I wrote some of this down and am bringing it to work and will share with her the others what I am working on to make the workplace a safer and more comfortable place for them..

  98. Cynthia says:

    Introverted-ness is common and are at an advantage in the world of technology, eat it up and go for it, this is the time where an introvert has more of a level playing ground. I’d like to introduce my site, Introverted By Design, take a look lots of good information there and some humor too.

    http://www.introvertbydesign.com

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  102. holohokum says:

    Good article i must say… and I do agree that a person with a bit of both features will be successful in life. (I also agree that this view is from an introvert’s perspective)

    I think the worst thing that could happen to an introvert is ” not knowing that he’s an introvert (people not knowing the true meaning of ‘introvert’)”
    and the best thing… the “internet” lol

    Whereas an extrovert’s best friend is his mobile!! (I really do pity the mobile though…how does it tolerate the bad smell for such a long time..lol)

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  104. abby says:

    Im definently an introvert. story of my life is people always saying “that girl thinks shes too good to talk to anyone” when really,i was just busy thinking. itd hurt when people would say i acted too good or i was stuck up because i never thought or said mean things to anyone, ever. people always made me think there was something wrong with me because i enjoyed thinking.. they would mistake my quietness for being weak. AND trust me, the shock on there faces when they crossed the line and i did speak up.. was wonderful :) Yea i may be queit but im not stupid and im not weak. I enjoy me. :) im definelty my own best friend.

  105. Ellie says:

    What if you are an introvert, but your preference would be extraversion? I’m an introvert and suffer from clinical depression because I’m too withdrawn and afraid of people to make friendships–and because of the depression I’m boring and hard to understand, so long term relationships are impossible. I’m lonely and I don’t want to hear that it’s not possible for me to be anything but socially impaired.

  106. Ellie, it sounds like you’re an introvert who just wants to be more social. But you don’t need to be an extravert in order to do that.

    I’d suggest reading this article, “20 Ways to Attack Shyness,” which was written by an introvert and an extravert working together.

    http://thinksimplenow.com/happiness/20-ways-to-attack-shyness

  107. Zena says:

    Abby:

    Thanks for the comments you left about being an introvert. I have a daughter in high school and is struggling on some levels due to her introversion. Not only is she an introvert, but she also can’t stand the petty talk/gossip of most girls this age.

    I am not sure how old you are but if you can offer me any advice as to what to say to her – I would apprciate it.

  108. Zena says:

    Hi Abby:

    Thanks for your comments. I have a 14 year old in high school and am not always sure how to help her when she tells me how different she feels. She tends to hang with the boys vs. the girls who spend most time talking about silly stuff – hair/makeup/other girls..something my daughter doesn’t care to do.

    If you can offer any advice, I would appreciate it.

  109. sma79 says:

    This is such a great article! I wish I read it earlier. I was in a long term relationship with an introvert for 2+ years. He is incredibly nice, caring, smart, and more of a genius/innovator. On the other hand, I am an extrovert, a talker, and I spend a lot of my day chit-chating to friends and family. When he did not talk to me about anything personal, I used to feel very lonely. I felt like I was opening up to him so much, but he was not opening up to me. I felt so sad and so alone and I would tell him to just ask him to tell me 5-10 minutes of something personal about his day when we would talk on the phone, but it was not always natural for him. Therefore, he felt like I was trying to change him and that he could not make me happy, and he broke up with me. I feel so bad for making him feel this way, especially since I really love him and think he is an amazing person, but I did not know how to bridge this communication gap. I wonder how to approach this situation in the future, especially if I was given a chance to be with him again? Maybe just understanding that the person is not trying to shut you out would have been good to keep in mind. Any advice would be really appreciated. Thank you so much :)

  110. Crayolus says:

    Extroverts are -blams!.

  111. Ann says:

    I am kind of confused about what I would be categorized as. I have characteristics of both… oh well doesn’t really matter I guess but thanks for posting this. answered questions I actually had about myself.

  112. Jacinta says:

    I’m in high school and i have to go on this month long camp tommorrow and all of the people i hand out with are like “Oh can you come over, i wanna say goodbye properly” and i just want to be on my own to recharge my batteries and charge some spares… just in case.

    I’ve always known that i was introverted, very introverted but as i’ve gotten older i seem to be becoming more extreme, both in how i act and how i really am. I act really extroverted now, and if i dont i would go insane becuase i hate most of my friends, unless of course, i’m acting. I spend every spare second on my own and get really annoyed when someone interupts me.

    Do you have any advice for me? Apart from what you wrote in your artical? Cause i need all the advice i can get, living with 4 people 24/7 for a month is not good for me.

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  114. Amy Twain says:

    Thanks for this informative article about the differences between introverts and extroverts.

    I really like it the way you give situational insights and what introverts must do to respond/interact to extroverts and vice versa.

    And it’s good that you point out that despite their differences, there are still ways on how to relate with each other. That either way, we can find comfort in our own elements, and that we don’t have to compete with each other with who’s the better bunch.

    All we have to do is to get along with each other. I have a related article but this is more about the introverts. http://www.innerzine.com/creativity/famous-introverts

    http://www.innerzine.com

    Cheers,
    Amy

  115. Rebecca says:

    Thank you for the article. I am so sick of the push to be more like an extravert. It is just like an extravert to push their opinion on us introverts. The article is helpful in putting things into perspective. I have always felt these type of people are “competitive” or culturally incompetent to say the least. It never occurred to me that a person could actually lack that much self-awareness. But of course they would if they were focused on externals. Extroverts are the people who love telling others how to “be” when they can’t even stand being alone with themselves? Something to think about there…

  116. James says:

    Your artical gives very useful information about dealing with opposite personality types. It was very informative.

    Not all introverts are the same, some people are introverts because they are shy, others are introverts not because they are too shy but just prefer to be by themselves or are into their own thing.

    I am very introverted, and only deal with people when i have to, like going to work, occasional important events like funerals, weddings, etc. It’s not like i don’t enjoy conversation, it just needs to be about something that truly interests me, then all of a sudden they want to get away from me because i’m talking so much! I don’t enjoy small talk too much except very briefly to start higher level of conversation. I just don’t enjoy meaningless talk or rumors like “who is he/she dating?”, or “he/she did this!”, stuff like that, when that happens i start to daydream or look for a reason to leave.

    Not all introverts are afraid to speak their mind either, i don’t speak a real lot but when i do i try to make it really count. If i see a person/s doing things that really anger me like picking on someone who is slow or is an “easy target” i’m the first one to stick up for someone over my more social and outgoing peers. I’m not afraid to tell someone like it really is either, even if it means most people will avoid me or talk bad about me, i have dealt with alot of jerks in the workplace, military, schools, etc. I would rather be alone than be with bad company to fit in.

    I am writing this to show that not all introverts are pushovers like they are percieved by this crazy society. I do not consider myself to be one of those extravert introverts or whatever they are called, i am a hardcore introvert. Just like there differences between extraverts there are just as many differences between us introverts!

    Like your post said you can’t change who you are, don’t try, be proud of your own uniqueness. If other people don’t like you for being yourself then you are better off without them.

  117. Maxine says:

    The article, paragraph 3: “…they can cut off the conversation early by mentioning something else they need to be doing, or even by saying “I’d like to help, but I’m not sure that I’m the right person for you to be talking to.”

    I’m an introvert and share an office with an extrovert. I’m very direct and usually say the minimum it takes to express what I’m communicating. She, however, will go on and on in a conversation, slowly elaborating on every minute detail until I want to scream! I sometimes have to get up and say that I have to go to the bathroom to break away. It interferes with my work – takes large chunks of time out of my day. Anyone have any suggestions on how to deal with this?

  118. Azad says:

    Thank you for the article, I indeed found it so useful. But I wonder, whether there is any role of our pysical appearances in being an extrovert or introvert. Does it really matter?

    Thanks,

    Azad

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  126. Not all introverts are afraid to speak their mind either, i don’t speak a real lot but when i do i try to make it really count. If i see a person/s doing things that really anger me like picking on someone who is slow or is an “easy target” i’m the first one to stick up for someone over my more social and outgoing peers. I’m not afraid to tell someone like it really is either, even if it means most people will avoid me or talk bad about me, i have dealt with alot of jerks in the workplace, military, schools, etc. I would rather be alone than be with bad company to fit in.

  127. Absolutely brilliant. Love this stuff. Thing is, my wife seems to switch between being introverted and extraverted. Do you think it is possible for one person to be so extraverted in a relationship that the other extravert becomes introverted?

  128. very tired mommy says:

    I am a mixture. In certain settings (around my family and friends) I am a dominating extravert. Around my husband’s family I’m an introvert.

    Anyway, my sister is an extreme introvert. I am the older sister and tended to dominate most aspects of our lives growing up. Now that we are adults I don’t want to be the one who calls all the shots and starts all the conversations and does all the inviting. I want my sister to feel she has a say and it will be honored and she can plan things out too.

    I also feel like my sister doesn’t really care for my feelings. I’ll open up to her about something that is upsetting me and she’ll rudely cut me off and tell me I’m being overdramatic. Maybe she thinks I’m attacking her or critizing her but I try to be sensitive to that. I just want to be open about those feelings and not let them fester and turn into something totally different.

    One issue is with my kids and their birthday parties. I have 3 kids and between them all are 14 birthdays that we have celebrated. My sister has attended 1. And to top this off she has yet to call me to tell me she’s not coming or unable to come. She just doesn’t show up and doesn’t even acknowledge that she was invited. I try to not think that it’s because she doesn’t like my kids or me and my husband. But when I try to tell her that these events are important to me and that it hurts me that she doesn’t come, she shoots me down and tells me I always make things about me. I would just like a little insight on why she doesn’t seem to have much interest in this but I’m afraid to bring it up again for fear of being shot down again.

    Any suggestions on how to handle this situation? Do I just need to let it drop and suck it up and hope that I get past the hurt feelings?

    Thanks in advance.

  129. very tired mommy says:

    Might I add that my sister does attend functions and parties. She recently came to a distant cousin’s wedding. She and her hubby do stuff with his sister all the time.

    Could this be more an issue of kids vs. no kids rather than extrovert vs. introvert?

    Thanks.

  130. Thanks for a very interesting article. i learned a lot by reading it.

  131. bird houses says:

    Good article, it really doesn’t matter whether you are introverted or extroverted because each have their good and bad qualities

  132. Kayle says:

    DO NOT ASK AN INTROVERT TO SPEAK UP OR HOW THEIR DAY WAS. INTROVERTS HATE THAT. THEY ARE NOT SHY and they don’t need “help” speaking up for themselves unless they are unduly attacked or ignored.
    This article is simply mixing up a thinker’s tendency to forget if they said something out loud with introverts’ tendencies not to say something they don’t want to. Introverts won’t tell you something *because they don’t feel the need to say it*, not because they were afraid weren’t mindful. they will NOT appreciate your pushing them to do so.

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  134. Claire says:

    I might take this article a bit more seriously if the author actually spelled “extrovert” right…

  135. Evan says:

    I am an extrovert, and i think that the tips you presented are very good. Any extrovert should read this article and it will definitely help them in their personal life.

  136. ahahaha says:

    i LOL’ed so much at this if fucking hurts >>> “Lisa, this is very interesting, but I’m not sure what to suggest just yet. Let me give it some more thought, and I’ll get back to you.”<<<<< was on the floor hahahahaha

  137. POP says:

    Did you not fucking read it. He wrote “On the other hand, extraverts (and yes, that IS the correct spelling as used in the MBTI) get their energy from the external world of people and things” Learn to read. Dumb bitch Claire.

  138. Can somebody imprint this in my boyfriend’s brain…

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  140. AS an introvert who is a bit tired of extroverts thinking bad an innie is “bad”, I appreciate this article! Thank you! 

  141. AS an introvert who is a bit tired of extroverts thinking bad an innie is “bad”, I appreciate this article! Thank you! 

  142. AS an introvert who is a bit tired of extroverts thinking bad an innie is “bad”, I appreciate this article! Thank you! 

  143. AS an introvert who is a bit tired of extroverts thinking bad an innie is “bad”, I appreciate this article! Thank you! 

  144. AS an introvert who is a bit tired of extroverts thinking bad an innie is “bad”, I appreciate this article! Thank you! 

  145. AS an introvert who is a bit tired of extroverts thinking bad an innie is “bad”, I appreciate this article! Thank you! 

  146. AS an introvert who is a bit tired of extroverts thinking bad an innie is “bad”, I appreciate this article! Thank you! 

  147. AS an introvert who is a bit tired of extroverts thinking bad an innie is “bad”, I appreciate this article! Thank you! 

  148. JT Pierce says:

    I’m a dating coach, and deal with this issue on a daily basis.  It seems like guys seem they have to be outgoing or extroverted in order to be successful with women.  Being outgoing may play a part in it, but it’s much more deeper than that.  I really like what you’ve written about the subject, and would love it if you could take a minute and read what I’ve written on my latest blog at http://www.online-dating-mastery.com/?p=1687. –JT

  149. Demarioscimioshsu says:

    As a child-proceeding into my teens, as well-my parents were very overbearing when trying to get me to interact with the external world. I began to devolop a forced extroversion, that in reality made me miserable. I was cosntantly drained, and my energy was always dwindling. Now that I’ve expanded my knowledge and come to realize that quietude behavior is natural amongst some, whilst foreign to others, it allowed me to become content with my endogenous personality. These tips were helpful.

  150. Demarioscimioshsu says:

    I completely and whole-heartedly understand. I hated those tedious hours of stimulation and disgenuous people collaborated together. I just wanted to be alone, in a happy solitude, but people-friends, in particular-would misconceive it as being disdaining or snobby. Highschool was rough.

  151. Fenia94 says:

    And Why Introverts should try to be extroverts and not vice versa???? I havent seen an atricle saying the opposite yet………

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  153. Matthew says:

    I know the feeling. I’m 14 and although I do enjoy socialising with my friends I can only handle so much before it drains me and I want to go home, listen to my music and go on the internet. This and a slightly different personality has been met with many lovely questions/statements such as “Stop being weird”, “You’re a freak” & “Why are you socially awkward?” simply because I’m introverted.

    Until recently I felt there was something wrong but couldn’t figure out how to change it, but now I feel a whole lot better.

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  155. Unnikrishnan says:

    There is no need to lose our own identity ,as you said. I am also intrrovert  by nature , many things you mentioned about yourself holds goodto me aswell. Every things as a nature , introvertness is also a nature . it has advantqage and disadvantage . Being aware of the truth and remain normal with outany guit iswhat ismore important. Thanks for your openion on the subject.

  156. quiet one says:

    This is a really helpful article, full of practical tips! It’s not only about what an extravert can do, but also highlights that there is responsibility for the introvert too in building the relationship. Thanks for posting this!

  157. SDF says:

    Introverts are angel, extroverts are devils: is the type of mindset I have before reading this article. Thank you for dispelling by rage.

  158. Andrew Nort says:

    Great post, great tips . 

  159. Amandat says:

    I feel like every extraverted person has to walk on egg shells because you should not interrupt the introverts. What about extraverted people they need time to think too. They just dont boardcast it.
    I have a boyfriend and he will be the first to tell you he is very much introverted. I am on the other hand very extraverted. He does not get my way thinking sometimes. So sometimes I feel introverted could take the time in just trying to see through an extraverts eye. Just saying.

  160. Sara says:

    Interestingly, one of the major flaws with the MBTI is that people are pegged as either introverted or extraverted. In reality, extraversion and introversion is normally distributed, with most people falling somewhere in the middle (ambiverts).

  161. franco says:

    To an extreme introvert, you are simply pushy, demanding, want everyone to come to your every party… in other words, you are still trying to call all the shots.

    Back off. Your sister knows all your kids birthdays and knows the events are important to you. Just give her an open standing invitation, maybe thru email. Instead of saying RSVP, just say Come if you can. No pressure. If she does not feel pressured, she will eventually come around, and enjoy showing up.

    It’s all about you, every time. My party. I invited you. Why you no answer? As an extravert, you are acting the right and correct way… to another extravert! If you want to build any lasting rapport with your introverted sister, you need to do things differently with her. Not to suck it up but to at last show her that you really respect her.

    The article explains all this, by the way, and yet you did not get it. It’s because you are only seeing yourself and even when you try to let your sister have a say, it’s in a condensending way, as “I (me) am letting her (my poor introverted sister) have a say.” Of course, you do not mean it this way, but to an introvert that’s how it comes out.

    It’s difficult. There’s nothing wrong about you. Realize there’s also nothing wrong about your sister. Being extreme extravert and extreme introvert, it’s trying to put a square peg into a round hole. Don’t try so hard anymore! So, again, quietly and lovingly back off and give her room to be herself.

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