Introvert vs. Extrovert: Which One Are You?

Extroversion is one of the most important traits that define the personality of a person. People who are high in this trait are believed to enjoy social interactions, while those who are low in this trait — also described as introverted — prefer to spend more time alone.

We usually think extroverts are those individuals who are outgoing and socially active, while introverts are those who are shy and are generally referred to as loners. Most of us think extroversion is a trait about being good with people — however, it is not always the case. As a matter of fact, this kind of perception about introverts and extroverts is quite off.

The truth is, there are introverted people who are really socially skilled, while some so-called extroverts may struggle with their relationships. 

If extroversion is not about being good with people, then what is it?

Being an introvert or an extrovert is a matter of where you get your energy from. It is how you relieve stress and get your brain recharged. 

If you are alone at home and you find yourself longing to hang out with your friends to get energized, then you’re more of an extrovert. However, if you’re out with your friends and despite enjoying their company, you still find yourself longing for the comfort of home, wanting to spend time alone with a good book and a cup of tea, then you’re probably more of an introvert.

Extroversion is not a trait about being good with people. It’s a matter of where you get your energy from.

In short, people who are low in extroversion trait (often referred to as introverts) tend to lose energy from hanging around people. Being with people for a longer period of time makes them feel tired. Introverted individuals regain back their energy when they get to relax and spend time alone. 

On the other hand, people who are high in extroversion trait gain energy from socializing with people. When extroverts spend too much time alone, they feel easily bored, sad, and ironically exhausted.

Each of us has a mixture of both introversion and extroversion, but we tend to lean more closely towards one end of the spectrum.

(Image: TheQuietWisdom.com)

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

In general, most of us are not completely introverted or extroverted. We all fall somewhere in the middle and have a combination of both characteristics, but we just tend to lean more closely to either end of the spectrum. This means that some people have higher extroversion traits, while others have higher introverted functions. However, according to Carl Jung, no normal individual could be a pure, 100% of either personality type.

“There is no such thing as a pure introvert or extrovert. Such a person would be in the lunatic asylum.”

Carl Jung

The Introverts

People who have introverted tendencies are usually:

  • Quiet
  • Observant
  • Prefers to listen and/or read
  • Usually thinks things through before making any decision
  • Seeks inner peace and satisfaction
  • Avoids attention
  • Easily gets tired around people
  • Seeks comfortable situations
  • Prefers to be alone
  • Gets recharged after spending time alone
Socializing easily drains the energy of introverted individuals

Introverts are those who find alone-time a necessity for them to become productive. They are the people who love to think things through, observe before they speak, prefer one-on-one conversations rather than be in large-group meetings, and have few, close circle of friends. They are not necessarily shy — in fact, they may be good in socializing with people. However, they will always need to seek a moment of solitude during the day to restore their energy.

The Extroverts

People who are high in extroversion trait are often:

  • Loud and outgoing
  • Loves to participate
  • Prefers to talk and/or discuss
  • Prefers to talk things through with others before making a decision
  • Seeks external rewards and pleasures
  • Enjoys attention
  • Finds people energizing
  • Seeks adventures
  • Prefers to be around people
  • Gets lonely or bored when alone

We all fall somewhere in the middle and have a combination of both characteristics, but we just tend to lean more closely to either end of the spectrum.

Extroverts, on the other hand, are those who feel rejuvenated when surrounded by friends, colleagues, and other people in their social circle. They enjoy spending time with others, starting conversations with strangers, and participating in discussions. They consider hanging out with people as a form of stress-reliever. For them, being with people gives them a source of energy and positivity.

The Ambiverts

Although some people are extremely extroverted or introverted, there are people who display an equal amount of characteristics from each side of the spectrum. These people are quite balanced between the two tendencies — they are 50% extrovert and 50% introvert. They are the in-between people, or also known as the ambiverts

Ambiverts are a combination of the two personality traits. They enjoy being around people and loves attention from time to time, but too much of this can drain their energy too.

Ambiverts are quite balanced between the two tendencies. They are 50% extrovert and 50% introvert.

Also, they would need a moment alone, but after a long time, this can bore them and make them feel lonely. Ambiverts recharge their energy with a mixture of social interaction and alone-time, depending on what they need most at the moment.

Managing Different Traits

There’s nothing wrong with being extremely introverted or extremely extroverted, or even being in-between. However, it’s important to understand the differences between these traits if you want to get along with others harmoniously and bring out the best in each other. 

You also need to know and understand your own personality trait to find out what works best for you and how to create balance in your social life. 

Whatever type of personality trait you may have, don’t try to change yourself because that’s what makes you unique.

If you’re extremely introverted, you may need to try and spend time with people, even for just a few hours a day, and focus on having fun with them instead of longing to be alone. If you’re very extroverted, you may need to try not to dominate social situations too much and not make introverts feel uncomfortable. If you’re an ambivert, you should listen more closely to your needs to determine what you should do to de-stress and boost your energy.

Whatever type of personality trait you may have, don’t try to change yourself because that’s what makes you unique. Whether you’re an introvert, an extrovert, or an ambivert, you have a lot to offer and this world needs you. Just learn how to control your extreme traits, find social balance, and maintain healthy relationships with the people around you.

If you don’t know which spectrum you fall into, you can try this free personality assessment to find out.

16 comments

  1. Interesting article.

    I spent the first 30 years of my life as an extrovert – 100%! And in the last several years, I’ve become much more of an introvert. Although my personality is still the same and I’m outgoing and comfortable around people, I become drained very quickly in social settings now. I didn’t even know we could change that much! I thought I’d always be an extrovert.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Well, I’d never heard of “ambivert” before I read your article, and now I think I fall into that middle category.

    I enjoy the company of others. I even feel kind of wilty if I don’t socialize for too many days. Yet, when I come home from an outing or a visit, I’m tired and absolutely ready to be alone to read or journal or pray or just watch a mindless movie.

    I’m learning how to take care of myself all over again, because now, I seem to need both things equally.

    Liked by 2 people

      • If you don’t listen to your needs well, you may get confused. For instance, since you gt your energy from both being alone and hanging out with people, both can also tire you when done for a long time. It’s essential to be mindful of your feelings and thoughts to know when you should need to stay away from people for a while or when to get out and hang out with friends. But I personally think ambiverts are quite fortunate coz they get to enjoy the perks of both worlds. ☺

        Like

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