I have emphasized over and over the importance of taking a personality test and understanding your personality type. This is because this is such a crucial part of the process of gaining self-awareness. There are many personality types especially in the Myers Briggs spectrum. There are two main dividers of personality types. These are extroversion and introversion. Extroverts and introverts differ largely in their behaviors, temperaments, among other characteristics.
What are the differences between introverts and extroverts?
I am an introvert and have studied a lot about this personality. So forgive me if this article expounds more on introverts than extroverts. First, let me clear up one common misconception, that introverts are quiet. Well, some are, others, like me, are not. We are talkative but mostly like to talk about topics we have interest in, and we talk to limited number of people, but not being the center of attention whereby everyone is listening to us. I wrote about why being learning I am an introvert is the best thing that has happened to me.
Introverts generally are territorial, in the sense that, they like their personal space and therefore are likely to be exhausted by social gatherings and a lot of social interaction. They draw their energy from solitude. A good example is one time I was a bridesmaid at a wedding. We had a rehearsal the day before the wedding with all the other bridesmaids, groomsmen and other supporters. On the wedding day, we had the preparation part, church wedding, photo session, and reception, all of which we were expected to be social, smile, and of course be around hundreds of people. By the time we got to the evening party, I was so exhausted, not physically, but from the human interaction that I had to sneak out early and go home. Being an introvert means you can be lonely even when in a crowd of people while extroverts are energized by such an environment.
Introverts like to work alone and spend a lot of time alone. When in the presence of people, they easily disconnect and look for a moment to be alone. For example, I have worked from home for some years now. My very extroverted brother does not understand how I spend a whole day (sometimes even a week if I have food supply) without going outside. Although I take a walk in the morning or evening (alone) I hardly ever leave the house and not talk to anyone all day and I am fine with that. To extroverts, this is inconceivable.
Extroverts are sociable, turned up and highly energized people. They are great at meeting people and initiating conversations. Some extroverts like being the center of attention and will not mind being in a crowd and having been the one talking and everyone is listening. Most extroverts can party for days, (not necessarily under the influence of something) and still crave for more human interaction. I had a friend who told me that after spending a whole day indoors, he would rather take a walk and talk to a random stranger on the streets than let the day end without him speaking to anyone.
Extroverts also like to have variety and action especially in their careers. They dislike work that has complicated procedure and often get impatient with long, slow, work. This is why I recommend taking personality tests and using this information when choosing a career. An extrovert friend told me she was hired as an accountant in one of the international accounting firms. She had great pay and benefits but she told me she couldn’t stand another day in an office working on figures. She quit before she could lose her mind. Today, she has a business which involves a lot of human interaction which is bliss for her (and a nightmare for me!).
Like I said, I have more information on introversion than extroversion because I highly relate and have researched more about the topic (I recommend, Quiet by Susan Cain for introverts). I really would like to hear from an extrovert; what did I miss? Anything you can add, extroverts?