In the world of popular psychology, there seems to be an ongoing ‘war’ between extroverts and introverts. How many articles have been written by both introvert and extrovert personality types to describe the special traits and talents of their own type and expose the flaws of the other! Well, introverts may have written more articles simply because they are more into writing than their extroverted fellows : )
Today, I won’t focus my article on introverted people and their traits and behaviors. Instead, I’m going to write about extrovert personality from the standpoint of an introvert – without, however, falling into the trap of stereotyping extroverts as talkative and shallow buddies who don’t know how to keep their mouth shut.
Below are a few things that you would never expect to hear about extroverts from an introvert.
And to be honest, we introverts secretly appreciate and sometimes even envy some of these extrovert personality traits.
Extroverts are quick thinkers
In fact, some differences between introverts and extroverts have a neurobiological basis. Since extroverts rely more on the sympathetic nervous system, they tend to be more active and open to experiences.
Moreover, this particularity makes their brain more alert and focused on their surroundings. This explains why extroverts have faster responses to what’s going on around them and thus can also take quicker actions.
Introverts are more focused on their inner world and often have highly developed analytical and abstract thinking. But this also makes them slower thinkers and reduces their practical problem-solving skills. That’s why we often secretly envy extroverts for their ability to quickly resolve a problem and find a way out in a practical situation.
Extroverts easily find the right things to say
I bet many introverts wish they had this remarkable extroverts’ ability to quickly come up with the right response during a conversation. How many times did you have an argument with someone and only after hours (or even days) of analyzing it did you find the best comeback possible?
There is even a term for this annoying feeling – l’espirit de l’escalier, a French phrase which literally means ‘the wit of the staircase’. It is when you come up with a perfect comeback when it’s too late to respond.
I guess most introverts struggle with l’espirit de l’escalier because they need time to think a situation over. Extroverts, for the most part, don’t need so much time because of the particularities of their nervous system described above. Since they are highly focused on their surroundings and are quick thinkers, they can easily find the right thing to say during the argument, not hours or days after.
Extroverts can find common ground with anyone
Good communication skills are almost always attributed to extrovert personality traits. Having these skills is highly important in our society, that’s why we introverts often struggle with our professional and personal life.
When an introvert accepts themselves and enjoys their introversion, they won’t force themselves into becoming more extroverted. For example, they won’t try to expand their circle and will focus on the quality of their friendships, not their quantity. However, some communication talents people with extroverted personality have still amaze us.
Extroverts get energized when they talk to other people. Again, due to the way their brain works, they find social interaction highly rewarding. For this reason, they won’t miss an opportunity to make a new friend or just have chitchat with a neighbor. Yes, we introverts don’t like small talk and forced communication of any kind, but we envy extroverts’ ability to find the right approach to anyone.
An extrovert will talk about pancake recipes with their old neighbor, will discuss the stock market trends with their boss and will show a sincere interest in the school project of their friend’s 9-year-old daughter. And guess what, they will do all this with equal ease. It’s amazing how natural and easy it is for them to find common ground with anyone they meet.
Extroverts tend to be generally happier and more optimistic
While each of these personality types has a different definition of happiness, studies show that extroverts tend to be generally happier.
“Evidence proves that there is a positive relationship between happiness and extraversion. After research on 131 undergraduates in Oxford, 95 Australian students, and 1076 students in USA, Australia, UK, and Canada, happiness was found in the relationship of happiness and extraversion,” researchers write.
It’s impossible to disagree with it for many reasons. Introverts are often overthinkers who fall into the trap of overanalyzing everything that is going on in their head and life. Extroverts, in turn, are less prone to overthinking simply because they are less focused on their inner world.
We could say that extroverts are more open to living and enjoying life experiences while introverts often find themselves hesitant and stuck because of their habit to overanalyze things. And after all, what is the meaning of life if not just living it? You see, I’m overthinking it again : )
Extroverts are not just shallow talkers – they can be deep and highly intelligent too
Many introverts seem to consider extroverted people some sort of talkative fools who care only about partying and the most superficial stuff. They are not. In fact, the most intelligent people I’ve ever known were extroverts. They just didn’t lie at the end of the introversion-extroversion spectrum.
And in reality, most people don’t – extreme extroverts, as well as extreme introverts, are far rarer than ambiverts and personality types that lie in-between, for example, the so-called outgoing introverts. The truth is that most people have both introvert and extrovert personality traits. So a person with the prevalence of extroverted qualities can be no less intelligent or deep than an introvert.
Extroverts do very much to make the world better – they become charismatic leaders and enthusiastic activists who bring a real change. Many of them are talented, creative and highly intelligent people with deep souls and moral values.
To the people with extrovert and introvert personality traits: let’s appreciate each other for the good in us!
Both introverts and extroverts have positive qualities that are valuable and needed in today’s world. Instead of focusing on our misunderstanding, let’s learn from our differences. And most importantly, let’s appreciate each other for our unique personalities and being ourselves.
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