And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for… the first part of the Introverts & Extroverts series! Before I get started, I want to extend a huge THANK YOU to everyone who helped me out by participating in the survey I put out a few weeks ago. All of your responses were extremely helpful, no matter which end of the spectrum you fell on. I really enjoyed reading all of your responses, and I think I learned a thing or two myself! Thank you for all of your help and feedback!
Today, I want to cover the extroverts, since I feel like they often get overlooked. I think the internet especially needs to hear the extroverts’ side of the story, so I thought it fitting that they got to go first in this series.
Before starting, I want to say that because I received so many wonderful responses, it was hard to incorporate everything in this blog post. With that in mind, some responses are only quoted in part (though I took care to make sure nothing was taken out of context). I have also included at least one response from every participant.
So, introverts, are you ready to dive into the world of extroverts and learn something new?
Overall, all of the extroverts seemed to agree on what extroverts are like in general: social people who love interacting with others.Often, this is because they need it, because just as how introverts “recharge” using alone time, extroverts “recharge” by being around people. Kiara, who writes on her blog Bookends, added that extroverts “can feel suffocated when kept from socializing with others for an extended period of time.”
The responses also seemed to agree when it came to describing introverts. As one person put it, “[introverts] are people who enjoy being alone or with a select group of people they are comfortable with.” Another participant, Sarah, wrote that introverts are “always mulling over something,” and that for introverts, “interaction with people isn’t crucial.”
A few of the misconceptions about extroverts that came up were:
- “I think that we might be expected to be upbeat and outgoing all the time.” – Anonymous
- “We always know what we are doing.” – Anonymous
- “Extroverts are never shy.” – Sarah
Faith, blogger at Genuine Perplexities, had a good response to this as well:
We’re not always the life of the party or even in a big group. Extroverts need socializing to function, but that doesn’t mean we have to hit the club every Friday. A one-on-one Starbucks visit can work just as well. Also, just because you’re extroverted doesn’t mean you’re socially confident. In fact, you can be a shy extrovert or have anxiety…
…And we do need alone time! Different people need differing amounts of solitude, but even the most extroverted person out there will go bonkers if they don’t get a few minutes of quiet at some point. (Maybe once a week. Maybe once a decade. Who knows?) The difference is that after being alone, we need to socialize, rather than vice versa.
Kiara’s response furthered this same idea, and she also added this: “Some people think that when an extrovert enjoys being around people, they want to be around a lot of people. When I want to get out and socialize, I am more than ok with just hanging out with one or two friends. I don’t need a large crowd in order to feel energized.”
And for the introverts in the audience: here’s what extroverts want you to understand about them:
- “We’re actually not very different from you. Just take that craving you get to be alone, and flip it. Pretend you feel that same craving after you’ve BEEN alone. Just now it’s a need for people.” – Faith
- “We are uncomfortable with introverts not interacting with others and often misinterpret it.” – Sarah
- “Many extroverts can relate to spending time at home. Just because we are extroverts does not make us irresponsible or immature. It also does not always make us outgoing and super sociable. We crave socialization, but that can easily be achieved one on one or in small groups.” – Kiara
What about understanding extroverts? Sarah wrote, “We need people. We love to learn new things about people.” Another person added, “Remember that we are scared inside, also.”
Kiara’s response gave some good advice for understanding extroverts:
Ask your extrovert friends when you don’t understand them. Just like there are all these “how to understand introverts” blogs, it is just as useful to know how to understand extroverts from their own mouths. Try taking time to see why they feel the way they do, even if you don’t feel the same. Realize that their needs need to be met as well as your own. Keep an open line of communication, and offer solutions that will benefit both of you (such as going out with your extrovert friend to satisfy their itch for socialization, but keep it one on one so you do not need to feel uncomfortable).
Everyone also offered some good ways that us introverts can show kindness to our extroverted friends and family:
- “Treat us like regular people, and enjoy hanging out with us!” – Faith
- “Just show kindness because we err just like all humans.” – Anonymous
- “Be patient when we ask 15 times if you’re ok when you are backed into a corner with your head down.” – Sarah
- “…Be understanding and try to considerate when your extraverted friend has different needs. Don’t make them feel bad for being an extrovert, and please don’t act like introverts are better.” – Kiara
For the writers out there, Faith had some advice for those who want to write extroverted characters, but don’t know how:
Writers: your extroverts won’t always be cheerleaders and entrepreneurs. Some will be. But not all. Your extrovert might be that librarian who’s kind of chatty, or that quiet girl who always hovers around the edges of the friend group w/out saying much. Your extrovert might only have a few good friends. Remember there are three (six?) others Myers-Briggs functions besides E vs. I, and I personally think the N/S, F/T, and P/J make more of a difference.
And as I close out this blog post, I want to bring up what Kiara said at the end of her survey, since I think it’s a fitting conclusion: “It’s not impossible for introverts and extroverts to be great friends – in fact, many of my friends have been/are introverts! Just be kind to one another and respect your differences.”
And there you have it! I hope all of you introverts out there were able to learn something new today, and hopefully you feel more equipped to support and befriend the extroverts in your life.
Extroverts out there – is there anything you’d add to this? What is some additional advice you’d give to introverts? I’d love to continue this conversation with you in the comments, so scroll down and share your thoughts!
Thanks again to those who participated! Be sure to check out their blogs and websites!
I’ll be back again next week with the Introverts for Extroverts post, so be sure to come back then! If you want my post delivered directly to your inbox, find the subscribe box in the sidebar and enter your e-mil address!
Until next time!