If you’re even the slightest familiar with the internet (and since you are reading this, those chances are very high) for certain you’ve heard of these words before.
But what exactly do they mean?
Introvert1. a shy, reticent person.
- PSYCHOLOGYa person predominantly concerned with their own thoughts and feelings rather than with external things.Extrovert1. an outgoing, overtly expressive person.
According to Google, introverts are expressed as shy and withdrawn. Meanwhile, the extroverts are described as the theatrical type. Introverts + extroverts are commonly conveyed like their stereotypes, and unfortunately, both are branded by these tropes.
In reality, introversion and extroversion are measured by which environment a person is stimulated. Typically, an introvert prefers a night in with Netflix, while an extrovert is recharged through constant social interaction. However, it is important to note that expect no person to be true to this nature, so extroversion + introversion traits often collide.
In this post I’m going to compare & contrast these character traits honestly, as well as how to handle both introverts + extroverts. Hopefully I can clear up any misunderstanding you might have about yourself and others 🙂
Without further ado, let’s just get right into it.
In my honor, I’m going to begin with introverts.
Personally, I consider myself an introvert. Although I’m not
entirely inept at socializing that’s for another time I ultimately prefer the comfort of crisp white sheets, steaming hot tea, and a good book. But it’s not like I’m against being surrounded by people. Introverts love people, just in doses. Granted, they usually prefer a closely knit group of people, such as friends or family.
An introvert stereotype is that shy people and introverts are one in the same. This is not true. Shy people are people who appear closed at first, but soon grow comfortable with people and let down their walls. Introverts, on the other hand, can be comfortable with someone in an instant, but place alone time above all else. Despite the fact they might be found similar, they are for certain not the same.
A second stereotype is that introverts despise people. I’ve never heard such a false accusation. Who ever said we don’t like people? Needing a break from socializing in a world that’s never silent is no crime. Introverts tend to gravitate toward their inner circle, however, the people who they deem most loyal and kind and inviting. If you find yourself inside their group, consider yourself a lucky one, for you can’t be a better friend.
Worst of all, a stereotype is that an introvert can simply be “fixed.” As if our lifestyle and virtues are less than an extrovert. The night of the Me Before You premiere
I don’t even want to think about that movie right now my father told me, “I was alone all night.” When I ask what’s wrong with that, he asked, “What isn’t?” When I spilled that I was an introvert, he was silent for a moment. Eventually he murmured, “We might have to fix that.” Outraged, I gave him the glare.
What do you mean fix? I’m perfectly fine as I am, thank you, and I solemnly believe thousands—no, millions—of people would stand with me.
And who ever said an introvert can’t have fun? 🙂
Okay, it is time to venture into the other territory.
I know a lot of extroverts. Hell, I’m surrounded by extroverts everyday. I’m going to be honest, I’ve discriminated extroverts before. In my defense, it was mainly in response against introverted slurs. However, after writing this post, I’m going to change that.
First off, let’s present some stereotypes. Such as: extroverts aren’t introspective, only like to hear themselves talk, and cannot do things on their own.
The list goes on.
As for the first myth, extroverts are classically known for the “act first, think later” philosophy. Perhaps a handful of extroverts tend to jump into situations without a second thought, but under all circumstances, haven’t we all done that? Introvert, extrovert, or ambivert. We’re all virtually the same in the end.
“Extroverts only like to hear themselves talk.” This is completely untrue. According to Brigitte extroverts are unsettled by silence. While introverts are pondering the depth of their mind, extroverts are busy filling the silence with their own words. They simply can’t help themselves. I’m actually blessed that extroverts are willing to fill the space when words don’t come as easily to me.
I’ve often criticized my sister, an extrovert, who begs me to join her for movie night or just to hang out. As touched as I am that she
somehow enjoys my company, I time to time deny the offer. Sometimes, I need to be alone. However, she usually doesn’t emphasize with me. By my guess, extroverts can stand to do things alone—but if they can help it, they choose to be accompanied by somebody else.
How to Handle Introverts + Extroverts
After I posted a poll involving this post, I received some valuable information on Twitter. Some of it contradicting what I’d always thought about extroverts and introverts. As I explained before, the key difference between introverts + extroverts is which environment we find stimulating.
Not to mention, a majority of people contradict the typical introversion + extroversion traits. For example, one
immensely passionate follower on Twitter described her husband was a social butterfly around friends, family, as well as strangers—and most people considered him an extrovert—but he valued his introspective alone time just as much as social interaction, if not more.
That being said, here are a handful of tips to handling introverts + extroverts.
1. Prioritize family and friends. Especially their needs. If you’re an introvert, understand that joining them at a social event
after a day of proper solitude, of course won’t kill you. As for an extrovert, understand that if your friends prefer to stay in tonight and binge Netflix, don’t call them out for being antisocial, or lame. I’m usually on the receiving end, and that’s never any fun. Considering other’s needs before your own is crucial, as well as underrated.
2. Nothing is black and white. If an introvert happens to turn down an invitation tonight, don’t assume they won’t be willing to meet up ever again. If an extrovert spends the entire night partying, don’t be shocked if they want to sleep in the following morning. Extroverts and introverts are not opposites—they’re just territories adjacent to one another. And more often than not, their tendencies collide.
3. Compromise events. Typically, introverts are comfortable by intricately planning ahead of time. Meanwhile extroverts tend to play the day by ear—they flow with whatever comes their way. In some cases, introverts have plans ready, but the extrovert juts in, wanting to hang out—separately. Extroverts: never assume introverts are as casual as you. That being said, introverts: a little spontaneity—when you have no other priorities, of course—is nice every once in a while. Keeps life interesting.
4. Don’t expect someone to change at the drop of a hat. As an introvert, I’ve been told by several people
indirectly that the way I am the way I like being is wrong. On the other hand, I’ve asked my sister why she needs me there with her to watch a movie I’m not even interested in. Dragging an introvert outside + forcing them into uncomfortable situations won’t instantly make them a social butterfly. Yet refusing the invitation of an extrovert—forcing them to abandon plans—isn’t going to make them instantly sympathize your perspective on the importance of solitude and self-preservation. Even though people may not be completely introspective or extrospective don’t even try to deny it you can’t expect someone to change for your comfort.
Did you think this post was over? 🙂 Wrong. How could I not consider the mediator of these two conflicting traits? Ambiverts are the middle ground where the people who cannot seem to conform into either the introvert or extrovert category. A majority of people can be considered ambiverts, and I can clearly see why. Hell, I have several friends who I’d classify as ambiverts. Below is a list I’ve compiled (brought you by Buzzfeed) of signs you might just fall into this special category.
Signs you might be an ambivert:
- You’re quite fond of socializing, but introducing yourself without a mutual friend by your side can be rather intimidating
- In a group discussion, you’re typically quiet + observant—that is, until you’re given a topic you’re passionate about, and suddenly you’re rambling
- It’s difficult asserting yourself in a large group, but when you have proper time to think, you nail your opportunity
- When reading about introverts and extroverts, you find yourself relating to both sides
and it frustrates you to no end
- You divide your time between socializing and solitude, compared to a one-sided preference
- You can split your personality depending on whoever you’re with—acting as both a quiet soul or the life of the party isn’t a struggle for you
- Being the center of attention is uncomfortable for you, but blending in to your surroundings is just as agitating
Are you an introvert? An extrovert? An ambivert? Or does it not particularly matter to you? Comment below, I’d love to hear your responses!