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Introverts vs Extraverts: Understanding the Differences

Personalities in the world are not all the same. We all have different personal preferences. I prefer mustard on my turkey sandwich and you may prefer mayonnaise. That makes us the same in that we both love turkey sandwiches, but it also makes us different because we prefer different ingredients on our sandwiches.

It's the same concept when we look at the way people prefer to interact with the world. People have a preference to the way they receive stimulation and energy. As you observe and make decisions about your world, do you verbalize what you are observing and deciding? If so, extravert may be your preference. If you prefer to keep your observations and decisions inside while being energized by thoughts and ideas, introvert may be your preference.

When you add a global pandemic to the equation, you will clearly see differences in personalities. Let’s take a look at the introvert vs. the extravert and the response to limits on people interaction due to the global pandemic.

An introvert is a person who prefers to be territorial, limited relationships, cautious disclosure, reflective, thinks to speak. So a decrease in their contact with people is their happy place.

On the other hand, an extravert prefers to be social, multiple relationships, free disclosure, gregarious and speaks to think. For extraverts, any limits on social contact are a violation of their soul. Extraverts need interaction.

The wonderful dynamics between introvert and extravert personality is that people can have strong or weak preferences. This has a tendency to cause confusion. I hear people say that introvert or extravert doesn't make a difference to them. What they are saying is that they don't have a strong preference in the way they interact with the world. When a person does not have a strong preference, they are in the middle of scale of how they prefer their energy flow. You will find that you agree with some descriptions strongly, some a little and some not at all.

I heard someone once say that we are all the same, but different. I know first hand as an extravert my need to communicate and collaborate is important. I also can appreciate the introvert who simply needs their private space to process.

Let's take a look at the communication differences between extroverts and introverts.

Adapted from Looking at Type: The Fundamentals

by Charles R. Martin (CAPT 1997)

Ways Extraverts communicate

The following statements generally apply to me:

  • I am seen as "outgoing" or as a "people person."

  • I feel comfortable in groups and like working in them.

  • I have a wide range of friends and know lots of people.

  • I sometimes jump too quickly into an activity and don't allow enough time to think it over.

  • Before I start a project, I sometimes forget to stop and get clear on what I want to do and why.

Ways Introverts communicate

The following statements generally apply to me:

  • I am seen as "reflective" or "reserved."

  • I feel comfortable being alone and like things I can do on my own.

  • I prefer to know just a few people well.

  • I sometimes spend too much time reflecting and don't move into action quickly enough.

  • I sometimes forget to check with the outside world to see if my ideas really fit the experience.

What's most important about understanding your personality type is taking an official Myers-Briggs assessment. I encourage caution and not trying to guess your type or imagine your personality based on your desires.

I love to consult with business leaders, families and students about how their preference affects their relationships in various settings. On my website click Consulting and Personality Assessment to get the details of how you can learn more about your personality type. We all have to live in this world together so understanding each other will make the journey better.

Benefits of the Myers Briggs in 1-on-1 or Group Consultation

*Learning strengths and blind spots

*Personality Preferences

*Student Assessment

*Learning Styles

*Career Interest

*Organizational Development

*Developing Healthy Relationships

*And much more!


LaNissir James Blog

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