What you may not know about Extraverts

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The world is comprised of 50% Introverts and 50% Extraverts. Thankfully.

Because each type can find the other exhausting.

Extraversion and Introversion are the key “attitudes” for personality type. What we know as Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or MBTI.

The MBTI assessment is used all over the world as a tool to help people understand themselves better.

For over 20 years, I have used personality type to help people find the work that will fit best. Where they will shine in the work world. And I have lived my life as an Extravert.

There are lots of misconceptions about Extraverts and Introverts. In this article, we will look at life from an Extravert’s perspective. In the next posting, we will look at Introverts. 

In 1921, Carl Jung, Swiss psychologist wrote Psychological Types and introduced us to the idea of dominant functions.

The premise is this: when you are using your dominant function, you are working in your strengths.

Your personality type is at the core of who you are and though individuation (moving towards wholeness by using all aspects of yourself) is the goal of humans, your dominant function is part of that fundamental part that doesn’t change in your lifetime.

What happens is that as you age, you become more and more of who you really are. 

As you get to know yourself, your functions as defined by Carl Jung, become clearer.

The question around Extraversion and Introversion is: What energizes you? 

Another way to consider this is:

When you are drained or exhausted, what do you do to recharge? 

Extraverts get their energy from being outer directed. They prefer to interact with the outer world; this includes being with others or doing outward activities.

Introverts get their energy from being inner directed. They prefer turn their attention inward; this may include doing things alone or one-to-one.

You perhaps are thinking that you have both tendencies.  Or you may notice that you have one more dominant than the other. We all have the ability to do both.

But we prefer one over another. It’s a function of how our brain works.

Over the my years of delivering MBTI, I have seen some awe-inspiring interactions between Extraverts and Introverts.

One of the activities I facilitate is dividing the groups into their types and then ask them to interview each other. What would they like to know to help them understand the other type?

Here is what Extraverts revealed:

1.         Sometimes what comes out of an Extravert’s mouth is the first time they heard it.

Because Extraverts prefer to work out their ideas by talking them through, they are energized by playing around with ideas. Introverts find this surprising because they will always have thought through an issue first. 

2.         Extraverts put their foot in their mouth.

Because Extraverts prefer to talk before they think, they can say things that may unintentionally offend others.

3.         They can be shy.

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Shyness is a response to an environmental situation. It is not a characteristic associated with either Introverts or Extraverts. Extraverts are also not necessarily confident.

4.         They are good initiators

Extraverts like the outer world of doing things, accomplishing and interacting with others. They like starting conversations or suggesting activities.

5.         They are expected to keep the conversation going.

Though Extraverts love to talk things through and start conversations, they find that they are often depended on to keep the party going. Extraverts appreciate being introduced to new ideas. And they can usually run with a new topic.

6.         They have a broad range of interests.

Extraverts preference is to skim the surface; they enjoy talking with a variety of people and are energized by many topics.

7.         Solitary activities are draining.

Going on retreats or spending a weekend alone can make a Extravert wilt. They might have a response like, “too much of a good thing.” Extraverts do not need to be with another person all the time but they prefer not to have extended periods of time alone.

8.         They like meeting strangers.

Going on solo trips is a great activity for the Extravert who is okay with travelling alone. This way they will meet new people and be introduced to new activities. An Extrovert will shine in work where they exposed to new people.

9.         Extraverts can find Introverts exhausting.

And vice versa. Extraverts like a fast-paced conversation. Around an Introvert who like to think first, Extraverts can perceive Introverts as having nothing to say on the matter if they don’t answer right away.

In the gap, an Extravert will want to fill in the space. So before an Introvert has answered a question, an Extravert is on to the next question. As you can see, this would be exhausting for both parties.

Any other thoughts on being Extraverted? What do Introverts need to know about you? 


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