Are you an introvert or an extrovert? One question might change your answer
You might think you already know whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, but one question might change your mind
Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
Most people might feel like they know the answer to this question, or they might feel like they’re somewhere in the middle.
Experts say that finding where you are on the scale can offer more insight into your personality and help you find where you might better fit in your social and work lives, according to TED Ideas.
Psychologist Carl Jung introduced the introvert and extrovert theories in the 1920s. Introversion and extroversion are two attitudes of the personality.
“These terms describe and distinguish two directions of energy within consciousness that attract the individual toward, on one hand, the external world and its objects, and on the other hand, the internal world and its images,” according to Encyclopedia.com.
Most people lie somewhere in between the two extremes, but Jung said self-realization is found in a balance of introversion and extroversion, according to Simply Psychology.
“Everyone spends some time extraverting and some time introverting,” according to The Myers & Briggs Foundation. “Don’t confuse introversion with shyness or reclusiveness. They are not related.”
What is an introvert?
According to Jung, an introvert is “a person whose interest is generally directed inward toward his own feelings and thoughts,” as stated in the Encyclopedia Britannica.
The Myers & Briggs Foundation describes introverts as people who usually reflect inward. An example of introverted thinking could be: “I like dealing with the ideas, pictures, memories and reactions that are inside my head, in my inner world.”
An introvert might prefer to do things alone, or with one or two other people they feel comfortable with, according to Myers & Briggs.
What is an extrovert?
An extrovert, under Jung’s theory, is described by their “outgoingness, responsiveness to other persons, activity, aggressiveness, and the ability to make quick decisions,” reports Encyclopedia Britannica.
An extrovert is someone who gets energy from active involvement and participating in a lot of different activities.
Extroverts are often energized around other people and have a wide range of friends. Opposed to the introvert, an extrovert expresses their thoughts and feelings in a more outward way, according to Myers & Briggs.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
You can find the answer to this by asking yourself one question, according to Susan Cain, a viral TED Talk speaker.
Where do you get your energy?
As Jung stated, most people lie on a spectrum of introversion and extroversion. Some extroverts might appear to be quiet people, whereas you might know some introverts who are very outspoken and have lots of friends.
Imagine you’ve spent a few hours at a party. After hours of socializing, “if you’re an extrovert you will feel charged up and ready for the after party. Conversely, you’ll leave feeling drained if you’re an introvert,” Cain told CNBC.
A biological explanation:
Cain said that introverts and extroverts respond to dopamine in different ways. She said that introverts can be more sensitive to external stimuli, leading them to feel overwhelmed and overstimulated when exposed to large amounts of stimuli.
“For introverts, we feel at our most alive and switched on when things are a bit calmer because there’s less stimulation coming at us,” Cain told CNBC.
Extroverts, on the other hand, aren’t as sensitive to external stimulation, meaning “they feel at their best when there is more happening,” said Cain.
When not much is going on, an extrovert can feel bored, leaving it hard for them to stay engaged.