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Am I an Introvert or Extrovert? Advantages and Disadvantages Being You

How do you respond to social situations? Do you like to keep to yourself, and feel you are most productive when you are in quiet, low-key places? Have you ever been engaged in an exciting conversation with someone and then felt drained of energy afterward?

Introvert or extrovert

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
Chances are that you have the traits of an introvert. Conversely, an extrovert thrives on large amounts of stimulation, have no problems with the attention being on them, and are most capable of success in social environments.
Loud noises, large crowds, meeting new people, are all external stimuli that people handle differently. Extroverts gain energy from social situations, whereas for an introvert it can sometimes be entirely overwhelming. Introverts are easily overstimulated by the environment around them, thus would prefer the solitude of their own company at times.

mystery woman and reflection

Advantages of:

1. Being introverted

2. Being extroverted

Whether You're an Introvert or Extrovert, Play the Hand You Were Given and Make the Most of Your Best Personality Traits

In social situations, extroverts reign supreme. Most avenues to success require some social skills in today's society. However, there are still ways for introverts to survive and even thrive.

1. Advantages and disadvantages of being introverted

Being you isn't necessarily a bad thing. If you acknowledge your positive traits and decide to focus on improving your negative traits, you can use your personality to your advantage in most situations.

girl at home

Being a complete shut-in to society isn't always conducive to an enjoyable lifestyle, but taking time off occasionally can help recharge your mind for your next social challenge. Once you know how much stimulation you can handle and when you've reached your tipping point, you can control any social situation and how much you want to involve yourself.

High intelligence
woman holding up books

Introverts spend more time indoors, thus have more time for critical thinking and careful reflection about the past and future. Both a blessing and a curse; the ability to think more is what separates the introverts extroverts. Thinking carefully is a sign of someone with a higher IQ. Introverts are associated with higher intelligence because they have to compensate for a lack of social skills with improving themselves in other ways. Although introverts make up a minority in society, more often they are gifted with above-average thinking skills. The ability to think logically and rationally is what makes introverts the cautious type to pick and choose when to take action and when to stay home. A downside of higher intelligence is being able to relate with less people, thus further contributing to their isolation. An average mind has a higher likelihood of getting along with a wide spectrum of personalities. High IQ individuals often feel alone in the world with nobody to relate to.

Being at Home

While extroverts would prefer someone always nearby to talk to, introverts are more than likely to prefer living by themselves. Take this into consideration if you are thinking about moving in with someone, or taking on roommates:

Can you tolerate this person/people for an extended amount of time?

How often will you be at home during the time they will be there?

Introverts lose energy from being around people for long periods of time. Introverts require privacy at times in order to take on the challenge of their everyday social lives. Consider this when deciding whether to live alone or with others.

Chatting on the Phone

Introverts also tend to avoid talking on the phone. Phone conversations are usually anxiety-inducing for the average introvert because they cannot pick up visual and emotional cues. Introverts rely less on words and more on body language in social situations, which is why phone conversations can be just as emotionally-taxing as talking in person. Introverts tend to opt for text messaging instead. Introverts are also less skilled at small talk. Introverts tend to spend more time thinking about what they are going to say in certain situations than actually talking. If you aren't skilled at talking on the phone, consider writing down what you want to say before you make the call. Let unexpected calls go to voicemail and return the call at your convenience. It's easier for some than others; use your best judgment and you can work around your phone-call anxiety.

Large Crowds

If the thought of you going somewhere where there are many unfamiliar people makes you nervous, you could maybe try to limit your exposure to those types of situations to when you are confident enough to take it on. Parties, bars, and all social gatherings are not meant for everyone. As an introvert you have to be aware that you might need to set some boundaries if you know you are going to be somewhere with many people. Set a time limit and adhere to it. Make sure you have an exit strategy if need be. Social situations can be stressful if you have no plan of action. In the case of hanging out with a large group of friends, introverts are more comfortable when the attention is not on them. If you are more comfortable in groups of 3 or less, take big gatherings as an opportunity to think carefully and only speak your mind at the right opportunities. Introverts can have a good time in both small and big groups when they understand their limitations.

2. Advantages and disadvantages of being extroverted

There are tons of advantages to being extroverted. Extroverts are natural born leaders, they never back down from an opportunity to meet new people. Extroverts are go-getters, and also know naturally how to live in the moment.
While living a life of positivity and placing trust in others, there can be some downsides of being an extrovert.

girl playing guitar
More opportunities

Something that is debatable, is that extroverts often have more luck and higher chances of success in today's socially-driven world. Extroverts have more experience with people, since they are constantly putting themselves out there in the world. If you talk to enough people, see enough places, and do enough things then it's obvious that more things will happen for you than someone who doesn't take those kind of risks. It's a simple concept: do things and you will find opportunities. Extroverts know this better than introvert people, because extroverted people are able to do more while using less energy than those who would prefer to stay home and keep to themselves. The true go-getters of the world are often extroverts, and that translates to more success and fulfillment in life.

Constant Stimulation

While introverts lose energy from being around too many people for too long, extroverts lose energy when they spend too much time alone. When depression hits extroverts, it tends to hit hard. If extroverts don't get their regular dose of social interaction in a day, it can affect their life negatively. It can sometimes be more disadvantageous of needing to be with others than to be alone. That is why extroverts often seek out other extroverts; because they understand each other and their need for each-others' contact.

Being the Center of Attention

Extroverts crave validation and the feeling of being the center of attention. Though extroverts are easily noticed and likeable to most; some people cannot tolerate this kind of behavior all the time. While this doesn't bother some, many extroverted people are forced to tone down their natural personality traits in certain situations to avoid confrontation.

Quantity at the Expense of Quality

While popular on the social scene in high school, extroverts tend to find it harder to maintain good friendships. Extroverts have many acquaintances but sometimes find it difficult to keep friends later on in life. When you spend so much time and energy into making new friendships, you often forget about the ones you made previously. Some would consider this a good problem to have, but not when you miss out on opportunities for lasting friendship by filling your life with too many mere acquaintances.

Relationships Between Introverts and Extroverts

Am I an introvert or extrovert? If you are in a relationship or have someone special in mind, it may help to know if he is introverted or extroverted. Introverts tend to be shyer, thus may require you to initiate the conversation.

couple watching the game

When it comes to dating, there are ways to know if a shy guy likes you, but depending on the situation you will probably need to reach out first. Relationships with two introverts are rare, and they usually occur when a guy or girl are set up by others.

Can the relationship work?

A relationship between polar opposite personality types may be a rocky one. But there have been many introverted and extroverted couples that were able to make things work out in the relationship. The ones who are able to have a lasting relationship with each other are the ones who recognize personality differences and find ways to adapt to each other. It can be difficult, but so is any relationship. The bottom line is how much the two are willing to work through each other's weaknesses and embrace their strengths. Introversion extroversion seem like two different species of humans sometimes, but that doesn't mean we can't all coexist in harmony together. It takes a bit more work than a pair with similar personality traits, but that doesn't mean that it's impossible.

Shades of gray in the introversion and extroversion equation

Being introverted or extroverted is not all black and white. That is to say that it has its own shades of grey just like anything else. Introverted people can behave as extroverted in certain situations and vice versa. Introverts can learn to fake being extroverted but innate personality characteristics are quite the uphill battle to overcome.

girl and dog

No matter how socially experienced introverts become, they will mostly always need their alone time after a day of constant stimulation, while a natural extrovert will almost never require spending some time alone. What's up to you is to learn to accept the good with the bad. Use your natural abilities to your advantage and strive to improve yourself as a person.

Hybrid personalities

How to spot someone introverted or someone extroverted? Not always as easy as it sounds. Although they are opposite personality traits, there are different degrees of each and some people are moderate or a mix of both. Each person exhibits a different style of each trait, also. So it's really impossible to tell which people are introvert and extrovert personality from first meeting. Because extroversion can be faked. Someone you meet can be really outgoing on first meeting but then as you get to know them you find out that they like to spend most of their time alone. There are "hybrids" where people adjust their personality to their surroundings, like a chameleon's colors. Adapting to one's environment is a viable survival instinct.

Introverts and extraverts on the job

Being that extroverts are always out and about, they are more experienced at dealing with people and have higher levels of self-esteem and confidence. Extroverts are more often than not seen in retail, sales, and customer service. Introverts are more comfortable behind the scenes and are most commonly working jobs that don't require face-time with the customers.

By Kacia Nall

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