Introversion and Extroversion: Differences and Similarities
Suppose that your school organized a party and invited all of the students, teachers, and other staff members to come. You would soon notice people’s personality differences from observing how people interacted with each other. The extraverts would likely come at the beginning and stay to the end, and they would enjoy talking and laughing with people. Introverts, on the other hand, would likely come late, stay in a corner, or maybe not come at all. Do you think that these two personality types can work together? Of course, those are very stereotypical takes on introversive and extroversive people. Characteristics of those stereotypes are in the process of being broken down and studied by psychological professionals and sociologists.
How people interact with others and where they get their energy can indicate the difference between extraverts and introverts. However, you can be a mixture of both in some cases- this means you have a very diverse personality. Generally, though, extraverts enjoy being with other people and are good at collaboration and chatting about their lives and work. They get their energy from interactions with other people. Extraverts who work as public speakers will probably also enjoy talking with audience members after the lecture to discuss their ideas.
Introverts can also be good at talking and interacting with others, but they work differently from extraverts. If introverts become public speakers, for example, they are likely to prepare their talks beforehand and to stick to their plan. Informal conversations after the official lecture is likely to cause stress, but they can learn to manage their anxiety if necessary.
Quiet people are often overlooked, possibly because they like to think before they speak. Sometimes, however, being an introvert is an advantage, especially in jobs that require concentration, independent thought, and creativity. People who need constant interaction with others are unlikely to succeed in these areas.
Many famous people have been introverts. J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books, is an introvert who needed solitude to concentrate on writing her fiction series (as it goes for most writers). Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, is also an introvert, and the famous scientist, Albert Einstein, also preferred to be alone rather than with other people. Many very successful people have used their preference for quietness and planning to accomplish some amazing things.
Despite their strengths, introverts are still likely to hear from family, teachers, or employers that they should be more extraverted. Can people really change their personalities? Some scientists believe that introversion and extraversion is part of people’s physical make-up, just like being tall or short. Introverts can work on their social skills, but they are unlikely ever to be completely comfortable in large crowds. Similarly, extraverts can try to depend less on other people’s approval, but they will likely never be entirely comfortable being alone.
Do you love being around other people or do you prefer to be alone? Whatever your personality type, you can learn to draw on the strengths that you have to succeed in your chosen career and to make a difference in the world.
Gallagher, Michelle. “The difference Between Introvert and Extraverts.” https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/199907/the-difference-between-introverts-and-extroverts
Hall, Alena. “10 Ways Introverts Interact Differently With The World.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/07/physical-behavior-of-introverts_n_6069438.html
Kaufman, Scott Barry. “Will the Real Introverts Please Stand Up?” http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/will-the-real-introverts-please-stand-up/.
Myers-Briggs.org. “Extraversion or Introversion.” http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/extraversion-or-introversion.htm.
Schocker, Laura. “16 Outrageously Successful Introverts.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/13/famous-introverts_n_3733400.html.