Okay, quick! Don’t think. How would you answer this question: Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Would you consider yourself shy, outgoing, or does it kind of depend on the situation?
I used to label myself as an extrovert because I’m outgoing. I like to talk to people and I’m not nervous around others. I’m totally comfortable having to take the stage. So, yeah, considering all that I assumed I was an extrovert.
But until I really understood the definitions of introvert and extrovert, I was mislabeling myself.
And now I know I’m actually an introvert! Who’da thunk?
Let’s break down the definitions of introvert and extrovert which, let me be perfectly clear, are absolutely separate from shy and outgoing.
I want you to think of those two terms – introvert and extrovert – with regards to how you feel about your energy level.
What An Extrovert Would Do
It’s time to run a few errands and they want someone to tag along just because they enjoy having the energy or the presence of somebody in their company. An extrovert loves having that emotion, that communication, that passion, the energy of people in a room – even if they’re not in the middle of the conversation. An extrovert usually feels very alone with their thoughts and doesn’t like spending that much time alone. They would prefer to be with other people. In fact, they do their best work in a group. So, if they’ve got a big project or something creative to develop or a thought process, they want people around them so that they can feel their energy. An extrovert loves going to parties, loves being around people regardless of whether they’re shy or outgoing. It’s really about managing energy.
What An Introvert Would Do
If they’ve got to run a few errands, they’d much prefer to do it on their own.
When they hear the party’s been canceled, they’re like: “Hooray! Whoohoo!” And that might surprise some people, especially if you’re an outgoing introvert. You know you’re an introvert if you love being at gatherings, but then all of a sudden (it comes on pretty quickly) you’re like,
I’ve got to go. I’m empty. I can’t take one more conversation. I just need to go.
You almost can feel your energy level drop to zero and you need to recharge. Like an electric car, you need to plug yourself back in. And the way most introverts plug themselves back in is by being alone. And it’s not that they don’t love people. It’s just they need that solo environment to have clarity, to feel energy, to get in touch with their thoughts.
There are also times when an introvert – shy OR outgoing – needs to make special accommodations to make other people feel comfortable. That’s the bottom line, right?
We’re talking about taking our relationships to the next level.
Which means there are more opportunities to make someone’s day. That’s a pretty cool thing, isn’t it? Making another person feel good, important, and comfortable around you. You don’t want to make people feel uncomfortable around you, do you? I hope not. I mean we have to start with that.
If we all agree that our goal is to make other people feel chill around us, then we can move forward because all of these things can be managed and improved. They’re skills.
Knowing what areas to improve requires some self-reflection.
Hopefully you’ve identified yourself either as an introvert or an extrovert. And if you feel like, “Well, I’m really not sure.” That’s okay. You might be one of those people who is a little bit of both. But 98% of the time, people are predominantly one or the other. I mean, there are times when all of us are extroverted, and there are times when all of us are introverted. Remember, this has nothing to do with being shy or outgoing. This is about how much we can tolerate / enjoy being around other people. It’s about energy. Got it?
In a soon-to-come blog, I’m going to get into the nitty gritty of shy versus outgoing. And why you should never call yourself shy again! Seriously, your mind will be blown. Yeah, I predicted the future right there. Sorry not sorry.
Action Item for the day: Identify which one – extrovert or introvert – you lean toward. And tell me in the comments! I’m dying to know!