Psychologists define people based on two main types of personalities: introverts and extroverts. So, the first step in understanding yourself better is learning the difference between an introverted and an extroverted personality. This article discusses the two personalities in detail to help you understand your character better.
What Is an Introvert?
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An introvert is someone who portrays high levels of introversion, which is a personality attribute that’s characterized by the desire to spend time alone instead of socializing. An introvert is energized by spending their time alone. They also expend energy when socializing with other people.
So, if you always like to keep it to yourself and have difficulty socializing, you could be an introvert. But there are several other important telltale signs of an introvert you need to consider before you conclude that you’re an introvert
Characteristics of an Introvert
1. Solitude Over Company
As mentioned above, an introvert prefers to spend time alone over socializing. The only company they’re likely to enjoy is that of their pets or a small, supportive circle of associates, colleagues, or relatives. An introvert doesn’t thrive in large groups of people they expend energy instead of gaining energy.
Furthermore, an introvert prefers to spend time with one or two people where they can have a one-on-one interaction instead of a large multitude. But even with a small, supportive circle of friends and relatives, an introvert still needs plenty of alone time to recharge fully.
In short, an introvert can spend days alone without speaking with anyone and still feel okay. So, if you like to lock yourself in the house to watch your favorite TV show or play your favorite video game while everyone else is out socializing, you could be an introvert.
2. Socialization Drains an Introvert
While an extrovert gains energy from crowds, an introvert feels drained by crowds. They’re completely worn out after socializing for a short while. While everyone, including extroverts, has a social battery, an introvert’s “social battery” seems to get drained pretty quickly.
Therefore, if you tend to feel exhausted very quickly when you’re in the company of other people, you could be an introvert.
3. An Introvert is Averse to External Stimuli
As noted above, an introvert prefers a quiet and chilled environment. So, they are highly sensitive to external stimuli. It’s very easy for an introvert to feel overwhelmed by busy marketplaces, streets, and loud crowds.
Therefore, if you hate downtown because of the crowded streets or shopping malls with large crowds, you are probably an introvert.
4. Working Alone
An introvert is a loner. They prefer to work to do things alone instead of being part of a team. This normally happens with “thinking introverts.”
While some people, especially extroverts, can’t get things done when they work alone or in an environment where they can’t brainstorm with team members, an introvert thinks more clearly and thrives when executing tasks alone.
5. Very Good at Introspection
An introvert is very good at retreating into their own mind and going back to their inner solitude, especially when they’re overwhelmed by other people. They find great peace in their inner loneliness, as against external sources such as friends, colleagues, and relatives.
Types of Introverts
There are four main types of introverts: a thinking introvert, a social introvert, a restrained introvert, and an anxious introvert. Here’s a detailed look at the four types of introverts.
1. A Thinking Introvert
A thinking introvert is a person who likes to spend a lot of time rationalizing things in their head without necessarily voicing their thoughts. They’re naturally very cognitive and intelligent. So, they prefer to spend their time reading, learning, analyzing, and researching things and situations.
It’s also not strange to find a thinking introvert pausing before they voice their thoughts. So, if you often use phrases like “let me think about it” when having a conversation with people, you could be a thinking introvert.
2. A Social Introvert
A social introvert isn’t interested in socializing in large groups. So, you’ll hardly find them at large parties. Although they don’t avoid gatherings completely, social introverts feel happier and more comfortable in their solitude or in small circles.
3. An Anxious Introvert
An anxious introvert is easily recognizable because they’re usually very quiet. Sometimes they seem to be nervous and on the edge when they’re around large crowds. Socializing further exacerbates this anxiety.
So, socializing introverts tend to avoid people. Sometimes anxious introverts may come across as withdrawn or rude, especially when they go back to their inner solitude. However, this is just a way to protect their inner peace.
4. A Restrained Introvert
Also referred to as an inhibited introvert, a restrained introvert tends to be more restrained around new people. So, their restraint and withdrawn nature can change when they become used to their new environment. They also tend to be grounded, thoughtful, reflective, and plodding.
Sometimes a restrained introvert can be unwavering and rocklike. They’re often quiet and dutiful. It’s someone who other people can rely on.
What Is an Extrovert?
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An extrovert is a person who thrives and enjoys being around other people. They become energized when they’re socializing, especially in large gatherings. It’s safe to say that an extrovert is the direct opposite of an introvert.
Characteristics of an Extrovert
While an introvert feels drained by other people, an extrovert feels energized by them. Here are the main characteristics of an extrovert.
1. Highly Sociable
An extrovert loves talking to other people. They’re comfortable talking to people all day without feeling drained. So, talking to people isn’t just an interest to them, it’s what they do every day.
They enjoy having small talks with friends and relatives as well as serious talks with their coworkers and bosses. So, if you’re always ready to start a conversation with anyone, and you’re willing to keep it going, you could be an extrovert.
Also, if you’re naturally outgoing and have high self-esteem, and don’t have difficulty socializing, you’re an extrovert. If you enjoy speaking in front of large gatherings and you’re highly sociable and friendly, then you’re most probably an extrovert.
2. Naturally Love Social Gatherings
An extrovert thrives on social interactions. These situations inspire them and keep them fully energized. So, while an introvert finds social gatherings and interactions draining, an extrovert finds them rewarding.
This affirms the fact that the difference between the two personalities is like day and night. So, if you always find joy in talking to other people and your mood is boosted when you socialize, then you’re likely to be an extrovert.
3. Very Open
An extrovert is always willing to open up and let other people know their thoughts and feelings. For instance, an extrovert will be the first person to introduce themselves to strangers at a party. They can easily strike up a conversation with new people.
Furthermore, an extrovert is often considered to be more forceful than an introvert. They openly share their thoughts without worrying about how other people feel or think about them.
Types of Extroverts
Like introverts, extroverts are divided into several categories, depending on the level of their extroversion. Here are the main types of extroverts.
1. A Social Extrovert
A social extrovert is someone who enjoys socializing and talking about different things. They love making new friends and going out. This extrovert is often the life of the party, especially since they love mingling with everyone.
2. An Assertive Extrovert
An assertive extrovert is often considered to be forceful. They like to take charge of every situation, especially in social gatherings. They’ll always be seen meeting different people and having conversations.
They enjoy being the center of attention and being surrounded by people. Their energy comes from socializing.
3. An Aggressive Extrovert
Sometimes aggressive extroverts get into trouble with other people because they don’t think things through. They’re also very outgoing. They enjoy making fun of other people and pointing out their mistakes just for laughs.
An aggressive extrovert doesn’t struggle to convince other people to follow their lead. Their aggressiveness and humor make people follow them, even when it’s not in their best interest.
What Is an Introverted Extrovert?
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An introverted extrovert is a person who tends to share both extrovert and introvert personalities. However, their personality tends to lean more on the extrovert side. For example, they get energized when they’re around other people but become drained by people after some time.
So, while introverted extroverts will enjoy socializing, they’ll also crave solitude at some point. This alone time helps them to recharge, just like a pure introvert. As an introverted extrovert, you’ll portray extrovert and introvert tendencies, depending on the situation.
For instance, you’ll host people and then ghost them at some point, even without saying goodbye. Also, if you like to lead without getting all the limelight, you’re probably an introverted extrovert. Another perfect example of an introverted extrovert is someone who enjoys having a face-to-face conversation or a phone call rather than texting or sending emails.
Furthermore, an introverted extrovert likes to help other people but has a hard time accepting help from others. They won’t shy away from showing other people care, but they don’t like getting the same kind of attention. That’s why sometimes they’re considered to be full of pride.