What is the Difference Between an Introvert and Extrovert?


Introverts and extroverts are two different and opposing personality traits. Although people are already familiar with these terms, I would like to reiterate particular aspects where these two personalities differ significantly.

The difference between introverts and extroverts boils down to how much energy they get from being around other people versus being alone. Extroverts gain energy by being around other people and feel drained when left alone for long periods. While introverts prefer solitude, extroverts crave it less so than introverts do.

Introversion and extraversion aren’t just about being shy or confident in public settings. But we must admit that confidence has to do with how introverts and extroverts socialize with a wide range of people.

But that doesn’t stop there. There’s so much to know about these two traits.

introverts gathered in one place siting on sofa

Introverts vs. Extroverts

Introversion and extraversion differ in various aspects. Let’s drill down these aspects from this point on.

Likes

Introverts like the simplest, smallest, and quietest of things. 

They like simple and small events, and they do like a small circle of friends. They also like being alone rather than spending their time outdoors or with other people.

Likewise, they are more caught up with creative activities such as arts, writing, and music than physical activities.

Moreover, extroverts are the total opposite.

Extroverts worship noise and, of course, big events and friends.

They like accepting invitations here and there and have no problems dealing with many people. This is why extroverts are known to be outgoing and friendly.

What’s more about extroverts? They enjoy physical activities that require lots of communication, such as games during events and other extracurricular activities in school.

Dislikes

Regarding dislikes, it’s pretty obvious, but we’ll still list them.

Introverts don’t like spending most of their time with others or many people. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t socialize. They go outside when they feel like it or are ready to do it.

Aside from that, introverts dislike short talks because they think it’s awkward and demanding. They prefer deep conversations with a sense of connection.

Friends

What do the friends of introverts and extroverts look like?

Introverts are often drawn to other introverts. They tend to prefer smaller groups and one-on-one conversations to large social gatherings. 

Extroverts, on the other hand, are often drawn to extroverts. They thrive in large groups and love being the center of attention.

So what does this mean for your friends?

If you’re an introvert, it might mean that you naturally gravitate towards other introverts rather than extroverts. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any extroverted people in your life!

You probably have a few friends who are also very outgoing and social, just like you! It just means they may not be as naturally outgoing as you. And if you’re an extrovert, congratulations!

Energy

Introverts and extroverts may seem like complete opposites, but they have many similar qualities.

Both introverts and extroverts need to recharge their energy levels, but how they do so is very different. 

Here’s a look at how introverts and extroverts gain energy.

Introverts gain energy by spending time alone. They like to recharge in silence or just with a good book or movie. 

Meanwhile, extroverts gain energy by spending time with other people. They love going out with friends or being in groups, whether it’s at a party or just hanging out at the mall together.

A big part of this difference has to do with how much energy each personality type needs in order for them to feel satisfied and happy with their lives overall. 

While introverts need more quiet downtime than extroverts do, both personalities need some time alone every day. It’s just that introverts need more!

Behavior

When it comes to behavior, some differences are pretty interesting to take note of.

When it comes to introverts, they tend to be more quiet and thoughtful. They enjoy being alone or with close friends and family. 

What’s even great is that they’re great listeners and often have a lot of insight into what’s happening in the world around them.

On the other hand, extroverts are more outgoing and talkative than introverts. 

They enjoy meeting new people, exploring different experiences, and being in the spotlight. 

This doesn’t mean that all extroverts are loud or constantly seeking attention. It just means they’re less likely to focus on one activity for long periods.

Sensitivity

Introverts and extroverts are both sensitive but in subtly different ways.

Introverts are more sensitive to their environment, whereas extroverts are more sensitive to the people around them.

This means introverts can be very affected by their surroundings. Still, they’re less likely to notice whether a person is enjoying an event or not.

While an extrovert may not be as affected by the environment as an introvert, they’ll be able to tell from someone’s body language or facial expression whether or not they’re enjoying themselves.

Verbal Language

Introverts and extroverts communicate differently through their verbal language.

Extroverts use language to connect with others, while introverts use language to think through their thoughts before speaking. There’s nothing wrong with either approach. They’re just different!

So how do you tell if someone is an extrovert or an introvert? 

Extroverts love people, even strangers. They’re great at small talk and at making connections with people quickly. They love talking about themselves, too! 

Introverts tend to be more reserved, so they might not be as open in their conversations. They also don’t like talking about themselves as much as extroverts, though they may enjoy talking about other people.

Likewise, extroverts speak loudly and clearly when they talk. Meanwhile, introverts speak softly, sometimes mumbling even though they try to speak clearly. 

Extroverts also tend to be more animated than introverts, using gestures and facial expressions along with their words to help convey meaning. 

Introverts tend to stay still when speaking, but they’ll often make eye contact when listening attentively and then look away once the other person stops talking!

Non-Verbal Language

Non-verbal language is a great way to tell the difference between introverts and extroverts. While both types of people use body language, they do so differently.

Introverts tend to make themselves smaller when they communicate with other people.

They may cross their arms or legs or make themselves small by sitting back in their chairs or standing with their hands held behind them.

However, extroverts are more likely to take up space when communicating with others. They may stand up straight and point at people while talking. They might also put their hand on someone’s shoulder or arm as they talk to them.

In addition to body language, non-verbal communication includes facial expressions and eye contact.

Introverts tend to give fewer smiles than extroverts, but their smiles are often genuine and warm. 

Extroverts are more likely to smile for no reason at all. These smiles are often more excited, which introverts don’t do.

Time

Introverts and extroverts may share the same physical world but spend their time differently.

Introverts like to spend their time in quiet places where they can think clearly and reflect on what’s important to them. 

They enjoy reading books or watching movies alone, or they might prefer staying at home with their family rather than going out with friends.

Extroverts tend to be more drawn to busy, active environments where there’s always something new happening. They could be at a party, a concert, or any other place where there are many people and excitement.

Pros and Cons that We Need to See

Before diving into the potential advantages and disadvantages of both traits, it’s important to remember that there’s nothing wrong with who you are.

Let’s just try to see this angle so you can improve yourself in any way you want.

Introverts’ Pros

  • Introverts take time to reflect and process before making decisions. 

This quality makes them great leaders, as they’re often able to make well-thought-out decisions in times of stress or crisis.

  • Introverts are great listeners. 

They don’t let their own thoughts get in the way of hearing what others have to say, which means they’re genuinely invested in their relationships with others.

  • Introverts have greater self-awareness than extroverts do. 

They know how they feel about things and understand why they feel that way, whereas extroverts tend to be less self-aware and unaware of their emotions.

Introverts’ Cons

  • It’s harder for introverts to make friends or meet new people.
  • Introverts tend to be quiet and listen more than they talk, so they might not get their opinion heard as much as extroverts do.

Extroverts’ Pros

  • They make friends easily.
  • They’re good at public speaking and entertaining others.
  • They tend to be open-minded in terms of accepting new ideas and people.
  • They love having fun and being around other people who like having fun, too!

Extroverts’ Cons

  • They are easily distracted. They like to talk and listen to other people, so they’re more likely to lose focus on projects they’re working on.
  • They want to be around people all the time, making it hard for them to get work done alone.
  • Those who don’t know them well enough can be seen as pushy or overbearing. So you’ll want extra care not to come off that way when first meeting new people!

What do these differences mean to you?

Knowing the differences between introverts and extroverts is important because it will help you better understand yourself, other people, and how to interact with them.

First of all, it’s important to know that being an introvert or extrovert is not a personality flaw.

It’s just a different way of being! Whether you’re an introverted or extroverted person, you indeed have strengths and weaknesses that can help or hinder your social interactions.

Understanding your winning sides and drawbacks will help you navigate people more successfully.

Second, knowing the difference between introverts and extroverts can help you understand why some people respond differently than others do in certain situations.

For example, suppose someone is highly outgoing but also extremely sensitive. In that case, they may be more likely to be overwhelmed by crowds than someone who isn’t as sensitive but still wants to get out there and meet new people.

Knowing this can help us make more compassionate choices about reacting when someone else seems uncomfortable around us. And maybe even make sure we don’t do anything that would make them feel worse!

How do you interact with introverts the right way?

Introverts are unique, and they don’t always appreciate being treated like everyone else. Here’s how to get them talking without making them feel uncomfortable.

First, don’t assume that because they’re quiet, they don’t care about what you have to say. They just prefer to listen rather than talk, and that’s okay! 

If you can find a way to get them involved in a conversation without putting them on the spot, they’ll be happy to contribute.

Second, don’t try to force an introvert into being more outgoing than they are!

You may think that if only they were more social and outgoing, their life would be much better, but this isn’t true for most people.

The only thing that will help an introvert feel more comfortable around other people is practice, so let them practice! And don’t refrain them from having their own space.

Third, don’t make fun of introverts for being shy or reserved. Instead, try talking about their passions and interests.

This will help break down barriers between the two of you by showing that you’re interested in who they are as a person.

Be confident in who you are!

So the bottom line of this discussion is whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, don’t be afraid to show who you are. The world will adjust.

If you’re an introvert, don’t worry about being too quiet or reserved in meetings or social events. You’ll find your voice soon enough, and people will appreciate your thoughtful contributions.

If you’re an extrovert, don’t worry about talking too much or being boisterous in meetings or social events. People will love that about you, and if they don’t, they’re not worth it anyway!

Show the world who you are, and let it adjust accordingly. The world will thank you for it!

Garo Kotchounian

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