Do you cringe when you receive an invitation for a home sales party, wedding shower, or group setting? Or do you look forward to being with the crowd and participating in the activities? Do you lose energy in a big crowd?
You may be familiar with the terms introvert and extrovert and already know which type fits you more. Most people are not exclusively introverts or extroverts, but fall somewhere toward the middle with a penchant toward one or the other.
If you’re not sure where you fall on the introvert/extrovert scale, here are five ways to tell:
- Gain energy by being alone
- Lose energy by being in crowds
- Prefer one-on-one or very small group settings
- Think it over before speaking
- Observe before acting
- Gain energy from crowds and social situations
- Lose energy when alone
- Enjoy being in the thick of things, in crowded situations
- Tend to speak off the “tops of their heads”
- Jump right in to whatever is at hand (discussions, situations)
A well-meaning extrovert might mistakenly see an introvert as a shy person who needs help to socialize, and will attempt to bring her out of her shell. This only makes the introvert more uncomfortable with the situation and with the person who is pushing her into the crowd or drawing her out.
Recently I attended a dinner for friends of ours whose son would marry the next day. One woman at the table was outgoing and friendly. She spent the meal talking and asking questions of those at the table, the usual small talk inquiries about where we worked, where we lived, what we liked to do. I answered her questions but didn’t elaborate, and I’m sure I came across as shy or snobby or antisocial. But honestly, answering her questions about myself made me uncomfortable. I didn’t care for it at all. I would rather listen to someone talk than be in the spotlight. Conversely, when the woman asked my husband questions, he loved it. He can socialize all day with others; he is an extrovert and this sort of thing gives him energy and happiness. As an introvert, I was happy just observing and listening.
The first link below is an online test that gives a basic overview of your own extro/introversion. The second is an interesting article discussing the myths (and the facts) about Introverts.