Accept Your Introvert or Extrovert Temperament
by Linda-Ann Stewart
Some years ago, I had a friend urge me to go write and work on my business in coffee shops. She loved to work around people, and said, "You'll get so much done!" I unsuccessfully tried to explain to her that I couldn't concentrate with other people around. Their activity and noise was too distracting. She never understood.
It was the classic difference between an introvert, like me, and an extrovert, like her. An extrovert loves being around people. Extroverts are buoyed up by the energy of people and ride that wave. Introverts get overwhelmed and overstimulated by being around too many people. They might like to be around people for a short time, but then they have to go recharge in solitude. To an extrovert, being isolated would be punishment. For an introvert, it's nirvana.
The Differences Between Extroverts and Introverts
Extroverts and introverts process information through different parts of the brain. For an introvert, the information has to go through more areas of the brain for them to come to a conclusion. They consider more deeply and thoroughly about a subject before they arrive at a decision.
Extroverts process information as they interact. They're spontaneous, and like to talk a subject through or think out loud to reach an answer. While extroverts will say the first thing that comes to mind, introverts reflect about a question before they answer.
Being an introvert isn't synonymous with being shy. I've known shy extroverts and outgoing introverts. Whether you're an extrovert or introvert depends on whether you get energized or depleted around groups of people and how you think. Introverts have rich inner lives, while extroverts need to be stimulated by outer experiences.
Each Type Has Value
Western society prefers and rewards extroverts, who are gregarious and risk takers. Eastern culture values introvert's traits of reflection and seclusion. The West loves outgoing people and thinks that loners are somehow lacking in social skills. That's not true, because introverts are much better listeners. But, in western society, introverts are often shamed and pressured to try to be like an extrovert. As a result, this decreases an introvert's self-esteem, self-worth and self-confidence.
No one is fully an extrovert or introvert. It's not either/or. It's a spectrum. If you identify a bit with both of them, you may be an ambivert. This is someone who loves to be around people, but does need alone time afterwards to recharge.
No matter whether you're an extrovert, introvert or ambivert, accept your temperament and that it's right for you. It reflects the individual that you are and what you need for your wellbeing. If you're an extrovert, find a way to be around people in person or even virtually. However, if you're an introvert, find your interaction limit, and give yourself permission to have alone time afterwards.
Recognize how you gain energy, whether it's being around people, in solitude, or a combination. Find a balance of social stimulation that works for you. Accept that how you think and process information may be different from others.
These traits aren't learned. You're born this way. Don't let anyone shame or pressure you to conform to their idea of who they think you should be. Honor and respect your temperament. You'll be happier, healthier and be able to utilize your strengths to create a life that suits you.
Copyright © 2009-2023 Linda Ann Stewart
All Rights Reserved
As a focus coach, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart motivates women to focus and transform their business through deliberate actions that break through distraction and overwhelm to greater success, freedom, wellbeing and prosperity. Register for her FREE Design Your Best Day guide and guided meditation at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/guide.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.