Updated: Jun 17, 2020
In a previous post we delivered harsh truths to our extroverted friends. It's time for a role reversal. 😛
How do you know if you are introverted or extroverted?
I've noticed in conversations over the years, that people often misidentify themselves as either introverted or extroverted based on a definition or a trait they heard those personality types should exhibit.
The truth is, people don't always fit neatly in one category. There are extremes and like a spectrum, there are varying degrees of introversion and extroversion.
I would like to clarify for you, right now, which is your dominant tendency.
If you will excuse my clearly unscientific methodology, I invite you to read my previous post (Warning: it's harsh) and see how many items in the list you identify with. If you chuckle, agree or understand most of them, you are introverted. If you disagree or are hurt by many of the statements, you are most likely extroverted.
Also, if the picture of the crowd above makes you squirm, you're either introverted or suffer from enochlophobia (fear of crowds). Staring at that picture makes me anxious. The idea of being surrounded by a crowd of that size makes me want to crawl under a rock (for the record, I don't have enochlophobia).
Can introverts learn to become more extroverted?
The answer is yes and there are good reasons for doing so. This doesn't mean you shouldn't honor your DNA or give up being introverted. Our personalities, to a degree, are determined by our ancestors. But the beauty of life is that we get to choose who we are and what we become. We all have the potential (and should be striving) to become better, wiser and more loving individuals.
Why Introverts Need to be More Extroverted
We can't grow and improve if we don't push ourselves out of our comfort zone.
Interacting with a variety of people helps us become more empathetic.
Too much isolation can cause us to become self-centered. 😬
People can stimulate our minds with new ideas 💡 so we think more creatively.
We can learn a lot from others (skills, facts and if nothing else, humility).
We can make others happy 😀, earn their respect and avoid selfish tendencies.
There is more happiness in giving than getting, so let's give of ourselves freely.
What if you marry an extrovert? (Like I did) Learning to compromise is critical for successful relationships.
No one on their death bed wishes they had worked more or harder. Most regret not having spent more time with their loved ones.
Because no one knows what we are thinking!
How to Become More Extroverted
Make it a point to keep in touch with close friends (not just texting or email).
Take several deep breaths when overwhelmed.
Focus on the person you are talking too and not your own feelings.
Regularly schedule time for solitude so you're refreshed when in company.
Don't over commit or over-schedule your week or weekend.
Be hospitable and initiate time to be with your friends or family.
Organize monthly outings so your friends have something to look forward to.
Learn to smile 😁even when you don't feel like it.
Develop an appropriate sense of humor to deal with situations you feel stuck in.
Widen out, don't stick to just the same group of people.
Learn to love people for who they are and accept their limitations.
Feel gratitude for the people in your life and for life itself.
Share what you are thinking and feeling with your friends. Silent glares unwelcome.
In reality, introverts don't become extroverts, they learn how to become more extroverted in situations that call for it.
Sometimes people that know me are surprised to hear that I'm an introvert. That's because I enjoy talking to people and I love hearing their stories.
It's a win-win situation if we strive to grow as people.
Start by taking the emphasis off yourself (how you feel) and focus on making others happy. You'll never go wrong!
When I polled my friends for how introverts can improve they said express how you feel and what you think. Go for it, share yourself more, the rewards are worth it.
Check out my article Harsh Truths From Your Introverted Friends and see how many items you agree or disagree with.