Introversion and extroversion are easily-recognizable personality traits that differentiate individuals. They exist in a dichotomy, and both possess unique advantages and disadvantages. Most people's personalities represent a combination of both traits.
Extroverted people typically feel comfortable with new acquaintances more quickly than their introverted counterparts. Introverts may take longer to warm up during social situations, while extroverts are often quick to establish friendly dynamics. Extroverts may need to expend less energy during social interactions, while introverts often fill the role of observer, which can provide a thorough understanding on interpersonal dynamics.
Processing of Information
Because an introvert's strength lies in observation, while an extrovert excels at interaction, individuals who are strong examples of each personality type process information in different ways. An introvert is more likely to contemplate a situation quietly and in private, while an extrovert may be more inclined to act on impulse or engage with others to make a decision.
Other people often perceive introverts and extroverts in different ways. Positive interpretations of an extrovert include friendliness, openness and warmth, while negative interpretations may be self-centered tendencies or poor listening skills. Introverted people may come across to others as intelligent and thoughtful, due to their contemplative nature, while some may interpret introverts negatively as cold, distant or arrogant.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Introverts and extroverts possess unique strengths and weaknesses. Extroverts often possess charisma and are skilled at networking. They often thrive in situations where they are the focus of attention, such as performance or public speaking. However; extroverts may struggle to concede the spotlight to others and their listening skills and intuition may suffer. Introverts, meanwhile, can make good conflict mediators, as intuition and observation help them understand others' needs. An introspective approach can help introverts make well thought-out decisions and can aid these individuals in understanding their own personalities. Meanwhile, introverts may struggle in social situations, have difficulty opening up to new friends, or function well as the center of attention.
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- "The Introvert Advantage"; Marti Olsen Laney; 2002
- "Spirituality for Extroverts"; Nancy Christine Reeves; 2008
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