How are introverts different from extroverts? Is there a personality difference?
So I'm an extrovert. I like being around people.
I like talking to them. I certainly don't mind being the center of attention. And you know what? Introverts like being around people. They like talking to them. They don't mind being the center of attention. And if you're an introvert, you may think I'm nuts. And if you're an introvert, you may think I'm nuts too!
So let me explain
For the longest time ever, I thought that the core difference between introverts and extroverts was a factor of ‘spotlight'. That introverts shun the spotlight. And extroverts don't. And it's only after speaking to a lot of introverts that I worked out the main difference between introverts and extroverts.
Extroverts are energised by people.
Introverts are drained by people.
But that would be too much of a generalisation. In fact, introverts aren't drained by people. They're just drained by having to deal with many people. Introverts are fine if they have to deal with a few people (and the fewer the better). When they have to deal with many people, they'll do fine, but they almost instantly run out of battery power.
At the end of a few hours, an introvert would like to sit and stare at the wall, thank you. The extrovert (people like me) can't get enough of people. We want to go out. We want to go to dinner. We want to go to a party. Because the more we get in contact with people, the more we recharge.
You don't have to go far to find an introvert/extrovert. If you're in a relationship, your partner is probably an extrovert (if you're an introvert). And vice versa. Which is why Bill Clinton appears so friendly, and Hillary has to make the effort. Which is why Al Gore may seem all friendly while presenting, but then needs to find a quiet room to re-charge.
But what does this mean for you and me?
If you run workshops or seminars; if you run meetings, you need to understand that introverts and extroverts will operate differently. The introvert won't say much at meetings. They need time to charge, because their batteries are draining constantly. The extrovert may say a lot. That doesn't mean the introvert doesn't have a lot to say. They do.
You just have to find a space where there are less people.
And it's not only workshops or meetings. It could be forums. Or teleclasses. Or any place where people congregate. That's the place that introverts start to feel drained. And the more they run into masses of people, the more their batteries go kaput.
Introverts get a bad rap because people don't understand how they operate.
Now you know. So find a way to communicate with introverts. Get rid of the people.
Do you consider yourself an extrovert? Or introvert? Do you agree with this hypothesis or not?