Extrovert or introvert?

We often have heard people being categorised as extroverts or introverts. A friendly and open person is the one we label as extroverts, and the shy and reserved individuals are often labelled as introverts. Recent times have also witnessed the emergence of another group labelled as ambivert, who form the middle ground between these two extremes.

This is not a recent topic. Theories of extroversion and introversion have been a part of psychological literature for over a century now. According to many theories, an individuals level of extroversion and introversion form a major characteristic of personality.
Extroversion and introversion has a wide range of spectrum. Both has their fair share of pros and cons. It is important for us to understand where do we fall in the spectrum, so that we can address the areas where we are lacking.

What is an introvert, extrovert or ambivert?

Carl Jung was the one who proposed the idea of exploration of personalities, including the construction of extroversion and introversion. He described extroverts as “outward turning of libido” and introverts as “inward turning of libido”.

Introverts think, feel and act in a way that the subject is the prime motivating factor. On the other hand, extroverts think, feel and act in relation to external environment rather than subjectively. Jung also agreed that there is a third category which lies in the middle of the spectrum. The individuals in this category are known as ambiverts, and draws its energy from both the two extremes at varying degrees.

What is extrovert introvert spectrum?

People usually do not exhibit extreme traits and rather show qualities of both and fall somewhere between the two. The extrovert introvert spectrum is a continuous dimension within psychology where we can classify personalities based on their position between the two extremes.

The extrovert introvert spectrum is a bell shaped curve, just like the normal distribution curve. With absolute extroversion at one end of the scale, while absolute introversion at the other end. Individual exhibiting ambivert trait will be at the middle.

The difference between personalities

Introverts are usually perceived as reflective, private and thoughtful individuals whereas extroverts are perceived as happy, assertive, adoptive individuals. Extroverts are usually associated with risk lovers whereas introverts with risk averse.
Being more of an introverted person means you strive to spend more time with your thoughts and ideas. Whereas being more of an extroverted person means you thrive on the energy of the people and thing around you.

Common introversion traits include:
• Enjoy solitude time
• Not wanting to be the centre of attention
• Not usually talkative
• Values close relationships
• Seemingly reserved
• Enjoys quiet and independent working environment
• Deeply focused and thinks about specific interest
• Need alone time to recharge and reflect themselves

Common extroversion traits include:
• Has a large social network
• Enjoy being the centre of attention
• Usually impulsive
• Enjoys being around other people
• Outgoing and free spirited
• Thrive for team oriented and open work settings
• Tends to be loud about opinions and interest
• Enthusiastic individuals

An individual usually does not have traits of a total introvert or total extrovert, rather have traits of both. Individuals usually possesses trait of both the ends in varying degrees. Some may have more of extroversion traits and less of introversion one, while others may have just the opposite. Both the ends have their equal share of advantages and disadvantages. It is important to know our personalities to fix the traits where we are lacking and be a better version of ourselves.