Although labels can be useful in language as they help us express ideas and views in an easy and accessible way, they can often be misunderstood or over generalised. We are all complex and unique, and putting a label on someone usually means that the subtleties of that person’s personality often get overlooked.
A good example of where we often get the wrong impression about someone is when they are labelled as an introvert or extrovert. Introverts are often seen as boring, dull and antisocial and in contrast extroverts as brash, loud and show offs.
However these labels aren’t opposing ends of a spectrum but rather a scale of behaviour that can be dependent on the context. We can have a mixture of both orientations and can behave introverted in one scenario and extroverted in another.
Interestingly around 75% of the population is extrovert while 25% is introvert. Understanding something about the needs of each can open our eyes to a whole new perspective.
If you are an extrovert you are a people person. You are at your most energised when you have others around you and find less reward in time spent alone. A cosy night in for an extravert would probably involve about half a dozen friends or family. They love people. Some will love them with compassion and a genuine interest, others because they offer the opportunity to have an audience. They are more prone to boredom when they are by themselves.
If you are an introvert you are likely to love some people. Some introverts will love only a very few people, and then only in measured doses which they need to control. As an introvert you are likely to enjoy time spent alone and find less reward in time spent with large groups of people. When choosing friends trust is usually of great importance. Generally introverts don’t like attention from a crowd unless they are very familiar with everyone. They often find social gatherings tiring especially if they among strangers. They prefer to concentrate on a single activity at a time and like to observe situations before they participate.
If you are an introvert and find social occasions challenging have a look at this article which provides some top tips: Social Strategies for Introverts
And if you need an extra boost to convince you that being in a minority is an OK place to be have a look at this wonderful talk by Susan Cain about the power of introverts: The Power of Introverts