0126 – Is It Better For You to Be an Introvert or Extrovert?


We’re talking about myths and facts about introverts and extraverts, including expert information given by Dr. Adam Grant in Psychology Today.

By the end of this episode:

  • 5 Myths about introverts and extraverts
  • Facts you may not have known about introverts and extraverts
  • The number one thing both introverts and extraverts can excel at

Describe the problem

You may have seen the slew of articles that came out early last year about 20 signs you’re an introvert/extravert. Scores of people on Facebook and Twitter instantly shared these articles claiming to be one or the other…and then basically said “they didn’t care what the other half was like, but everyone else should be super sensitive to who I am.” Well…there’s actually a lot more myths than facts about introverts and extraverts. Find out more in Episode 126: Introverts and Extraverts

Segment #1

Definition: The terms introversion and extraversion were first popularized byCarl Jung,[1] although both the popular understanding and psychological age differ from his original intent. Extraversion tends to be manifested in outgoing, talkative, energetic behavior, whereas introversion is manifested in more reserved and solitary behavior.

    1. Myth #1-“Extraverts get energy from social interaction, whereas introverts get energy from privately reflecting on their thoughts and feelings.”
    2. Myth #2-Introverts are plagued by public speaking anxiety (or any “public” activity)
  • FACT: We assume that the gift of gab belongs to extraverts, and introverts are doomed to be nervous on stage, but we’re wrong. In one study, people rated how anxious they would feel in various public speaking situations. Introverts did anticipate more anxiety than extroverts, but 84% of public speaking anxiety was completely unrelated to introversion-extroversion. Bigger factors were whether they tended to be anxious people in general, thought the audience was kind versus hostile, and feared they would bomb the particular speech.
    1. Myth #3-Extraverts are better leaders than introverts
  • FACT: Extroverts are more likely to be attracted to and selected for leadership roles, but they’re not better leaders than introverts. In a study that tracked leadership effectiveness, they found that extroverts and introverts were equally successful overall—and excelled with different types of employees.

Segment #2

  1. Myth #4-Extraverts are better networkers than introverts
    • It’s true that extroverts have larger networks—and more Facebook friends. It turns out, though, that great networking isn’t about quantity. In the job search, research shows that extroverts engage in more intense networking, but this doesn’t translate into more jobs. Getting a job is about the quality and diversity of the relationships you build, not how the number of people you contact or the number of times you reach out to them.
  2. Myth #5-The best salespeople are extraverted
    • FACT: The best sales people are…not extroverts! Nor are they introverts. There is literally no difference in performance between the two. The best salespeople? Ambiverts. (more on that in a minute)
  3. Other facts:
    • Shyness is a separate characteristic from “introverted”, e.g. it’s the tendency to be hesitant and self-conscious when dealing with people who are “emotionally threatening.” There are many shy extraverts: they’re uncomfortable interacting with strangers, but love going to rock concerts. And plenty of introverts are sociable: they’ll strike up a conversation with random people at parties, but get easily overwhelmed by bright lights and loud noises.
    • MOST people are actually “ambiverted”-they’re quiet in some situations and loud in others, and alternate between seeking the spotlight and staying backstage.
    • All people feel the most energy when talking to other people–relationships matter!


Final Thoughts:

#1 Be a human being, practice emotional intelligence

  • Elijah’s Thoughts
  • Sarah’s Thoughts


In Closing

If you have a question, comment, or funny story about [INSERT SHOW TOPIC] we have a private SafeSpace on facebook where we talk about all sorts of social, professional, and romantic relationship topics, and after every show you can go there and share you story, get some advice from great people or just hang out. Both Sarah and I are there every day and you can be there too, just go to www.relationspodcast.com/join and click the “Join Now’ button.

Until we meet again, keep striving to make every relationship you have the best it can possibly be, including (and especially) the one with yourself. We’ll talk soon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *