In order to better understand ourselves, knowing whether we are Introverted or Extroverted is a good starting place.

Definition

The main difference between the two, is where we put our attention, and where we get our energy.

Extroversion

The Myers Briggs Foundation define Extroversion (E) as:

I like getting my energy from active involvement in events and having a lot of different activities. I’m excited when I’m around people and I like to energise other people. I like moving into action and making things happen. I generally feel at home in the world. I often understand a problem better when I can talk out loud about it and hear what others have to say.

The following statements generally apply to me:

  • I am seen as “outgoing” or as a “people person.”
  • I feel comfortable in groups and like working in them.
  • I have a wide range of friends and know lots of people.
  • I sometimes jump too quickly into an activity and don’t allow enough time to think it over.
  • Before I start a project, I sometimes forget to stop and get clear on what I want to do and why.

Introversion

The Myers Briggs Foundation define Introversion (I) as:

I like getting my energy from dealing with the ideas, pictures, memories, and reactions that are inside my head, in my inner world. I often prefer doing things alone or with one or two people I feel comfortable with. I take time to reflect so that I have a clear idea of what I’ll be doing when I decide to act. Ideas are almost solid things for me. Sometimes I like the idea of something better than the real thing.

The following statements generally apply to me:

  • I am seen as “reflective” or “reserved.”
  • I feel comfortable being alone and like things I can do on my own.
  • I prefer to know just a few people well.
  • I sometimes spend too much time reflecting and don’t move into action quickly enough.
  • I sometimes forget to check with the outside world to see if my ideas really fit the experience.

Common Misconceptions:

Don’t confuse Introversion with shyness – they are not the same thing -some introverts are shy, true but it is not a defining feature of Introversion.

Don’t assume outgoing people, people in the public eye, giving speeches and the like, are all Extroverts.  Many Introverts train themselves to be able to do all these things, however it takes them well outside their comfort zone, so they need to then take ‘time-out’ and recharge their depleted energy levels.

Some Highly Sensitive Extroverts (see more on HS below) mistakenly think they are Introverts. I believe that this is because being an HSP causes us to relate highly to some Introvert traits eg needing down-time, and time alone to recharge our batteries, and feeling exhausted after social engagements.

The easiest way to determine if you truly are an Introvert or perhaps a HS-Extrovert is to ask your loved ones (show them the definitions above).  I had a client once say to me “I thought I was an Introvert but when I told my husband he laughed at me”.  This is a funny example of people in our life knowing that we are Extroverted because we demonstrate all the typical traits, but we feel Introverted sometimes, which is actually our HSP side coming to the forefront.

High Sensitivity:

The addition of the sensitivity personality trait to the Introversion/Extroversion categorisation of personality, makes life even more interesting, but also helps explain some of the unique people who do not fit into the traditional definitions.

Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)

All HSPs, whether introvert or extrovert, possess four main characteristics as identified by research psychologist, Dr. Elaine Aron in Psychotherapy and the Highly Sensitive Person (2010.)

These four are: D.O.E.S.
1) Depth of Processing
2) Over Stimulation
3) Emotional Responsiveness & Empathy
4) Sensitive to Subtleties

The other 80% of the population, who are not highly sensitive, do not possess these four characteristics, nor the implications associated with them.

The following info-graphic will show how the population is roughly divided according to research by Dr Elaine Aron:

 

introvert extrovert highly sensitive person, HSP, HS, jenn turnham, coachingI am committed to helping female Extroverts, who are also Highly Sensitive, find their way in a world that doesn’t always understand their uniqueness and their ability to make the world a better place.  I help female HS-Es become empowered, out there being themselves and shining brightly!

Join my FREE Facebook Group here. The group offers support and understanding from other HS-Es and I’m sure you will feel like you have ‘come home’ and finally found your tribe.

Come on in, we can’t wait to meet you!