Always buzzing and seemingly filled with endless energy, it’s easy to see extraverts as the energetic puppy of the MBTI. Since they tend to prefer recharging in their outer-world of chaos, people and possibilities it can be hard to remember they too are mere humans.
Whether you have a preference for introversion, extraversion or consider yourself some sort of an ‘ambivert,’ continue reading for three hidden truths extraverts desperately want you to know.
Extraverts Crave Alone-Time
Just like their introverted counterparts, extraverts get tired, annoyed with people and don’t always want to wear pants. A night-in with Netflix can be just as meaningful as a night of partying to any extravert, especially when it allows outer-world recharging without the strain of people, proper clothing and the high expectations that come with their gift of (and more likely preference for) gab.
An extravert’s outer-world preference is not only applicable in social situations. It also happens in quiet. Extraverts have the ability of seeing characters on TV in their outer world and can root for them without the need for being heard. The heroine of any Jane Austen novel can serve as an ‘almost’ in-person best friend, and one interaction with the Grub Hub delivery driver can fill an extravert’s social quota for the day.
A preference for extraversion does not equate only to sociability. It can also be linked to being easily excitable, risk-taking and comfortable in the spotlight – all of which can be done in private. A single episode of This is Us can cause an extravert to become excited while alone. Risks can be taken by adding a different spice or sauce to a classic dinner recipe or reading a novel from an unknown author. The spotlight can be had while dancing in a room filled only with the extravert’s outer thoughts and feelings and/or sensing and intuition.
Extraverts prefer to recharge in their outer-world – yet this does not make them immune to social exhaustion. They’re mere humans who need sleep even when appearing best in front of large audiences. Even extraverts are prone to having an idiot co-worker Janice who won’t stop talking about her week-long ‘case of the Mondays.’ We all need breaks from people, no matter our preferences.
Extraverts have Ears
NEWS FLASH: extraverts have the ability to listen.
Due to their preference for their outer-world, extraverts are quite likely to notice sounds – including the tears of overwhelmed introverts.
Since extraverts tend to talk often, it leads to a stereotype of being self-centered and even arrogant. But this is far from accurate based on preference alone. To an extravert, the outer-world is filled with possibilities, hope and problems to solve. This may seem shallow at first, but the extravert’s main desire is to positively impact what’s outside of themselves. This cannot be done without a careful and thoughtful ear.
If you’re having trouble getting an extravert to listen, remember you are a part of their outer-world. They want to take an interest in you, even if they appear to be doing more talking than listening. While introverts tend to prefer thinking inside of their heads to gain clarity, extraverts prefer to gain clarity while speaking out loud. Next time you feel overwhelmed by an extravert’s talking, remember this – their speaking is merely an effort to help rather than a selfish need to be heard.
To jump over this dilemma – know that silence can be deafening to extraverts. In order to cope with this preference, extraverts may overly rely on their ability to talk even when they truly want someone else to take the conversational wheel. When you notice your extravert overly-talking, please do not be afraid to interrupt them to let your voice be heard. It’s likely they need your input to recharge because you are a more important part of their outer-world than their own voice.
Extraverts use Introversion, too
The extraverted preference for connecting to the outer-world can be extremely exhausting. Even though this tendency aligns with their preferences, extraverts aren’t always in the mood for extraversion.
Each of the 16 types have a dominant and auxiliary function. Extraverts’ dominant functions are extraverted, and their auxiliary (or secondary) functions are introverted. For introverts, the dominant and auxiliary functions are in the reverse order. While the dominant function is always extraverted for extraverts, their auxiliary – and always introverted – function serves as their best friend and confidant. It is a crucial component and fills in when necessary to achieve balance and wholeness.
Think of this dominant and auxiliary duo as a seesaw or teeter-totter. It’s occasionally in balance but more often than not one is up and the other is down. Our personality preferences are fluid and according to the MBTI Step II Manual, all people are capable of acting and behaving out of type-preference.
It’s like handedness. If you’re right-handed you would probably prefer to take your groceries from your car and into your home with your right hand. You’d also likely reach for each bag with said hand. But if you have multiple bags, odds are you’d call upon your left hand for help.
The same goes for extraverts. While they prefer extraversion, they need introversion to step in from time to time or else they’d be stretched beyond the realm of human possibility. When in doubt remember extraverts use and appreciate introversion. With it, they achieve balance and become whole. Without it, they become the hangover of the overexerted keto dieter after a donut binge.
Extraverts may appear as a source of endless social energy – but this stereotype is far from true. They’re deep thinkers, feelers, intuitives and sensors who want to connect with everything outside of themselves. Yet like all people they crave alone time, want to create meaningful connections and like to think and reflect thoroughly and quietly.
If you find yourself stuck in an extravert’s outer-world of talking marathon, either grab your headphones or join the party. No matter your choice, you’re part of their outer-world and extremely appreciated.