Extrovert – Meaning and Traits
Ladies and gentlemen! The moment you’ve been waiting for! The pride of Mount Extroversion! The … yes, excuse me? Oh, wrong musical.
Well, nevertheless, I can guarantee that George Washington was an extrovert too. You kind of had to be one to be able to deal with Alexander Hamilton AND Thomas Jefferson at the same time.
Now, where was I? Ah, yes, extroverts. You thought I’d forgotten about you, but you’re simply unforgettable. Still, I’ll explain it one more time for those wondering. Extroverts are people who tend to be outgoing, confident, and energetic, and they draw their energy from social interactions. This is quite the opposite of introverts, who prefer to be alone in order to recharge.
Of course, we owe this distinction to Carl Jung, who found that most people fall somewhere between extroversion and introversion. However, some genetic and societal factors may influence personality development, leading people towards introversion or extroversion.
What’s the Actual Percentage of Extroverts in the World?
If you’re wondering about your tribe, I have slightly bad news – there are fewer of you than introverts. The good news is that this is by a ridiculously narrow margin. According to the Myers-Briggs study, the world consists of 50,7% introverts and 49,3% extroverts. What might throw you off is the sense that there are more extroverts in the world because they are so actively engaged in social situations (unlike introverts, who, memes be damned, prefer to stay at home). Still, that’s plenty of people to hang out with, so cheers to you guys!
Common Extrovert Characteristics
Do you prefer big social outings? Find yourself planning get-togethers, game nights, and pub quizzes? Do these events leave you refreshed and renewed? If the answer to these questions is yes, you’re most likely an extrovert. You might exhibit some of the following traits too:
- Enjoying a wide social circle. You love having many friends and acquaintances, and you reach out to them regularly. Your social calendar is always brimming with brunches, weekend getaways, and new projects.
- You have many broad interests. Like a happy bee, you find yourself buzzing from one hobby to another and from one idea to the next, enjoying them all equally. While you don’t always focus on mastering a skill to perfection, you like to have your finger in many pies.
- Attention appeals to you. I don’t mean this in a negative way; some people simply command attention and know how to have the whole room hanging by their every word. Go you!
- You love telling stories. You’re a versed storyteller. Be it fictional tales or recounts of something that has happened to you, you simply cannot resist sharing the details and spicing them up with your captivating narration.
- You are friendly and approachable. You know how there are those people who seem intimidating, and you don’t really want to ask them anything? Well, you’re nowhere near that – people simply crowd around you, and you always have something to talk about (and you love it!).
- You’re not afraid to try new things. Adventure, travel, new foods – whatever comes your way, you’re unafraid to take risks. Even if things go south, you take it in your stride and don’t coop yourself up against potential failure.
- You’re very flexible. You don’t mind last-minute changes or rearrangements of your plans, as long as you get to have fun.
- You prefer to talk about your problems. Bouncing your woes off your friends helps you sort out your thoughts and even find solutions. You prefer to share things that bother you instead of keeping a lid on your emotions.
- Social settings inspire and energise you. And you just know you’re the true extrovert because Jung defined this ability as the key characteristic. If your outings and time with friends inspire you to grow to be your best self, by all means, make sure you’re always doing it.
Cognitive Styles and Extroversion
Since we’ve already mentioned Myers-Briggs, you may be aware of their 16 personality types, eight of which are extroverted. While extroversion and introversion are based on where a person finds their energy, other distinctions are based on cognitive functions, i.e. how you think and perceive the world around you. Let’s check them out (but first off, you might want to check out which personality type you have at 16personalities.com).
Got it? Good. Let’s get into cognitive styles.
This is most common in ESTJ and ENTJ personality types (recap: extroverted, observant, thinking, judging; and extroverted, intuitive, thinking, judging). If you’re either of these personality types, extroverted thinking means that you gather information from external sources when you make a decision. Basically, extroverted thinking is a normal thought process of any decision-making, but how you collect your input is of some importance.
As an extroverted thinker, you’re most likely able to set your emotions aside and apply rationality and logic in evaluating, organising, and assessing information. As far as I’m concerned, and speaking as a predominantly feeling type, it takes some serious dedication to compartmentalise your emotions like that. This, in turn, may lead you to make more calculated and thought-out decisions based on empirical evidence and facts rather than being influenced by your emotions.
With this in mind, you are probably excellent at debates as you tend to seek the most precise way of expressing yourself and getting your points across. What is more, you can also store a good deal of information, wisps of ideas, and loads of input in your mind and create a framework within which you can rationalise and argue any point. A boon of this is that when you’re preparing a presentation for class, you can write an outline and then be able to ace the speech even without planning for every detail.
Other traits of extroverted thinkers include
- excellent organisation,
- an aversion to procrastination,
- thinking out loud (see, even Ed Sheeran wants to be like you!),
- a strong sense of justice, and
- great decision-making abilities.
Your personality profile would make you an excellent lawyer, event manager, financial advisor, or any medical expert.
‘Intuition gives outlook and insight; it revels in the garden of magical possibilities as if they were real.’ – Carl Jung
Listen to the man; he knows what he’s saying (I mean, he invented this whole thing).
Extroverted intuition is most commonly found in ENFP and ENTP types (extroverted, intuitive, feeling, prospecting; and extroverted, intuitive, thinking, prospecting). Extroverted intuition, similar to extroverted thinking, refers to thought processes made in the act of making a decision. In addition to collecting external information, people with extroverted intuition find awe in the world’s great mysteries. I wouldn’t be surprised if you were still like a child in some ways, marvelling at the world.
Extroverted intuition means you’re also great at making complex connections and drawing accurate conclusions, even if some information seems to be missing. That makes for excellent scientists and researchers. If you have extroverted intuition, you might always be looking for something new and ways to make the world a better place. As long as you don’t get carried away, looking up is far better than looking down. You’re inherently optimistic and open-minded, which makes you a great communicator.
Some other characteristics of extroverted intuition include
- being unconventional,
- having an eye for good opportunities,
- warmth in communication,
- quick-wittedness and general speed at processing information, and
- spontaneity and flexibility.
Harness Your Extrovert Personality with These Tips
Now that we’ve got your cognitive styles down, it’s time to harness your traits as an extrovert. You have many strengths you should capitalise on in order to become your best self.
- Since meeting people and hanging out with them is bound to boost your mood and spirits, make sure you participate in several social situations. Join a study group to motivate one another by setting a support and reward system. Volunteer at home or abroad, learn about new cultures, and find ways to implement your creativity to solve complex problems.
- Share your expertise with others. Join a club at the university or start an international exchange with other students. Present at conferences or sign up for your local TED expo – your storytelling strengths will keep your audience charmed and attentive. Offer a course at a local community college or organise a gaming party to play pen and paper with.
- Take calculated risks. As an extrovert, you don’t shy away from challenges and new adventures, but make sure you evaluate the pros and cons of any bigger venture. You would do well in different settings, so you could apply for a job abroad and handle culture shock just fine.
- On the other hand, work on your skills of listening and empathising with others. Careful listening is respectful and lets you in on several teeny details, and who knows where the next opportunity may be hidden. Be supportive of your friends and proud of who you are.
You’ve got this!
Image source: Know Your Meme