Where Do You Get Energy - by Yourself or with Others?
Originally published in Today's Woman
By Anne Murray
Is your preference for introversion or extraversion? No matter. If you are an
extravert, you also introvert. If you are an introvert, you extravert. We will, however,
prefer one to the other. Knowing which you prefer can give you an edge in understanding
yourself and others and in positioning yourself for success. Which of these descriptions
is more like you?
| Receives energy from the outside world
Prefers action over reflection
Prefers to communicate by talking
Has wide network of friends
Discloses personal information quickly
May speak first; think later
Takes initiative in social situations
Will seek people, noise, and
action to restore energy
Easily bored when alone
Learns by talking
Seeks affirmation and approval from others
Aware of whats going on around us
May be unaware of whats going on inside
"What you see is generally what you get"; there are few surprises
| Receives energy from inner world
Prefers reflection over action
Prefers written communication
Has few intimate friends
Reluctant to self-disclose
Will think first, speak later
Prefers to observe others first
Will seek quiet, privacy and
space to restore energy
Learns by reflecting privately
Seeks approval from self
Not so aware of whats going on
Aware of whats going on inside
"What you see will not be what you; important hidden sides to self
Without the actual Myers-Briggs Type Indicator we can only guess who we prefer to be.
If you prefer extraversion you may be described as action-oriented, talkative, socially
adept, expressive, open and friendly. Introverts typically are described as contemplative,
cautious in communication, quiet, reserved or even distant or hard to get to know. Both
ways of being are excellent ways to be, simply different.
What are some of the implications of this difference in communication, work styles, and
interpersonal interaction? For starters, extraverts must SPEAK a thought in order to think
it. This explains why so many extraverts wander from their workstations to seek people for
talk. They are merely trying to think! By talking an idea through with a listener, the
extravert can then reflect on what they have just said so they will know what they think.
This pattern can be annoying to introverts who listen to such talk intently.
The introvert must THINK a thought in order to speak it. Introverts assume that what an
extravert says is what they think; a "done deal". The extravert often has no
memory of what they have said, much less any intent of doing it! If an introvert tells you
something you can assume that it is definite. It must be definite in the mind of the
introvert before there is comfort in speaking it to another.
Introverts detest redundancy. Introverts will tell you something extremely important
just once, and even then, in a quiet voice. Listen well; they will not repeat it.
Extraverts use repetitious speech as they assume others are not listening any better than
they are listening. Introverts find this tendency irritating. They often say, "I got
it the first time".
Extraverts tend to communicate with dramatic expressiveness. As they talk they get more
animated, effusive and noisy. Extraverts talking together resemble sharks in a feeding
frenzy, with all talking at once and no one being offended. The introverts who are
watching, however, are offended. More than one introvert has called extraverted
communication obnoxious. Introverts do not talk simultaneously and do not tend to overlap
the last few words of a sentence. Extraverts engage in overlap and talk simultaneously and
loudly. Often, when an extravert has a compelling thought, he/she will interrupt the
speaker for fear of forgetting the point to be made. If the speaker is another extravert,
it is likely that he/she will continue to speak, undaunted by the interruption. If the
speaker is an introvert, it is likely that the speaker will be offended and will remember
the person who interrupted as rude, arrogant, or aggressive.
In relationships, extraverts need to hear in words how important they are on a daily
basis. With no affirmation, the extravert will question the partner about the
relationship. If the partner is an introvert, they may wonder why their partner is
wondering about the relationship. The introvert needs to be told once they are loved;
after that it stands as a truth, to be doubted only when there is some action or talk to
the contrary. Introverts may intentionally or unintentionally use silence as a weapon in
their relationships. Extraverts are frustrated by no response from a partner. It may be
that the introvert needs time to think about the issue while the extravert is seeking a
tentative position on which to base a discussion. The introvert typically will not talk
about the issue until he/she has thought about it. Preliminary talk about the issue from
the extravert may be helpful for the introvert in the reflecting process.
Interruptions are resented by introverts. They value being focused on their work and
are irritated by having to start and stop. Extraverts find total concentration difficult
and can be easily distracted. They actually find interruptions to be stimulating
Introverts dislike being thrust into the spotlight before they are prepared. If you are
going to call on an introvert to perform in any way, even speaking, give them advance
notice so they can reflect on what they want to say or do. They suffer embarrassment at
being asked to perform spontaneously. Extraverts will respond spontaneously to almost any
request and will not often experience embarrassment, no matter how unprepared they were
for the task.
When you are working with an introvert and you need an answer from them, pose the
problem to them and ask them to let you know when they are ready to discuss it. They will
appreciate the time to reflect and prepare their position. Even a few minutes means the
difference in feeling inept or competent for the introvert.
"Small talk" is difficult for the introvert. Many of them feel if the talk is
small, why are we talking? Small talk is an art form for the extravert. Receptions and
cocktail parties may be a source of dread for the introvert and a source of pleasant
anticipation for the extravert. Talk requires much energy from the introvert. Meaningless
talk can leave the introvert feeling drained, while the extravert is invigorated by it.
Knowing your preference, the degree of your preference and the interaction effects of your
preference can open exciting possibilities for you in shaping your self-concept, your work
life and your relationships.
For further information on personality type or The Association for Psychological
Type contact the author Anne Murray, qualified type trainer, at 270 / 781-3677 or email. Anne speaks on many topics
around the country.