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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Are You a Quiet Extravert or Outspoken Introvert?

What Energizes You?
πŸ’“  Do you prefer to work alone or with other people?
πŸ’™  What do you do when you need to re-energize after a long day?
πŸ’š  Do you prefer to think before you speak or do you prefer to just jump in and figure things out as you go?
πŸ’›  When you begin a new project, do you prefer to check in with other people to find out what they think or do you prefer to delve into your own research to determine what you think?
πŸ’œ  When you want to relax do you prefer to interact with the world outside you or do you prefer to escape into your inner world?

Extraverts and Introverts are not defined by ability to talk or be quiet

Hi, my name is Susan and I'm an extravert. While some may describe extraversion as an addiction to talking or an inability to shut up this just isn't the case any more than introversion is an inability to speak up. There are quiet extraverts and outspoken introverts. And we all need quiet and solitude in our day to be effective.

Extraversion and introversion are better understood as the way we prefer to pay attention to and explore our lives, and therefore what tends to energize us.

If you're an extravert you prefer to scan and interact with the world outside yourself; if you're an introvert you prefer to scan and interact with the world inside your head.

πŸ’“  Extraverts' interests whose attention turns to the outer world have broad, expansive interests. 
πŸ’“  Introverts' interests whose attention turns inward have narrower, deeper interests.

Are You an Innie or an Outie? 

Which world holds your attention more--the inner world or the outer world around you? While we all must live in both worlds to balance our lives, we spend more time in the world we prefer.

πŸ’“ Outies Extraverts are energized and stimulated by interacting with the people and things in the world around them and tend to spend more time here.
πŸ’“ Innies Introverts are energized and stimulated by interacting with ideas and thoughts inside their head and tend to spend more time there.

If you are an innie, or introvert, you are more private and independent in your approach to solving problems. You hold conversations in your head and may even think you answered that person with the puzzled expression who never got an answer to his question. You tend to hold your own counsel rather than checking in with others.

Innies are interested in understanding the world and less interested in changing it. Once you gain your AHA moment you may feel your job is done.

To do your best work and re-energize yourself:

  • Give yourself time to think before meetings when you're expected to speak up. 
  • Ask ahead of time what questions others need you to answer.
  • Write your thoughts and ideas down.
  • Give yourself quiet time to regroup throughout your day. It's hard work for an innie to be in the outer world all day.

If you are an outie, or extravert, you are more comfortable in the outer world, check in with others more, and appear to be more of an open book to others. Outies are interested in understanding the world so they can change it. Faced with your AHA moment you may feel your job has just started.

To do your best work and re-energize yourself:
  • Find people who like to engage in lively brainstorming sessions that allow you to just jump in and discover what you think.
  • Do something to interact with information to learn—don't read instructions--have someone show you how to do something or just start playing; poll others to discover what they think; draw a picture to visualize an idea.
  • Engage in active undertakings to relax—garden, paint, walk, tinker with the computer, or go hiking.

Hi, my name is Susan and I am an extraverted writer

As you've seen here, extraverts aren't people who talk all the time. We are defined by being energized or stimulated by the outer world.

Extraverts are great at getting things going. We don't wait until we know what we're thinking or where we're going—we just jump into the conversation and start to explore.

As an extraverted writer, I like to toss out my latest interests to others to see what they know or what might come back that furthers my research. And true to my extraverted nature I check in with everyone before I begin to write—and oft times meander into a run-on-sentence experience as written below.

I offer this 'slice of life as viewed through the eyes of an extravert' so you can more readily experience the extravert not as an always talking 'vert' but as an always interacting with the world around us 'vert'—and to show the symbiotic relationship between introverts and extraverts who value each other's gifts.

A Slice of Life viewed through the Eyes of an Extravert

"The other day I opened an email from my introverted sister-in-law who shared a book, 'Wheat Belly', she thought I should look into for my research on ancient grains vs. modern grains. On her recommendation I jumped on to Amazon to view the book where I got waylaid by a mission statement made by the book's publisher Rodale Press, compelling me to contemplate the usefulness of mission statements and start a blog post on the topic. When I returned to review Wheat Belly on Amazon I realized this fabulous reference was sent to me by an introvert in my tribe which led me to start this blog post on the quiet extravert. Flitting back to missions, I decided to check what I wrote on Linkedin for my own mission statement when I saw an article recommended from a colleague that caught my attention--The Inspiration Paradox: Your Best Creative Time Is Not When You Think in Scientific American that I had to read and comment on before I finally returned to Amazon to download Wheat Belly to my Kindle. By now I was so excited by all the great stuff swirling around in my head I had to put it down and take the dog for a walk…..leading me to contemplate that all of this was accomplished over a four hour period of solitude without talking—and all because an introvert started me on my journey."
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For more than 35 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes letting go and moving forward with life easier than ever before.

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Anonymous said...

Not all extraverts have your enthusiasm for new ideas! Like being in store full of gems! Which do you pick up and write about first? Lots of love, tmr

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

Dear TMR--
That is the problem for the extravert--which to choose, which to choose. But we jump in and start to discover the truth of where our curiosity leads us. It IS like being in a store full of gems!
Love to you--one of my gems!

Cynthia said...

Susan thanks for your wisdon. I used to think I was an introvert and discoved I like to work and discuss inportant things or problems that need to be solved with others. I like other's input. So I am an extrovert!

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

I'm introverted, but idealist, so I'd like to change the world too. I love this topic, Susan, and the way you shared your own real-life examples. Even if someone knew nothing at all about you, they could tell from your photo - that beaming :D smile - you're an extravert. We innies have much more restrained smiles as a rule. :)

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

extraverts are like 'Toons' (Who framed roger rabbit)--we can't help ourselves...if someone is willing to engage in a conversation with us we will talk back.

Thanks for talking back!

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...


How right you are on the reading of innies and outies smiles. You can see the truth of who people are by watching, looking and listening.

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

I like this topic as well! Another article on this topic is sure to appear as soon as my mind scans back to pick away at it.

Thanks for talking back!

Allison Collins said...

Thank you for writing this. I've actually been conflicted about introversion vs. extroversion on what helps me more. In other articles I've read, they just talked about the stereotypical extrovert that would run their mouth all day or the introvert being the polar opposite and being as distant as Pluto. So thanks again for breaking it down to where I can understand the differences and know that there's nothing wrong with being a quieter extrovert, despite some ideas that it could be unhealthy. Also, it's great to see another extroverted writer!
Lots of love- Allie Grace (Sorry if there are any errors or repeats, they aren't intentional. My computer is messing up on me.)

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

You're most welcome, Allison. The Myers-Briggs typing system helps us understand the 16 healthy, normal ways people prefer to deal with the world. Half of those types are extraverts and half are introverts. There is nothing wrong with being an introvert or an extravert. The goal of learning your preferences is so you can better manage your stress, time and life which results in you being 'the best you' and your life more satisfying. As we mature we practice doing things differently from our natural preferences.