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Monday, October 31, 2016

Quiet Extraverts and Outspoken Introverts--A Perspective on Talking and Solitude


  • Are extraverts people who 'can't shut up' or spend time alone?
  • Are introverts people who are timid, and shy wallflowers that have difficulty speaking up?
  • What really makes the difference between introverts and extraverts--and why does it matter?
  • How is it you can have quiet extraverts and outspoken introverts?
  • Which side of the 'vert' spectrum do you prefer to live?



Hi, my name is Susan and I'm an extraverted writer, artist and explorer of life

Contrary to what you may think, extraverts aren't people who talk all the time. We are better 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 (which can look messy to introverts).

As an extraverted writer, artist and explorer of life I like to toss out my latest interests to others to see what they know or what might come back that furthers my vision. 

And true to my extraverted nature,  I check in with everyone before I begin—listening to stories, concerns, and perspectives--getting inspired to act on the world in some fashion. 

My time is oft spent meandering down a run-on-sentence experience that flows from one never-ending fascination in the world to another while enjoying hours of solitude or listening.

So.....if extraverts aren't people who 'can't shut up' and who may enjoy hours of solitude—what really makes the difference between introverts and extraverts? How is it you can have quiet extraverts and outspoken introverts. Which camp do you prefer to live in—and why does it matter?



Where Do You Prefer to Spend More Time~Out in the World or In your Head?



The Key Question: What Energizes You? 

  • Do you prefer to work alone or with other people?
  • What do you do when you need to re-energize after a long day?
  • Do you prefer to think before you speak or do you prefer to just jump in and figure things out as you go?
  • 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?
  • 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


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. 

Knowing your true preference for introversion or extroversion helps you understand how to better manage your time and stress; how to be your most effective self; and how to live your most satisfying life.

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; Extraverts' interests --whose attention turns to the outer world--have broad, expansive interests. 



If you're an introvert you prefer to scan and interact with the world inside your head; Introverts' interests-- whose attention turns inward--have narrower, deeper interests.

One is not better than the other—it's just different preferences playing out.



Are You an Innie or an Outie? Where does your attention go more often?

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.


Outies  Extraverts are energized and stimulated by interacting with the people and things in the world around them and tend to spend more time 'out there'.

Innies  Introverts are energized and stimulated by interacting with ideas and thoughts inside their head and tend to spend more time 'in their heads'.


Introverts prefer the world inside their heads

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. Now the fun begins inside your head as you reflect on fully comprehending what you learned so you can delve deeper into what interests you.

To do your best work and re-energize yourself:


  • Give yourself time to think before meetings when you're expected to speak up. That way you can have fully-formed thoughts ready to articulate.
  • 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.


Extraverts feel compelled to change the world.

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. Now the fun starts as you set about communicating what you've learned with others. You feel compelled to change the world.

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--messy or not.
  • Do something interactive with new information for better learning—don't read instructions--have someone show you how to set up a streaming device or new app; talk to others to discover what they think; draw a picture to visualize an idea; walk and talk through an idea.
  • Engage in active undertakings to relax—garden, paint, walk, write, tinker with the computer, or go hiking.



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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 changing easier than ever before.

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3 comments:

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sue, this is a subject often misunderstood, so it was a good one for you to address. "Give yourself quiet time to regroup throughout your day. It's hard work for an innie to be in the outer world all day" are words I live by. I used to be in a business that required multi-day conferences a couple times a year, and I would never have survived them had I not chosen a session or two to skip each day in order to be alone and regroup. I'm not sure I agree with innies being "less interested in changing [the world]." ENFP, INFJ, INFP, ENFJ are all described as "idealists." But I imagine to those E's it might look like the I's are just sitting on their backsides thinking! :D

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

Jean--In reference to the changing vs understanding the world (extraverts vs introverts)this relates to their focus. And as always we're talking preferences. Any of us can do anything we consciously chose to do.


Below is the introverts and extraverts 'handles' and 'mottos' by MBTI quadrants. Note the action orientation for extraverts vs thinking orientation for introverts.

Where you fit by MBTI Quadrant (IS, ES, IN, EN)

Introverted Sensor: Thoughtful Realists, ‘Let’s Keep It’

Extraverted Sensor: Action-Oriented Realists, ’Let’s Do It!’

Introverted Intuitor: Thoughtful-Innovator, ‘Let’s Think About It Differently’

Extraverted Intuitor: Action-Oriented Innovator, ‘Let’s Change It’

Thanks for the conversation on MBTI!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Yes, I love learning more about the types and their preferences, Sue. It's fascinating stuff!