How many articles have you read that have taught you, the introvert, how to be more extroverted?
How many articles have you seen that have mentioned you, the extrovert, as the “best” personality type?
Don’t worry; this isn’t another “how introverts can be more extroverted” article. It’s the opposite actually: it’s how you, as an extrovert, can chill out and stop pushing your extroversion on others.
Before we tap into these tips, let’s think about the three types: extrovert, introvert, and ambivert.
Extroverts are talkative, sociable, action-oriented, enthusiastic, friendly, and outgoing – and on the flip side, can be labeled attention-seeking, distracted, and unable to spend time alone. Introverts are quiet, reserved, and thoughtful. They can also be labeled as weird, snobbish, aloof, or selfish. Ambiverts are right in the middle – they have qualities of both introverts and extroverts.
For this, we’re specifically tapping into how extroverts can chill when they are around introverts – because you might know that all of that talkative business gets exhausting for people who don’t thrive on that kind of high energy.
Find your introvert
I would hazard to say we all have some ambivert in us. There are times we want to be alone, times we need to be a bit quiet, and it all depends on who we are around. Take some time to reflect and see if you have an inner introvert. I used to think I was an extrovert and because of reflection, I realize I’m an introvert that I lovingly refer to as an introvert masquerading as an extrovert when I need to. I don’t love being in big groups that are super social, but I know how to do it (and it’s exhausting).
If you get charged up by social interaction, take a moment to think about your inner introvert. It’s there – what situations tire you out? Do you have a desire to be alone ever? Do you need space sometimes? Tap into those moments and think about how it feels when someone presses you to be social.
One of the qualities that people love about introverts? Their listening skills. Take some time to work yours during your next conversation and specifically listen for bits of information that you can incorporate in responses and questions. This is considered active listening – not just hearing, but also processing the information and adding to the conversation with more information.
By working on your listening skills more, and spending more time listening than talking, you’re going to be able to tap into that introvert superpower.
Read the room
Pay attention to when you can tap into this new side of yourself by reading the room. Is someone you’re talking to uncomfortable because your energy is all over the place? Take a step back and ask a question, spend more time listening, think about the times you’ve wanted to be alone. Don’t push your style on someone else because it’s how you communicate.
Quick story: a friend was at a work event and an acquaintance came up and hugged them, saying, “Oh, I’m a hugger!” My friend was incredibly uncomfortable and mentioned it to me afterward. The next time they saw each other, they told this extrovert “No” when they went in for the hug again – and the extrovert said, “I noticed you were uncomfortable last time, too.”
When I heard about this story I was stunned – who does this? Who knows that someone is uncomfortable, notes it, and does the same behavior again!
After my stunned shock wore off, I realized it’s because that extroverted hugger doesn’t pay attention to the world around her – she doesn’t think about how other people move through the world – just how she does.
Don’t be this person. Read the room AND react to it.
This isn’t to say extroverts aren’t amazing – so are introverts though. And we should all learn how to better communicate with people that aren’t like us.