Are You an Introvert or Extrovert and Does It Matter?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated November 1, 2022

Published January 3, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

While many individuals may regard introverts and extroverts as entirely opposite personality types, they actually coexist on a spectrum. Where individuals place on this spectrum may influence their work, career choices, private lives, and interactions with colleagues and customers. It's critical to understand the distinctions between extroverts and introverts to help you develop effective, meaningful connections with both types of individuals. In this article, we explore the differences between introverts and extroverts, explain how to know what personality type you are, and answer some frequently asked questions about both types.

Are you an introvert or extrovert personality?

Individuals with either introvert or extrovert psychology may engage in several aspects of life differently. Taking this into account, it's essential to note that introversion and extroversion attitudes aren't binary. They exist on a spectrum and individuals may exhibit a combination of inclinations based on their unique personalities. Here are a few essential distinctions between introversion and extroversion, illustrated by the very different manners in which introverts and extroverts may approach similar scenarios:

Conflict

Typically, extroverts and introverts handle conflict in unique ways. Usually, extroverted individuals may participate in conflict voluntarily and find it relatively easy to convey their feelings and opinions to others through verbal communication. They sometimes find it easier to navigate conflict alongside their colleagues rather than through self-reflection. This way, extroverts might strive to gain insight, understanding, and answers to their concerns by conversing with others and soliciting advice from a wide range of external sources.

In comparison, introverts may avoid conflict and occasionally find it challenging to convey their feelings and thoughts to others, particularly those they don't know well. Additionally, introverts may be more sensitive to negative criticism and may feel uneasy when reprimanded. This characteristic usually results in introverted individuals resolving issues introspectively rather than with their friends or colleagues.

Read more: Top 18 Jobs Introverts Enjoy

Friendship

Normally, introverts and extroverts can handle social situations differently. Extroverted individuals are typically at ease with high amounts of social interaction and may pursue relationships with a broad group of friends or associates because they may feel more invigorated and inspired when interacting with others. They're highly social individuals who readily make friends, like meeting new people, and can easily speak with strangers and individuals they don't know well.

Introverts vary from extroverts in that they can develop deep, intimate relationships with a small group of friends rather than spending their time interacting with a large group of associates. Introverts are usually aware of their social limits and may intentionally restrict their interactions to dedicate their loyalty to the few meaningful friendships they build. Introverts may do this because they can be more enthusiastic and motivated when alone. They're typically reserved individuals who enjoy their alone time and are specific about the people that share their space.

Workplace

Introversion and extroversion can result in varying perspectives on workplace interaction. Extroverted individuals are cooperative and enjoy working in groups. Extroverts can feel confident and relaxed when operating in a team-oriented workplace and may even become group leaders. Extroverts typically perform better when collaborating with others because they can feel bored or become distracted when working on individual tasks or assignments.

In comparison, introverted individuals are typically self-sufficient professionals who prefer working independently and possess decision-making skills. Introverts are generally confident when working alone and may prefer confronting issues individually. They're usually very introspective individuals who may spend most of their time brainstorming new ideas. As a result, introverts may be able to discover innovative methods to overcome obstructions in their workflow through individual work. Despite this, introverted persons can sometimes experience challenges with teamwork and group-oriented work settings.

Self-expression

Introverts and extroverts may approach self-expression differently. Extroverted individuals are typically outgoing, charismatic, and enjoy expressing themselves through interpersonal interactions. They can express their feelings, ideas, views, and interests openly. This characteristic typically makes extroverts excellent communicators who like to convey their inner thoughts and wishes outwardly. An extrovert's capacity for self-expression can enable them to attract people easily and build relationships.

In comparison, introverts may experience challenges in expressing their feelings, ideas, views, and interests freely. Due to their sensitivity to criticism, introverts may be hesitant about confiding in others or expressing themselves. Despite this, introverted individuals may express themselves in other ways. Sometimes, introverts may find it easier to write, make music, or produce art that communicates their emotions. While introverts may express their feelings less outwardly, they're typically excellent listeners who can speak deeply about the feelings of others in smaller, one-on-one scenarios.

Related: Your Myers-Briggs Personality Type and What It Means for Your Career

8 indicators that you're an introvert

Introverts aren't necessarily timid or withdrawn, but they usually excel in isolated settings. If you exhibit any of the following characteristics or favour the following job situations, you may be an introvert:

  • Thinking issues through in your head helps you more than having a conversation about them with others.

  • Interaction with others depletes your energy. In contrast, you refuel after some alone time.

  • You prefer to let others volunteer first before taking a new responsibility or task.

  • You're considerate of people's personal lives and an excellent listener.

  • You aren't fond of small talk or social gatherings.

  • You spend more time observing people's behaviour than you do interacting with them.

  • You prefer to begin each day with solitary activities such as checking your email or updating your schedule.

  • You prefer one-on-one interactions to huge gatherings.

Read more: Determining the Best Careers for an INFP Personality

8 indicators that you're an extrovert

If you place more on the extrovert end of the spectrum, you're more likely to feel energized by social interaction. Extroverts typically identify with most or all of the following behaviours:

  • You view everyone as a potential client or friend.

  • You enjoy collaborating with others and exchanging ideas.

  • The energy you gain from social interaction drives you to achieve more.

  • You derive satisfaction from serving on committees and planning business events.

  • You discuss your personal life with colleagues.

  • You regularly monitor the progress of your subordinates.

  • You enjoy beginning your day by meeting new individuals.

  • You have a natural ability to trust others.

Related: Best Careers for ESFJ Personality Types

Frequently asked questions about introversion and extroversion

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about these personality types to help you understand what type you align with more:

What does it means if you place somewhere between an introvert and an extrovert?

Ambiverts or omniverts are people who place somewhere between the opposites of extroversion and introversion. They are equally at ease enjoying a meal with friends as they are spending time alone with a great book. You may be an ambivert if:

  • You can adjust quickly to a wide range of contexts.

  • You don't feel exhausted by being sociable or by being alone with your feelings and emotions.

  • You understand when to speak and when to listen in conversations. Individuals rarely interrupt you or prevent you from talking, and you seldom interrupt them.

  • You can interact effectively with extroverts and introverts using a variety of approaches.

  • You are versatile and can adjust to various environments and personality types.

Can you switch between personality types?

It can be very difficult to change your defining personality traits, but you can work towards improving aspects of your personality that you don't enjoy. Perhaps a more appropriate goal may be for you to maintain your unique identity while learning new skills that help improve your personality and general quality of life.

Although, science indicates that the brain of an introvert functions chemically different from that of an extrovert. For example, an extrovert may thrive on adrenaline, while an introvert may thrive on calmness. This difference may depend on dopamine and the underlying instincts and qualities inborn in all humans at a survival level. So while you may tend primarily toward one personality type over another, you may already exhibit some characteristics of both types by developing from your experiences.

Related: Best Career Matches for INTJ Personalities

How do introversion and extroversion influence your job choices?

Ultimately, it isn't about fitting or breaking free from a classification, but obtaining the self-awareness it takes to attain your full capability or become comfortable with yourself while also developing as a person. Pursuing a career that's a good fit for your personality is one approach to succeed with your current traits. Introverts may gravitate towards occupations that require quiet, contemplative effort, such as architecture, finance, writing, cooking, graphic arts, or library science. Extroverts, in comparison, may thrive in positions that require frequent engagement with clients or coworkers, such as sales, event organizing, psychotherapy, investment planning, hairdressing, or speech pathology.

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