Are you an extrovert?
What is an extrovert: An extrovert is someone who is outgoing, social and expressive. They typically thrive when around others.
The next big question is what makes someone an extrovert? And what’s the difference between an introvert vs. extrovert?
- Extroverts enjoy spending time with others. They are typically outgoing and love to work on teams. When brainstorming they love to collaborate and talk out loud.
- Introverts on the other hand enjoy spending time alone and are more reserved. They prefer to work independently and like to process ideas and brainstorm internally before sharing.
Interestingly, extroversion is not just an internal process. Did you know that someone can tell how extroverted you are based on your face?
This fascinating study found that we judge someone’s level of extroversion immediately. Here is a rendering they made of the typical extrovert and introvert face:
If we wear our extroversion on our face–what else does it tell people? Here are some things you should know about extroverts and ways to harness your special social power.
1. Can you be both introvert and extrovert?
Before we get too much further, we have to check and make sure you’re really an extrovert.
Do people ever call you an antisocial extrovert?
If you feel like extrovert has never quite fit you or if you are worried the term doesn’t quite fit or the tips below sound uncomfortable to you, then you MIGHT be an ambivert!
Ambivert: Someone who can exhibit qualities of both introversion and extroversion depending on the situation, mood and people they are with.
Take the official quiz to find out.
2. The Extrovert Advantage
Extroverts have so many advantages in the workplace and social scene. Here are just a few of your powers:
- You are wired for enthusiasm. Research has found that extroverts are more likely to associate pleasurable feelings with their current environment, according to one analysis of neurological differences between introverts and extroverts.
- You are more likely to be a leader. Research has found that most leaders self-identify as extroverts. And it’s no surprise. You are great in groups, large rooms and often have no problem building rapport with anyone.
- You’re anti-boring. Extroverts are great at pulling out the best from people — conversation, energy and confidence. You are also more likely to have lots of interesting adventures, fun activities and socializing in your calendar which gives you lots to talk about.
3. You’re a Social Savior
Extroverts can be absolute social angels–you are often the ones bringing people together, making introductions, striking up conversations and filling awkward silences. I am an ambivert and from all the ambiverts and introverts of the world, I must say:
You have saved me from sooo many bad social situations. You have given incredible social introductions. You have encouraged me and cheered me on. You might not realize it, but this is an incredible social superpower. My goal for you is to leverage it.
- Connecting comes naturally to you. That’s rare. Do it more.
- You are a natural born cheerleader–the kind people LOVE to have around. Showcase this in job openings, on dating websites and as a skill. It is one.
- See that person standing alone in the corner of the room? Go save them. They will thank you.
4. How to Become More Extroverted
Extroverts often have tremendous networks without realizing how powerful they are. Extroverts are able to:
- Connect with anyone
- Make instant friends any time
- Break into conversations at networking events
- Cold call, cold approach or cold email
These are gifts. Don’t squander them, optimize them. Use your natural powers for good and begin to organize them.If you are not an extrovert, but would like to be even more extroverted, these are also the skills you should begin to hone. Here are some more ideas:
- Go through your emails and make sure you have added everyone on LinkedIn.
- Send old friends and colleagues check-in messages to build a deeper connection.
- Send holiday cards to your network–they will be delighted and surprised.
- Decide to be a friend matchmaker. Know two people who would get along? Set them up on a friend date and enrich both of their lives.
5. Why Extroverts Tend to Be Happier
Our personality is part genetics and part environment. Extroverts benefit from a great reward–they tend to be happier. This research found that extroverts tend to be more optimistic, cheerful and better at mood regulation.
Mood Regulation: Being able to regulate your emotional state means that in a given situation someone can control their moods or emotional responses more easily.
This is incredibly helpful because it means that extroverts can enter a tense boardroom or an awkward party and avoid catching the emotion. In fact, the study also found that even in an ambivalent situation, extroverts tended to maintain a more positive attitude than introverts.
6. Spread the Social Confidence
There is another benefit to extroverts’ ability to regulate their moods–they have more energy to fix bad moods. This allows them to be social fixers.
They can break the ice, strike up conversations, moderate a confrontation or make introductions. Our confidence is contagious. And extroverts can often be infectious with their social confidence. This means that as an extrovert, you are a power for good in the world.
My mission is for you to use your social confidence as a gift and help it spread. Watch my TEDx Talk for more on why you are contagious:
Remember: There is no right or wrong personality type. The only right thing to do is to leverage your natural strengths. Your extroversion is a gift, never forget it!
About Vanessa Van Edwards
Lead Investigator, Science of People
I’ve always wanted to know how people work, and that’s what Science of People is about. What drives our behavior? Why do people act the way they do? And most importantly, can you predict and change behavior to be more successful? I think the answer is yes. More about Vanessa.
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