How to be more introverted if you’re an extrovert

How to be more introverted if you're an extrovert

Sometimes, when you read about what introversion means, you feel like someone is spying on your life. Yes, you do love being alone. You hate making shallow small talk. And spending too much time around other people leaves you feeling drained, irritable, and sometimes even physically unwell.

Yet other aspects of introversion don’t resonate with you at all. You have plenty of friends. You enjoy meeting new people. And even though you prefer meaningful conversation, you’re actually pretty good at making light chitchat.

You’re starting to wonder if you’re really an introvert.

What Is an ‘Extroverted’ Introvert?

Enter the “extroverted” introvert.

The extroverted introvert is known by many names. Some call it an “outgoing introvert” or “social” introvert. Others argue that this is ambiversion.

So what does “extroverted introvert” really mean?

The thing to understand about introversion and extroversion is they are not all-or-nothing traits. Think of these two temperaments as being on a spectrum. Some people fall closer to the extreme ends, making them either very introverted or very extroverted. Most people are closer to the middle, which gives them qualities of both introversion and extroversion.

If you think of yourself as an extroverted introvert, it probably means you’re an introvert at heart — but you may be more outgoing than other introverts because your personality is more middle-of-the-spectrum.

Signs You’re an ‘Extroverted Introvert’

Are you an extroverted introvert? If so, you’ll recognize yourself in these 10 signs.

1. Your energy level is closely tied to your environment.

You’re sensitive to your surroundings. It matters how your environment looks, what kind of music is playing, how many people are present, and the noise level. The ambiance of a place can either energize or drain you, depending on if it fits your preferences. A loud rock concert in a crowded stadium might be overwhelming — but an up-close-and-personal acoustic set at your favorite club is soothing.

2. You find people to be both intriguing and exhausting.

People watching? Yes. Meeting new people and hearing their life stories? Fascinating. Spending almost every night hanging out with friends? Not a chance. Outgoing introverts enjoy meeting new people but can only endure so much socializing. After a busy weekend or a long day at work, you may feel the need to disappear and recharge by being alone or with just one other person.

3. Certain people and interactions drain you while others recharge you.

You have a few friends who you could hang out with for practically forever. It seems like you never run out of things to talk about. Being with them is easy. You actually feel better after spending time with them, not drained — and you act pretty outgoing around them. Other people tire or bore you and you need to get away. Being alone is better than settling for second-rate company.

4. You can be charming but also deeply introspective and reflective.

You make small talk when it’s expected of you because you know it can lead to deeper, more authentic conversation. People feel comfortable around you, and you easily get others talking and opening up about themselves. When you’re out with friends, you make sure everyone’s having a good time. However, most people don’t realize how “in your head” you really are. Although you appear easy-going, your mind is always running.

5. When you feel rested and recharged, you reach out to others.

Often, you’re the one who organizes social events for others. Playing the host is ideal for the extroverted introvert — it allows you to spend time with people on your own terms. But when you run out of energy, you’re out, and like a true introvert, all you want is a little hibernation at home.

6. You need time to warm up in social situations.

Your first impression belies your real personality. At first, you come across as quiet and reserved. But once you feel comfortable, you have no trouble chatting. You won’t spill your life story or divulge your insecurities to someone you’ve just met, but you will reveal intimate details once trust is built up. The better someone gets to know you, the more “extroverted” you seem.

7. It actually takes less energy to say what’s on your mind than to make small talk.

True extroverts rarely struggle with what to say. It’s easy from them to make chitchat — and talk with ease about virtually any topic. But not so for most introverts. Many introverts find it difficult to force small talk. They’d rather talk about big ideas or connect in an honest, authentic way. This is especially true of extroverted introverts. It’s far easier for them to say what’s on their mind than to fake a rousing discussion about the weather.

8. You’re selectively social.

Although you gain a lot of satisfaction from your relationships, unlike a true extrovert, you don’t have the energy to maintain a large social network. Plus, you don’t click with just anybody. So you make your limited “people” energy count by investing it into just a few close relationships.

9. You have no interest in trying to prove yourself in a crowd of strangers.

At networking events or parties, you’re not someone who “works the room.” Nor do you feel the need to draw a lot of attention to yourself in social situations. Yes, you see the value in making connections with others, and you especially love those rare moments when you meet a like-minded soul. But you’ll probably never be the most popular person in the room — and you’re okay with that.

10. You’re often confused for an extrovert.

Your friends and family don’t buy that you’re an introvert because you’re just so social. In fact, it may have taken you a while to realize that you’re an introvert — because you play the extrovert so well. Now you find yourself constantly having to explain your introversion and how you get your energy. Unfortunately, most people don’t get it.

Keep in mind that there’s no wrong way to do introversion — and we all act introverted at times and extroverted at others. You can be outgoing and still be an introvert. It’s all about understanding your needs and honoring your own style, even if that means being the life of the party one night and then binge watching Netflix alone the next.

You might like:

  • 25 Illustrations That Perfectly Capture the Joy of Living Alone as an Introvert
  • 12 Things Introverts Absolutely Need to Be Happy
  • Why Introverts Absolutely Loathe Talking on the Phone
  • 13 ‘Rules’ for Being Friends With an Introvert
  • 15 Signs That You’re an Introvert With High-Functioning Anxiety

Did you enjoy this article? Sign up for our newsletters to get more stories like this.

It’s more than “shy” and “outgoing” — here’s why understanding this part of your personality matters.

How to be more introverted if you're an extrovert

Understanding extroversion and introversion can be helpful for navigating a variety of relationships.

Whether you prefer the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, the Enneagram, the DISC profile or one of the dozens of other personality assessments out there, it’s no secret that learning more about your personality is a powerful tool. For starters, personality tests can help you be more self-aware and can help you navigate important relationships in your life.

One factor that’s at the core of many personality assessments is whether you are introverted or extroverted. You probably have an inclination about where you lie on the spectrum (depending on how outgoing or shy you are) but how can you know for sure?

It turns out, the extrovert versus introvert question is pretty complex — it’s about way more than if you are considered more quiet or talkative. And since understanding introversion vs. extroversion can help you understand yourself and others better — here’s a more in-depth look at how to tell which you are and why it’s important.

What’s the difference between an extrovert and an introvert?

“When I think about the words introvert and extrovert, I think about the ways in which people relate to themselves, and the world around them,” Chelsea Connors, MS, NCC, LPC-A, Board Certified Coach and therapist said. She added that the biggest difference between the two is in how each prefers to spend their time.

You may be an introvert if:

  • You enjoy spending time alone
  • You prefer quality time with one or two people over spending time with bigger groups of friends
  • You need alone time to rest and recharge after a busy workday or period of activity
  • You can get lost in your thoughts easily and need time to process and think through most things

You may be an extrovert if:

  • You prefer spending your time around other people and dislike being alone
  • You like crowds, parties and other gatherings with lots of new people
  • You need quality time with others to help you recharge
  • You’re outgoing, talkative and like being the center of attention

“Typically introverts tend to enjoy more time to themselves, are very aware of their internal thoughts and recharge more in solitude. Extroverts can be just the opposite. Extroverts are often more outspoken, outgoing and absolutely love being around other people. That’s what really fills them up,” Connors said.

You can also consider how you feel after socializing to help you decipher if you’re more introverted or extroverted. “We often see that extroverts feel refueled and filled up after being with a crowd and connecting with more people, while introverts may feel drained by that same experience,” Connors said.

Can knowing if others are introverted or extroverted help your relationships?

So now that you know if you’re more introverted or extroverted personally — what about the other people in your life? Finding out whether your friends, family and coworkers are introverts or extroverts can help your relationships, Connors said.

“Awareness and information are key to creating meaningful change and fueling powerful decisions — this goes for relationships of all types. When we feel that we better understand where someone else is coming from or how they experience the world, it can be easier to empathize, relate and communicate effectively,” Connors said.

And this advice doesn’t just apply to your friends, romantic partners, or family members. Understanding if someone has a more introverted or extroverted personality can be helpful for professional relationships too. Connors explained that developing a sense of understanding with coworkers and their personalities is helpful for things like giving and receiving feedback, creating a better work environment, and navigating challenges.

Can you be both introverted and extroverted?

Not a fan of strict labels? You don’t have to identify as solely an introvert or an extrovert — there’s a spectrum. “There is so much middle ground here too where we’re now seeing people describe themselves as introverted-extroverts, etc. It’s OK to be somewhere in the middle here and to not feel that you fall in one distinct category,” Connors said.

For example, if you’re an extroverted-introvert, you may feel that you’re mostly introverted in nature, but you don’t always prefer being alone or in small groups, and you can feel energized when you’re around the right crowd at the right time.

The 17 best health and fitness apps for Apple Watch

How to be more introverted if you're an extrovert

How to be more introverted if you're an extrovert

How understanding introversion and extroversion better can improve your life

While everyone is different, working on understanding the differences between introverted and extroverted tendencies can be a helpful tool when it comes to better understanding yourself and others around you. “I believe that the more information we can know about ourselves, what makes us tick and how we can take care of ourselves is always going to improve quality of life and overall happiness,” Conners said.

And having more self-awareness can help when things feel off and aren’t going as well in your life. “Knowing our tendencies can help us find a better equilibrium when we feel off-center,” Connors explained. The same goes for when conflict arises in your relationships.

“If you know that your best friend is more introverted, you may not be shocked when she turns down your offer to go to a loud, crowded bar over the weekend, and instead opts for a movie and wine night at home with you,” Connors said. Having this knowledge can help you avoid taking the rejection personally since you know it’s not about you, but more about what that friend needs to feel their best.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

How to be more introverted if you're an extrovert

Many of us are familiar with the concept of introverts and extroverts. Some people, according to this theory of personality, recharge socially in environments with a lot of people, while others expend a lot of energy in social situations and need to recharge their batteries on their own. The former are extroverts, the latter introverts — but the boundaries between these two categories are pretty fluid. Experts tell Bustle that there’s some evidence that even the most dyed-in-the-wool introverts can adopt some extrovert tendencies. However, they say, a complete category shift — changing from an introvert who loves staying at home with the cat to an extrovert who finds time at parties invigorating — is virtually impossible, particularly as we get older.

The concept of introversion and extroversion isn’t actually that old. “It was popularized around the 1920s and 1930s by the writings of Carl Jung and later utilized in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator,” Dr. Trey Armstrong, Ph.D., of the Texas A&M Department of Psychiatry, tells Bustle. You’ve likely taken Myers-Briggs personality tests online. These days, we know a bit more about introvert and extrovert tendencies — including the fact that introversion isn’t necessarily shyness, and that extroverts aren’t necessarily socially invincible.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Josh Klapow, Ph.D., tells Bustle that introversion “is a tendency to respond to the world in an inward fashion versus an outward fashion. Introverts process information, synthesize the world around them and make decisions about how to engage in the world in a much more solitary and internal manner. This is not to say they are antisocial, shy, afraid, anxious, or aloof.” However, introverts can sometimes long for the other side of the equation; as a definite introvert myself with an extrovert partner, I’ve often been annoyed that I feel so exhausted after a social occasion, and wondered what it would be like to be less internal in my processing.

I’m not alone. The pressure to be less introverted can be intense. “We live in a society that celebrates extroversion,” psychologist Dr. Erika Martinez, Psy.D., tells Bustle. “In many cases, it’s a desire to belong and be accepted that prompts introverts to change.”

In fact, a 2020 study of over 800 college students and adults found that, when asked, most people said they wanted to be more extroverted, conscientious, or emotionally stable. Everything from our workplaces to our customary social spaces is structured to reward extroversion; if an introvert has a job that involves networking or public speaking, or wants to meet somebody and start a relationship, they need to push themselves outside of their comfort zones. This, says Klapow, is called “social necessity.”

If you’re an introvert who occasionally shows extroverted traits in public, it’s possible that it’s happening because of this social necessity, Klapow explains. “Because we live in a world where outward social interaction is valued, and is the norm, introverts often find themselves interacting in a more extroverted manner at work, in social situations, in relationships in order to gain the approval and acceptance of those around them,” he tells Bustle.

An introvert changing their behavior to be more extroverted is definitely possible, but it has to be intentional — and it’s also difficult. “Think of it like swimming upstream against the current — it’s possible, but draining, too,” says Martinez. Introverts will also encounter differing levels of success in the endeavor, experts tell Bustle. Some introverts may adopt extrovert tendencies to get by in public, but never feel completely at home with them, while others may become more comfortable with them through habit. An introvert who practices extroversion regularly, says Klapow, may find that extroverted behaviors “begin to feel more commonplace, and are embraced and even looked fondly on.”

However, this doesn’t mean that introverts with these capacities are becoming more extroverted by nature. Introverts, says Martinez, can look like extroverts — “they can learn to exhibit extroverted behaviors, manage their anxiety, and environmental stimulation,” she says — but that won’t change their fundamental nature. “Their temperament will still lean toward introversion, and they’ll likely need periods of rest to recover after being extroverted,” she tells Bustle.

Research also indicates that it’s extremely unlikely you can shift your introversion to be entirely extroverted, or vice versa. Armstrong tells Bustle that studies show personality traits are pretty stable after you turn 30. “There are some minor changes that occur over time but usually to a nonsignificant degree,” he says.

The 2020 research on adults and college students, published in the Journal of Research in Personality, found that largely, people weren’t able to consciously change their personalities. When they followed up with the college students six months later, they actually changed to have less of their desired personality trait than when they were first asked. Even if an introvert has refined or altered their behavior to become more extroverted, they’ll likely fall back onto their original ways when they’re tired, stressed, anxious, or exhausted. This, says Klapow, is called our “fallback state.” If you’re an introvert who’s gradually trained yourself to show more extroverted traits, you may find that when you’re under a lot of pressure, you begin to show introvert tendencies again.

Introverts aren’t fixed in their introverted state and can learn extroverted behaviors that make them seem more like extroverts — and even become very comfortable with extroversion. However, that doesn’t mean they’re innately extroverts. If you’re an introvert who has learned to fake it till you make it in extrovert-friendly situations, you’ll always need to go home and recharge eventually. Preferably with the door shut and a nice cup of tea.

Dr. Trey Armstrong, Ph.D., of the Texas A&M Department of Psychiatry

Dr. Josh Klapow, Ph.D., clinical psychologist

Erica Baranski, Jacob Gray, Patrick Morse, William Dunlop. From desire to development? A multi-sample, idiographic examination of volitional personality change. Journal of Research in Personality, 2020; 85: 103910 DOI: 10.1016/j.jrp.2019.103910

This article was originally published on July 16, 2019

How to be more introverted if you're an extrovert

Approximately 100% of the advice offered to introverts amounts to this: “be more like an extravert!” Hogwash. Extraverts are annoying and commonplace. Why would any introvert want to imitate them?

Quite the contrary. To be even more successful introverts should cultivate their introversion, because that’s the source of their creativity, thoughtfulness and ability to adapt to today’s online business world.

So, then, in honor of World Introvert Day (yeah, apparently that’s a thing) here are some way to get even more oomph out of your natural introversion:

1. Stop apologizing.

Apologizing is the typical introverted response to accusations like “stop acting so shy” or “speak up for yourself” or “you should be more outgoing.” Rather than apologize, raise your eyebrows and stare at the speaker as if they’re out of their mind. Then say something like “moving right along. ” and change the subject.

2. Backtrack when necessary.

In business meetings, extraverts tend to plow over introverts, moving the conversation to the next item whilst the introverts are still considering what to say. When this happens, it’s entirely appropriate to backtrack to something you wanted to say.

3. Pause even longer.

Because they (wisely) prefer to think things through, introverts tend to take longer than extraverts to respond to emails and texts. Rather than succumb to social pressure to respond immediately, set a timer so that you wait to response even longer than you normally might.

4. Speak even softer.

Rather than try to talk over the loudmouths (it won’t work), hold your hand or finger in the air as you speak (so you aren’t interrupted), and speak softly. This forces everyone to lean forward to hear you, which lends authority to what you have to say. Note: I used this technique consciously in meetings for a decade. It really does work.

5. Don’t tolerate interruptions.

If somebody other than your boss breaks in on you when you’re speaking, slap the table hard and say, very clearly: “I’m not finished.” Yes, that takes some guts but once you’ve done it a few times, people stop interrupting you. Note: extraverts, when interrupted, just talk louder; that’s not going to work for you.

6. Re-educate the extraverts.

Yes, the business world needs diversity, but the extraverts have held the floor so long that they’re sucking up all the air. One way to change the culture is to quote or post aphorisms like “Less talk, more action” and “Still waters run deep.” Eventually even extraverts might get the message.

7. Use “extravert” rather than “extrovert.”

Whenever I post about this subject, somebody always complains that I’ve misspelled “extravert.” In fact, it’s a valid alternate spelling. I use “extravert” rather than “extrovert” because the “extra” spelling reminds me of all the extra words they use and all the extra time they waste. I invite you to do the same.

How to be more introverted if you're an extrovert

Are you an introvert who can waltz into a party and shine like a diamond in the limelight?

Yep, that’s me… I’m what you’d call a strange mix of ‘introverted extrovert’.

Extroverted when I need to be, but a true introvert at heart. ❤️

I’m deliriously happy when rugged up with a cup of tea at home and also in my element when on to my second class of champagne at a networking event. Whichever situation I find myself in, I can come to life and thrive.

But if I’m being honest, I need more friends who understand that I want to be invited to everything, but I’m not necessarily going. LOL!

With chameleon-like social abilities comes a whole lotta conditions.

Those that don’t know us well, could be somewhat confused by our erratic behaviours and patterns.

On one end of the spectrum you might think of us as the life of the party, but on the other you may see us quietly in the corner fading away into the background.

What people don’t know, is that socialising comes natural to us but at a cost to our livelihood.

Think of us like big batteries, when we’re fully charged and rested we can throw infectious energy around like nobody’s watching, but like batteries our energy levels deplete, slowly but surely the internal battery that powers the persona everyone loves us for slowly decreases … and decreases… kaput!

After socialising an introverted extrovert feels so drained that they need desperately to get some me-time and recharge – otherwise they’ll descend down into a spiral of self pity.

So if you’ve always felt like you’re between these two worlds, I’ve put together a list of signs that only an introverted extrovert would understand.

// 1. You need downtime before and after any social event

Your social energy is like a carton of milk, it will eventually expire (or in my household every two days. ). An introverted extrovert knows they need to rest up and recharge before and after any social event.

Failure to recharge means you’ll be running on critically low levels where your emotions will destabilize – sadness, anxiety and even depression are the symptoms of an introverted extroverted meltdown (the latter ‘darker thoughts’ usually are experienced during intense periods times in your life).

Essentially if you’re an introverted extrovert, you’re going to need to dedicate alone time before and after a social event or gathering where you can spend some time relaxing by yourself.

// 2. A well organised calendar excites you

You know you’re an introverted extrovert when you plan out your social calendar to a tee. Every appointment, meeting, pickup, event and Facetime is neatly organized in your calendar (perhaps in your Life Sorted app *wink*).

Your calendar is so organized, as only you know how much energy you can spent being extroverted, you’re careful with what plans you say yes to… otherwise you’ll (figuratively) die of exhaustion.

Perhaps whilst reading this you’re starting to realise you’re of the same nature and saying ‘yes’ with a friendly poker face to everything is burning you out?

Start by being *very* selective with your social calendar, spending your social energy wisely.

// 3. Small talk annoys you

You definitely know you’re an introverted extrovert when small talk absolutely drives you up the wall.

As part introvert you crave a true connection with someone, a passionate exchange of words is what gets your blood pumping. When small talk is on the menu, you can’t help but zone out and feel empty inside. You then wish you were at home watching a good Netflix series. Oh wait there’s a door… time to make my exit I hear my couch calling! LOL!

// 4. Individuals will either recharge or drain you

You’ll find that individuals have different effects on you. Highly buzzed passionate people will excite every cell in your body, whereas quiet shy people will pacify you… kinda like the different emotions felt when watching an action movie vs a sad tearjerker.

You see, an introverted extrovert is a true empath, they channel the energy of the individual they’re talking to. Basically you’re a walking human mirror!

// 5. You’ll be the one to reach out to your friends

You’ve heard a friend say more than once they haven’t heard from you in a while. An introverted extrovert confuses the closest people around them, they think that they’re friendship is drifting apart but in actual fact the introverted extrovert is busy doing the rounds with their other friends.

The silence just means they are busy trying to keep the other million people in their life entertained.

Introverted extroverts are excellent at making friends but have trouble maintaining them.

That’s why you’ll know you’re an introverted extrovert if you have a small tight group of friends you regularly check in with, and a ton of acquaintances (or Insta friends!!).

// 6. You take time to warm up in new social situations

Surprisingly an introverted extrovert is no stranger to the limelight, but in saying that they do take time to warm up and gauge a new social situation.

Once they’re comfortable and absorbed the ‘vibe’ of the party an introverted extrovert will no longer be afraid to spill their life story, or reveal their latest troubling dilemmas to strangers.

// 7. You’re the go-to shoulder for all your friends

An introverted extrovert is naturally gifted with empathic powers, they can feel when something is wrong with the person in front of them. Usually this means they’re one of the strongest emotional individuals in your social group.

As the extroverted side of you comes out, you seek to connect with individuals outside of yourself, meaning you’re a good listener with a strong sense of self who can provide great advice.

Colleagues say my superpower is inspiring and convincing other people they can do anything – this has come in handy in my work life. I just thought I had a good ear, a heart of gold, and really love to listening to people… little did I know this would become one of my greatest assets in life.

There you have it. Does this sound like you too? I’m no psychologist, but I’m definitely a self prescribed ‘introverted extrovert’.

What are you? I’d love to hear your thoughts, leave a comment below.

How to be more introverted if you're an extrovert

About Jo Burgess

Jo is the creator of Life Sorted, one of the highest rated family organizers on the app stores. She’s proud to be helping thousands of families live a happier life together, by giving them a way to keep their family’s events, birthdays, to-dos, shopping lists and reminders in one place.

If you’re an introvert, you have a lifetime of experience living in a world that’s more suited to extroverts. And while, for the most part, being an introvert isn’t something that crosses your mind unless someone invites you to a party, that all changes when it comes to your career. Being an introvert in an extrovert job isn’t easy!

Many careers are tailor-made for extroverts. They’re ideal for individuals who love to talk, interact, and work in teams, but that’s against a time-alone-loving introvert’s nature. After all, what introvert would want a sales job or a career in something that’s client facing and puts them in the spotlight?

The fear is understandable especially considering the fact that, as an introvert, you feel drained after you spend hours interacting with people instead of energized. But it’s a problem. While it’s natural to want to work in a job where you’re most comfortable—with little face time and interaction—limiting yourself to introverted jobs can kill your career opportunities.

There are many traditionally extroverted fields that an introvert might want to pursue, and just because you prefer hanging out at home to networking in a ballroom, you shouldn’t be stuck on a certain career path. Introverts can be and are highly successful people. Steve Wozniak, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Marissa Mayer are all introverts.

So, how do you survive as an introvert in an extrovert job?

How to Survive as an Introvert in an Extrovert Job

The key to being an introvert in an extrovert job is to first understand that you are who you are. You’re not going to be able to change your entire nature to suddenly be an extrovert who loves being in the middle of a crowd or up on stage. Instead, you need to learn to feel comfortable with who you are and focus on how to meet the job requirements within your introverted-ness.

1) Focus on the Function

No matter if you’re an introvert or an extrovert, there will always be elements of any job that you don’t enjoy. When you’re an introvert, look at the extroverted portions of your job as a requirement that you need to accomplish. In this way, the extroverted elements of your job become tasks that you can handle one and a time, which can reframe your introverted brain.

Also read: Networking for Introverts: How to Find Your Comfort Zone | Networking for Success Series

2) Develop Relationships with Extroverted Coworkers

Every workplace relies on teamwork, and you can take advantage of that as an introvert in an extrovert job. Make friends with an extroverted co-worker and figure out how you can help each other out in a mutually beneficial way. Play to your strengths and allow your coworker to play to theirs. For example, you might be an exceptional writer as an introvert while your coworker is a social butterfly with exceptional people skills. You can write up the meeting agenda while she presents. It’s all about teamwork.

3) Understand Your Defensive Mechanisms

Everyone has defensive mechanisms when they get uncomfortable. We talk too quickly or too much, we play with our hands, and we generally give off body signals that say, “Go away!” When you’re an introvert, you need to recognize your defensive mechanisms in the workplace and try to curb them.

When you feel most uncomfortable as an introvert in an extrovert job, do a self-check and see what signals you’re giving off. Then, practice self-control and implement steps to keep you focused. For example, if you tend to speak quickly when you’re defensive, focus on speaking slow and in deliberate sentences.

4) Create a Safe Place in the Chaos

As an introvert in an extrovert job, there will be times where you’ll need to get away to recharge. Make a place for yourself in the office where you can take five minutes to spend time in the quiet and get a handle on your introverted tendencies. Find a space outside or in an empty room for some downtime where you can take a step away from the people parade and ringing phones.

Also read: Turning Your Quirks Into Your Competitive Advantage

5) Recognize the Strengths of Being an Introvert

No matter if you’re an introvert in an extrovert job or you’re an introvert in a highly extroverted workplace, the key to your success is knowing what makes you great. While an introvert might not be the best person to give a company presentation, that doesn’t mean you don’t have many valuable skills that can contribute to your job.

  • Introverts Know How to Listen: As an introvert, you’re considered a great listener. According to Elizabeth Bernstein’s article on The Wall Street Journal, “Why Introverts Make Great Entrepreneurs,” extroverts talk a lot. On the other hand, introverts excel at listening and analytical thinking, which makes introverts better at understanding client problems and displaying concern and empathy.
  • Introverts Know How to Recharge: Being an introvert in an extrovert job or workplace is draining. The good news is that, as an introvert, you know how to recharge post-work. This means you can handle doing extroverted work—talking with people all day—because when you get tired and feel daunted by your job expectations, you know how to go home, take a breath, and come back the next day ready to go.
  • Introverts Are Thoughtful: Introverts tend to be more thoughtful and consider a wider variety of viewpoints before forming their own opinions. This means that when you do share your ideas, they’re often more thoughtful and offer a more balanced perspective. Your insightful comments can have a big impact.
  • Introverts Demonstrate Real Passion: While you might not be great at small talk, as an introvert, you’re great at carrying on meaningful discussions on subjects that you’re passionate about. Use your work-related passions to find ways to connect with others and to bring insight to your industry. Your genuine enthusiasm will be noticed.

Being an introvert in an extrovert job doesn’t have to be a nightmare. If you believe in yourself and your unique strengths, you can bring much to the table and be a rousing success. The key is to recognize your introverted qualities and to work with them instead of against them.

Introvert/Extrovert Test

Have you ever taken an introvert quiz and been left wondering? Ever heard the way people describe introverts and extroverts and wonder which way you would test? This easy, in-depth introvert/extrovert test can give you a clear answer and help you understand your personality.

Take the “Introvert or Extrovert” Test

For the best results, don’t answer how you think you’re supposed to. Choose the answer that is most true for you, most of the time. For some questions, you may have a hard time choosing (and that’s okay!). When there is no perfect answer, pick the option you are most drawn to. If you’re really stumped, you may want to ask someone close to you to weigh in.

To learn more about introversion and extroversion, see the resources below.

If You’re More of an Introvert…

If your quiz result shows that you’re more of an introvert, you tend to…

  • Look at life from the inside out.
  • Gain energy through inner reflection and solitude.
  • Get more excited by ideas than by external activities.
  • Prefer a few deep, close relationships to many casual ones.
  • Feel tired and drained after socializing, even if you enjoyed it.
  • Listen well and expect others to do the same.
  • Think first and talk later.
  • Express yourself well in writing.

If You’re More of an Extrovert…

If your quiz result shows that you’re more of an extrovert, you tend to…

  • Be primarily interested in and concerned with the external world.
  • Gain energy from socializing and being “out and about.”
  • Find your energy is depleted when you spend too much time alone.
  • Prefer talking with someone rather than sitting alone and thinking.
  • Think as you speak.
  • Express yourself well verbally.
  • May seem “always on the go.”
  • May come across as confident, friendly, and assertive.

Introverts and Extroverts Are Born, Not Made

No matter which way the introvert quiz says you lean, it’s likely that you were born that way (at least in part). Being an introvert or an extrovert is part of your innate temperament — the way that you gain energy and prefer to interact with the world. Introversion and extroversion are both temperaments, and both are normal and healthy. About 30-50 percent of the population are thought to be introverts.

You are shaped by both your genes and experiences. Research shows that you were likely born an introvert or extrovert, and that preference will stick with you for life. Introverts will probably always have a preference for calm and solitude, while extroverts will thrive in more stimulating environments.

However, people change. You have new experiences and learn new things. You grow and stretch as a person. In fact, research shows that people tend to change over their lifetime — and usually for the better. That’s because our personalities, not temperaments, grow and develop.

That means your temperament doesn’t have to “doom” you. If you’re an introvert who wants to, say, become a better conversationalist, you can learn and practice those skills. Likewise, extroverts can learn to slow down, listen more, and enjoy solitude.

Above all, honor your temperament — and also know that you can work on anything that holds you back.

No Pure Introverts or Extroverts

No two introverts (or extroverts) are exactly alike. What’s true for one introvert may be be quite different for another. Each introvert has a different level of tolerance for stimulation. Each extrovert will vary in their need for “people” contact, among other things.

Also, there is no such thing as a pure introvert or extrovert — no matter what the introvert/extrovert quiz says. “Such a man would be in the lunatic asylum,” the famous psychotherapist Carl Jung once noted. Introversion and extroversion are on a spectrum, meaning, they are not all-or-nothing traits. Everyone acts introverted at times and extroverted at other times. It’s all about what your preference — in general — is.

Why It’s Important to Understand Your Temperament

It’s powerful to understand your temperament, because when you live a life that complements your nature, you unleash incredible stores of energy.

On the other hand, when you spend too much time fighting your nature, the opposite happens, and you end up depleting yourself. If you’re an introvert who has been stuffing your schedule full of social events — and leaving no time for solitude — you won’t feel or function at your best. If you’re an extrovert whose career forces you to be alone for long periods of time, you’re probably not living your best life. Working with your temperament rather than fighting against it will ultimately make you happier, more productive, and more present for the people in your life.

That’s one of the reasons that taking the introvert test can be so powerful; knowing where you get your energy means you can be your best self.

Learn More About Introversion

Check out the bestselling book, The Secret Lives of Introverts: Inside Our Hidden World, by Introvert, Dear founder Jenn Granneman.

Also, we recommend starting with these articles:

And thank you for taking the introvert/extrovert quiz. We hope it’s the first step toward a long path of getting to know yourself.