We all have a complex personality which falls in continuum. There is evidence that your brain is hard-wired with your level of introversion or extroversion, but maximum of us falls in the middle of the scale. Depending on the situation you are placed in and experiences, you may feel introverted or extroverted. This is known as “ambiversion .” The people having introvert traits are looked down upon by many. They are considered to have something within themselves. Be it introversion or extroversion is the natural way of living. While one can try to be an extrovert from an complete introvert, but the following steps should be kept in mind.
What is introversion and extroversion? Identifying both the traits is equally important.
- Introvert people for most of the time prefer solitude. This doesn’t mean that they fear people, but they do not feel the strong need of people around. Noise, attention, light and crowd is not that they like. While they prefer quite conversation with few peoples. Introverts may enjoy socializing, but they usually find even pleasant social interactions make them tired after a while. Introverts need to “recharge” on their own. Strong introverts do not respond to novelty the same way extroverts do. Introverts may have a need for routine and predictability. They enjoy alone walks away from the huge crowd. Prefers less stimulation. This refers most often to social stimulation, but it can also refer to physical stimulation. For example, introverts actually produce more saliva in response to tasting something acidic than extroverts! Noise, crowds, and bright lights (i.e., your typical nightclub) are not things introverts commonly enjoy.
- Extrovert people enjoy company. They enjoys being on the lime light, noise, popularity and crowd. People who are extroverts often have a different way of processing dopamine, which makes them excited or pleased when they encounter new and stimulating experiences. They feel comfortable working in groups, rather they enjoy being accompanied by people. Extroverts enjoy and seek out new experiences. They may get bored easily. They may also jump into an activity or experience too quickly.They are usually happiest when they’re around others. They experience socializing as “recharging” and may feel depleted or down if they don’t have social contact.Extroverts are more likely to seek novelty and variation because of their dopamine function. One study showed that people with a specific gene that enhanced dopamine were more likely to be extroverted than people without that gene.
Take up a personality test and figure out whether you are introvert or shy. One of the biggest personality test known is the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory(MBTI) to use introvert/extrovert dynamics. However many such online tests are available. They aren’t as comprehensive or professionally valid as the MBTI, but they can give you an idea of where on the introvert/extrovert continuum you usually fall. These tests help one to identify whether you are introvert or shy.
Various research have shown that there is minimal correlation between introversion and shyness. A shy person may fail to express oneself in a crowd but they do not fear being around people. It causes you anxiety and hence may interfere you from doing what you want. Even extroverts may be shy and this can be improved by support groups and various self acceptance training. Wellesley College offers a free version of a shyness scale used in research here . The quiz calculates your shyness based on a series of questions such as:
- Do you feel tense when you’re around others (especially people you don’t know well)?
- Do you want to go out with others?
- Do you feel afraid of being embarrassed or not knowing what to say?
- Do you feel more uncomfortable around members of the opposite sex?
A score of above 49 on the Wellesley scale indicates that you are very shy, a score of 34-49 indicates that you are somewhat shy, and a score below 34 indicates that you are not very shy.
Then follows the step of getting out of your comfort zone! Being an extrovert mainly involves the must maintained relationship with the people around.
This involves :
- Finding ones optimal anxiety which means the presence of limited anxiety actually increases your productivity.
- Push yourself a bit more that is the more you increase your comfort zone is more you learn new things. But this doesn’t mean you push yourself to an extreme. Take your own time.
- Challenge yourself. Set new challenges for yourself on regular basis, this may be per month or per week or even per day.
- Acting classes may prove to be helpful. Acting can allow you to take on a different “persona” and explore behaviors that you might not feel comfortable with yourself in a safe environment.
- Make more friends, but finding the right situation for yourself. It never says that meeting new people involves going to night clubs or pubs, etc. Rather small get together and face to face socialising may sound helpful.
- Flex your socializing skills. Extroverts are mainly known due to there ability to connect to the people around. So next time you are in some party, try interacting with people around. Sometimes even healthy flirtin may be helpful in increasing your ability to communicate to the people.
- Allow yourself down time. After you’ve pushed yourself to embrace a social situation, be sure to give yourself some quiet time to mentally and emotionally recover. As an introvert, you need “down time” in order to feel refreshed and ready to .
Also learn to maintain your interpersonal relationships.
- Introverts can sometimes forget that not everyone feels “recharged” from being alone. Remember to check in with friends and loved ones, even if just to say “hello.” Being the person to initiate that contact is a more extroverted trait, but it’s not so hard to do with a little practice.
- You can ask your partner to invite you to social occasions. Even if you don’t necessarily feel thrilled to go, try to go out occasionally. Having someone you know and trust with you will help you feel more at ease.
- Social media can be a good way to practice making the first move in your relationships. Send a friend a friendly Tweet. Post a funny cat picture on your sibling’s Facebook wall. Initiating contact with other people, even in small ways, will help you embrace your extroverted side.
- Introverts may not always remember to express their feelings to others. It can be hard for other people, especially those who are very extroverted, to tell if you’re enjoying yourself or if you’re desperate to hide.Tell other people how you’re feeling before they have to ask.
- Try to be happy and carry a smile and positive attitude. Because the more you are able to network with people, the more you are going to expand you boundaries and learn more and more.
These are some of the many ways you may follow to be an extrovert from an introvert. Introversion and extroversion are just different ways of being. One isn’t superior to the other. Don’t put yourself down for responding to situations in a different way than your friends or loved ones do. Similarly, don’t judge others for how they respond to situations rather help your introvert friend to connect to the world.