Understanding our own and others’ personalities, helps us to accommodate for both our and others’ needs. It also improves our ability to communicate with others and in some circumstances, reduces conflict.

Both introverts and extroverts have distinct characteristics and needs of their own. Let us take a look at the differences in characteristics and traits between the two.

Extroverts need frequent social interactions, as this gives them a boost of energy. Have you ever noticed, as an extrovert, after spending more than two days alone at home without engaging in social activities, you start to feel run down and low? If this describes you, you will need to engage in social interactions on a regular basis, whether through getting together with people, meeting friends, being around people at work, or joining social clubs, etc.

Additionally, extroverts prefer to talk about their feelings and address their concerns right away when they become upset or angry. So, if you know someone who exhibits such characteristics, it is crucial to give them space to express their emotions. Also, if this is you, please be kind to yourself and take the time to address your feelings.

Moreover, extroverts think out loud; thus, they tend to be more talkers than listeners. It is important to give extroverts the time to talk, as when distracting them they may forget what was on their mind. If you are an extrovert, it might be worthwhile finding a way to record information you have on mind (e.g. writing your ideas down in bullet points), as it is very likely that if we interact with other extroverts, we will be distracted as we tend to talk about multiple topics, switching from one to another very easily.

On the other hand, introverts listen more than they speak. They also think carefully before speaking. As a result, if they do not know the answer to a question, they will need time to consider it before answering. This is important to note, as we need to be patient with them when they are unable to respond right away. For instance, an introvert will not raise their hand to answer a question in a class, unless they are certain about the answer. Thus, they need to be given the chance to think and reflect, without being put on the spot. An extrovert would not mind being put on the spot to answer, as they think out loud and they do not mind being the centre of attention.

When introverts are ready to talk and share their answers, they will also need time to talk without being interrupted, as they take their time to think of the answer and structure it very well in their minds; thus, distracting them as they talk, affects them negatively.

In addition, introverts gain energy through inner reflections and spending time alone. Therefore, introverted individuals need some time to recharge after social interactions. Unlike extroverts who gain energy through social interactions, the introvert’s energy reduces through social interactions; consequently, they tend to stay quiet and need their own space after a school day, activities, or any form of social interactions.

Moreover, when introverts are upset or angry, they cannot express themselves and withdraw or isolate themselves in such situations. Once they are ready to talk about their feelings, they may not be able to initiate a conversation about it; therefore, they will need support to talk about and address their feelings.

Furthermore, introverts find difficulty in interacting with new people, as they like to observe first; hence, they need assistance from someone they are familiar with, to get to know others when engaging in new social gatherings. If you are an introvert, taking an extrovert with you to social gatherings is a great idea; the extrovert will love it and will do most of the talking for you 🙂

So, which one are you; an introvert or extrovert? Answering this question is vital in nurturing your personality, providing yourself with the right environment, and helps you to accommodate for your needs. Likewise, knowing the personality of others helps to improve communication skills.

This article was written by  Gehad Mursi one of our partner coaches. Gehad is a certified counsellor and coach with a passion for helping individuals reach their full potential. She uses both my areas of expertise to help clients overcome their life challenges and reach their goals. You can get in touch via her profile page.