Is one better than the other? Do you have to be either or? Let's set things straight.
There have been a lot of misconstrued stereotypes over the two ways people interact with others. For example, You might picture the extrovert as the "life of the party" who people gravitate to when they want to have a good time. Or the introvert as the shy bookworm who isolates from others.
When determining this aspect of your personality, you have to ask yourself what brings you the most energy. Because an introvert and an extrovert can do both social and solo activities and enjoy them. They will just feel differently about them afterwards. More on this soon.
I thought I would bust the top four myths about intro- and extroversion so that you can better understand yourself and feel comfortable with the personality traits you have.
Introversion and extroversion exist on completely opposite sides of the spectrum. The question is not, "are you one or the other?" Instead it's, "how introverted and how extroverted are you?" To start, you can ask yourself about the situations that energize you. Do you feel jazzed when spending time with lots of people? Or does this drain you? After you have answered this question, you will at least have a broad answer for which side of the spectrum you tend towards. Introverts largely feel energized when alone or in the company of close friends and family. Extroverts feel energized with people, people, and more people.
You can then pinpoint your personality style more succinctly with a few follow-up Qs. Do you have a few close friends or lots of friends from different circles? What hobbies do you enjoy in your free time and are they activities that involve people? What does your ideal Friday night look like after a long week of work?
People with introverted tendencies recharge on their own. Some might appear shy, but actually have a whole lot to give and say when in the right company. Introverts might have one or two best friends. These people will know their friend's ball-busting personality, while an outsider may only see a subdued version. But this does not mean that an introvert doesn't like people or spending time with them. It can just be more tiring. They will get home from socializing and need to unwind with a solo activity, such as reading, writing, or practicing yoga.
Extroverted individuals might show their emotions openly to more people. But that can mean a couple of things. One, extroverts have been known to put a smile on their face and others' when in public. But, this does not always mean they are happy. Two, extroverts might shout aloud their happiness on the spot. Introverts, on the other hand, can feel equally happy, but hold on to their feelings until they get home and share it with their loved ones.
But, what really spurs people towards happiness is acting the way they were designed. For example, when introverts surround themselves with a lot of chatty Cathys, trying to act more sociable than they are and bouncing from one social activity to the next, they will feel exhausted. Or, when extroverts take up jobs that isolate them from other people and demand a quiet, solo environment 40 hours a week, they will get home feeling spent, lonely, and sad. Embracing who you are and making friends with people who are equally accepting of your personality will far more likely tip you towards happiness than trying to be someone you are not.
You might hear that extroverts are more successful and popular. Or that introverts are smarter. We can witness the positive effects of both introverts and extroverts all around us. They will be different strengths and some will be harder to spot, but both parties contribute essential assets to the table.
However, each personality will thrive in a different environment. Whether it is your career, your upcoming birthday party, or your workout style, you will enjoy something different than the person next to you. Does that make one person better than the other? Of course not! But, figuring out your style of interaction will help you learn yourself and feel more comfortable in your own skin.