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Understand the Difference Between “Introvert” and “Extrovert”

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Are you wondering if you’re an “introvert” or an “extrovert,” or if it’s possible to be both? By clearly explaining what these terms mean, this post will help you get a better understanding of your personality, whether you’re shy, outgoing, or somewhere in between.

White text over green background reads "Introvert vs. Extrovert."
 Introverts and extroverts have distinctive personality traits, but sometimes they can overlap.
Introvert and Extrovert: Quick Summary

An introvert is someone whose personality is characterized by introversion, meaning they tend to be more reserved, prefer intimate settings with a small group of friends, and enjoy their alone time. Extroverts are people whose personalities are characterized by extroversion, meaning they thrive in and prefer group settings with numerous people.

Imagine you’re at an event where there are plenty of people, including friends and strangers. Are you the type of person to mingle only with those you already know? Perhaps while sitting down, having a meal, and catching up? Or do you see yourself talking to everybody—whether you know them or not—jumping from one group to the next and even enjoying a dance with a stranger or two?

One of these scenarios paints you as an introvert and the other as an extrovert. If you’re unsure what these terms mean, don’t worry. This post will use clear explanations and examples to help you learn the difference between introvert and extrovert so that you can get a better idea of your personality type.

Ready? Let’s begin! 

What Does “Introvert” Mean?

An introvert is someone whose personality is more internally focused and, therefore, genuinely enjoys spending time by themselves. Introverts appreciate their alone time because it’s how they recharge, refocus, and process their thoughts and emotions. This does not imply that introverted people have no friends or lack social lives. It’s just that they much prefer to be in more intimate settings with a few friends rather than in large, stimulating groups.

A few common characteristics of introverted people are:

  • Reserved
  • Considerate
  • Self-aware
  • Good listener
  • Reflective
  • Prudent

Remember that, as a noun, introvert refers to someone whose personality is characterized by introversion.

  • I took an online personality test and learned that I’m an introvert.
  • My whole family is made up of introverts, except me.
  • My best friend and I get along well because we’re both introverts.

The adjective form of this word is introverted

Ever since I was young, I’ve always been an introverted person.

Although uncommon, introvert can also function as a verb that means “to turn inward.”

As a psychologist, I always teach children healthy ways to introvert their anger.
Illustration shows man in his own box, reading a book and enjoying his time. The signpost outside of it reads "Introvert time."
Introverts genuinely like spending time alone.

What Does “Extrovert” Mean?

An extrovert is someone whose personality is more externally focused. That is, they gain energy by engaging with the outside world and feel most comfortable when around other people, regardless of whether they have a close relationship with them or not.

Extroverts love social interactions. In fact, they thrive in them because they genuinely enjoy talking to others, expressing themselves, and trying new things.

Some common characteristics of extroverts are:

  • Sociable
  • Adventurous
  • Outgoing
  • Expressive
  • Daring
  • Optimistic
The illustration shows a happy and excited woman holding someone's hand on either side of her and the text surrounding her reads "extrovert time."
Extroverts love spending time around other people.

What If You’re Both an “Introvert” and an “Extrovert”?

There are two important notes to make. First, the explanations above are oversimplified. And second, introversion and extroversion fall on a spectrum. They are not binary. In fact, you may have read the characteristics above and noticed that you have personality traits that are both introverted and extroverted. If so, then you are what is known as an ambivert—someone who is both an introvert and an extrovert.

In other words, you fall somewhere in between introversion and extroversion. That means you may thrive in social settings but also truly enjoy time alone to reflect. Or perhaps you’re like a chameleon, in which case you change based on your surroundings.

Venn Diagram shows introvert characteristics on the left side, extrovert characteristics on the right side, and the word "ambivert" in the middle.
Ambiverts have introverted and extroverted characteristics.

Match Your Writing Style and Personality Type

So, referring to the party we mentioned earlier, if you’re an introvert, you’d be the one interacting with people you already know by enjoying a meal together as you talk about each other’s lives. On the other hand, if you’re an extrovert, you’d be the one jumping from one group of friends to the next as you dance the night away with friends and strangers. Now that you know what introvert, extrovert, and ambivert mean, where do you find yourself on the scale?

Knowing this information can help you establish your voice when writing. You don’t have to compose daring projects when what you desire is to write delicate prose. Conversely, why box yourself into a writing style that is dainty when what you wish to do is craft something bold and vibrant? Or maybe you’re an ambivert trying to strike an ideal balance between both. Either way, as a personal writing assistant, LanguageTool can ensure your work adheres to your favorite style rules. It also corrects various types of errors, resulting in flawless text!

Give it a try today and start fostering your writing strengths that make you, you!

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