What is extraversion, and is it a good personality trait to have? Keeping to yourself and being an introvert arguably has just as many pros and cons as being a sociable extravert. Extraverts are sensation-seeking, and often feel energized by stimulating group settings. They can be more outgoing or assertive than those who are lower in extraversion. There can be many pros to having this type of personality, since building relationships, networking and forming connections with the right people can lead to infinite opportunities. There’s much more to extraversion than being outgoing and social, however.
Before we get into what it really means to be an extravert and answer the burning question, What is extraversion? let’s go over why this trait matters.
Firstly, extraversion is one of the five major dimensions of personality. This means extraversion is one of the “Big 5” personality traits that shape who we are based on how much or little of the trait we exhibit. Extraverts tend to enjoy stimulating human interactions in group settings and actively seek out this stimulation.
Extraverts are often enthusiastic, sociable, talkative, dominant, and passionate. Extraverts might energetically dominate a conversation in a group setting, while an introvert reflects on what’s being said and carefully chimes in if they have something thoughtful to add to the conversation.
Approximately 54% of extraversion is genetic, which means it could be in your DNA to be either an extravert or an introvert.
Extraverts typically take pleasure in activities that involve large social gatherings, such as social events, parties, community activities, public demonstrations, and business or political groups.
It is important to note that this conception is based solely on how a person appears to the outside world – the actual amount of energy a person expends has minimal bearing on how they appear. The measure of how much time a person spends consciously considering other people and their thoughts defines extraversion. An extravert also often needs social interaction to feel good, and extraverts regularly seek out social stimulation and the company of others.
While an introvert might need to be coaxed into a social night out, an extravert is probably the one planning it.
What is Extraversion and Why Do Extraverts Get Energized by Social Stimulation?
A person’s degree of extraversion is associated with the way the brain processes dopamine, a chemical responsible for mood, movement and emotion. Extraverts have more dopamine receptors in their brains; thus, stimulation from outside sources (such as group conversation or group fitness classes) is more rewarding than it is for introverts, who work to get their energy from within. (Introverts recharge by being alone, and extraverts feel energized by being around others.)
Those with more extraverted personalities tend to enjoy more active social lives and are generally more sociable people. In contrast, people with introverted personality types tend to enjoy solitary activities such as reading, going for a walk alone, playing guitar or writing. Both personality types can be socially engaging but in different ways. For example, introverts might form close social bonds during one-on-one hangouts with a close friend. Even if an introvert only spent time with one friend for an evening, they’ll often still need alone time to recharge afterwards. An extravert, on the other hand, might want to invite more people to join, and keep the party growing and going.
How Extraversion Affects Behaviour
Extraverts describe themselves as more outgoing, assertive, dominant, and friendly than introverts do. Extraverts also engage in more leadership behaviour and display less anxiety in social situations. There’s a scientific explanation for why extraverts are more likely to be leaders. Extraverts tend to express themselves more strongly than introverts do, both verbally and non-verbally. Research shows that people are more likely to follow leaders who are extraverted. Introverts, on the other hand, could be really great at being their own boss.
Extraverts can be easier to read than introverts, as introverts often have a clout of mystery to them. Extraverts are easier to read because they’re more comfortable expressing themselves openly. Sometimes, this means extraverts are easier to get along within the workplace and contributes to them being better leaders.
Remember that extraverts tend to enjoy a lot of social interaction and find it energizing, so they’ll enjoy leading the pack. In addition, they’re often skilled conversationalists, and they need a good deal of interaction to feel stimulated and engaged. As a result, positions such as teachers, public relations specialists, salespeople, and politicians might appeal to extraverts.
Common Traits of Extraverts
Based on the much-debated Myers-Briggs personality types, the following are the key traits commonly associated with extraverts. Understanding personality types allows you to understand yourself better, giving insight into your interests and preferences so you can make the most of your relationships.
They love to talk and make conversation
Extraverts are action-oriented, which stems from their love of talking. In fact, talking is often a prelude to doing something rather than just a means of social exchange. Extraverts get their energy from interacting with other people. They enjoy conversation and thrive on the energy and excitement others give off. Extraverts are often thought of as the life of the party. They are very bubbly, funny, and energetic. They tend to love to talk, make friends easily, and be very social.
If you’re an extravert, you’re probably very social and prefer group activities. You might look forward to seeing friends and family and enjoy parties and get-togethers. In addition, you like to chat with new people and make new acquaintances. Since you enjoy meeting new faces and making friends, you likely have a large circle of friends.
They’re eager to socialize
To an extravert, group socializing can be fun and energizing. The experience leaves them satisfied because they can generally interact with other people for sustained periods. They often feel best when others surround them. Their desire for human interaction emerges early in life, as demonstrated by their tendency to seek out friends. Researches have shown that adults are likely to enjoy lively discussions, especially if the topic is interesting to them. This can be as simple as chatting with a cashier, as complex as reading the news online, or as abstract as contemplating the state of the world. Extraverts tend to feel discomfort if they have to spend too much time alone. Extraverts derive a lot of energy from being around other people and will not hesitate to mix with others if given a chance. They often actively seek out opportunities for social gatherings.
Problems are discussed assertively
Every individual has their own way of dealing with problems. While extraverts like to discuss the issues and seek the advice of others, introverts prefer to spend time thinking about the problem on their own before discussing it with anyone. If you are an extravert, you use conversations as a way to explore an issue. You like to talk about possible solutions and weigh different options. You want to figure out what works best for you before making a decision. Talking about your feelings helps you cope with difficult situations and feel less stressed out.
Extraverts appear to be approachable and friendly
Extraverts are so friendly and outgoing that you may at times feel overstimulated when around them. This is because, for an extravert, the world is anything but boring. There are numerous possibilities for fun things to do, interesting people to meet, and places to go. So extraverts will often enjoy spontaneity in others, preferring plans that are flexible and open to change. The extraverted person sees each interaction as an opportunity for personal growth. They speak up, open up, and share openly when they are comfortable with someone else.
Talkative and eager to make friends, extraverted people bring optimistic energy to events. Some people don’t like talking to strangers, but extraverts rarely shy away from engaging with new people in social situations. A study on extraversion has shown that extraverts are comfortable talking about anything with anyone—even strangers they meet on the street.
What is Extraversion Really About? The Bottom Line
Extraversion has two primary facets, also called the poles of extraversion, and they are extraversion and introversion. Those high in extraversion tend to enjoy human interactions without feeling a strong desire to withdraw. They tend to be more energetic and enthusiastic than others in social situations.
If you’re genetically higher in extraversion, you’ll likely tend to be talkative, dominant, assertive, and you’ll speak your mind. People low on extraversion tend to be more quiet, reserved, and more anxious or sensitive than others in social situations. Introverts tend to be less dominant than extraverts and less compelled when it comes to their social influence attempts.
Everyone’s personality is unique, but there are typically some noticeable traits in any given person’s personality. For example, some people tend to be more outgoing, others are more reserved, and many fall somewhere in the middle of the continuum.
There is such a thing as being ‘balanced’, where you fall between the poles of extraversion and introversion. If your personality is balanced, you might be described as having a mix of both extraversion and reservation.
Find out your genetic personality profile with CircleDNA, where you can get a personality report that predicts your personality type based on your genetics.