Is it better to be an introvert or an extrovert in business?
We live in a society that glorifies extrovertedness. There are so many psychology papers mentioned in mainstream news that say people who are extroverted tend to make more money and are more respected by their peers. Most people wish they could be more extroverted.
Only recently did being an introvert become “cool.” I’m reading “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking" by Susan Cain right now. The book essentially talks about what it means to be introvert and why being an introvert has its own advantages in today’s world.
I would not have picked this book up because I have not been typified as an introvert. My Myers-Briggs is ENFP and in all the quizzes I’ve ever taken, they all say that I am an extrovert. However, most of the people in my life, from family to friends, are all introverted, and they all have traits that I admire greatly, so I wanted to learn more.
General psychology states that an extrovert feels energized when being surrounded by others and an introvert feels the most energized when spending time alone.
It’s a spectrum
I spent a lot of my childhood alone, mostly reading books. And when I wasn’t alone, I was with my crazy family on road trips (in which I’d spend the car ride with my nose buried in a book, my mom bugging me every half hour to look out the window so I don’t get cross-eyed or carsick, lol). I dissociated a lot because home life was incredibly chaotic.
When I went to college, I spent all of my time either in class or with my boyfriend at the time. I didn’t really like going to parties, I was quite shy, always worrying about whether I would fit in or if I was cool enough to hang out with the other girls in the dorm.
But when my first boyfriend and I broke up, I decided I wanted to speak up for myself more often, to have more fun, to live life with more abandon and less worry about what others thought of me. And that’s when I let my true extrovertedness shine.
Moving along the spectrum
Lately, as I get into my 30’s, I find myself moving more towards the introverted side of the spectrum, preferring to spend more time at home, reading books, writing in my journal, working on my business, and spending more time with friends one-on-one instead of in larger groups.
So even though my Myers-Briggs says that I am still an ENFP, the E meaning extroverted, I truly think I’m more of an ambivert. I fluctuate along the spectrum of extrovert and introvert. And what I’ve learned is that instead of wishing I was more E or more I, it’s really more about honoring how I’m feeling at the time and what I want to do, how I want to spend my time, who I want to be around.
It’s important to realize that it’s never “cooler” to be one or the other.
It’s a spectrum anyway. And it goes for everything in life. It’s not “cooler” or more “advantageous” and it doesn’t mean that you’re a “better” or “worse” person than someone because they are more (insert adjective here).
This is the magic of being who we are
Each and every single one of us lies somewhere on the spectrum of every single adjective known to man (and even those that are not known yet), and it’s about honoring where we are at any given moment in time and making decisions that honor that within ourselves.
Imagine how much stress would melt away if you always knew if you were feeling extroverted and wanted to go to a party so you decide to go versus feeling more introverted and wanting to stay home, so you stay home. Imagine how amazing it would be to not have to worry about what other people think about your decision to stay home or go out, whether it would look bad on you, whether you would hurt anyone’s feelings, whether you would fit in with the people there if you do go, etc., etc.
So while it’s great to know whether you are mostly an introvert or an extrovert, just remember to honor every single part of yourself. Try asking yourself, whenever you’re stuck on a decision, whether it’s for your business or for general life, “What can I do to honor myself? What is the best decision I can make right now that truly, deeply honors me and who I am, whether I’m feeling more introverted or extroverted right now?”
In all my years of business building, I have learned one thing for sure - the more you allow yourself to be who you truly are, the less stressful life and business become, which means ideal clients and money can flow into your reality much easier.
If you’d like to learn more about how you can flow your way to business success by honoring who you are in all parts of your life, I invite you to attend my (free) Free to Impact Live Masterclass Series during the week of November 19, 2018. Click here to register for the masterclass series.