Introvert versus extrovert: making peace with yourself

While today’s society requires us to be as extroverted as possible, to constantly assert ourselves, to say what we think, to proclaim it loud and clear, in life and on social networks, we no longer dare to assume our introverted side.

And that’s a mistake! Do you know that many celebrities are introverts? Even though they are known all over the world… For example, we find Susan Cain, Lady Gaga, Angelina Jolie, Barack Obama, Tom Hanks or Salma Hayek…


Why does this seem surprising?

The difference between introversion and extroversion comes first and foremost from the way people re-energise themselves! How they re-energise themselves…

And these are by no means rigid categories, but a spectrum with introversion on one side, extroversion on the other, and in the middle, a combination between the two states, called “ambiversion”.

It is time to know this in order to reconnect with our nature, our authenticity and our self-confidence!

Introverts recharge their batteries by spending time alone, while extroverts use interactions with others to do so. Does this sound familiar? Well, we do too! And there’s more to come!

For the record, this concept of introversion/extroversion was introduced in 1910 by Carl Gustav Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist and founder of analytical psychology, and is part of a whole, where each personality type is situated at different ends of the scale.

Jung was one of the first to define the terms “introvert” and “extrovert” in a psychological context. According to him, personality is based on four pairs of opposite types.

All of them are present in each of us, but in a more or less predominant way.


Our personalities therefore juggle between 4 opposing pairs

  • Extraversion / Introversion
  • Sensation / Intuition
  • Thinking / Feeling
  • Judgement / Perception

Extraverts are defined as preferring to engage in the outer world of objects, sensory perception and action.

Whereas introverts focus more on the inner world of thinking, being more reflective and insightful.

Carl Jung believed that a balance between extraversion and introversion made it easier to access self-realisation…


How does this work in practice?

For my part,” says Bülent Turan, “I have a strong tendency to be introverted, and yet I like to go out and be around people! I am not uncomfortable with the company of others, far from it! But then I need time for myself, to recharge my batteries.”

You must know people with this character trait? Perhaps you are in this case yourself!

Human beings are complex, it is high time to stop stigmatising this or that behaviour or way of functioning, and to try to put oneself in a well defined box. This only has the effect of affecting self-confidence.

Especially when the professions that we can exercise, modify our place on the scale.

As a speaker, coach, salesman, I am constantly turned towards others,” adds Bülent Turan, “in interaction, in training, in exchange, to the point that one would forget my introversion. But like everything else on this earth, nothing is immutable, and it is by working on these skills that I have been able to become an ambiverti.

And that’s the point of the 21 days of our Self Confidence programme! Evolve our mindset to adapt to all situations. To consolidate our self-confidence so that we are at ease in all environments. And then to know how to regain a positive and constructive energy!


Let’s go into a little more detail.
What exactly is an introvert?

An introvert is someone who likes to spend time with themselves, and draws energy from their own company. These are people who clearly prefer to be alone to “recharge” without implying that they are shy.

They also tend to prefer to focus on a single activity, take time to analyse a situation and think before speaking or acting.

These small signs can point you in the right direction:

If you are quiet and reserved in large groups or in the presence of strangers;
If you feel exhausted by people and need privacy;
If you are more likely to analyse your thoughts in your head than to talk about them;
If you are more sociable and gregarious in the presence of people you know well;
If you learn by observation.

Chances are you have a tendency to be introverted.


And what is an extrovert then?

Without being a caricature, an extrovert may appear to be very talkative and constantly seeking the attention of their peers. In turn, they draw energy from contact with others and seek as much social interaction as possible.

It is estimated that extroverts outnumber introverts by about 3 to 1! This figure says a lot about the unjustified pressure that society can put on us to be extroverted…

Let’s not forget, moreover, that the degree of extroversion varies from one individual to another.

These signs can put us on the track of extroverts:

You enjoy social situations;
You continually seek the attention of others;
Being in the company of others gives you energy;
You are friends with many people;
You are sociable and known as such;
You enjoy working in groups;
You prefer to talk rather than write.


Between the two, there are the ambivertis. But who exactly are we talking about?

These are people in the middle of the scale, with characteristics of both introverts and extroverts.

They enjoy social interaction as much as they enjoy being alone. And this is a big advantage! Because they modify their behaviour according to the situation, and very often find themselves in a position to achieve their goals.

This flexibility in negotiating and listening gives them confidence and motivation to convince, but also modesty and empathy to reassure and build confidence.

This change in behaviour also depends on the people present: ambiverts will be more reserved in the presence of strangers, and more extroverted with their family or close friends.


Freeing yourself from a burden…

We are all at some point ambivertis. Man is a social animal who needs interaction to flourish and to recharge his batteries physically, mentally and emotionally. But also time for himself, to reflect and to refocus. And we must not forget that.

“I coach a lot of people whose jobs involve constant performance, but who don’t define themselves as such. And they feel exhausted by having to play this role in their daily lives and in their personal lives. As soon as I talk to them about these notions of introversion and extroversion, everything becomes clearer. They feel understood and legitimate to be as they are – in their plurality.”

A weight is lifted… immediately. So does the notion of shyness – so frowned upon today, and indiscriminately associated with introversion.

In the end, introversion is characterised by the reserve or internalisation of one’s emotions, but this does not necessarily imply being shy. They are just more comfortable interacting in small groups!

Extroverts, on the other hand, will seek novelty, excitement and enjoy being the centre of attention, while displaying strong sociability and assertiveness.

So whether you are an introvert in an extrovert’s world or vice versa, the important thing is to accept the way you are! This is the key to self-confidence. Resource yourself accordingly. There is no right or wrong side, just what you decide to do with your energy and your deep nature.

Free your potential