When the average person is asked for their definition of “Extravert” they are described as “someone who is sociable and likes people”. An Introvert is often depicted as someone who is “anti-social or shy” – however this is inaccurate!

Luckily, Introverts everywhere have a new spokesperson: Susan Cain, a self-proclaimed Introvert who’s taken it upon herself to better understand the place of Introverts in culture and society.

Watch Susan Cain, the author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World
That Can’t Stop Talking
as she presents at a popular TED talk

Make no mistake about it
The concept of Introversion has long been misunderstood by the general population. The permeation of this misunderstanding is so widespread that there are even some personality trainers that “shy away from” (pun intended) presenting the concepts of Introversion and Extraversion! Instead, they end up incorrectly attributing Extraverted traits to the “Mover” personality style and Introverted traits to “Thinkers”.

Common Extraverted traits associated
with the MOVER personality style

Fast-paced

Speaks immediately, interrupts

Animated, expressive tones

Large gestures & body movements

Enjoys attention

It is easy to see why some individuals mistake Extraverted qualities for Mover personality traits, however as any or all of these traits can also be demonstrated by an Extraverted Connector, Planner, or Thinker personality style. A participant can become easily “style blinded” if they are not taught the Introvert/Extravert  concepts.

Stop and Think
A similar mistake is often made between Introversion and the Thinker personality style. We know that it is in the nature of Thinkers to “think before they speak” and generally they prefer not to call attention to themselves. However, as an Introverted Mover, Connector or Planner can attest – these qualities are part of their personality as well.

Common Introverted traits associated
with the THINKER personality style

Processes internally before sharing

Measured or deliberate pace

Often subtle facial expression

Minimal gesturing & body movements

Prefers not to call attention to self

Clearing Up the Confusion

To be clear, shyness is fear of social judgment
Both Introverts and Extraverts can be shy

A basic definition for Introverts is that they gather or restore their energy from their internal world of thoughts, ideas and reflections and Extraverts rejuvenate or gather their energy from the outside world of people, activities and their environment.

Why This Is Important

People with a preference for Extraversion have a tendency to express their most dominant personality traits outward. Determining the personality style of someone who is extraverted is usually straightforward- what you see is what you get. Introverts on the other hand tend to use their primary personality style to process internally. They may communicate outwardly and behave in manners that are associated with their secondary style. Therefore, extra attention needs to be paid when identifying the personality style of Introverts.

An Interesting History Note

In the beginning days of modern temperament theory development, Carl Jung originally began his work of explaining individual differences in personality by identifying the two attitudes of Introvert and Extravert. It wasn’t until later in his research that he added other functions such as sensing, intuition, thinking and feeling.

+ Click Here for MORE HISTORY & Evolution of Personality Lingo

To Learn More
Read Chapter 3: “Does Your Personality Style Show Outward or Inward?” in Mary Miscisin’s book, Personality Lingo