Introverts vs. Extroverts, how do they differ?

Introverts vs. Extroverts, how do they differ?

In practice, there is no one who owns a personality purely introverted or extroverted. However, we all have one style or another more predominantly. The introverts they tend to prefer to be alone or with few people around them, to have conversations only with another person and work alone. The extroverts They enjoy interacting in groups, talking with many people at the same time and they are not attracted to loneliness. These behaviors often lead to assumptions and judgments about both groups that may not be a reflection of the true reality.


  • 1 Main characteristics of extroverts
  • 2 Main characteristics of introverts
  • 3 Don't confuse shyness with introversion
  • 4 Misunderstandings about introversion and extroversion
  • 5 Relationships between introverts and extroverts
  • 6 Neurological differences between introverts and extroverts

Main characteristics of extroverts

Extroverts seem to be like fish in water when they have other people around them. A cozy night for them would probably mean being with half a dozen friends or family. They love people.

Extroverts can be warm, fun, full of energy and the soul of any party. They can also be very demanding, likes to be the center of attention, and prepare to do almost anything in order to keep the attention on them. For many this is no problem, since they are usually lovely and very good company.

Extroverts need stimuli constantly or get bored quite quickly. Repetitive tasks are not your thing, unless they are fun or have some kind of reward. Its ability to concentrate, particularly in solitary activities, tends to be shorter than introverts.

It is not difficult for them to share their thoughts, even if they have not been fully prosecuted, so they tend to precipitate when they speak and it is more difficult for introverts to keep secrets. They find it hard to "filter" what they think before they say it.

Extroverts tend to have a wide circle of friends and invest a lot of energy in maintaining their friendships.

Main characteristics of introverts

Introverts are not crowd lovers. The majority is related to few people, and only in doses measures that are needed to better control their environment and not find it stressful.

In general, introverts do not like to capture the attention of the group, unless they are very familiar with everyone. They can meet in a bar with a group of friends, but they will be listening to others in silence. But let's not get confused, the fact that their participation in social events is rather low does not mean that they are not enjoying being there.

Don't confuse shyness with introversion

The shyness It is usually the result of a fear linked to social relationships that can be intrinsic to the person, or originate from a negative emotional event. Athough it does not seems, shyness can be found in extroverts with the same frequency as introvertsMisunderstandings occur because the behavior of an introverted person is often very similar to someone who is shy. An outgoing but shy person might be willing to be the center of attention and get up to sing in a karaoke, but he doesn't dare, and until he is very drunk or has been dragged onto the stage, he will wait in a corner. A real introvert You probably won't want to sing, no matter how many drinks you have drunk, nothing will drag you there.

Introverts focus primarily on their own inner world and they can be absolutely oblivious to what is going on around them. "How can you sit and read a book when children are making so much noise?" It's a question your exasperated partner could ask. This is because they often have an amazing ability to lock themselves in their world and be happy in this self imposed isolation. It is perfectly possible for an introvert to be the loneliest in a crowded room. Since childhood they are individuals who prefer solitary games and hobbies instead of trying to participate in groups or team games.

Due to their circumspection, introverts can take a long time to develop relationships. But when they do, the relationship will be very strong that often remains for the rest of their lives. They will have a small circle of close and trustworthy friends for those who would do anything, even if they don't see them in years.

In relationships, they may not be too communicative with their feelings, especially verbally. They often communicate better by letters, cards or even gestures.

Misunderstandings about introversion and extroversion

The brains of introverts and extroverts are not really that different. Introverts are not "smarter" than extroverts or vice versa. But research carried out over several decades has shown that the brains of introverts and extroverts are activated differently depending on the circumstances, and this circumstance has a lot to do with the dopamine, a neurotransmitter that controls the reward and pleasure systems of the brain.

Extroverts feel alone when they are not with people, and often need a variety of people to keep their interest. Introverts can manage to be alone of their own accord, even when surrounded by people, especially if they don't know them.

But it is wrong to think that introverts are antisocial. They can be as social in your life as an extrovert. It's just that its shape will be different. Socializing for them usually involves only the people of their full trust and much appreciated, their conversations take place in small groups, often more as observers rather than participants.

Relationships between introverts and extroverts

Extroverts in a relationship with an introvert should realize the importance of their privacy. So while the extrovert is sociable, the introvert is territorial. Introverts need private space and places, both in their environment and in their mind, which they are going to defend firmly.

Introverts in a relationship with an outgoing person need to realize the importance of stimulation. The focus of your partner is in the outside world, and as we have said, they do not support the routine. An environment that does not change quickly becomes boring for an extrovert, due to its lack of stimulation. This does not mean that they get bored of the other, what happens is that they need some variation, some surprise and mobility in the social calendar.

Extroverts are like an open book, they believe a shared problem is a problem halved. Introverts probably think that a shared problem ends up causing another problem. Many times the silence on the part of the introvert can be misunderstood by his outgoing partner.

While extroverts will often be delighted to talk about themselves, including their problems, introverts will prefer not to expose their doubts until they have had the opportunity to solve all the details in their head.

As with all the opposite poles, there is a potential for each party to balance each other and for the relationship to be satisfactory. It depends on the extent to which each person respects the other and of not pressing to be what they really are not.

Neurological differences between introverts and extroverts

Recent studies with brain scans reveal certain physiological differences between introverts and extroverts.

They show that introverts and extroverts show activities in different brain structures, which reflect the opposite aspects of their personalities.

In the research carried out by Debra Johnson, Ph.D., and John S. Wiebe, Ph.D., they used positron emission tomography (PET) to measure cerebral blood flow, an indicator of brain activity in people qualified in a test personality as shy or gregarious.

Johnson, a research scientist at the University of Iowa, and Wiebe, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Texas, asked both types of personality to think freely while undergoing PET studies. The images obtained clearly showed the differences between introverts and extroverts. Introverts showed an increase in blood flow in the frontal lobes, the thalamus previous and other associated structures to remember events, make plans and solve problems.

The extroverts, on the other hand, showed greater activity in the posterior thalamus and posterior insula, regions involved in the interpretation of sensory data.

These results show what researchers consider the main difference between introverts and extroverts: the fact of "looking inward" and "looking outward." Closer people are more introspective and attentive to their internal thoughts, while more open individuals are driven by images and sounds that cause them greater sensory stimulation.

While this study only correlates personality with brain activity, Wiebe says that the results they do is show that "everything psychological is, on some level, physiological in nature."

It is said that 75% of the population is extroverted, while 25% is introverted. These figures explain a lot about our culture and hobbies in general.

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