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What are the difficulties of being an extrovert?

I am an introvert. And I have my own personal difficulties from being so. But I was curious to know what might be difficult for you extroverted people out there, because of your extroversion. Or what misconceptions there might be about extroversion. What are the pros and cons of extroversion?
And just so we're on the same page of what introversion and extroversion are, here's a couple videos on defining introversion and extroversion.
"Introvert vs. Extrovert Conversation"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtPcsFkrbSU

"Introverts and Extroverts Have Different Brains"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxZ1fPr9FJg

  • Sep 26 2013: This is my own personal belief about the difference but to me introverts think--do--think whereas extroverts do--think--do. Neither is inherently good or bad but either taken to the extreme is likely to have characteristic vices. eg. if introverts spend too much time thinking they will never actually get anything done whereas if extroverts are too quick to act in situations they can appear pushy or thoughtless.
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    Oct 20 2013: My personal opinion is that it is a misconception to think that an individual can either be an introvert or an extrovert. I think we all fall under a gray area and we keep changing throughout our life. Yes, when we are born we have tendency to be more inclined towards one personality which we can call inherent quality but this can change through effort (acquired quality). I have met many youth who in the beginning seem to be introverts but as they are exposed to different spaces and gain confidence they start to develop such power of expression that would amaze anyone. Also being an extrovert is not the same as being inconsiderate.
  • Oct 11 2013: I find that being just slightly on the extrovert side often puts me in situations with other extroverts, where it can be a struggle to be heard. And yet, if I'm around introverts, I struggle with talking too much.
  • Sep 29 2013: The appropriate difficulties. You are the mirror. Life polishes accordingly.
  • Sep 29 2013: None. Groups are formed by extroverts, so the rules and unwritten rules of groups are worked out to the advantage of extroverts.

    I once formed an Introverts' Association. The inaugural meeting was a resounding success. Nobody attended.
    • Oct 6 2013: ...and the Extrovert Association had their daily meeting to rehash the same old ideas again. ;-)
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    Sep 26 2013: As others have intimated, there’s a spectrum at work here. Most of us are situationally dependent ambiverts—yes, it’s a real word—and there is a time and place for either end of the spectrum to hold sway.
    • Sep 29 2013: Yes, there is that situation ambiversion.I don't think anyone is entirely one or the other, but we all lean towards one side of extroversion or introversion more often than the other. I'm just asking about when the extroversion side of the spectrum is being leaned on more.
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        Oct 4 2013: Got it. I work in high tech and see a lot of both sides of the spectrum, and my observations track with the psychology definitions for each. I’ve been called an extrovert, however I don’t really like to go clubbing, hate small talk, never gossip and enjoy engaging in deep conversations about a wide range of issues.

        But when it comes to making friendships, I find that introverts tend to bond for long periods with a small, tightly knit group, whereas most extroverts seem to have more superficial or passing friendships. Admittedly, I suffer from introversion envy.

        By the way, I found it interesting that Steve Jobs was cited in both videos—obviously he was a complex person.
  • Sep 26 2013: One difficulty of being and extrovert is the expectation (by ourselves and others who may rely on us) to regularly respond confidently in any given situation. It seems to be a very natural phenomenon to be or not to be introverted or extroverted, not just for humans but also for most other living creatures, they too have their very own personalities, perceptions and perspectives of life. I think an advantage of being an extrovert is that theyare often open to many possibilities, and usually have a positive approach to getting the best out of a situation. Extroverts often display a confident and strong personality, and with the use their positive body language, they can have the ability to bluff or act their way out of a potentially difficult or dangerous situation.Often muggers pick their victims based on their body language, and identify them an easy target of a person who lacks confidence in themselves.
    In the beginning, and in the end, we are who we are, for better or for worse.
    Thank you (who ever may read this response ) for taking the time to read this, and thank you too Austin for your thought provoking question.
    All the best.
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      Oct 17 2013: I find this to be true as well. Confidence seems to come naturally to us extroverts, but I've also had to learn how to manage expectations when it comes to failure. I'm perfectly fine with making mistakes, but because of my extroverted nature, I think people confuse my willingness to fail with a complete assurance that things will turn out the way I expect them to. If something just doesn't work, my thought is usually "oh well", but the introverts I initially onboarded with an experiment seem crushed at the failure and horrified at what they see as my lack of commitment. They just don't understand why I'm not devastated when something I've worked hard for simply doesn't work.
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    Sep 26 2013: No such thing in either extrovert or introvert. I'm in disbelief that I am either of the two. When I don't know much about what is being talked about I keep my mouth shut unless there is an opportunity for a joke. When I do have some knowledge about what is being talked about I often agree, disagree, question, or share (input, just like this) what experience I have. To call anyone an introvert or an extrovert is just another label(s) society has created to broadly and poorly distinguish our differences.

    Gee, I'm surprised so many introverts left comments here. :D If you label yourself as introvert...how do you really know the difficulties of being extroverted?...and if you don't know then your intorvert(ness) is not real at all because you leave a comment STILL, LOL pat yourself on the back and thumbs up yourself just like an extrovert does. If you label yourself as extrovert...What is so difficult in communicating with others? Well, I guess what is being talked about or acting about has much to do with it.
    • Oct 2 2013: Idunno, how do the self-identified extroverts have any ability to rain down judgment upon the misery they imagine introversion to be?
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    Sep 24 2013: I have recently come to understand that I am an introverted extrovert. Sounds weird right? Basically, in most cases I am an extrovert, and when I am in this state of being I am confident, chatty, happy, full of energy and yes, and yes I love telling stories (though I am not prone to exaggeration, I have some really crazy real life stories, and that probably comes from "getting amongst it" and experiencing the kinds of things an introverted person might not get the opportunity to experience). I also train adults for a living, and present seminars and lectures, and have no problem speaking in front of hundreds of people, and I think this is because I am confident in my knowledge of my subject matter and can answer any questions thrown at me.
    On the other hand, when meeting new people I can lack confidence and can be quite shy. If you asked me to sing in front of hundreds of people I would probably throw up at the thought of it, as I am in no way confident enough to sing in public. I really really enjoy being alone and sometimes just really don't like being around people. I can be a hermit sometimes, and though I have masses of people who know me and like my company, I have only a small handful of very close friends.
    So, depending who you ask, some would describe me as introverted, others as extroverted. To answer the question, the downside of being extroverted (sometimes), is that people expect you to always behave in that confident, outgoing manner, and they get confused when I show anxiety about going to a party where I don't know many people for example. I was reading Doris Day's comments and they do not describe me, but then maybe my introverted side keeps me from being a total bitch, because that seems to be how extroverted people are seen. Wow. I know a lot of extroverts and yes, some of them are difficult to deal with because they are often self-absorbed, but they can be wonderful, caring friends too.
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      Sep 26 2013: Hi Lee-Anna,your personality just echos with mine. I would define myself as extroverted introvert. I cant tell the difference between 'introverted extrovert' and 'extroverted introvert'.

      My knowledge and experience tell me that certain percentage might be punchy to describe a person's personality, there is no absolute introvert or extrovert. The number 50 is the divide, if a person described as 52,then he is an extrovert,if a person rated 45,he is an introvert.

      Also, people's behavior varies in different time and space. Sometimes it depends on the person's disposition.
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    Sep 24 2013: I am introvert so I dont really know what extrovert feels but this is what I feel and think about them, about their weakness.

    extrovert is everybody's friend—but she'll also be the first to forget you. ( so I think its hard to have an intimate close extrovert bestfriend)

    They will often elaborate and exaggerate stories - ( Listening to their stories makes me wonder if they are telling the truth or they are exaggerating or worst adding some details which aren't true )

    They always complain, easily get angry, they talk a lot seems they have infinite energy which sometimes makes me tired specially when I think what they are saying are nonsense or they are just complaining over little things

    Their personality can forget commitments or obligations they have made. They do not mean to forget; their minds are always in a bit of a frenzy with so much activity ( I dont like rescheduling appointments or even just hangout so I end up not inviting them again well unless the reason is important)

    despite of extrovert weakness I have lots of extrovert friends and I like to be with them because they have a joyful spirit. They can make me laugh and feel happy even in my lonely times.
  • Oct 22 2013: i am normally very extrovent and i loved that about myself ... maybe because i used to be in high school and i knew like everyone ...i used to have so much fun at everything...
    however , now that i am in college and know absolutely nobody , alone all daylong... i tried to have chat several times and i had rejections and i could feel that look :" i don t wanna talk to you ... get lost"
    so now i don t mind being an introvent at all it is so much more comfortable ...
  • Oct 21 2013: I think i'm an introvert "dressed" as an extrovert. With the years, i've learned to play with both sides of me. When i see that appearing extrovert make the people think they can come too close to me, trying to enter in my own private and reserved world, i feel bad and not relaxed. So i turn back to the introvert part of me. So what i don't like to be an extrovert is that it's more difficult to protect your privacy, outside and inside of you. At the end, you miss the "silence".
  • Oct 14 2013: I know I am highly extroverted with a small introverted streak. My largest difficulty is the fact being the extrovert usually requires you to mirror those around you in some way. Whether its you being the healing factor for a depressed friend or being the person people want to bounce ideas off of you are always in a state of flux. When you have to reflect these ideas and emotions you end up not being able to really find out what you believe. The quote I love to use is "if you don't go within you will go without" and that requires alone time. It also is horrible when people assume you are going to be the one to start a conversation when all you want to do is listen.
  • Oct 6 2013: I am also an introvert, but all my friends are extroverts and they say the hardest thing is being surrounded by people who don't want to talk.
  • Sep 29 2013: Austin, agreed...I know I'm an extravert hands down...I also know that I have an introvert side as well.....I guess I'm on the lucky side of all this...I know that Bryan said he tried to start an introverts association,and no one showed....I'm guessing...had I known...I would have attended.....
    • Oct 2 2013: That was a gag, son, joke, that is. Kind-a like sayin' that there's a meetin' of the Psychic Society and you'd be already knowin' when and where if you qualified for it.
  • Sep 29 2013: Yes, with the "introverted extroverts and extroverted introverts" I would say that no one is entirely introverted or extroverted. Such a person would be considered to have some sort of mental disorder. But we all lean towards one side more than the other.
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      Sep 27 2013: What about endurance? Would you think some people have the ability to endure loneliness better than others? If someone has the ability to endure it and is a strong person that speaks out about what they believe is right, wrong, or what they know ...what would you call them? introverted extroverts? I'm lost on broad street.
      • Oct 2 2013: Introverts are not necessarily shy. Introverts can be quite gifted public speakers. Introverts simply do not need mass approval to sustain themselves. Likewise, they can find the mob to be quite tedious at times and enjoy solitude.

        Extrovert: Craves the mob. Fears solitude.
        Introvert: Does not crave the mob. Enjoys solitude.
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    Sep 26 2013: For the introverted extroverts and extroverted introverts:
    http://diplateevo.com/2013/06/on-ambiverts-why-distinguishing-between-extroverts-and-introverts-is-inadequate/

    For me, an extrovert, and what I have observed; Being an extrovert often leaves me feeling lonely, because I have a great passion and power to succeed that drives me. It can overwhelm, irritate and/or intimidate people. I can be bossy, busy, and incredibly outspoken. Being outspoken has required that I have a vocabulary large enough to say exactly what I mean and that can come off as being elitist. None of which I mean to be.

    Being an extrovert means that often, I don't allow myself to often sit and listen and to be still and simply comprehend the world around me.

    I'm glad you asked this question. It gives the readers (myself included) the opportunity to remember that we're not all black and white, line-drawn-in-the-sand, cookie-cutter people. We all have a little of both inside of us.
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    Sep 26 2013: Extroverts usually tend to have poor listening ability , which if not taken care of consciously can be a big hurdle for them in their learning process as well as in their interpersonal relation .
    • Oct 2 2013: Monkeys don't need to listen to each other chatter. They just need to chatter.
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    Sep 26 2013: hi austin, i am also an introvert, the thing that really troubles me is the mental struggle everytime before i am given something new even it's not that challenging
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    • Oct 2 2013: That problem does not come from introversion. I welcome new challenges and am quite the introvert. I just dislike spending all day surrounded by the chattering masses and do not suffer merely from being by myself.
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    Sep 25 2013: You becomes far away from your true self. An inwardly one do not suffer emotionally. In other words attack of emotions from outside does not effect him or her... :)
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    Sep 25 2013: I think people all have dominant and recessive characters. Some introverted people changed their characters successfully when they do different jobs in differernt periods of life. One example is sales job.Many salespeople say they used to be very introverted and after they took up the sales job they had to focus on communicating themselves to people every day, which drove and incented them to be much more open than before.So if you want to be more extroverted, you could raise the habit to force yourself to speak in the public with a lot of people.

    And I think There're also different kinds of extroverted people. Some extroverted people look very introverted,but when you talk to them, you'll find they are very open ,interesting and talkative. They don't exaggerate things or get angry easily.
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    Sep 24 2013: Pros of the extrovert: ability to communicate, engage, generally quick to act, to judge and as a result the flip side is: quick to judge can mean quick to make misjudgements, impulsive, over-powering, over-bearing, not a good listener.

    So you see Austin (and I say this as an extrovert), there are A LOT of advantages to the introvert.. believe me!
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    Oct 23 2013: I was an Introvert at a time in my life...and Now I am a Extrovert by choice..
    Mentioning in my life doesnt mean I am old or experienced life in every aspect, but I have realised that it is better to be an extrovert. (m just 23yrs) Nobody will come and talk or share stuff with you from their busy schedule, so the loss is of the introvert. Being an extrovert doesnt only mean that you initiate talks but also means sharing stuff with people, because i consider talking to anyone is like kinda sharing experiences. Experiences shared and learning from the same develops your own personality. We cant just be a introvert and wait one extrovert to come and talk to me, rather I would prefer to be the one who always starts a conversation which would thus help me majorly and the other person too...Small thing but true i guess....
  • Oct 22 2013: I remember being very introvert. Then I started doing competition in breakdance while my friends supported me a lot in starting to express myself in dance. So after a lot of dancing and adjusting to being more active in expressing myself, my personality changed a lot.

    I see myself now using both the good and bad sides of being introvert and extrovert. But lately I feel I have become more extrovert. ( Depending on the situation ) When there is a cultural difference in the group and I am the only one of my culture, I return back into being the quiet observer.

    But I find a lot of confidence in being an extrovert. Especially in breaking the ice when tough situations happen and people need moral support.

    By exploring both the introvert and extrovert side of life, you get more aware of the different ways of communicating.

    So to answer your question. For me the difficulties of being an extrovert has been the responsibility I feel for helping people who have trouble with communicating. Which ended up becoming one of my best skills in life.
  • Oct 20 2013: Just found this- it's goofy, but disturbingly accurate (in my case)
    http://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicamisener/frustrating-things-about-being-an-extrovert
  • Oct 20 2013: I identify most with an extrovert persona, but I can only speak for myself, so these are some of the problems that I encounter:

    For me, socialization is what recharges me. The drawback to this is that people aren't always available to hang out. People move, they get busy, etc. So, when I can't find anyone who is available to hang out, I get really depressed, tired, and unmotivated. I like spending time with myself. But, if someone invited me to something- I'd give up the alone time in a heartbeat.

    If you have a shortage of extrovert(ish) friends, your life can feel like an uphill battle trying to get your introvert friends to hang out. I understand that being alone is what recharges introvertish people, but hearing "oh, yeah I would like to hang out- but Survivor is on tonight." from a good friend gets really frustrating. It's hard to feel like your personal worth is very good after you get turned down for a television program. I want to go out! I want to get pizza at the local pizza place and talk and people watch, maybe get some tea afterward- maybe go on a spontaneous evening trip to the beach...and they want to sit and watch survivor.

    I get the impression that a lot of people think extroverts are socially-skilled but aren't very smart. I generally try to keep conversations with acquaintances very light, jovial, and uncontroversial, so nobody gets worked up or offended. However, I get the occasional person that walks away thinking that I'm dim witted. What's most unsettling about this, is that these people don't try to broach more intellectual topics with me before making up their mind. I'm a scientist with an extensive art background. I have things that I want to talk about. I will admit that I get turned off by intellectual snobbery though. What does attention to studying without attention to how you treat your fellow humans matter? Especially when you know that the universe will most likely eventually cease to exist, along with your books and bones.
  • Oct 20 2013: Extroverts Bahut Bhanjte hai. Extroverts believe that they are the only smart people in this world . They perceive introverts as kids . If an extrovert and Introvert both are wooing the same woman then the extrovert will succeed in wooing the woman .
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      Oct 11 2013: i wanted to ask you what do you mean by that. and then laughed.

      but actually i really wanted to ask what problems you have explaining yourself.
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        Oct 11 2013: I think Alessandra may be referring to situations in which people are not permitted to be chatting or have to take turns speaking. These might include a library, in the audience at a lecture or symphony, at a funeral, and at some work places.
  • Oct 2 2013: I know...my response was written with that in mind...all hypothetical..... :)
  • Sep 30 2013: First - I was at a local center and the speaker stated he wanted to eliminate the words introvert and extrovert because of the stigma that comes with both. Same as mentally retarded - stigma of title. I don't have my notes but his new catch phrase was a positive spin on the personality traits. Second - being an extrovert is a lot of fun and can also be very lonely. Sometimes friends and family have a distaste for how open an extrovert is ( in which I am ) and fear being around them. Sometimes I am honest in my actions and thoughts and people cannot handle having to approach their own feelings and when this happens I feel like I disappointed someone with what I have said or done. At the end of the day tho I am very happy to be who and what I am. I am honest in as many things as I can be - there will be no guessing. I ask questions when I don't understand things and most times I feel satisfied. When I don't speak my mind or ask questions I feel I am acting with less information then I should be and I feel incomplete. On the other hand - when I know that I should not or cannot speak my mind or behave like I want - I write. This is the lonely part. Being in my own mind I don't get the interactions that I crave. BUT I know that sometimes its very necessary to hold back the extroverted behaviors so as not to make others shake their head when I walk in the room : )
    • Oct 2 2013: Stigma is only attached to introvert.
      • Oct 2 2013: No - I seen it go both ways. My sister and my ex hate my extroversion - makes them uncomfortable that I am so open. On the other hand I have respect for the introverted person - a healthy introverted person - they show control over what they share and how they share it.
  • Sep 30 2013: When I was young, I used to be very awkward. As a grown-up I may define myself very easy-going, flexible, friendly and extrovert. As you said, the pros and cons touch both of them but there's no shadow of doubts that extroversion let people live a better life : at work, in your personal relationships and as an individual in the society. To be honest, in my own experience, I was sometimes misunderstood by people who had mistaken my extroversion for my interest in them. Other times I found that establish good relationships with anyone involves meeting people dead from the neck up or rough, cruel and mean much more easily than being introvert. In spite of that extroversion, as I said at the beginning, is still my favourite choice.
    • Oct 2 2013: Totally wrong and narrowminded. Introverts live a better life, since they are not bound by the psychotic need to chatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatterchatter their lives away and are no so insecure that they must be surrounded by people at all times or go bugnuts.
  • Sep 30 2013: If people could choose between a life of introvertion or life of extrovertion, I am curtain that most if not all would choose to be extroverted.
    There may be a quiet dignity to being introverted, but in a modern society introvertion will hold you back. I am introverted and I see it as a curse.
  • Sep 27 2013: You can't hear yourself think. :-)
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      • Sep 27 2013: ...or you have no volume control. ;-)
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      Sep 27 2013: I think I heard myself talking to myself before I started thinking to myself about talking to myself about your comment of hearing myself think :)
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    Sep 26 2013: I agree with Julian on the theory of Introvert Think-do-Think and extrovert DO-Think-DO it is very much valid as we see in our day to day life 10% could be here and there but for me it is true.
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    Sep 24 2013: Hello Austin,

    Thought to contribute this helpful talk for your collection: http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts.html
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    Sep 24 2013: I am not an extrovert, but I have read that some extroverts tend to dominate conversations and engage in monologue and so can be perceived as insensitive to those around them and not giving consideration to points of view other than their own. The extrovert may thus lose opportunities to engage with and learn from thoughtful people.