It’s common to hear people describe themselves as being introverted or extroverted. The Myers-Briggs personality analysis first introduced the terms Introversion and extroversion into popular usage, and suggested that each person has extroverted and introverted aspects. Modern usage tends to be a bit different. When people say that they are extroverted, they generally mean that they are outgoing and interact easily with other people.
For myself, I am solidly introverted. What does that mean? Introversion is not shyness. Shyness is awkward, uncomfortable and lacking. A person can be introverted and still be entirely comfortable in their own skin.
The best descriptions of introversion usually relate it in terms of energy. Whereas extroverts gain energy from other people and their interactions, introverts use energy during their interactions and have to later recoup that energy. For example, an extrovert might be at their best at a busy party, chatting up everyone in the room. Meanwhile, an introvert might talk to a few people at the party, retreat to a quiet spot to have a glass of wine, then find a few more people to talk to.
That doesn’t mean that introverts are the quiet ones and extroverts are the loud ones. In a comfortable situation, introverts can be just as animated and outgoing as an extrovert. But always, it depends on the situation!
Unfortunately, you can’t always control your environment and the people in it. More times than not, introverts will find themselves in a situation that is not entirely comfortable. Perhaps there are new people in the room or a larger than usual crowd at lunch. In these situations, introverts will naturally become more quiet.
It can be daunting – entire sections of your local bookstore are likely devoted to such fascinating topics as Careers for Introverts or Dating for Introverts… hopefully not Introverts for Dummies, but you never know.
But introversion can be a valuable quality to recognize in yourself. In some situations, people who are introverted are actually more creative than their extroverted counterparts. It just depends on the situation!
Financially, recognizing yourself as an introvert or an extrovert can help you make better decisions. For example, since I know that I am more creative when I’m alone and not under pressure from social considerations, I often come into work early in order to tackle the harder tasks that I have. This (hopefully) makes me a better employee and will one day be rewarded with raises and promotions. ;)
Or, consider your regular shopping routine. As an introvert, you probably like to think things over and you also probably like to avoid conflict. So it’s probably better to do a lot of research before a purchase so that you can avoid being pressured by a salesperson into making a bad decision!
An extrovert, I imagine, would have the advantage when it comes to things like negotiating a raise or bargaining over a price. However, an introvert can do these things too – if they prepare ahead of time and become comfortable and confident in the salary or price they believe they deserve.
Like any other personality trait, recognizing it in yourself is the first step towards making it work in your favour. Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert? Has it played a role in any of your financial considerations?