Personality Preferences: How introverts and extroverts absorb and focus their energy

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Personality Preferences: How introverts and extroverts absorb and focus their energy

Understanding the traits of different personality types allows us to better understand those around us, and how to build relationships and work effectively with them.

The difference between introverts and extroverts

It is a common myth that these two types are based on how shy or confident you are. In fact, the terms are used to describe preferences for the ways people get, and focus, their energy.  This means, depending on the situation, the same person might move between the two. This could be particularly evident in introverts, who might show more extroverted behaviour around people they know and trust.


Extroverts typically find their energy building when they are around other people. Spending the day around others, for example networking or at an event, will leave extroverts feeling energised.


Those more introverted might find their energy levels dip when spending large amounts of time in social situations. Unlike extroverts, introverts might require alone time to re-energise after a busy day networking.

Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

Many people won’t exclusively belong to one personality type, but the below provides a guide to your personality preferences in certain situations.

Do you think out loud?

Those with more introverted behaviours are more likely to think things through internally before sharing, whereas extroverted people might prefer to bounce around ideas with others and think aloud.

Do people know when you’re excited?

Extroverts tend to express their emotions more publicly than those with introverted behaviours.

Do you think things through before you act?

Introverts are more likely to think things through before ‘doing’, whereas extroverts might be happier diving straight in. Extroverts tend to be more action-orientated, whilst introverts tend to be more reflective.

What if I’m both?

Most people don’t exclusively fit into introvert or extrovert and might find they share traits with both – called an ambivert. There is no right or wrong when it comes to personality preferences, but it is beneficial to understand where you get your energy from to help you maximise your output – and enjoyment! For example, if you’re craving some downtime after an event, skip dinner with the group and enjoy some time alone.

Understanding these behaviours won’t only enable you to improve your own quality of life but can improve the ways you understand and work with others too.