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Extroversion, introversion and ambiversion

Uzma Nazir

Human beings are social creatures and speaking/interaction with others is an essential part of their life. Human beings are hardwired to interact with one another and research has shown that meaningful social connections are linked to improved physical and mental health. Interaction also helps to create a sense of community and belonging. It also helps to build relationships and trust. People can differentiate themselves from others through self expression that demonstrates their unique thoughts and feelings.
Speaking is to say words orally, to communicate by talking, to make a request and to make a speech. Through speaking, people can express ideas and maintain social relationships and even convey and receive information that is happening in their life (Nazlia, May 2015).Without good Interaction skills, communication will not be effective and it can cause misunderstanding of one another like inhibition, lack of topical knowledge, low or uneven participation (UR, 2012). Therefore, having a good skill in speaking is undoubtedly needed to have a good speaking performance.
However as we see around, the speaking performance of every person is different. Related to this, there are several factors influencing speaking performance of a person such as age, environment, socio-cultural factors, aural medium and personality.
Personality is the combination of characteristics or qualities that form an individual’s distinctive character. Personality is every characteristic of an individual which can affect his characteristics especially the way of thinking, feeling and even behaviour of someone. Personality embraces moods, attitudes and opinions and is most clearly expressed in interactions with other people. The term personality has been defined differently by different psychologists and they have given different theories related to personality like physiological type theory, humoral theory, morphological theory, psychoanalytic theories as well. Now, describing personality according to the attitude of individuals; there are personalities like extroverts and introverts (schostacka, 2008).
The personality theory of extroverts and introverts was popularised by the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung. Many theories incorporate an individual’s level of extraversion/introversion as a key factor underpinning personality.
Extroversion is the state of primarily obtaining gratification from outside oneself. Extroverts tend to enjoy human interactions and to be enthusiastic, inclusive, assertive and gregarious. Extroverts are energised and thrive off being ground by other people. They take pleasure in activities that involve large social gatherings, parties, community activities, public demonstrations and business or political groups.
Advantages of being extrovert are abilities to socialize, to work in teams, to present oneself in public. Extroverts might be successful in show business, politics, medicine, teaching and similar professions that demand team work and interaction with many people.
Weak spots for extraverts might be inability to work alone; weaker ability to reflect to introspect, to understand themselves, in comparison with introverts. Social isolation is usually very toxic for extroverts while introverts can survive social isolation more quickly.
87% of extroverts believe they have what it takes to be a good leader compared to 56% of introverts. 89% of extroverts say they are comfortable verbally expressing gratitude when they feel it, compared to 67% of introverts.
Introverts are typically perceived as more reserved or reflective. Introverts are also characterized as people whose energy tends to expand through reflection and dwindle during interaction.
They have the ability to reflect, to be alone and work independently. These might be successful persons as artists, writers, scientists, composers, inventors and in similar other professions, for which the abilities of strong reflection and independent work are mandatory.
On the other hand, they have several weak spots. They might have problems with socialization, teamwork, public speak and might not be successful in professions that demand extroversion.
84% of introverts would feel cautious, worried or even downright horrified if they suddenly realise they are becoming famous, compared to 51% of extroverts. 80% of introverts say they often find that time spent alone is more interesting and satisfying than time spent with other people, compared to 29% of extroverts.
Most contemporary trait theories measure levels of extroversion, introversion as part of a single, continuous dimension of personality with some scores near one end and others near the half-way mark. Ambiversion is falling more or less directly in the middle. An ambivert is moderately comfortable with groups and social interaction, but also relishes time alone, away from a crowd. In simple words, an ambivert is a person whose behaviour changes according to the social context. In face of authority or in the presence of strangers, the ambivert may be more introverted. However, in the presence of family or close friends, the ambivert may be more extroverts. Ambiverts have the ability to adapt too many different situations. They are able to manage in large groups but are also able to survive in social isolation. Ambiversion seems to be the most adaptive and stable combination of introversion and extroversion.
Suggestions: (1) Introverts can learn to make conversations like extroverts; (2) Extraverts can learn to listen like an introvert; (3) Introverts can learn to step outside their comfort zone and can allow themselves to expand their horizons, experience new things and uncover new skills and talents they didn’t know they have; (4) Extroverts can learn to deepen conversations; (5) Extraverts can learn the benefits of quiet reflection; (6) The concept of introversion and extroversion have advantageous qualities that make them valuable to society as well as attributes that can be negative.
Conclusion: Extroverts and introverts are both good in their own ways, and no better or worse personality type exists. In fact, it is good to have variance in personality as both extroverts and introverts alike have crucial roles to play when it comes to balancing, the flow of social interactions. So, introversion and extroversion levels are part of a single, continuous dimension of personality. Most of the personalities can be measured somewhere between the two extremes. The ambiverts have the most adaptive personality traits, because they exhibit both introversion and extroversion depending on the situation. In conclusion we can say “Extraversion as an outward turning of libido and introversion as an inward turning of libido.”

The writer works as headmistress at Dream House School Srinagar and clinical psychology counsellor and can be reached at: [email protected]

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