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What is Extraversion and Do you Have it?

Updated on April 11, 2016
SerenityHalo profile image

Andrea loves to write about the zodiac, Myers Briggs, and texting. She is an expert on romance and relationships. She also has two cats.

Extraversion is a key term in personality theories. It means having a tendency toward needing socialization to feel better at life as opposed to introverts who can feel drained by prolonged socialization and instead have a need for ideas. According to Myers Briggs, this is apart of one of four spectrums that defines our personalities. Some extroverts are more extroverted than others. Those that are near the middle of the spectrum are ambiverts. But for the sake of Myers Briggs... you definitely lean more toward being an extrovert or introvert. MBTI is more about the dominate functions. There are 8 functions and 16 personalities... so only 2 personalities are going to have the same dominate functions. The trick is usually finding out what falls in the middle of the personality as these two functions are usually closely together.

Figuring out whether you are extroverted or introverted is one of the easier parts of personality theory. If you like hanging out with friends on the weekend, constantly knowing what happens in your family, inviting people to your house, or making sure people feel involved... then you are probably an extrovert. There are 8 personalties in Myers Briggs that have a dominate extroverted function. This includes:

ENFP - the Champion

ENFJ - the Teacher

ENTP - the Visionary

ENTJ - the Commander

ESFP - the Performer

ESTP - the Adventurer

ESTJ - the Supervisor

ESFJ - the Provider

How to Recognize an Extrovert

Extroverts come in all shapes and sizes. Extroverts are not automatically outgoing, but that is a common trait. Extroverts main role is to be around people; they don't do well with extended periods of time by themselves without human contact. Technically, no one can be a hermit for too long without having serious mental issues.

Extroverts like to lead people. They tend to be chatty, bringing people together, sometimes just meditating conversation rather than driving it. Extroverts with an NF preference are happy when those they love come together. Extroverts with an NT presence like to talk about ideas, argue, and get to the bottom of things. Your SF crowd are very showy, sensual, and live on the edge. And the SJ are major caretakers. An ESTJ is likely your boss... and an ESFJ is like a mom in the amount of providing it wants to give to others.

Extroverts are not always out to make friends. Sometimes they are out to make network connections and use that for their own gain. Extroverts can feel socially awkward, anxious, or even shy. They like to talk, be busy bodies, and can be much more showy than their introverted counterparts. But keep in mind, introverts can be showy too. Michael Jackson, an ISFP, is one of the greatest musical performers of our lifetimes.

Extroverts are great at bringing people together to play a game, watch football, or plan a trip overseas. Extroverts don't need people around 100% of the time, but they won't be as bothered by constant amount of people and interactions as introverts likely will be.

Extroverts crave external stimulation. They tend to not be as introspective, but are seeking for what connects in systems outside of themselves. Sure, they can be very philosophical, and incredibly in touch with themselves. They just tend to have a certain present way with social situations that introverts might miss because they're in their heads. Extroverts' brains go on fire when they around people.... they get bored without the sounds and squabbles of others nearby.

Dating an Extrovert

Extroverts need some amount of entertainment when it comes to dating. Two introverts can date fairly well just by hanging out with each other in a completely blank room. Their daydreaming and idea fascinations will keep them energized just fine. Extroverts need more aesthetics. Take them to somewhere exciting, lovely, and engaging. They like to show off their dates, and they like to go somewhere where they can people watch. Depending on extroverts other functions, you may need to be ready for them to be highly involved with friends, such as an NF or F personality in general, or they may be constantly in need of a thrill or something new, like an ESTP or ESFP.

Other extroverts have a difficult time dating if they don't have their finances or business life in check. You may come in second place to your partner if your extrovert feels a strong need to be defined by their bank account. Introverts and extroverts can definitely get along in the dating world. Myers Briggs suggest that you date people with a similar dominate function, or an inverted function... for instance someone with a dominate function of introverted intuition should pair well with someone with extroverted intuition. Also, dating in the same personality temperament will help, NF does well with NF, and SJ does well with an SJ. It can be very difficult for a sensing type to understand an intuitive, or a dominate feeler to date a dominate thinker. BUT these things can of course be overcome, and personality theory is more a blueprint than the actualization of a person.

Extroversion and introversion have their way of complementing each other. Extroverts get excited by interesting people, and introverts can have their social life enriched by extroverts. Make sure to communicate your needs and be accepting of people and their different life philosophies. It's okay if your partner likes to hang out with people more than you do, and it's okay if you partner needs more alone time.

Extroverts enjoy having some amount of activity for their dates. If you're dating a J type you should plan ahead and accordingly to their interests. If you have snagged a P, you should set a block of time with an open ended plan, this way things can go their way spontaneously. How can you tell if someone falls one way or the other? I usually can tell by how well they dress, if they are motivated by deadlines, and how messy they are. If the person seems to dress in a peculiar way, doesn't care much about deadlines, and is messy or eccentric you might have a P on your hands. Judging types tend to be sharp looking, clean, and orderly.

Extroverted NF

The idealists love people. ENFP and ENFJ are both very happy to help people around them, lead people into activities, and get people excited. ENFP is a champion of people, they bring excitement into the group, tend to be popular, and also down to earth. They are very excitable and curious people. They shed a lot of warmth that is contagious. These people tend to stick out since they are so encouraging and interesting to others. They'll try group activities, they'll get people excited about strange things, and they tend to have a mob of people following them wherever they go. ENFJ is full of emotions that they can hardly contain. They are also excited about anything and everything. They are eager to make people happy, so sometimes they overindulge in saying they like things, accepting requests from others, and over indulging on what life has to offer, like food and alcohol.

You are in good company with an extroverted NF. They are very much interested in what is happening in the people around them. They tend to be service oriented, animal enthusiasts, and highly creative. They can be pretty weird too, as they get excited by the strangest of events. They'll come in like a parade, have a number of friends, activities, and interests. They are usually very empathetic people and slow to blame. They both tend to be funny and bizarre. You have someone really special around you if they have this preference. They make up a lot of the counseling and teaching world. They naturally want people to succeed.

Extroverted SJ

Extroverted SJ are incredibly in tune with managing external stimuli. ESTJ make for great bosses as they understand the task at hand and how to delegate tasks. ESTJ also doesn't have a strong feeling preference, therefore they are not inhibited by people to get things done. This can make them cruel to others or heartless. ESTJ does care about people, but it keeps to rules and maintenance. If you can't keep up with the structure, the ESTJ is only going to give you so much slack. ESTJ are great, if not the best, at making money. They are incredibly in tune to the world, what is concrete, what makes for success, and what is excess.

The ESFJ on the other hand is guided by extroverted feeling. This personality is a relationship king or queen. You'll hardly ever, if ever, see them single. They crave authentic relationships, and see their relationships often as status symbols. ESFJ is looking to get married as a stabilizing factor to their lives. They make strong partners, though they can get overbearing and intense. They see relationships on another level that some less sensitive types may never understand. Both SJ personalities are prone to perfectionism. They like their homes clean, for there to be daily routines, and to have consistency. They don't put up with flakiness very well at all. They also don't like being cheated on or for there to be a lack of trust. You are either with them on the same page, or you don't make sense and are idle, in their opinion. Being in synch with an SJ can give you benefits, whether in popularity (ESFJ) or in money (ESTJ).

Extroverted SP

ESTP and ESFP are both thrill seeking personalities. They have a sense of adventure and they thrown things off course unlike any other. Neither really care for the bulk of rules setup by society. They want to live in the moment, they want to feel what is real, they want to make things happen. They are great at getting people to party. The ESTP is a daredevil seeking for the next big thrill. If someone you know is constantly sky diving, climbing dangerous heights, or desires to be an astronaut... you probably have an ESTP on your hands. The ESFP is a performer, and a constant one at that. They like things flashy, they like the stage, they can be a bit of an addict for drama. These two personalities will make life interesting, and if you can get them to be more interpersonal for a moment, you'll get a nice softer side out of them. But to them life is meant to be acted and not wasted just sitting and thinking. What is the purpose of reading a book about mountains when you can actually go and touch the mountains? There's a lot to be learned from the ESXP crowd, who actually go out and live life, they build their lives based around experiences, and they enjoy finding what's new, what's wild, and what's exciting. They don't particularly like school, but if teachers can find a way to make it interesting, they'll jump into it in an incredibly flashy way.

Extroverted NT

ENTP and ENTJ are fast paced thinkers who like go down into the depths of thought. ENTJ is a commander at heart. They are a mastermind at getting people together, contextualizing the conversation, and making a plan of attack. They are great at seeing the strengths of others and using it to their advantage. They tend to have their crap together and can inspire others to get their crap together. ENTP are incredibly intelligent and argumentative souls. They might have an interest in going into law school, philosophy, or politics. They are very quick thinkers who can understand the thought processes of those around them and how to turn that upside down into what they want, or what can interest them. ENTP is guided by extroverted intuition while ENTJ is guided by extroverted thinking. ENTP does well with systems of pattern, a plethora of ideas and concepts, and enjoys people talking so they can hear new things which to consider. The ENTJ does well with logic, strategy, and efficiency. They are somewhat like ESTJ in that they too can do excessively well in business. ENTJ may offer more warmth than the ESTJ because they have a stronger intuition preference. ENTJ will goof up on sensing matters. They may drift off into a magical reality and forget what is concrete right before their eyes. ENTJ can still be a nerd at heart, ESTJ only would do so if it seems like it would be providential. This is where ESTJ makes for a stronger business mind. ENTJ is great at thinking in a global sense and keeping it together. They may get annoyed after awhile if details are repeated too much... as with any intuitive, once they have the global picture, going over details can bore the heck out of them.

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    • SerenityHalo profile image
      Author

      Andrea Lawrence 19 months ago from Chicago

      @skperdon

      Thank you for your thoughts!

      It's a spectrum, and people can definitely fluctuate. They tend to stay in a common area on the spectrum. Some people do lean more toward the middle. You won't see someone radically moving from 100% extroverted to 100% introverted.

    • skperdon profile image

      skperdon 19 months ago from Canada

      I do know that one can be both extroverted and introverted, depending on the situation or mood.