Imagine if extroverts were the new normal. And that you had to behave like one too.
I understand that to fully understand and appreciate ‘good’ we need ‘bad’. And so it follows that to fully understand and appreciate ‘extrovert’ we need ‘introvert’. But just for a moment… imagine that everyone were extrovert. Including you.
For the avoidance of doubt, let’s address definition.
What is an Extrovert?
Dictionary definition: An outgoing, socially confident person.
OK; I get that. Here’s a bit more detail:
- Has numerous, broad interests.
- Likes to communicate by talking.
- Enjoys being at the center of attention.
- Tends to act first before thinking.
- Enjoys group work.
- Feels isolated by too much time spent alone.
- Looks to others and outside sources for ideas and inspiration.
- Likes to talk about thoughts and feelings.
I like most of those. All of them really.
If everyone was this way then it may appear that we’d struggle with number 3, but only if all extroverts were selfish and didn’t share. But in my made-up parallel universe this is not the case. The extroverts take turns. So all is well again. A world of all extroverts works.
In another parallel universe, let’s for a moment imagine that everyone were introvert. You too.
Let’s see what the list looks like if I flip it. To opposites. Let’s imagine a world full of these people:
- A few, narrow interests.
- Dislikes communicating by talking.
- Dislikes being at the center of attention. Hides.
- Tends to think before acting.
- Dislikes group work.
- Does not feel isolated by too much time spent alone.
- Does not look to others and outside sources for ideas and inspiration.
- Does not like to talk about thoughts and feelings.
(And please note that I haven’t cheekily fiddled or over egged the antonym just for my little story. This is pretty accurate ‘flipping’).
I am writing this story because it might help you and me along on our life journey.
I think that the more traditionally extrovert traits we can muster, the better it is for us. And for everyone.
We’ll go further, faster.
If you have a life plan, ambition and goals, that is.
And if I had to choose a world of extroverts or introverts, I’d choose the former. It just sounds more fun!
(And I bet we’d all dress a whole lot cooler too).
Speaking for myself, when I am in a confident and strong mood I am more like the extrovert list. I get more done and I am happier.
When my mood swings to less confident and weaker, I hide a bit. That’s more like the second list. The introvert descriptors.
I prefer extrovert. So I am going to use these little lists to check myself now and then. To be more extrovert.
Not to the point that I become James Corden of course. That’s far too annoying. Just a couple more things from ‘list one’ will do.
Photograph taken by Michael Owen at Do Lectures 2018.