The challenges faced by introverts and extroverts are very different. A little education on the differences and some empathy from family and friends can make both introverts and extroverts well adjusted with their internal as well as external worlds.
The strengths of introverts are the richness and the awareness of their internal world – their thoughts, feelings, ideas and imagination. They can excel in professions like designing, science, art, story-writing, etc. They are very comfortable with their personal space and can spend hours without missing human interaction. They are connected to themselves and need very little input or strokes from the external world. Their nature and variety of topics of interest as well as communication are limited, yet with depth.
The weaknesses of introverts on the other end are preoccupation in their own world resulting in emotional resistance to other people. This can make them come across as socially withdrawn or pathologically shy. Judged by people of the external world, their confidence can be marred. This can lead to their inadequacy to tap into the richness of their own abilities. It, also, affects their social life and relationships adversely.
The strengths of extroverts are their ability to engage people and be fun to be around. They focus more on people skills and can excel well in people related professions like advertising, journalism, teaching, sales, marketing, etc. They are comfortable around people and can engage with new people also. The nature and variety of topics and range of interests as well as communication of extroverts is quite high.
On the negative side, they need constant human interaction and can be dissociated with their own internal world. They might find difficulty in quiet intimate moments as they want to be peopled all the time. While this might not affect the confidence of extroverts as they can charm people otherwise, it might adversely affect their self-awareness and intimate relationships.
Few tips that can help introverts and extroverts accept themselves and find the right balance within themselves as well as their surroundings
- Awareness in the society about introversion and extroversion
- Accepting one’s own trait (introversion or extroversion) and using it as a starting point to strike balance
- While extroverts tend to pick up their insights and energy from the external world (surroundings), they need to recognise that they don’t always have to be a charmer and be the life of a party. They can leave some room for introspection and engage in communication that involves their feelings and personality.
- Introverts can recognise that observing people and a silent presence is also a way to socialise. They do not need to feel the pressure of active participation in a group. They can also connect to people from their strengths of imagination and innovation.
- Family and friends would need to accept that introverts can be slow-to-warm in social situations and need to be given sufficient time to open-up.
- Family and friends of extroverts need to recognise that they need to show patience in an extrovert communicate the inner most feelings.
With due respect to one’s own basic trait (introversion\extroversion), an individual needs to step out of one’s comfort zone slowly and occasionally to strike a balance between their inner world and outer world.