Are you a bubbly extrovert or a quieter introvert? You may have heard a thing or two about these different personality types, and you probably have a good idea of which label you fall under.
If you're an extrovert, you likely thrive in large group settings, and you love being out and about. At some point, you may have been described as bubbly or a social butterfly. If you're an introvert, you may prefer hanging out with just a few people and enjoy time to yourself. If your friends had to describe you, they might call you laid-back or even quiet.
Whichever type of personality you have, you know what works for you and what doesn't. Still, you might be less sure about the best way to deal with someone who seems like your exact opposite. Here's what you should know about different personality types in order to communicate more effectively and strengthen your relationships.
Introverts Aren't Always Shy, and Extroverts Aren't Always Outgoing
Some people think that all introverts are wallflowers who are afraid of being social, while all extroverts love to be the life of the party. However, that isn't always true.
Being an introvert or extrovert isn't about how shy or outgoing you are. Instead, it's about which types of situations leave you feeling energized and which ones leave you feeling totally drained. Extroverts get their energy from spending time with others, and start to feel sapped from too much solo time. This doesn't necessarily mean that they'll always be the loudest person in the room, but they may feel revved up about meeting everyone there.
Introverts are the opposite: Too much time with people wears them out, and spending time alone helps them recharge. Still, it's not the same as being shy. Plenty of introverts have no qualms about meeting new people or expressing their opinions. However, they may prefer to do it in a more intimate setting with just a handful of people.
Keeping Different Personality Types in Mind Can Help with Communication
People tend to shine when they're in their element. By paying attention to someone's personality type, you can figure out the ways they feel most comfortable interacting, which can help you communicate and solve problems more effectively.
For instance, the intern you manage at work may come up with great ideas during team brainstorming sessions, but might lose his focus when you try chatting one-on-one. He's probably an extrovert, and assigning him to big group projects can feed his natural energy and help him do his best work.
On the other hand, maybe you started getting friendly with the woman you met at yoga. You guys hit it off when you went to lunch, but when you invited her to your backyard barbecue bash, she seemed to clam up. She might be an introvert who prefers spending time with people one-on-one or in small groups. To foster a deeper friendship, try setting aside time for the two of you to hang out alone, or with one or two other friends.
Different Personalities Make Life Richer
Whether you feel most comfortable at a giant street festival or your favorite thing in the world is curling up in bed alone with a good book, every personality type has something to offer. What's more, interacting with your polar opposite can help you see things in new—and completely unexpected—ways.
In the end, regardless of your personality type, what really matters is that you're kind and respectful to others. Let your hair down, be yourself, and embrace others—even if they're different.