My mum is an extravert.
My sister is an extravert.
My grandfather was one too.
My best friend is an extravert.
So are some of my favourite online business buddies.
And people who have appeared at various points in my life, in all their sparkly, extraverted glory.
I get it. You’ve maybe come across big personalities that just don’t gel with you. Or you’ve maybe been spoken over a few too many times. We live in an extraverted world, and we’re just trying to navigate our way through it.
But – oh my – this doesn’t mean that you have to write off people who are more extraverted and avoid them at all costs.
In fact, I strongly advise against it.
Think I’m crazy? Read on, my innie friend.
There are some major energy dynamics between innies and exies
Yes, I get it, there will be people out there who are Just. Too. Much for your quiet energy. That’s cool, we were not designed to get along with everyone. But, when you find a good balance with an extraverted counterpart – magic happens.
It’s like they ebb while you flow, ya know? They talk and process externally and you can sit back, let the conversation wash over you while you pull together the pieces and find what you want to add as you go. Talking can actually be a huge energy drain for introverted types, so having someone else to take on the majority of that role can actually be really refreshing.
TIP: This may take practise with a new extraverted friend but eventually, you’ll find a rhythm, even if you have to teach them to create space for you to contribute when you’re ready.
They’re great companions at social events
I know when I go to social events, I usually feel like an awkward dork. You know what helps? Having someone who feels really comfortable in a crowd to hold space as you ease into it and also take the lead in group conversations that might leave you not sure what to say or looking for the exit.
I’m sure I’m not alone in saying I’ve been in more than one situation where I’ve gone somewhere solo and haven’t worked out how to infiltrate a group, mid-conversation. And while I’m a big fan of stretching your comfort zone – having a friend by your side who can navigate group situations like a boss always helps (especially if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed or drained!)
TIP: Stick close to your exie friend – they will look out for you and include you but you need to remind them that you’re there! Also, don’t be afraid to venture off on your own sometimes too!
You can bring each other closer to the middle
No one ever talks about this. There’s so much dissing of the more extraverted personalities in the innie world, but when you’re friends with someone with an opposing personality type, you can actually influence each other to both move more to the center of the spectrum.
One of my business besties is extraverted and we’ve often laughed over the years at her natural predisposition to think of an idea, write a sales page, and have it up and available for purchase within the hour. I, on the other hand can take months to ruminate over something before getting it out into the world. Both of these have pros and cons and over the years we’ve influenced each other so that she sits back and thinks a little more before jumping on something, and I get moving a little faster without over thinking.
TIP: Be mindful of who you’re spending time and energy with. If you find that your more extraverted friends have some strengths that you don’t have – and vice versa – but your values and your goals are aligned, there’s such a great opportunity for you both to grow.
They’re great to talk ideas out with
I love my more introverted friends. We have the deepest conversations – no small talk required. But it can get really intense really quickly and, suddenly, hours have passed pontificating the state of the world and the universe without really coming to any end. This is wonderful, but sometimes you just have to get shit done.
This is a huge generalisation, but more extraverted types are movers. In my experience, they want to hear the problem, come up with a solution, and get moving. And when you need to get something done, this is oh-so helpful.
TIP: Know the people in your life and understand that all your relationships serve different purposes. Most of the time it doesn’t matter, but things like your mood, your energy levels, or what you need are naturally going to suit one friendship more than another.
They can genuinely lift your energy
I know the popular belief is that extraverts are draining to introverts. But that’s just like saying ‘all introverts are shy’ or ‘all extraverts are overbearing’.
Again, there will be personalities that do zap your energy. But when you find like-minded extraverts or ambiverts, you might find that their energy sparks yours too. Because we have softer energy, it can mean that we take on a little bit of those we spend time with, allowing us to kind of tap into some of their vibe.
TIP: In all relationships, the best way to decide whether they’re working for you or not is how you feel when you walk away. I have special people in my life who always make me feel buzzed afterwards – introverts and extraverts – so they’re who I spend my time with. If someone makes you feel drained or frustrated when you walk away is probably not someone you’re going to make a huge effort to see regularly.
You’re good for each other
One of my extraverted friends described me recently as her ‘quiet voice because I kind of pop up in her life and she’s learned that – for some reason – my different vibe, my insights, and my suggestions are exactly what she needs at certain times to shift stuff for her (probably when she’s been around too many high vibin’ exies). And vice versa. I always leave our catch ups feeling amazing and I feel like for days afterwards we will be messaging each other as parts of our conversation continue to permeate – maybe more for me as I process everything we’ve talked about.
TIP: Don’t buy into the crap you read online about extraverts being draining or overbearing to introverts. And don’t let a negative experience with a dominant personality put you off connecting with amazing people. You could be missing out on some beautiful friendships if you do.
It’s a little bit crazy to write off a whole group of people
I don’t want to get too on my soap box about this but just as we wouldn’t expect anyone to make massive generalisations about introverts, the same goes for…well, everyone else. Any time you read or see or hear something that writes off or generalises an entire group of people based on their personality, religious beliefs, gender, race, and so on, and so on, QUESTION IT. With our natural ability to turn within, this gives us an ease to form our own opinions about things and embrace self leadership.
TIP: Find the people who have similar values to you and you can’t go wrong – what you will find is that you start attracting and connecting with a whole range of different people and that is SO much more expansive than avoiding people because they’re not the same as you!