Difference between Introversion and Extraversion

Introversion is a personality trait characterized by an interest in developing and connecting with internal processes. The gaze is inward and there is a tendency to prefer solitude or individual activities over social connection.

Extraversion, also known as extroversion, is a personality trait in which the subject is more focused on developing a relationship with the outside. It requires a greater social connection and that is why it tends to develop in environments that allow it to be closer to other individuals or groups.

Difference between Introversion and Extraversion

Both terms were first introduced by the Swiss psychiatrist and psychologist Carl Jung, in his work Psychological Types, published in 1921. There, the author proposes four main functions of consciousness: two perceptual (sensation and intuition) and two rational (thought and feeling). These functions govern two main attitudes: introversion and extraversion.

Although there are no radically introverts or extroverts, there is a tendency to identify with one type or another. However, neither of the two is better in qualifying terms, since both introversion and extraversion contribute to the development of the individual.

Thus, the difference between introversion and extraversion lies in the focus of attention: the inner world or the outer world.

What is Introversion?

For Carl Jung, introversion is a personality characteristic that is expressed through self-analysis. Introspection is a distinctive trait in this case, since the individual has a tendency to prefer the cultivation of a rich inner world.

For the introvert, the stimuli of the external world can be overwhelming, and, in some cases, limiting for the development of their potential, so they prefer activities that do not involve so much social interaction.

This detail has made introversion frequently confused with shyness. However, they are different, since while introversion has to do with personality; shyness is based on the fear of being judged negatively.

Introversion is not necessarily linked to the absence of social connections only that, in this case, these bonds develop differently.

An introvert, for example, may be attracted to parties or conversations, but will probably interact with few people or stay for less time in these types of activities, because the amount and variety of stimuli can be emotionally draining.

The predilection for a reserved way of life, and the emphasis on developing an inner gaze, make introverts have potential in areas that require these skills, such as painting, literature, writing, poetry, research, etc. However, this does not mean that they can only develop successfully in those areas.

Types of Introversion

Jung’s classification raises four types of introversion, based on the influence of any of the four main functions of consciousness (sensation, intuition, thought and feeling):

  • Introverted thinking: they turn to self-analysis to understand their position and worldview.
  • Introverted feeling: from the outside, they can be perceived as autonomous and in control of themselves; however, they can be indecipherable, since they are not usually accessible to most people.
  • Introverted sensation: they pay close attention to what they perceive sensually (smells, tastes, textures, sounds).
  • Introverted intuition: generally qualified as “dreamers”. They are nourished by their particular inner vision.

Characteristics of Introversion

A person with a greater tendency to introversion will feel identified with more than one of these characteristics:

  • Attachment and extreme reserve to narrate one’s own life, especially aspects that are considered intimate or very valuable.
  • Enjoy the solitude.
  • Preference for solo activities or small groups.
  • Rejection of environments with multiple stimuli (excess noise, for example).
  • Tendency to active listening.
  • Preference for a quiet and reserved lifestyle.

What is Extraversion?

It is a personality trait characterized by the search for social interactions and a natural disposition to know, share and enjoy the outside world. Extraverted people have a tendency to prefer group activities and do not usually spend as much time cultivating their inner world.

For the extrovert, it is not only common to be in highly stimulating situations, but on many occasions, it generates them. Hence, they are explorers, adventurers and charismatics by nature.

An example of an extroverted person is one who is usually the center of attention, or the charismatic leader of a group. Due to their ability to communicate with others, create networks and connect with the outside world, extraverts tend to be more predisposed to occupy leadership positions in the social and professional fields.

Types of Extraversion

For Jung, the extraverts were divided into four groups:

  • Extraverted thinking: they have their own rules, usually set in stone, and they use them to understand the world around them.
  • Extraverted feeling: they are very adaptable to circumstances and are focused on gaining recognition in the personal, professional and social spheres.
  • Extraverted sensation: they are characterized by seeing the world from a practical point of view, which is why they tend to easily assume the circumstances in which they live.
  • Intuitive Extravert: They are charismatic, group leaders, and are often one step ahead of situations due to their ability to foresee what may happen.

Characteristics of Extraversion

Generally speaking, extroverts have a great facility to connect with the world around them, but they also have other characteristic traits.

  • They are more willing to narrate their life and share thoughts and feelings with others.
  • They are very communicative. They have the ability to speak in public or to lead a conversation or debate.
  • Outdoor activities nurture and inspire them, as does sharing with others.
  • They can have a certain tendency to recklessness, since they are so focused on communicating their ideas that they often do not think if what they are going to say is appropriate or convenient.
  • They are comfortable leading groups or solving problems.
  • His circles of friends and social contacts are very wide.
  • They do not find individual activities pleasant, or loneliness.