If you are an introvert, we’re told, you have a tendency toward your own thoughts and space, and if you are an extrovert you supposedly like to obtain gratification from outside yourself through others.
So which are you, Introvert or Extrovert?
You are probably both.
Over the years science has discovered that Introvert/Extrovert is not one or the other, like people imply. Rather it is a scale, a bell curve in fact. Most people sit somewhere close to the middle. You may be slightly more introverted, which explains why you are shy in some settings and the life of the party in others. Or you may love being around people, and yet often need your own space.
And of course, like every bell curve there are a few people, very few, at the extreme and these people are the people we usually think of when we hear the term.
For years I felt because I was shy and enjoy my own thoughts that I was an introvert. At the same time, I love being around people and actually enjoy standing and speaking in front of large crowds of people which feels more extrovert. I often defined myself as an Introvert by nature, possibly because the first Myers-Briggs test I did, gave me an I (Introvert) instead of an E (Extrovert).
Self-labelling can be dangerous, and I or E is not an exception.
Few of us are really an I or an E as the tests describe at face value. You may be 40% Extrovert and 60% Introvert, which means you can be both. You just need to push a little harder to be an Extrovert and Introvert comes a little more naturally BUT you can be both.
And reminding yourself that you can be extroverted just as you enter a room of strangers can be incredibly liberating and rewarding.
I or E isn’t important.
What matters is growing in both.