and extraverts are rare. What’s Your Personality Type? In the 1920s, Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung wrote that introverts prefer to focus their energy on their inner world, while extraverts orient their energy outward. Today we know that introverts show more activity in regions of the brain associated with an inward focus: - Recalling memories - Planning for the future - Problem solving - “Self-talk” On the other hand, extraverts’ brains light up more in areas linked to sensation-seeking. Why are some of us introverted? Here are psychologists’ leading theories: - We have a preference for less stimulating environments than others. - We’re less sensitive to the rewards that come with being social. Shyness ≠ Introversion [shyness arrow to:] Shyness is related to social anxiety and a fear of being judged. [introversion arrow to:] Introversion is broader: Some introverts can be shy, but others prefer quiet and solitude for reasons that have little to do with concerns about negative evaluations, explains introversion-extraversion researcher John Zelenski, PhD. Did You Know? Introverts score higher than extraverts on intelligence tests. INTROVERTS ON THE JOB Nurture Your Needs The six secrets of successful introverts, according to Susan Cain [arrow to below item], author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking: 1. Serious conversations (less chit chat!) 2. Solo time and space to work 3. Tons of reading 4. Lots of listening 5. Mini breaks from groups 6. Quiet commitment to your goals You Can be a Leader… …if you choose an enthusiastic team. Research shows that introverts are better managers than extraverts when the team is proactive. Why? Introverts are good at listening to others’ suggestions and supporting their efforts. (Extraverts do better with more passive underlings.) On the flip side, if you’re an introverted employee, a more outgoing boss can help you thrive. Ambiverts = People who fall somewhere between introverts and extraverts on the personality spectrum—are the most successful salespeople. Steal their secret: Aim to strike the right balance between listening and talking. Did You Know? Introverts are more honest during job interviews than extraverts. GET A HAPPINESS BOOST Studies consistently show that extraverts are happier than introverts. A recent study found that’s in part because they go out of their way to be social more often, which gives them frequent bumps in happiness. To extract the most happiness from your social style: - Make a lunch date with a close friend. - Look at photos of a time you felt connected to others. - Plan an intimate dinner for your next birthday. - Next time you’re tapped out, take a day off just to dive into a book. In studies, introverts tend to pass up small, immediate rewards in favor of bigger rewards down the line. That’s smart—and not just because of the better payoff. Research shows that anticipating good stuff makes us happy. Act Out! (Once in Awhile) Psychological research shows that acting extraverted can give introverts a happy buzz. How? Aim to do normal activities with a little more zest, says Zelenski. Try being a bit more: Talkative Energetic Active Adventurous If you’re ready for more of a challenge, here are a few ways to step outside yourself—without changing who you are: - Speak up first at a meeting - Talk to someone on the train or in the waiting room [arrow to below #1] - Chat up your barista [arrow to below #2] - Step up to the mic during karaoke [#1] One study found that even people who were reluctant to have a social interaction with a stranger were happier when they smiled, made eye contact and had a quick conversation with the person who sold them their morning coffee. Why? Being social helped them feel like they belonged. [#2] Don’t assume others want to be left alone. In a University of Chicago study, people who were spoken to in a waiting room felt just as positive about the experience as the strangers who initiated the chat. You might think you'll feel embarrassed or anxious after acting extraverted, but in a study of 600 people, researchers found that wasn't the case—the introverts often misjudged how acting extraverted would make them feel. (Of course, if it doesn't feel right, stop; and if you need to recharge afterwards, do so!) Introverts Who Changed the World Eleanor Roosevelt Rosa Parks Gandhi Charles Darwin Steve Wozniak Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) Abraham Lincoln Bill Gates SOURCES Epley, N., Schroeder, J. (2014) Mistakenly Seeking Solitude. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. Fleeson, W., Malanos, A.B., Achille, N.M. (2002) An Intraindividual Process Approach to the Relationship Between Extraversion and Positive Affect: Is Acting Extraverted as "Good" as Being Extraverted? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Furnham, A., Forde, L., Cotter, T. (1998) Personality and Intelligence. Personality and Individual Differences. Grant, A.M., Gino, F., Hofmann, D.A. (2011) Reversing the Extraverted Leadership Advantage: The Role of Employee Proactivity. Academy of Management Journal. Grant, A.M. (2013) Rethinking the Extraverted Sales Ideal: The Ambivert Advantage. Psychological Science. Hirsh, J.B., Guindon, A., Morisano, D., et al. (2010) Positive Mood Effects on Delay Discounting. Emotion. Johnson, D.L., Wiebe, J.S., Gold, S.M., et al. (1999) Cerebral blood flow and personality: a positron emission tomography study. The American Journal of Psychiatry. The Myers & Briggs Foundation http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/extravert-and-introvert.asp Sandstrom, G.M., Dunn, E.W. (2013) Is Efficiency Overrated? Minimal Social Interactions Lead to Belonging and Positive Affect. Social Psychological & Personality Science. Secrets of a Super Successful Introvert by Susan Cain: http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/06/living/successful-introverts-o/index.html Weiss, B., Feldman, R.S. (2006) Looking Good and Lying to Do It: Deception as an Impression Management Strategy in Job Interviews. Journal of Applied Social Psychology. Wilt, J., Noftle, E.E., Fleeson, W., et al. (2012) The Dynamic Role of Personality States in Mediating the Relationship between Extraversion and Positive Affect. Journal of Personality. Zelenski, J.M., Santoro, M.S., Whelan, D.C. (2012) Would Introverts Be Better Off If They Acted More Like Extraverts? Exploring Emotional and Cognitive Consequences of Counterdispositional Behavior. Emotion." />
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