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Introversion vs. Extraversion
This post is going to be a bit shorter than my other analyses of the Big 5 Personalities because much is already widely known about these personality types. Essentially, an introvert is someone who is energized by time spent alone and an extravert is someone who is energized by time spent with others. This does not mean that an introvert is necessarily shy. They can be talkative—but generally they need time after being social to recharge for the next event. They can get lonely, but it usually takes longer for an introvert to get lonely.
An extravert is someone who enjoys being around people. This does not mean they can’t be alone or can’t enjoy time alone, but they find themselves fueled by being with people and socializing. They often have several casual friends and can hang out with multiple groups, but introverts generally find themselves comfortable around a smaller, close-knit group of friends.
Now as it relates to terms of success for the introvert vs. the extravert, an extravert is more likely to obtain success in one’s life as it relates to the business world. This has a lot to do with networking. If an extravert is frequently at social functions or chatting with all sorts of people, they are more known to people. When opportunities arise, often these people are considered over their ‘quieter’ counter-parts. Sucks, but true. The squeaky wheel gets the oil after all. In life, this should be a tip to all my followers. Don’t forget the quiet workers you haven’t seen all day if you are in management. Chances are, Mr. Extravert was probably running their mouth all day instead of working and Mr. Introvert might be more qualified and produce better outcomes than the loud mouth. Just saying.
Also for my introverts out there, although you don’t want to go to that office party, it may behoove you to buck up and do it anyways. You might keep your nose to the grind stone all day, but if Treece down the hall is chatting up the boss man, you might get overlooked for that promotion. It is good to keep up those social skills even if they feel oh-so miserable.
Now, how does this relate to your characters? Is your MC a King Arthur character—always at the party, always knows what to say? Life of the party? Or are they a behind the scenes Merlin character full of magic but mainly behind the scenes? You can turn this into a character arc as well.
Perhaps because of your character’s high levels of neuroticism and low extraversion, they hang out at home all the time until dwarves breakdown their door and insist on them joining their party to go defeat a dragon. Suddenly, their quiet life is thrust into a world of never being alone where they have to rely on their friends for survival. Although at their essence, the character will probably remain an introvert, they will still find themselves stretched by the experience and grow a lot.
When I developed my main character Jared, I wanted him to be the mirror image of Midas, the main baddie. Introversion wasn’t one of those things that I set out to make Jared be, it sort of just happened. He experienced a trauma and walled himself off from his friends. Interestingly enough, introversion and extraversion became the primary difference in the personalities of Midas and Jared. The primary determining factor between how these two respond to situations is hinged on this one factor, so don’t under-estimate its value.
So, like always, I would like to know about your characters, so be sure to drop your descriptions of your MC’s in the comments below. I read ever comment and reply to them.
RW Hague is a registered nurse with over eight years of experience within the medical field. Using her medical expertise, she writes stories that are gritty and compelling.