Communication Skills: Introvert vs Extrovert

Apr 23, 2024 | By Saranne Durham
Multicultural group of introvert and extrovert friends walking and talking

At first glance, the question of who is the better communicator introvert vs extrovert often results in the extrovert coming out on top. However, this is not necessarily true; both communication styles have merits and strengths. Communication has two components, quality and quantity, which is where introverts and extroverts deviate from each other. Therefore, communicating effectively may require you to better understand the respective introvert and extrovert approaches rather than wanting to change someone’s style.  

How Introverted or Extroverted Are You? 

An introvert often comes across as shy or reticent, whereas an extrovert tends towards being boisterous. Often this is misinterpreted and results in the assumption that the introvert is a poor communicator. But, when the quality and quantity of an introvert vs extrovert conversation are assessed, this might be a misnomer.   

Psychiatrist Carl Jung established the introversion and extroversion constructs in the early 1900s. According to his research, the easiest way to tell an introvert from an extrovert is in how they recharge their social battery. Neither is better than the other. It’s simply a case of being wired differently. And most people fall somewhere on the spectrum between being completely introvertedor  totally extroverted. What lies between the two, some have called ambiversion. Ambiverts draw from both in varying degrees along the introvert-extrovert spectrum. Therefore, in reality, people are usually a combination of the two. 

What is an Introvert? 

An introvert is someone who inwardly charges their social battery. Accordingly, they tend towards less stimulating environments, often needing time alone, to re-energise. They also prefer conversations with smaller groups of people and have a lower social desire. This means that while they aren’t opposed to social situations, they enjoy solitude. They might also disengage faster than others from social activities and situations. 

5 Common Signs of an Introvert Personality 

  1. Prefers smaller and more intimate gatherings. 
  2. Happy to do something by themselves. 
  3. Requires alone time to recharge. 
  4. Pauses to think before replying. 
  5. Introspective and methodical in approach. 

    How do Introverts Communicate? 

    Introverts process things internally and then share. Thus, when they talk the quality of their communication is usually very good. However, there may be a long pause during a conversation while you wait to hear what they think about something. Additionally, the quantity of what they say is often lower than what’s needed. Thus, overall, their communication might be effective but may not be as detailed or as often as needed. Practically this means that they tend towards thinking that they are communicating more than they actually are. But it also means that they are inclined to be excellent listeners

    What is an Extrovert? 

    Extroverts are those who re-energise by interacting with others. They feel a strong need to socialise with others and enjoy talking to people around them. Often, they are seen as confident, outgoing and very social people. Accordingly, extroverts prefer to be interactive and engage with those around them, rather than doing something solo. They also tend towards hands-on activities or activities which are physically stimulating. Many leaders and managers are extroverts.  

    5 Common Signs of an Extrovert Personality 

    1. Enjoys socialising. 
    2. Shares thoughts and feelings openly and willingly. 
    3. Feels isolated if alone for long periods of time. 
    4. Has a broad range of interests and enjoys new experiences. 
    5. Loves to talk. 

          How do Extroverts Communicate? 

          Extroverts are verbal processors which usually results in them tending towards sharing a wealth of information. This is so that the listener must often sift through what’s been said to figure out what’s important. Practically this means that while an extrovert’s quantity of communication is high, their quality is often low. As extroverts have a lot to tell someone, they are often not the greatest listeners. 

          How to Bridge the Introvert-Extrovert Gap 

          Some of the best partnerships are those between an introvert and an extrovert. This is because each type of communication has its inherent strengths. Consequently, once an understanding of the other’s methods of communication is reached, a great balance can be found. Within a business or personal space this can be advantageous to both the introvert and the extrovert. Thus, learning effective interpersonal communication is a key ingredient to success in both work and personal spheres. 

          Improve your interpersonal communication skills by registering for a SACAP Global Course. Alternatively, contact us for further information. 

          Previous post

          Next post