Podcast episode promotion featuring host David Hall discussing why we should stop saying "extroverted introvert" in Episode 164 of the Quiet and Strong podcast.

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Show Notes

Are you unsure whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert? Can you be a little bit of both?

Let’s explore why the term “extroverted introvert” is not helpful, and why it may not accurately capture the nuances of our personality traits.

In this episode of the Quiet and Strong Podcast, host David Hall dives deep into the definitions of introversion and extroversion and discusses our natural tendencies and preferences. Using the Myers-Briggs framework, David breaks down other personality preferences such as thinking versus feeling, sensing versus intuition, and judging versus perceiving. 

You’ll gain insight into personality preferences, understand the strengths and needs of introverts, and learn strategies for thriving in social situations. Gain valuable self-awareness, embrace your natural tendencies, and discover how to navigate the complexities of introversion and extroversion. 

Listen in to unlock the power of understanding your unique characteristics and preferences, and be strong.

Understanding your personality and why we should stop saying “Extroverted Introvert”

The topic of today’s episode stems from a common misconception I often encounter – the belief that one can be both an introvert and an extrovert. I frequently hear people say things like, “I act introverted sometimes and sometimes I act extroverted.” But is this accurate? Do these terms truly capture the complexity of personality preferences? To answer these questions, we’ll explore the Myers Briggs framework and delve into the intricacies of introversion, extroversion, thinking, feeling, sensing, intuition, judging, and perceiving.

Let’s start with the foundation of personality preferences. Introversion and extroversion are not binary; they exist on a continuum. Introversion refers to a natural inclination towards solitary, reflective, and internally focused activities, while a focus on external stimuli, social interactions, and external world engagement characterizes extroversion. These traits are not interchangeable, and individuals cannot inhabit both ends of the spectrum simultaneously.

Moreover, the terminology of “extroverted introvert” can lead to confusion and misinterpretation. The use of this term blurs the distinct characteristics of introversion and extroversion, potentially perpetuating the misconception that introversion is merely shyness or social anxiety, rather than a fundamental aspect of personality. By acknowledging the nuances within introversion and extroversion, we pave the way for a more accurate understanding of our own traits and those of others.

It’s essential to recognize and embrace our natural tendencies, rather than trying to fit ourselves into rigid labels. Instead of labeling oneself as an “extroverted introvert,” it’s more beneficial to acknowledge the complexity of individual personality traits. By embracing our unique traits and fostering self-awareness, we can cultivate authenticity and develop a deeper understanding of ourselves and others.

Describing oneself as an “extroverted introvert” can lead to confusion about what introversion and extroversion actually entail. This also can perpetuate the misconception that introversion is simply shyness or social anxiety, rather than a fundamental aspect of personality related to how we process information and how we interact with the world.”— David Hall 

Quiet and Strong Podcast, Ep 164

As an introvert, I’ve come to understand and appreciate the strengths that inherently come with my preferences. I’ve recognized that my introverted nature provides me with the gift of deep thinking, introspection, and the ability to cultivate meaningful connections. These are not weaknesses to be fixed but strengths to be celebrated. By embracing our natural tendencies, we can capitalize on our strengths and address areas for improvement while nurturing more fulfilling relationships and experiences.

Furthermore, understanding our personality preferences empowers us to enhance self-awareness, improve our communication and decision-making skills, and pursue paths aligned with our values and aspirations. The key is to work within our natural talents and gifts, allowing us to thrive authentically. So, let’s stop saying “extroverted introvert.” Instead, let’s embrace the complexity of our personalities, cultivate self-awareness, and celebrate our unique traits. By doing so, we can break free from the constraints of rigid labels and develop a deeper understanding of ourselves and others.

Each of us brings a distinct set of strengths and attributes to the table, and it’s time to celebrate the diversity and richness of our individual traits. I encourage you to explore the free type finder personality assessment on the Quiet and Strong website. This assessment can offer invaluable insights into your personality preferences, providing you with a deeper understanding of yourself.

Additionally, I invite you to reach out to me to share your thoughts, and suggest topics or questions you’d like to see on the show. Thank you for joining me today, and I hope you’ll continue to explore the incredible strengths of being an introvert. Embrace your introverted traits, and remember, the key to being strong lies in understanding and appreciating your unique preferences. Be strong.

Key Takeaways

– Personality preferences, such as introversion and extroversion, are natural inclinations that shape how individuals perceive the world and interact with others.

– Understanding and embracing one’s natural tendencies can lead to personal growth, self-awareness, and more fulfilling relationships and experiences.

Introverts tend to recharge and process their thoughts internally, prefer deeper, more meaningful connections, and excel in tasks that require focus and introspection.

– The concept of an “extroverted introvert” can be problematic as it may perpetuate misconceptions about introversion and extroversion and lead to confusion about personality traits.

– Instead of rigid labels, embracing the complexity of personality traits and fostering self-awareness is essential for understanding oneself and others authentically.

Make Changes Now

After listening to this episode, here are a few actions you can take immediately:

1. Take the Free Type Finder Personality Assessment: Visit the Quiet and Strong website and take the free personality assessment to gain further insight into your individual personality traits. Understand your strengths and needs as an introvert.

2. Embrace Your Natural Preferences: Whether you identify as an introvert or an extrovert, embrace the complexity of your personality traits. Recognize your natural tendencies and use this self-awareness to thrive in different situations.

3. Cultivate Authenticity: Foster self-awareness and authenticity by understanding the nuances within introversion and extroversion. Avoid fitting yourself into rigid labels and instead strive to develop a deeper understanding of yourself and others.

4. Reach Out to the Podcast Host: Connect with David Hall through the Quiet and Strong website. Share any topics or questions that you would like to see addressed in future episodes.

5. Further Engagement: Explore other episodes of the Quiet and Strong podcast and learn from the insights shared by various guests. Delve into topics relevant to introversion and personal growth to continue your journey of understanding and embracing your personality preferences.


Contact the Host of the Quiet and Strong Podcast:

David Hall

Author, Speaker, Educator, Podcaster

david [at] quietandstrong.com

Take the FREE Personality Assessment:

Typefinder Personality Assessment

Follow David on your favorite social platform:

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Get David’s book:
Minding Your Time: Time Management, Productivity, and Success, Especially for Introverts

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Timestamped Overview

00:00 Embracing introverted preference as a strength.

05:23 Understanding personality preferences enhances self-awareness, interactions, and personal growth.

09:01 Understanding thinking vs feeling & sensing vs intuition helps self-awareness/communication.skills

10:01 Sensing: focuses on details, practical, past experiences.

Intuition: abstract, imaginative, future-oriented, innovative.

14:01 Introverts need alone time to recharge, prefer smaller gatherings.

19:35 Introverts and extroverts cannot be the same, leading to confusion and inaccuracy about personality traits.

22:12 Explore other episodes & guests. Free Myers Briggs assessment on website. Connect via email or website for show topics & questions. Understand introverted strengths.

Podcast Transcript

David Hall [00:00:08]:
Hello and welcome to episode 164 of the Quiet and Strong podcast, especially for introverts. I’m your host, David Hall, and the creator of Quietandstrong.com. This is a weekly podcast dedicated to understanding the strengths and needs of introverts. Introversion is not something to fix, but to be embraced. Normally, we’ll our each episode on a Monday. Be sure to subscribe on your favorite platform. Leave a review. That would mean a lot to me.

David Hall [00:00:34]:
Tell a friend about the podcast and help get the word out there that introversion is a beautiful thing. So I often hear people say that they’re both an introvert and extrovert. They say something like, I act introverted sometimes, and sometimes I act extroverted. Today, I heard that since introversion and extroversion are on a continuum, there’s no such thing as just an introvert or extrovert. Or I’ve heard statements like everyone has all the strengths, or people sometimes say I pretend to be an extrovert when needed or act like an extrovert when I need to. So what’s wrong with saying things like this? So let’s get into personality preferences today. In the context of personality preferences, the term preference does not imply a conscious choice or decision.

David Hall [00:01:27]:
It might sound like that, but rather it’s it refers to a natural inclination or tendency that shapes how you perceive the world, process information, interact with others. And this is a big epiphany that my preference for introversion was very natural. I didn’t choose it, but I could choose to embrace it and go so much further by capitalizing on my introverted preference or strengths rather than trying to focus on fixing any perceived weaknesses in my personality. In fact, what I thought were weaknesses in my preference for introversion. I’ve learned that there are some of my greatest strengths. So personality preference refers to consistent pattern of thoughts, feelings, behaviors that reflects an individual’s natural inclination or tendency in various aspects of their personality. Preferences are tendencies that influence how individuals perceive the world, interact with others, and navigate their lives. These preferences are often categorized and assessed with personality frameworks such as the Myers Briggs.

David Hall [00:02:39]:
We will use the Myers Briggs framework to illustrate some personality preferences. And here are some key points about personality preferences. They’re consistent. Personality preferences reflect individual enduring patterns of behavior and are relatively stable over time. While individuals may adapt their behavior to specific situations, their underlying preferences typically remain consistent across different contexts. So it’s about what’s going on inside, not what’s observable on the outside. As an introvert, I’m naturally a deep thinker. I consistently drift into my inner world of ideas more often than not.

David Hall [00:03:20]:
But of course, just like everybody, I pay attention to what’s going on around me. Everybody does. Everybody thinks. Everyone pays attention. But my case, I definitely spend a lot of time in my inner world of ideas or in my imagination. And there’s individual differences. People vary in their personality preferences, resulting in a diverse range of personalities and behaviors. And these differences contribute to the richness and complexity of our human interaction and communication.

David Hall [00:03:48]:
No one is exactly alike in their preferences, but the preferences give us some good tools to understand ourselves. And they also influence our behavior. Personality preferences influence how individuals perceive, process and respond to information and experiences. For example, a person with a preference for introversion, they feel energized by solitude and introspection, While someone with the preference for extroversion may thrive in social settings and seek out interactions with others. Of course, we all need connection. Introverts and extroverts. We just may need different doses of connection. And introverts often want deeper connections.

David Hall [00:04:31]:
And depending on the situation, some introverts may need to recharge after a particular social activity. They may have had a great time, but still need some recharge after. And with the personality preferences, there’s development and flexibility. While personality preferences provide a framework for understanding individual differences, you have the capacity to develop and adapt these preferences over time, particularly through self awareness, personal growth, life experiences. So I was listening to a podcast just yesterday. The guest was a well known author and public speaker. As part of this podcast, she discussed how she was an introvert, but she had some strategies for how to approach networking and public speaking. No time during this podcast that she claimed that she was an extroverted introvert or pretending to be extroverted.

David Hall [00:05:23]:
But she talked about how she accomplished her goals. And again, she has given speeches on some pretty big stages, how she’s accomplished her goals of connecting with people using her strengths as an introvert and honoring her needs. And with these preferences, we need self understanding so we can grow. Understanding your personality preferences can enhance self awareness and facilitate personal growth and development. By recognizing and embracing your natural tendencies, you can capitalize on your strengths and address areas that you want to improve in and cultivate more fulfilling relationships and experiences. The key is to work within your natural talents, gifts. So personality preferences provide insight into the unique characteristics and tendencies that shape individuals’ thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. By understanding and appreciating these preferences, you can enhance your self awareness, improve your interactions with others, and pursue paths that align with your values and aspirations.

David Hall [00:06:26]:
So let’s talk a little bit beyond introversion and extroversion on how we differ in personality preferences. We’re gonna use the Myers Briggs framework. So another example in this framework is thinking versus feeling. This preference reflects on how individuals make decisions and evaluate information, particularly in social and interpersonal contexts. So here’s an overview of thinking versus feeling. So for thinking, individuals with a preference for thinking tend to make decisions based on logic, reason, objective analysis. They prioritize impartiality, consistency, fairness in their decision making process, often seeking to apply rational principles and frameworks to solve problems and achieve goals. Bankers value clarity, accuracy, efficiency, and may approach interpersonal interactions with the focus on problem solving and solution oriented communication.

David Hall [00:07:24]:
And so for feeling, individuals with this preference tend to make decisions based on values, empathy, subjective considerations. They prioritize harmony, empathy, and compassion in their decision making process, often seeking to consider the impact of their choice on others in a broader social context. Feelers value authenticity, empathy, and understanding, and may approach interpersonal interactions with a focus on emotional connection and rapport building. It’s important to note that both thinking and feeling preferences are equally valid and contribute to the richness and diversity of our human interactions and communication. While individuals may have a dominant preference for 1 over the other, they can also exhibit traits associated with the opposite preference. But they still have a preference. So I have a preference for thinking I’m an analytical problem solver. I always have been pretty much think I was born this way.

David Hall [00:08:25]:
And just like introversion, I didn’t choose it, but I can embrace it. I can embrace my gifts. Someone that’s more of a feeling person or sometimes called an empath is gonna have different gifts than me. For some reason, we don’t have all the gifts, so we need each other. For the empath, they’re actually very in tune with the feelings of others, And great strength comes from this. The ability to help others can really come from this gift. So while I don’t have this gift, I do care greatly about others. And I hope this is apparent in the work that I do.

David Hall [00:09:01]:
But my empathy is going to come from within my mind or my imagination. Of course, I have feelings, but I can’t adopt the natural gift of being an empath and really being in touch with feelings like some of so many people that I have met and talk with. So understanding one’s preference for thinking or feeling can enhance your self awareness, improve your communication and decision making skills. And by recognizing and appreciating these preferences, you can leverage your unique strengths perspective as you pursue meaningful goals and relationships. And again, whether you’re a thinker or a feeler, you’re going to pursue meaningful goals and relationships. Your approach just might look a little different. Another example of a personality preference is the preference for sensing or intuition as described in the Myers Briggs framework. This preference reflects how individuals perceive and gather information about the world around them.

David Hall [00:10:01]:
So here’s an overview of sensing versus intuition. Sensing individuals tend to focus on concrete, tangible details and information that could be observed directly through the 5 senses, sight, sound, touch, taste, smell. They’re often practical and detail oriented, grounded in the present moment, preferring to rely on past experiences and factual evidence when making decisions or solving problems. Sensors excel at tasks that require attention to detail, accuracy, adherence to established procedures. So for intuition, individuals with this preference tend to focus on abstract patterns, possibilities, underlying meanings that go beyond what is immediately observable. They are often imaginative, creative, future oriented, referring to explore new ideas, concepts, and connections between disparate pieces of information. Intuitives are comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty. It may excel tasks that require innovation, strategic thinking, and the ability to see the big picture.

David Hall [00:11:08]:
One time I was training 2 new employees. 1 was sensing and one was intuitive. This was a challenge as they both wanted vastly different pieces of information. 1 wanted to give me the big picture and one wanted to show me the details. So I’m a big picture person. And for me, you know, the details are very important. But once I have the big picture, the details likely will fall nicely into place. We need both these type of preferences.

David Hall [00:11:39]:
Some people need to focus on the big picture. That’s so important in what we’re trying to do. But we also need someone that’s able to focus on the details. And again, probably everybody’s going to everybody has to look at the big picture and everybody has to look at the details. But one’s going to be your preference over the other. Similar to other personality preferences, both sensing and intuition have unique strengths. And then we’re going to do another, the personality preference for judging or perceiving. And this is another key aspect in our personalities.

David Hall [00:12:12]:
This preference reflects how individuals approach the external world and organize their lives, particularly in terms of decision making and lifestyle preferences. So there’s judging, and it doesn’t mean judgmental. Individuals with this preference tend to have a structured, organized approach to life. They prefer clear plans, schedules, and deadlines, and may feel more comfortable when their environment is predictable and well ordered. Judges are often decisive, goal oriented, and task focused, preferring to make decisions and take action in a timely manner. They may thrive in roles that require planning, problem solving, and inattention to detail. Proceeding, on the other hand, is a preference for a flexible, adaptable approach to life. They prefer spontaneity, open ended possibilities, and the freedom to explore new options and experiences.

David Hall [00:13:07]:
Perceivers are often curious and adaptable and resourceful, preferring to keep their options open and delay making decisions until they have gathered sufficient information. They may thrive in roles that require creativity, innovation, and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. So I am judging and I’m married to a perceiving person. And I’ve come to appreciate over the years that her preference for proceeding brings a wonderful balance to my life. So let’s get into the preference for introversion. This refers to an individual’s inclination towards activities, environments, interactions that are more solitary, reflective, internally focused. And I’d say that’s the key word right there, that we’re more internally focused. Doesn’t mean we can’t do things that are externally focused, but on the inside, that’s where we’re spending our time.

David Hall [00:14:01]:
While introverts may enjoy socializing and interacting with others, they often find that they need time alone to recharge or process their thoughts and emotions after. Some key characteristics of preferences for introversion include recharging and other time to think. It’s not just recharging, but we need time to do many things. Introverts tend to feel energized and rejuvenated after spending time alone and engaging in activities that allow them to use their introverted strengths of deep thinking, such as reading, writing, researching, or hobbies that allow for solitary reflection. And introverts can be selectively social. Or I like to say, we like to socialize on our terms. So introverts may prefer smaller, more intimate gatherings or 1 on 1 interactions over large group settings. And it’s not that we can’t thrive in large group settings, but our preference for being social may be that 1 on 1 or small group.

David Hall [00:15:02]:
Introverts often value deep, meaningful connections with a few close friends rather than superficial interactions with many acquaintances. We process things internally. Introverts tend to be more introspective and reflective, spending a significant amount of time thinking deeply about their thoughts, feelings, experiences. They may enjoy journaling, meditation, or other practices that facilitate self reflection. And often, we’re able to focus. Introverts excel in tasks that require focus and attention and concentration, such as writing, research, other creative endeavors. They may feel overwhelmed or distracted in environments with excessive noise stimulation or interruptions. And again, introverts may prefer to focus.

David Hall [00:15:53]:
There can be some other things that get in the way of that. And we like thoughtful communication. We typically prefer to listen and observe before speaking, taking time to formulate our thoughts and ideas before sharing them with others. And we may excel in written communication or 1 on 1 conversations where we can express ourselves more thoughtfully and deliberately. And often we like to work independently. And in all of this, you’ll hear me say words like generally or often because there’s no absolutes. So we often thrive in roles that allow autonomy and independent work, where we can concentrate on tasks without constant interruptions or collaboration with others. And again, we all need to collaborate.

David Hall [00:16:37]:
We all need to do independent work. So where’s that balance for you? A preference for introversion is characterized by a focus on external stimuli. So let’s switch over to extroversion. A preference for extroversion is characterized by a focus on external stimuli, engagement with the external world, and a preference for social interactions and stimulation. Individuals with preference for extroversion tend to draw energy from interacting with others and, again, focusing on the out outside world more than in the inner world and enjoy being in social settings. So as we’re discussing preferences, keep in mind they’re not limiting, but rather they might determine the approach that you take. So I’m giving you a keynote speech in a couple of weeks. I love doing this.

David Hall [00:17:24]:
I love giving speeches and presentations. I’m an introvert. I love giving speeches and presentations. In no way does this make me an extrovert. I’m not pretending to be an extrovert. It doesn’t make me an extrovert. But my approach to preparing and giving the speech will be different than an extrovert. I will likely not know anyone in the audience, but I’m looking forward to connecting with them.

David Hall [00:17:49]:
So the key for me as an introvert is preparation. So I’ve already put my presentation together well ahead of time. And so now that my presentation is ready, I’m going to keep letting the ideas come to me as as the day approaches. I have lots of ideas as an introvert. They don’t stop sometimes, but as they come, I’m going to capture them and I’m going to continue to tweak my my presentation, my speech. I might make notes. I might make adjustments to the slides. And that’s my best approach, preparing well ahead of time, thinking about the day, the venue is close by.

David Hall [00:18:24]:
So I was actually able to go check out the room. And so I could imagine what the day was going to be like. And I can imagine how things are going to be set up. And so the preparation for me is key, And I’m sure I’m going to make plenty of small talk with this room of strangers. I don’t love small talk for its own sake, and I prefer to move on to deeper topics as soon as I can. But I’ve learned some strategies for small talk as an introvert and connecting with others. None of this makes me an extrovert, but rather, I’m an introvert armed with self awareness and strategies for reaching my goals. Keep in mind, it’s not about whether introvert can do something.

David Hall [00:19:06]:
We can do anything. It’s about how we will do it. So let’s stop saying things like extroverted introvert. All this terminology may resonate with some people who feel like they don’t neatly fit into either category. It’s not entirely accurate from a psychological standpoint. And here’s why the term extroverted introvert can be problematic. It could be misinterpreting introversion and extroversion. Introversion and extroversion are personality traits on a continuum as we’ve been talking about.

David Hall [00:19:35]:
As mentioned, introverts tend to recharge by spending time alone and may feel drained by some social interaction. While an extrovert gains energy for being around others and often seeks out social stimulation. So by these definitions, someone cannot be both an introvert and extrovert at the same time as they represent opposite ends of this continuum. And again, using this terminology leads to confusion and inaccuracy. Describing oneself as extroverted introvert can lead to confusion about what introversion and extroversion actually entail. This also can perpetuate the misconception that introversion is simply shyness or social anxiety, rather than a fundamental aspect of personality related to how we process information and how we interact with the world. And using this terminology brings a lack of clarity. When we’re using extrovert introvert to describe ourselves, this can obscure rather than clarify one’s personality traits.

David Hall [00:20:40]:
It’s more accurate and useful to acknowledge the nuances within introversion and extroversion rather than trying to fit oneself into a single category. Instead of labeling oneself as an extroverted introvert, it’s more helpful to recognize and embrace the complexity of individual personality traits. While terms like extroverted introversion may provide a convenient shorthand for describing certain personality traits, It also has limitations and potential drawbacks. How does it help you understand your strengths and needs? So embracing the complexity of personality, fostering self awareness, and cultivating authenticity, that’s essential for developing a deeper understanding of oneself and others, free from the constraints of rigid labels. So embrace who you are as an introvert. Give yourself time to think. Prepare. Recharge as needed.

David Hall [00:21:38]:
Develop strategies to thrive in social situations and hopefully on your terms. Being social does not make you an extrovert. By that definition, we would all be extroverts. There are very few people that don’t want any human connection. Sometimes as an introvert, you may even want to be the life of the party, depending on the situation and what you want. You can get what you want out of life, and this will likely come with the set with self awareness and embracing your natural preferences. Thank you for joining me today. I appreciate you.

David Hall [00:22:12]:
I hope you take the time to explore other episodes and learn from our amazing guests. As we’ve been talking about the Myers Briggs framework, remember, if you’re interested in getting to know yourself better, there’s now a free type finder personality assessment on the Quiet and Strong website. This free assessment will give you your brief report, including the 4 letter Myers Briggs code that we’ve been discussing today. I’ll add a link to the show notes, and I’d love to connect with you. Reach out at david@quietandstrong.com, or check out the quietandstrong.com website. Send me topics or questions that you’d like to see on the show. There’s so many great things about being an introvert, so we need those to be understood. Get to know your introverted strengths and needs, and be strong.

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