Extroverts are a lot more complicated than you think. They’re total rock stars in certain situations, but there are many instances where they fall flat on their faces. Beneath that charismatic, smiling, boisterous exterior is a person that struggles a lot more than you might think. As any extrovert can tell you, they struggle with life just as much as everyone else. Introverts like to think they’ve been given the short end of the stick as far as personalities go, but they’ve never dealt with many of the troubles extroverts face on a daily basis. Things like working alone, dealing with boredom, and keeping their mouth shut at the right moment are all things extroverts find very difficult. But these problems are outweighed by many strengths, like working in groups, being entertaining, and sharing their feelings.
But as many of you psychology experts out there are no doubt aware, there is no such thing as a ‘true’ extrovert. Nobody is one hundred percent extroverted, and everyone has a mix of both extroverted and introverted qualities. So even if you’re extroverted, you might not agree with some of these strengths and weaknesses. You may actually be good at some of these so-called weaknesses, or terrible at some of the strengths I’ve listed. It’s never an exact science. But there are some people out there who are almost totally extroverted, and we all know at least one person like that in our lives. This list of strengths and weaknesses will give you some insight into the complex nature of extroverts.
Working In Groups
Let’s start with the obvious – extroverts love working in groups. Why? Because they’re good at it. Scratch that, they’re great at it. Something about getting together, sharing ideas and feeding off each other’s creativity just really fires extroverts up. All of a sudden, they become totally energized and start performing much better than they would have if they’d been working alone. If you were to assemble a crack team of intellectuals to come up with an idea to break you out of jail or get you to the moon, you’d probably want to fill that group up with mostly extroverts. Extroverts love working in groups so much that they’ll try to facilitate these sessions by decorating their offices and leaving candy on their desks. This is to lure people in so they can start talking to them about their newest ideas, as a recent study found.
Talking About Their Feelings
Extroverts are really good at sharing and talking about their feelings. This is a stark contrast to introverts, as you pretty much have to pry even the most basic emotional information out of them. Extroverts don’t even think twice about sharing extremely personal information with people, and this can definitely be a real strength in a lot of ways. Telling people how you’re doing can let them know that you need help, or when to leave you alone. It also shows confidence, and a lack of self-consciousness that indicates true strength of character. This quality can also be really helpful in relationships, because as everyone knows, communication is a key part of a good relationship. Your partner needs to know how you’re feeling for meaningful relationships to form.
It’s no coincidence that tons of actors are extroverts. Extroverts love being the center of attention. They get totally high from having a whole crowd of people watching their every move, and most of them have become addicted to this feeling. The easiest way to feed this addiction is to pursue a career as a performer, whether that’s acting, singing, or anything else that brings cheering crowds. Because they love performing, they practice it often, and by practicing it they become very good at it. But that’s not the only reason they become masterful entertainers. There’s something inherent in every extrovert that makes them incredibly well-suited to being on stage. And this skill might manifest itself in everyday life, even though that person isn’t an actor or a comedian. We’re all familiar with the ‘class-clown.’ That’s a form of performance, and that person is almost always an extrovert. The same goes for that person we all know who throws the best parties at their house. That’s another form of entertainment, and it’s definitely a skill.
Extroverts stand a better chance at making a good first impression. This is for many reasons, and most of them are pretty obvious. Extroverts tend to be more outgoing and more willing to meet new people, so chances are they’ll be a lot more enthusiastic when they make that first handshake. Also, extroverts are more comfortable with making eye contact than introverts, and this is very important when it comes to first impressions. Eye contact signifies confidence, and many other factors such as intelligence, as one study explored. This might actually give extroverts an unfair advantage when it comes to things like job interviews and asking their crushes out on a date. But it’s worth pointing out that some extroverted qualities might actually backfire when it comes to first impressions, such as talking too much or being ‘too friendly.’
Extroverts are often masters at the art of flirting. It’s not hard to see why. They’re more sociable, more confident in social situations, and can clue in better to the subtle hints and body language of the human courtship ritual. In addition, they’re usually pretty funny people, and their ability to crack a joke can put their crushes at ease. People are often drawn like magnets to extroverted people, including potential love interests. Introverts, on the other hand, are often sweating bullets and stammering when they work up the courage to flirt with their crush. Extroverts will usually just stroll over and start hitting on them like it’s no big deal. It’s a zero stress situation for them. However, it’s also worth pointing out that many women prefer the ‘strong, silent type,’ so this is not always the case.
The most glaringly obvious weakness of extroverts is the difficulty they face when working alone. Let’s put it this way. If you wanted to send an astronaut into space on a 6 month mission spent alone on a satellite, you probably wouldn’t choose an extrovert. This is because they’d try to crash the satellite into Earth in order to discuss what their favorite cheese was with anyone who would listen. At school, when teachers tell the class they have to work alone on the next project, you can hear an audible groan from every single extrovert in the room. It’s not that they can’t work alone, they just work a lot better in a group. They have trouble sitting alone in silence and planning out their work, or coming up with ideas without brainstorming via a group discussion.
Dealing With Boredom
Boredom is every extrovert’s worst enemy. Everyone gets bored, but extroverts tend to react a lot more violently towards it. It’s also a lot easier for extroverts to get bored. While introverts are perfectly at home sitting alone with a book in silence, the same activity would drive extroverts insane with boredom. Studies have shown that extroverts require more stimulation than introverts to maintain interest in a task. One such study showed that extroverts performed worse in cognitive tests when they were left in silence than introverts, and performed better when music was being played. This means they’re much more susceptible to negative effects when they’re not being stimulated enough. It’s a clear weakness that many extroverts can attest to having.
Talking Too Much
Extroverts love to talk, talk and talk… And then talk some more. But as many extroverts will probably tell you, this isn’t always a good thing. Sometimes talking too much can put you in some seriously bad situations. I’m pretty sure the phrase, “They put their foot in their mouth” was invented after an extrovert said something they shouldn’t have. Take secrets for example. Since extroverts love to talk, it can be much harder for them to keep a secret. This can seriously damage their friendships and relationships. The same goes for spreading gossip. In addition, extroverts are often guilty of talking when it’s not appropriate, or cracking a joke at the worst possible time. Other times, they can simply go on talking forever without actually realizing it’s pissing people off. Some people (namely introverts) get uncomfortable when extroverts’ mouths start flapping at a hundred miles an hour, and when the extrovert realizes this, they too get uncomfortable. But instead of shutting up like a normal person, they start talking even more, because that’s what they do when they get nervous. This can lead to some pretty awkward situations…
Everybody needs their space. Sometimes extroverts have a hard time respecting that. ‘Clinginess’ is a word often attributed to extroverts, and it can be a negative thing in many people’s eyes. On the one hand, extroverts love being around people, and want to hang out 24/7. This can become a real problem when people actually want to be left alone. It can damage friendships, and end relationships. It’s actually quite sad because it’s something the extrovert can’t really control. In their minds, if they like someone they want to be around them all the time. But even if someone loves that extrovert, they’re probably going to want some space now and again, especially if they’re an introvert. This is often a problem when relationships first begin, as it’s sometimes seen as weird if somebody smothers their crush with attention within days of first meeting them.
Wearing Their Hearts On Their Sleeves
While being open about their emotions can be a source of strength for extroverts, it can also be a source of weakness. There are many situations where you would want to keep your cards close to your chest, so to speak. And because extroverts tend to wear their hearts on their sleeves, this can be somewhat of a problem. In contrast, introverts often have a perfect, stony, blank ‘poker face’ so that no one can tell what they’re really thinking or what they’re true intentions are. Extroverts are often as easy to read as a book. Certain people will be able to manipulate extroverts because it’s so easy to tell what they want. However, since extroverts are often skilled actors, there is a strong possibility that extroverts are able to hide their true emotions as well as introverts, although not quite in the same way.