Extraversion - Big 5

Extraversion (is also spelled extraversion) is characterized by excitability, sociability, talkativeness, assertiveness, and high amounts of emotional expressiveness.

People who are scored high on extroversion are outgoing and tend to gain energy in social situations. Being around other people helps them to feel energized and excited.

People who are low in extroversion (or introverted) tend to be more reserved and have less energy to expend in social settings. Social events can feel draining and introverts often require a period of solitude and quiet in order to “recharge”.

Extraversion is one of five dimensions of personality described as the Big Five. The other traits are openness to experience, conscientiousness, agreeableness, and neuroticism.

High Extraversion

  • Enjoys being the center of attention
  • Likes to start conversations
  • Enjoys meeting new people
  • Has a wide social circle of friends and acquaintances
  • Finds it easy to make new friends
  • Feels energized when around other people
  • Say things before thinking about them

Low Extraversion = Introversion

  • Prefers solitude
  • Feels exhausted when having to socialize a lot
  • Finds it difficult to start conversations
  • Dislikes making small talk
  • Carefully thinks things through before speaking
  • Dislikes being the center of attention

Facets of Extraversion

Warmth (friendly people genuinely like other people and openly demonstrate positive feelings toward others)
Excitement-Seeking (high scorers for this area of personality are easily bored without high levels of stimulation)
Assertiveness (people who like to charge and direct the activities of others, tend to be leaders in groups)
Gregariousness (people who find the company of others pleasantly stimulating and rewarding, enjoy the excitement of crowds)
Positive Emotions (ability to experience a range of positive feelings, including happiness, enthusiasm, optimism and joy)
Activity Level (people who lead fast-paced and busy lives, do things and move about quickly, energetically, vigorously, involved in many activities)

Extraverted People:

1. Love to Talk

Unlike introverts who tend to think before they speak, extroverts tend to speak as a way to explore and organize their thoughts and ideas. Extroverts also tend to have a wide circle of friends. Since they are so good at meeting new people, striking up conversations, and they genuinely enjoy the company of others, it probably is no surprise that making friends comes easily.

2. Are Inspired by Socializing

When extroverts have to spend a lot of time alone, they often begin to feel uninspired and listless. If given a choice between spending time alone and spending time with other people, an extrovert will almost always choose to spend time with a group.

3. Discussing Their Problems

When a problem, an extraverted person prefers to discuss the issues and various options with others. Talking about it helps him/her to explore the issue in depth and figure out which option might work the best. After a difficult day at work or school, talking about it with friends or family can help them feel less stressed out. Introverts, on the other hand, prefer to think about problems instead of talking about them, and to spend time alone after a trying day.

4. Are Friendly and Approachable

Since people with this personality type love interacting with other people so much, others tend to find extroverts likable and easy to approach. At a party, an extrovert will probably be the first one to walk up to new guests and make introductions. Extroverts typically find it easy to meet new people and make new friends.

5. Are Very Open

While introverts are sometimes perceived as closed-off and aloof, extroverts are typically very open and willing to share their thoughts and feelings. Because of this, other people generally find that extroverts are easier to get to know.

Effects of Being an Extrovert

Having an extrovert personality has been associated with a number of positive outcomes. Extroverts tend to spend more time with other people, spend more time engaged in social activities, and have more friends. Research has also suggested that extroverts tend to be happier than introverts and are less prone to certain psychological disorders. This doesn’t mean that being an extrovert is without its challenges. Research suggests that extroverts also tend to experience more excitement-seeking, impulsivity, overconfidence, recklessness, and intolerance of boredom.

Having an extraverted personality is not objectively better than having a more introverted one. Each type of personality has its own strengths and potential weaknesses, so being aware of challenges that you might face can be helpful. Some experts suggest that ambiverts — or people who are in the middle of the extroversion/introversion continuum — may have the greatest advantage because they essentially get the best of both worlds.

How To Be More or Less Extraverted

Nobody is 100% introverted or extraverted. We all have tendencies of both personality types lurking inside us. While there are plenty of upsides to being an introvert, sometimes you need to embrace your inner extrovert, especially in the business world.

Becoming more of an extrovert can help you better engage current and potential customers. It can also help you foster stronger relationships with employees and improve company communication.

Research suggests that introverts who make an effort to act more extraverted may experience some benefits, including increased feelings of connectedness and more positive emotions. While genetics tends to play the greatest role in determining your overall personality, there are steps you can take to act more or less extraverted.

How To Be More Extraverted

If you are more on the introvert side of the continuum, but want to try to experience extroversion, these strategies may help:

  • Explore a hobby (find clubs, meet-ups, and groups where you can interact more with people who share your interests)
  • Practice (increasing your social exposure can help you to feel more comfortable talking to others more often) 
  • Try new things (while you might prefer to stay in your comfort zone, looking for new experiences can help you explore different sides to yourself)

How To Be Less Extraverted

If you want to tone down your extraverted tendencies and seek more inner knowledge, try activities like these:

  • Build your awareness (contemplative activities such as practicing mindfulness or mediation can give you the chance to focus on what you are feeling and thinking in the present moment)
  • Spend time alone (solitary activities like walking in nature, reading a book, or dining by yourself can be good ways to spend time reflecting on your own thoughts without distractions)
  • Write in a journal (expressive writing can give you the opportunity to dig deeper into your feelings and contemplate your inner life)

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