Extroverts & Introverts: Why You Should Never Judge A Book By Its Cover


“Are you an introvert or an extrovert?” people may ask you at some point. And, lately, I see their specific call letters on dating sites and apps, people stating ESTP instead of SWF.

So, by people stating what they are, perhaps they think we’ll be more informed as to how they will behave once we start dating? This goes for friends, too.

Before you give your introverted friend a hard time at a party—“Why won’t you go mingle with me?”—try to understand them better first. Yes, some people may have social anxiety or are shy, but being an introvert is different. Like those daters out there, I think we could all benefit from knowing each other’s extrovert and introvert types.

With the good old (free) Myers & Briggs Foundation test, you can go online, answer a bunch of questions, and then it’ll tell you—once and for all—if you are an extrovert or an introvert, and specifically what type.

For instance, you can be an Extrovert Sensing type, like ESTP and ESFP, who enjoys new stimulation in the form of meeting new people at social events and being in the ambience of clubs. But, don’t confuse them with Extroverted Intuitive types, ENTPs and ENFPs, who come alive from the mental energy of people and get to brainstorming new thoughts and ideas as a result.

Of course, introverts are the opposite of these types and, “use extroverted intuition as a secondary mode of analysis,” like INTPs and INFPs, said Heidi Priebe in her Thought Catalog piece. I wonder if a study has been done on who uses online methods more so to meet people—extroverts or introverts?

To be honest, I didn’t understand much about the different extrovert and introvert differentiations until I started reading more about the specific types. For instance, I know introverts who do karaoke and stand-up comedy, yet I could never and am an extrovert through and through.

These same introverts like a lot of alone time after a social event—or even during the social event—whereas I want to find another social situation immediately after closing down the first one.

Once I started investigating, I began to “see” their characteristics in my friends and played guessing games with myself as to what they are: He’s more INTP than INFP, but she’s definitely more extroverted. But… what kind?

According to the Myers-Briggs site, whether you’re an introvert or extrovert depends on this: “The essence of the theory is that much seemingly random variation in the behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent, being due to basic differences in the ways individuals prefer to use their perception and judgment.”

So, before you labeling your friends, “He’s just shy,” think about their personality makeup.

You can do this mini test below to get started, courtesy of the Myers-Briggs site, then head to this link to take the full test. Which sound the most like you? Then, have your friend(s) do it, too.

  • “I am seen as ‘outgoing’ or as a ‘people person.’”
  • “I am seen as ‘reflective’ or ‘reserved.’”
  • “I feel comfortable in groups and like working in them.”
  • “I feel comfortable being alone and like things I can do on my own.”
  • “I have a wide range of friends and know lots of people.”
  • “I prefer to know just a few people well.”

I’m sure we can all guess which of the above three are more “extroverted” characteristics and which are more “introverted.”

Maybe the online and phone app daters out there are onto something.