Extroverts draw energy from social interactions. People who are extroverts tend to feel excited about spending time with other people. They have a lot of social confidence and tend to have high self-esteem in general. Other people often describe them as sociable, friendly, and talkative.
Do you love meeting new people? Does a big social event leave you feeling energized and renewed? If so, you might be an extrovert.
Signs You May Be An Extrovert
Introversion (being an introvert) and extroversion are one of the major personality dimensions that make up the five-factor model of personality.
According to this theory, personality is made up of five broad dimensions. Each dimension exists on a continuum. While some people might tend to be at the extreme end of either side, most people are somewhere in the middle.1 So while you might have a lot of traits that make you an extrovert, you might also find yourself sometimes exhibiting traits that are more introverted in nature.
This article discusses what it means to be an extrovert and some of the signs that you might have this type of personality. It also covers the effects that being an extrovert may have on your life and what you can do to be more or less extroverted.
common signs of extroverts
Verywell / Joshua Seong
What Is an Extrovert?
The term extrovert describes one aspect of a personality dimension that is characterized by an outgoing and expressive pattern of behavior and social interaction. Extroverts tend to be gregarious, assertive, warm, active, excitement-seeking, and positive.2
On the positive side, extroverts are often described as talkative, sociable, action-oriented, enthusiastic, friendly, and outgoing. On the negative side, they are sometimes described as attention-seeking, easily distracted, and unable to spend time alone. Extroverts are also more likely to engage in risk-taking behaviors, including risky health behaviors.
Some of the general characteristics associated with extroversion include:
Enjoys being at the center of attention
Enjoys group work
Feels isolated by too much time spent alone
Likes to communicate by talking
Likes to talk about thoughts and feelings
Looks to others and outside sources for ideas and inspiration
Numerous, broad interests
Tends to act first before thinking
How to Be More Outgoing
Common Traits of Extroverts
What are the signs you are an extrovert? The following are five of the key traits common to this type of personality.3 Understanding your personality type can help you to improve your relationships, better understand your likes and dislikes and strengths and weaknesses, and discover new ways to approach problems.
Gain energy by spending time with people
Have a wide social circle
Tend to think out loud
Enjoy working in teams
Generally more outgoing
Gain energy by spending time alone
Prefer a smaller group of friends
Tend to think before they speak
Enjoy working independently
Generally more reserved
You Love to Talk
You don't just enjoy talking to friends, family members, and co-workers; you love to strike up conversations with total strangers. You love to meet new people and learn about their lives. Unlike introverts who tend to think before they speak, extroverts tend to speak as a way to explore and organize their thoughts and ideas.
Research has shown that introverts tend to talk in more concrete ways, whereas extroverted speech tends to be more abstract.4
Extroverts also tend to have a wide circle of friends. Since you are so good at meeting new people, striking up conversations, and you genuinely enjoy the company of others, it probably is no surprise that making friends comes easily.
You're Inspired by Socializing
Do you tend to feel charged up and inspired after you've spent some time with other people? Extroverts tend to find such social interactions refreshing, and they actually gain energy from such exchanges.
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.
You Discuss Your Problems
When you are facing a problem, you prefer to discuss the issues and various options with others. Talking about it helps you 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 you 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.
You're 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.
You 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.
Not all extroverts are the same. However, some common traits they tend to share include being talkative, friendly, and open.
How Do You Know If You're an Extrovert?
Understanding your personality type and your tendencies can help you learn more about yourself, including your strengths and weaknesses in different situations. There are a number of different ways to measure extroversion and determine if you tend to be more of an extrovert or introvert.
Can an extrovert be shy or lack confidence?
Shyness is not the same as introversion. Whereas a shy person tends to avoid situations in which they might be judged, an introvert needs time to recharge after spending time with people. An introverted extrovert—a type of ambivert—enjoys socializing and can draw energy from it if the mood, setting, and/or circumstances are comfortable for them. If you have traits of both extroverts and introverts, you're a type of ambivert.
For many people, simply reading a description of this personality trait is enough to help them decide whether they are an extrovert. In other cases, taking a more formal assessment or an online extrovert-introvert personality quiz can offer further insight into your personality.
What Is an Extroverted Introvert?
The Big Five Personality Test is one of the best-known measures of extroversion and introversion. It is based on the five-factor model of personality and also measures other major personality traits including conscientiousness, neuroticism, agreeableness, and openness.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is another type of psychological test that includes extroversion as one of its main components.
If you aren't sure whether you are an extrovert or an introvert, taking an online quiz or personality assessment may help. Learning more about your tendencies can be a great way to better understand yourself.
Types of Extroverts
According to Carl Jung's theory of personality, there can be four different types of extroverts. The four types of extroverts are:
Extroverted sensors, who are strongly inspired by the physical world.
Extroverted feelers, who enjoy listening and talking to other people.
Extroverted intuitives, who enjoy thinking abstractly and having deep conversations and friendly debates.
Extroverted thinkers, who are goal-oriented, high-achieving, and decisive.
These four types are also incorporated into the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which describes 16 different personality types based on Jungian personality dimensions.
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.5
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.6
Having an extroverted 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.7
How to Be More (or Less) Extroverted
There are times when you might want to act more like an extrovert, such as when you are meeting new people. In other cases, you might want to restrain some of your more extroverted tendencies, such as when you want to spend time being more reflective.
Research suggests that introverts who make an effort to act more extroverted may experience some benefits, including increased feelings of connectedness and more positive emotions.8
While genetics tends to play the greatest role in determining your overall personality,9 there are steps you can take to act more or less extroverted.
To Be More Extroverted
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.
To Be Less Extroverted
If you want to tone down your extroverted tendencies and seek more inner knowledge, try activities like these.
Build your awareness: Contemplative activities such as practicing mindfulness or meditation 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.
Changing your personality isn't easy, but evidence suggests that you can become more of an extrovert over time if you make a deliberate effort to cultivate more extroverted behaviors and characteristics.10
A Word From Verywell
Remember that extroversion isn't an all-or-nothing trait; it's actually a continuum, and some people might be very extroverted while others are less so. Extroversion is more common than introversion and is often valued since extroverts tend to be skilled at interacting with others.
This does not mean, however, that one personality type is better than another. Each type has its own pluses and minuses, and you may even find that you are extroverted in some situations and more introverted in others.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why is extrovert sometimes spelled extravert?
Carl Jung based the two terms on Latin, in which "extra" means outside and "intro" means inside. A psychologist named Phyllis Blanchard later changed the spelling of the term in a paper, which played a role in the extrovert spelling becoming the predominant form.11 Today, the extravert spelling is still widely used in psychology, while the extrovert spelling remains more common in popular usage.
How can you become an extrovert?
Research suggests that you can change your personality to a certain degree, but it takes time and effort. Studies suggest that people can learn how to improve their extroverted traits, but it takes sustained and consistent effort.10
Deliberately engaging in more extroverted behavior (such as socializing more, spending time with others, acting enthusiastic and energetic, etc.), may help you develop more extroverted qualities over time.
Is it better to be an extrovert or an introvert?
There is no type of personality that is better in every situation. Extroverts tend to succeed in situations that benefit from their outgoing, gregarious nature. This is why they often excel in leadership positions and careers that involve a great deal of social interaction.
Introverts, however, do well in roles that require more reflection, analysis, and listening abilities. No matter what type of personality you have, building on your strengths and finding ways to cope with your weaknesses can help you be successful.
What does it mean to be an introverted extrovert?
An introverted extrovert is a type of ambivert who exhibits both extroverted and introverted qualities. People with this personality type may tend to be quite social but are also deeply introspective at the same time. Whether they gain energy from socializing may depend on their mood, the setting, and the circumstances.
What is an extrovert vs. an introvert?
The primary difference between an extrovert and an introvert involves where they gain energy. Where an extrovert gets energized by socializing and spending time around others, introverts feel drained in these situations. Instead, an introvert feels recharged by spending time alone or in small groups.