EI & Personality Types - Articles

EI & Personality Types - Categories


« 12. The EQ story: The extravert's dilemma »

Written by Rachel Green. Director, The Emotional Intelligence Institute. MBTI coach with over 25 years MBTI experience, and author of the new book: "INFJ: What's it like to be one."

Personality and emotional intelligence are not the same aspect of a person, however they can work in tandem.

One of the personality preferences on the MBTI is Extraversion.

The preference for Extraversion concerns where a person gets their energy from. They generally like to get their energy from activities and stimulation in the outer world. This contrasts to those with the Introversion preference who like to get their energy from going inside to reflect in peace and quiet.

Neither Extraverts or Introverts are more or less emotionally intelligent than the other. They may deal with their emotions differently however. They may also have different emotional impacts on others.

The impact that the Extraversion preference can have on other people's emotions is important to know. If you are an Extravert, it can help you to develop greater levels of emotional intelligence when managing the emotions of others.

However, the impact of the Extraversion preference on your own emotions is also worth knowing. We will consider both these aspects in the following emotional intelligence tips.

Extraverts form approximately 50% of the population, but it may seem like more as they can stand out in a crowd more readily than most Introverts.

Extraverts can be the highlight at a party or social event, entertaining, being the perfect hostess or host and being involved in many things. They're a group of people who typically like to talk things through, be active and who respond well to external stimulation.

So here is some information that could help you get on with them, or understand yourself better if you are one.

Different types have different aspects of emotional intelligence they find harder and easier. However, developing their emotional intelligence is vitality important for each type. Come join with me in this exciting new emotional intelligence coaching package and I will make sure it is personalised to you and your type.

EQ dilemma: Do Extraverts talk too much?

How much Extraverts talk differs, of course, especially as in the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), there are eight types of Extraverts. So how much talking is enough talking depends on your personality type and upbringing.

If you're an Extravert, for example, you might think that talking is stimulating and feel energised and enthusiastic. These are important emotions to have at work.

In contrast, the Introvert may think the Extravert talks too much. One of the fundamental differences between Extraverts and Introverts, in my opinion, is that while Introverts think inside their heads Extraverts think out loud. So while Extraverts are talking they can be working hard to sift through their ideas, to form their opinions and to clarify their thinking. The common phrase about an Extravert is, "What you see is what you get". I think it might be as useful to say, "What you hear is what's going on". We know what's going on with most Extraverts - they tell us! There isn't a lot of guessing to do with many Extraverts.

However, the amount of talking involved, and the lack of initial clarity, may annoy other people. What a contrast to Introverts who might think through quietly to themselves and may leave us feeling frustrated because we don't know what they are thinking.


EQ dilemma: What happens if Extraverts talk a lot?

Misunderstandings can occur when Extraverts talk a lot. Some Introverts can feel, for example, that Extraverts dominate the conversation and that they take too long to get to the point, (the Extraverted Intuitive Perceiving types especially).

I used to work with an Extravert and sometimes I would ask what I thought was a quick "yes, no" question which would take a minute to answer. Some forty minutes later I would have followed a fascinating route through the person's thinking to then have to ask the question again, "So is that a yes or a no?" only to discover no decision had yet been made.

Consequently, Introverts may feel as though they are part of an onslaught from an Extravert, and may withdraw and become irritated or annoyed.

Introverts can also feel that Extraverts are wasting their time and feel frustrated, an emotional reaction that may be unhelpful in building a productive working relationship.

Extraverts may also leave people feeling let down. They may also leave people feeling that they can't be trusted. How can this happen? It happens because the Extravert, in their thinking out loud, may say things that are only an initial idea that they may quickly revise. I have experienced this quite often.

For example, I was working for an Extravert and I had conducted an excellent MBTI workshop for him and his team. He was chatting away to me afterwards and said "Send me any ideas you have for future workshops so we can do some more". When I did, he was totally uninterested and I'm sure had completely forgotten saying that! This has happened with other Extraverts who "gush".


EQ dilemma: Why can Extraverts appear in your face?

Just in case you think I'm unnecessarily bagging Extraverts let me reassure you I'm not - most of my close friends are Extraverts. Extraverts can be excellent in generating enthusiasm, at facilitating a conversation and in confidently and openly discussing personal issues.

They can also stand up close and literally appear in "your face". It's usually not a deliberate attempt to dominate or intimidate, more a sense of up close and personal in a friendly way. Unfortunately, that's not always how the Introvert reads it.

Most Introverts have a larger area they'd call their personal space and they can react negatively and may feel intimidated by what they see as an intrusion into it.

As an Exravert it is probably not in your best interest to accidentally leave people feeling intimidated, is it? This is an EQ dilemma you face and need to manage.

Different types have different aspects of emotional intelligence they find harder and easier. However, developing their emotional intelligence is vitality important for each type. Come join with me in this exciting new emotional intelligence coaching package and I will make sure it is personalised to you and your type.

Here are some top tips on talking comfortably with Extraverts.

Emotional intelligence tip 1: Don't believe everything they say.

Remember that Extraverts talk things through. This means that what they say may not be final. Check in and find out whether what they have said is their final decision or not. What they start off saying may not be their ultimate conclusion but simply a step in the process towards clarification. This means, don't act on what you think is an instruction until you are sure. It could save you a lot of embarrassment if you check in.


Emotional intelligence tip 2: Interrupt - they'll often stop.

Many Extraverts say to me they get tired of having to carry the conversational load. If you don't join in they presume you have nothing to say so they continue, wishing you'd jump in and contribute. Meanwhile if you are an Introvert you may be sitting there wishing they'd pause to let you in. Ne'er the twain shall meet! So learn to jump in and if they interrupt back - realise it can be a sign of enthusiasm and not a sign they are not interested and join back in again! Become more confident at jumping in to join a conversation.


Emotional intelligence tip 3: Talk about yourself.

Extraverts are often willing to talk about themselves and their lives and can find the Introvert secretive in contrast. So join in with the Extravert, tell them things about yourself, if you don't they may wonder why you don't confide in them. Extraverts may think Introverts don't trust them, or are being deliberately withdrawn or arrogant. Feel at ease talking to them.


Emotional intelligence tip 4: Be aware of privacy issues.

Some Introverts become dismayed at what they hear an Extrovert saying about them. If you're an Extrovert check in with your Introverts to find out what information is for the public domain and what information is to be kept between the two of you. If you're an Introvert make sure you tell the Extravert when information is not to be discussed or disclosed with others.


Emotional intelligence tip 5: Invite their contributions.

If you are an Extravert at a meeting or dinner date, invite the Introverts to contribute - don't wait for them to speak over the top of you; they probably won't. Comments such as, "What are you making of all this?" or "I notice you are quiet at the moment, tell me what you're thinking" may work.


EQ at work, INFJ: Get to know your type, increase communication effectiveness and lower conflict

There is so much that you or your team can learn so that you develop greater understanding of, and skills with, your communication, personality and relationships at work and home. The EI Institute has a number of options to help you:

  1. If you are an INFJ or live or work with one, then this 2018 book by Rachel Green, our Director, is a must read: "INFJ: What's it like to be one."
  2. If you are in Western Australia, a high energy, MBTI interactive team-building workshop can be organised for you: "Getting on: MBTI Team building".
  3. Meditation appeals to many introverts and we have a very popular audio-download on meditation called: "Happy Not Hassled". A perfect way to introvert and stay healthy.
  4. There is superior 1-1 coaching; and the MBTI is included as part of our smart leadership coaching package. You can find out your MBTI type and develop the skills you need, with Rachel Green.

For more details or to make a booking e-mail us now or pick up the phone and call us.