Extroverts: The Sunflowers
Extroverts make excellent managers, salespeople, and politicians. They’re gregarious and at their best in social situations, putting others at ease. Because extroverts draw their energy from the people around them, they seem indefatigable and vivacious.
But the flip side to being like sunflowers, soaking up energy from the outside, is that extroverts will wilt if left in the shade too long. Leave one alone for a few minutes, and she’ll reach for her BlackBerry almost compulsively. Boredom and loneliness are the banes of this personality type’s existence and may lead extroverts to destructive behavior just to break the monotony. They need to find activities–exercising, listening to music, gardening, and so on–that really engage them during the hours they spend alone. Solo activities don’t come naturally to extroverts, but an outgoing person can certainly learn to find reading a book enjoyable.
Extroverts have a difficult time in social situations in which they’re not the center of attention. They like to be the leader in relationships and to dictate their own terms. This tendency can cause them to clash with the people around them, especially with other extroverts. If you’re an extrovert, be conscious of this quality in your personal and professional relationships. Make sure you’re giving others room to be themselves without projecting too many of your own demands on any situation.
Because extroverts have such an easy time in social scenarios, they don’t understand that introverts don’t. “It is very difficult for an extrovert to understand an introvert,” write education experts Jill D. Burruss and Lisa Kaenzig, quoted by Jonathan Rauch in the Atlantic Monthly, but extroverts should try to be aware of others’ needs, especially the need for personal space. However, the main personality trait that extroverts need to be mindful of is their need for mindfulness itself. Extroverts tend to speak before thinking, a habit they often regret later. Before saying or doing anything, stop for a moment to check in with yourself and consider the consequences.