There are so many myths when it comes to understanding the difference(s) between an introvert and an extrovert. But when it comes to the actual science, there really is ONE main thing that most significantly separates the two.
The Main Difference Between Introvert And Extrovert
All that you might hear about opposing traits, like…
… mostly comes down to misconception and popular belief.
The most accurate assessment when it comes to dissimilarities (and distinctions) between introvert versus extrovert is:
In a nutshell: the brain of an extrovert is more stimulated (than that of an introvert) by external rewards.
Examples of which:
- social status/affiliation
These kinds of external rewards are known as repetitive — part of everyday life.
So, when presented with said rewards, the brains of people who are more extroverted light up. As in, dopamine gets sent to the right places and the experience can be:
However, when the same rewards are shown to someone who’s an introvert, the difference is they don’t light up with the same type of dopamine response — even if, on some level, they still do want those rewards.
Now, there is totally a spectrum when it comes to all of this…
There are some people who are predominantly extroverted and some people who are predominantly introverted. And we can’t forget about ambiverts — who are somewhere in the middle.
Regardless, all of us have some lap-over traits.
Personal anecdote: I’m very outgoing, yet I call myself an introvert. Actually, an outgoing-introvert. Meaning, for me…
I don’t want to be the center of attention, but I also don’t mind if I need to be the center of attention; I like people, yet I prefer to be by myself.
Anyway, with so much new science in regard to how our brains work (re: introvert vs extrovert), I’m starting to think that my traits are more fixed (since birth) than conditioned by family and experiences.
Of course, though, there’s always a blend. Nature vs nurture, right?
But it is interesting to understand how our nervous system/brain factors into the equation.
And when you have a basic understanding of how our brain chemistry differs — from introvert to extrovert — it will help to understand how certain myths and misconceptions have taken hold.
I’ll elaborate on all of that, plus…
- How to shift your extroverted/introverted tendencies
- Why it’s crucial to communicate with others how your brain works
- How the pandemic magnified and exacerbated extroverted/introverted behavior and needs
- Why it’s our responsibility to find coping techniques to be our best
… in this episode of The Chalene Show:
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