Friday, February 5, 2010

Getting Into Character--The Extravert

Today I want to talk a bit about personality. This applies to all of us and is useful if you are a parent, a spouse, a friend, or if you are a fellow writer and want to cast a particular character.

We each are born with specific traits that add up to make our personality. There are a whole lot of other areas--learning style, love language, gifts--that also weave together to make us the uniqe tapestry we are, but those are for other discussions. Today let's look at the "Extravert". This is the way a person is energized. Don't confuse Extrovert with Extravert. Extraverts can be loud or quiet, boisterous or studious. But what we are concerned with is where do they get their energy--from outside themself (extra) or from inside (intro).

Extraverts are people who like action, interaction and activity. They like to have a lot going on at any one time. They love to be around people and get energized by their encounters with others. They will be the person who is pumped after being at a party or with friends and may want you to listen as they verbally process the whole affair. They love being a part of a team or a group and will enjoy being part of a team sport as much for the company as for the competition.

They might be described as outgoing, bossy, busy, talkative, persuasive, impulsive. They enjoy interruptions and look at them as opportunities. They often act first and think it through later. That is also true about their conversations. They are foot-in-the-mouth people because they talk first and say exactly what they are thinking. They can appear bossy because they have a tendancy to take over, especially if no one else steps up.

Maybe you see yourself in this description. If so, rejoice in the fact that you know lots of people, have a broad spectrum of knowledge and get things done. You also need to be aware that you can run over people with your energy, your mouth, and your attitude. You may need to rein yourself in at times. You are also going to be happiest if at least part of your day involves other people, preferably face to face. You will enjoy careers and volunteer opportunities that allow you to interact with people.

If you see your spouse in this description, you now know why he acts the way he does or why she is so wound up when you come home from being with friends. Chances are if your spouse is an Extravert, you are not. Opposites attract. Now you know your spouse will be happiest if she has time in each day to be around people or that he will gladly tackle your "honey-do" list for the promise of some group activity later.

If you see your child in this description, you are going to be one tired parent! Okay, seriously, they are going to want to join every club and sports team but they will need your help to learn how to rest and spend time alone too. They will likely respond to rewards that involve spending time with friends. They will need your guidance in not saying everything that comes to mind and to learn to think about how something will affect the person who hears it. Don't plan on listening to that new CD when you pick them up at school, because your child will want to recap and relive the day for you.

If you see yourself in this description, but not your child or spouse, you will need to balance your need for people time and their need for quiet and personal processing.

Both Jewel and Jot are Extraverts and they can talk forever. There have been times when they cornered some poor, unsuspecting grocery clerk and, even though the person was backing away, they wouldn't stop talking. They are not nearly as competitive as Justice, but they both enjoy being part of a sports team and you will hear them talk about the people they will see at the game rather than the hope for a win.

Who do you now that fits this description and how does this information help you in our relationship with him/her?

Next Friday we will look at the flip-side, the Introvert.


  1. Thank God for Extraverts! I'm an Introvert married to an Extravert. I've found that people who bring out the best in me are the Extraverts - my husband in my personal life, and I owe a large part of my professional development at work to another extravert, because she spotted my strong suits and came after me for them when I would've just sat by the wayside and wished I had the nerve to step up.

  2. Isn't it amazing how God pairs us up with people who are our opposites in some area to get done the things we couldn't do on our own? I think us introverts have lots to offer too!