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The Richard Nicholls Podcast

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Happy Friday folks. It's me again. Are you ready for the weekend? Now that it's December,

this is when the social stuff starts ramping up, isn't it? And I'm quite the extravert,

so the more the merrier. But as you may have heard me mention before, studies seem to suggest that half of us are introverts and half of us are extraverts.

But despite that,

we're all expected to be extraverts as if introverts are the unusual ones and deserve some sort of criticism. If you Google the word introvert, you get 129 million results. Lots of people writing about it. Lots of stock images of someone sitting, reading a book or looking outta the window

often with a cup of tea.

And if you Google extravert,

there's only 36 million results, a third of the amount. As if people think, well, why write about being normal? And the Google images are just of people with loud hailers or jumping in the air and waving their arms around. I guess the introverts are more likely to write about introversion and the extraverts are making gaming videos or something. Maybe that's it. Either way, I think it's time we bust some myths about extraversion. Number one being something that I've been guilty of doing over the years when just simplifying things, and that's saying that interacting with other people energises an extravert. I mean, we're not wrong

when we say that,

but it is a bit more

complicated than that.

Because introverts are also gonna be energised by interacting with other people as well. When asked to act like an extravert in a group, both introverts and extraverts reporting enjoying the experience more than the control group who were just told to sit and watch and not join in. So it's not the neurology of the extraverts brain that gives them energy from these sorts of interactions because introverts have the same reaction.

What is different is how they recover. An extrovert will be able to do it again the next day quite easily. And the introvert needs the day off with a cup of tea a book and to stare out of the window for a bit. They can live an extroverted life, but it comes at a cost. So if you're an introvert and you want some element of an extroverted lifestyle. You want popularity because it's part of your job, for example. You need to be in the limelight. Then you can, there is nothing stopping you from doing that and you'll enjoy it. But what you need is time to recover afterwards. That's all. And because extroverts can be popular, it feeds the myth that extroversion is the norm and introversion is the exception.

Although a lot of people sit pretty much bang in the middle and they tend to be thought of as ambiverts. In some situations they're quiet and they take a back seat, and in other situations they hog the limelight. But like I've said before introverts feel in the minority because whether you are ambiverted or full on introverted, we can act extroverted despite that.

So it skews our perception of everybody else. Extroverts aren't likely to act introverted very often, and when they do they're not being seen cuz they're at home with a book, staring out of the window or something. So you only see the extroverts when they're acting extroverted, and you only see the introverts when they're acting extroverted as well.

Daft, isn't it? But it explains why the introverts think that there's probably something weird about them just because they want more intimate friendships with people, deeper connections. Not that extroverts don't though. They might seem to have more friends because of what we call a systematic network extroversion bias. Where people's social networks are gonna be overpopulated with extroverts and underpopulated with introverts because like the old phrase goes birds of a feather flock together, the more similar to people's levels of extroversion are the more likely they are to become friends. We are drawn towards people that are like us.

So people who love being in a group will obviously seem to dominate as they flock together. Extroverts sometimes assume that because they enjoy those big groups, then that only means they have to be in big groups and they can't go out with just one friend for a drink and enjoy it. Well, yes you can. And actually it's unfair to think that you can't. Because most people, introvert or not, do need deeper connections with people in order to feel part of the tribe or to have value.

So if that's you, that's definitely worth challenging. Right then. I'll be off link is in the show notes to my Patreon content if you want even more from me. Otherwise, I'll be back next week. See you again folks. Tarra.