Extraversion or Introversion
The Myers & Briggs Foundation

"It is up to each person to recognize his or her true preferences."
Isabel Briggs Myers

The first pair of psychological preferences is Extraversion and Introversion. Where do you put your attention and get your energy? Do you like to spend time in the outer world of people and things (Extraversion), or in your inner world of ideas and images (Introversion)?


Extraversion and Introversion as terms used by C. G. Jung explain different attitudes people use to direct their energy. These words have a meaning in psychology that is different from the way they are used in everyday language.


Everyone spends some time extraverting and some time introverting. Don't confuse Introversion with shyness or reclusiveness. They are not related.


Take a minute to ask yourself which of the following descriptions seems more natural, effortless, and comfortable for you?

Extraversion (E)

I like getting my energy from active involvement in events and having a lot of different activities. I'm excited when I'm around people and I like to energize other people. I like moving into action and making things happen. I generally feel at home in the world. I often understand a problem better when I can talk out loud about it and hear what others have to say.


The following statements generally apply to me:

  • I am seen as "outgoing" or as a "people person."
  • I feel comfortable in groups and like working in them.
  • I have a wide range of friends and know lots of people.
  • I sometimes jump too quickly into an activity and don't allow enough time to think it over.
  • Before I start a project, I sometimes forget to stop and get clear on what I want to do and why.

Introversion (I)

I like getting my energy from dealing with the ideas, pictures, memories, and reactions that are inside my head, in my inner world. I often prefer doing things alone or with one or two people I feel comfortable with. I take time to reflect so that I have a clear idea of what I'll be doing when I decide to act. Ideas are almost solid things for me. Sometimes I like the idea of something better than the real thing.


The following statements generally apply to me:
  • I am seen as "reflective" or "reserved."
  • I feel comfortable being alone and like things I can do on my own.
  • I prefer to know just a few people well.
  • I sometimes spend too much time reflecting and don't move into action quickly enough.
  • I sometimes forget to check with the outside world to see if my ideas really fit the experience.

Adapted from Looking at Type: The Fundamentals
by Charles R. Martin (CAPT 1997)

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