Like the ice caps or magnets, introverts also have a polar opposite: Extroverts. Extroverts are the more outgoing, sociable counterpart to the shy and quiet introvert. Many people, however, call them attention mongers, which is as far from the truth as Leonardo DiCaprio may seem from an Oscar.
Being friends with an extrovert is just as challenging as being friends with an introvert, albeit in a somewhat more active way. What one can’t forget, however, is that extroverts have their own needs, too, and that we, as friends, should try our best to fulfill these needs, especially if we hope to have long and amicable relationships with our extroverts.
In part one of this two-part series, we learned that introverts are reserved in the expenditure of their energies and thus, spend a lot of time by themselves in a sort of convalescent state. Extroverts are the exact opposite, drawing their energies from other people, feeling sapped of it should they ever find themselves alone.
It’s not to say they don’t like hanging about by themselves, because they do. They simply prefer to frequent larger social circles and goings-on. Understanding that your extrovert friend is not seeing attention, but is replenishing their energies is one of the most effective ways of being friends with an extrovert.
Another thing to remember is that extroverts are actually far and few in between, and that the world has become a place that treats extroverts with a caution tantamount to quarantine. Writer Rowan Badger has accurately stated that Americans have “become less and less inclined to have real interactions with one another, more inclined to interact online, [and thus] extroverts have fewer opportunities for the social interactions they need.”
The best we can do, as friends, is understand and fulfill this need, so that everyone can benefit from what is sure to be a healthy and powerful relationship.
Hardly anyone is simply an introvert or an extrovert. Most people lie somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. But everyone should try to keep an extrovert friend; more often than not, extroverts bring out some of our better aspects with their charisma and daring. And, thanks to author John Bradley Jackson, we can always know what to do and what not to do with and for our outspoken, energetic friends.