Scientists have performed numerous studies on who is happier: introverts or extroverts. And the results often point to the same answer. Extroverts are, on average, happier than introverts. They benefit from social connections, feelings of confidence, a sense of contribution, and a Western cultural environment that appreciates outgoing individuals.
Yet when extroverts are not able to engage with others socially, they are more prone to anxiety, depression, and unhappiness. From learning how to be alone to focus on relationships, there are a few lessons extroverted people can take from introverts to be happier overall.
What Extroverts Can Learn from Introverts
Introverts have certain personality traits that naturally give them an advantage in some areas. While you likely do not want to give up your social nature, practicing a few quintessential introvert traits can help you realize these same advantages in your own life:
- Self-Reflection – Because introverts often spend more time alone, they are more likely to be in tune with their thoughts and emotions. Building some time into your own day for mindfulness and reflection can help you make sure your needs are being met and pinpoint any sources of unhappiness.
- Deeper Relationships – Introverts prioritize a few deep relationships over having many acquaintances. Focusing on spending more time and building bonds with a few people in your social circle or in romantic relationships can help you find additional fulfillment in social relationships.
- Better Listening – Before speaking or jumping into a situation, introverts will listen and observe. With relationships, listening builds trust and understanding.. In your career, listening gives you an advantage when making plans and decisions.
- Boundary Setting – After a year of quarantine, even extroverts are struggling to get back into their normal social routine. Introverts are familiar with this feeling, and learn how to assess their own energy levels and say no when they need some alone time. Examining your personal needs and saying no when you need to can help your mental health.
- Alone Time – As 2020 proved, time alone is sometimes unavoidable. Using your alone time for self reflection, a hobby you enjoy, or new experiences can help you change the way you think about being alone and make the idea more positive.
For many extroverts, these are not skills that come naturally and they will require some practice. But achieving them gives you the benefits of introverted and extroverted personalities and can help you cultivate your happiness in any situation.