5 not so secret powers outgoing people tend to have.
I’m not just an extrovert, I’m an extreme extrovert. I love mixing and mingling with new people. Strangers are just friends I haven’t yet met. I particularly adore meeting introverts because I find them so entertaining: I like the way their faces turn colors when I look them in the eye and ask them direct questions.
It’s true that my “special quiet friends” are great listeners, and they may benefit from thinking first rather than flinging themselves into every situation. But when I read in this Forbes article that introverts have “secret powers,” I have to remind the world that extroverts have their own abilities too.
Why? Because extroverts like getting in the last word.
1. Our thrill-seeking temperaments benefit society.
Extroverts prefer novelty to the same-old, same-old. Although we may look like thrill-seeking, risk-taking adrenaline junkies to our introverted friends (and compared to them, we absolutely are), when we hop on a plane to a foreign country or walk away from a bar with five phone numbers, we’re not just looking for adventure: we’re actually bolstering our emotional well-being. According to the New York Times, novelty seeking “fosters personality growth as you age.” Extroverts don’t just get older. We get better.
The Times goes on to say that because we’re like new experiences and are socially deft, “you get the kind of creativity that benefits society as a whole.”
Damn, we’re awesome.
2. We’re easily bored…and that can lead to innovation.
The downside to thrill seeking is that we’re easily bored. Extroverts crave newness, and monotonous routines are like nails on the blackboard of our souls. But when our minds wander—and they always do—we can find entertaining ways to keep our thoughts occupied. As a writer, I use the time I spend doing dishes to think about my next assignment, because, ya know, I would never think about dishes.
And then there’s innovation. As Lifehack wrote, “Boredom stimulates the search for better ways to things like nothing else does.” I don’t know how many inventions and start-ups came about because someone looked at a tedious process and said, “There outta be a better way.” But I can imagine that many of them did.
3. Our social network keeps us employed.
CNN wrote, “In a job hunt, some experts say that connections are the most important influence in landing a job.” Social connections? I gotcher social connections right here. I’m an extrovert, and extroverts are people who know people. And some of us know people who would recommend us when there are openings at their companies, as well as give us personal references. Some of us are even besties with hiring managers, because we can be very good at networking.
Fact: the best, most fulfilling jobs I’ve ever had came from walking up to people and asking them to hire me.
4. Our many friendships keep us healthy.
As extroverts know, making a friend is as easy as turning to the person next to you on the bus and asking her her opinion on the book she’s reading. But do we know that having friends can save our lives? According to this Forbes article, “Those with adequate or high social relationships–friends, family, neighbors or colleagues–were found to have a 50% greater likelihood of survival than their friendless counterparts.”
Worse yet, people who are more socially isolated are at risk for health problems. Low social interaction is “as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day,” “as dangerous as being an alcoholic” and “as harmful as never exercising.”
In other words, we extroverts rule the world not only because we’re 75% of the population…but also because we can outlast the introverts.
5. We’re happier than introverts.
Psychology Today said it best.
“Extroverts are simply more cheerful and high-spirited,” report National Institute of Aging researchers Paul Costa and Robert McCrae. Self-assured people who walk into a room full of strangers and warmly introduce themselves may also be more accepting of themselves. Liking themselves, they are confident that others will like them, too.
Cheerful and high-spirited. I like that.
Wikipedia notes that introverts might be happy too, but they’re not very good at expressing their feelings.