I think there is a common misconception about extraverts and introverts, some people think extraverts are loud and outgoing while introverts are quiet and reserved. It’s true these are common manifestations of the two personality types but the true meaning of an extravert is a person who feels energised by the company of others, while an introvert is energised when they’re alone.
Our preference for introversion or extraversion becomes apparent in early childhood, it’s not something we are conditioned to feel, we are born with it. As we grow older we can learn to use both but the truth is only one or the other allows us to be who we need to be. For an extravert the act of talking, listening and interacting helps their mental processing. They will experience feelings of excitement and well-being whereas an introvert will be drained by this kind of interaction.
I have to say I’m a proud introvert, I’m old enough to have figured out there are times when I need to appear confident and enthusiastic but there’s nothing I love more than the dream-like state of reflection when I’m alone. But what I’m really curious about it is how your personality type affects creativity.
I know extraverts who are creative and I think this kind of personality fits well with projects that require collaboration, like music or film. There is actually a new study suggesting extraverts produce more dopamine, which helps you stay alert and maintain concentration. Some say this can enhance creative performance so it would be great for actors and musicians who thrive off the energy of a live performance.
That’s not to say all actors and musicians are extraverts, in fact I know of a lot more that are introverted and the idea of public performance terrifies them. Apparently introverts make up 60% of the gifted population, they enjoy focusing on the inner mind, exploring perceptions, thoughts, ideas and feelings. The comfort of being alone allows space for creative ideas to develop, it is a personality type that works well for creative people whose art requires spending hours alone.
Personally I know I can’t be creative when anyone else is around, it completely crushes my mental processing and the creative part of my brain switches off. There are a lot of articles about personality types and creativity but I’d love to hear from the artists themselves. Are you introverted or extraverted? And how does it affect your work?