How do you tell an Extravert from an Introvert? Many people say it’s based on their energy level, but Myers-Briggs’ theory says that it’s really based on where you get your energy from. So let’s think about this in terms of charging a battery.

Extraverts, when they’re charging their battery, they start out at the beginning of the day with pretty low battery levels and they may feel like they have to get out and charge them up. And so with every interaction, whether it’s one on one or in meetings or at get-togethers, Extraverts are charging their batteries with every person they meet. So as they go through the day, they’re building, building their battery level until at the end of the day they have a fully charged battery. Then it drains overnight, and the next morning they’re starting the charging process all over again.

With Introverts, on the other hand, it’s a whole different story. At the beginning of the day, Introverts’ batteries are pretty well charged. They’re feeling good. Then throughout the day, each interaction with people tends to draw a little bit of energy out of their battery. So by the end of the day, Introverts are feeling pretty drained, and what they need to do is go somewhere, get some quiet time, plug that battery in, and recharge. Then by the next morning they can start again with a high battery level.

Sometimes though it’s hard to tell one way or the other, whether someone is an Extravert or an Introvert when you’re just looking around a room. For example, I know some very outgoing, yet Introverted speakers. So they can give a very energetic presentation, but afterwards, they have to go to, say if they are on the road, to their hotel room and get some quiet time to recharge that battery again. And out there, I’m sure there are probably some Extraverts who maybe sit quietly in a room because they’re surrounded by some really gregarious Extraverts.

So what’s really important in knowing whether you’re an Extravert or Introvert, is understanding what you need to do to recharge your battery.
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