The Strengths of Extroverts

Had a wedding recently? I mean have you attended one, not have you got married. Though do feel free to tell me. Back to the point, remember people getting up and dancing on the dance floor, busting a move and likely their backs too.

Those dancers are extroverts.

Extroverts are the opposites of introverts. Put them together by themselves and they might become friends, but their personalities would clash. Imagine that invisible force between two magnets when you try to force them together and they just won’t touch. Extroverts and introverts are like that.

In the terms of today’s world, extroverts likely have the easier time, meaning that the world is set up for them. Social media, meetings, nightclubs and pubs. They are pretty much meant for extroverts. That’s a real positive for them, but let’s break it down some more.

If you’re an extrovert, your brain is hardwired for social activity. Extroverts love talking to people and just making casual conversation, even if that means a quick five second chat about the lovely weather you’re having. Or the bad weather. Either way, they want to talk and therefore they have an advantage in certain situations. Extroverts recharge their batteries through being around people. They’re also great in working in teams and have a passion for entertaining people.

Think about this for a moment. Maybe somebody in your life now or in the past was a chatterbox, the life and soul of a party, somebody who never seemed to be alone and always hung around people. That, right there, is an extrovert.

Due to their natural gift of networking, extroverts are able to make friends quicker than introverts, who are quieter. Extroverts can surround themselves in a large group of friends within moments. They’re likely the ones who will approach and introduce themselves first, perhaps trying to get you to open the same way they have.

Dating and having a romantic relationship also plays to an extrovert’s strengths. Whilst introverts will be shy and love from afar, extroverts will take the first step, chatting and flirting with those they are interested in. This could also produce a larger pool of areas where a date could take place as extroverts will not feel taken out of their comfort zone.

This love of talking and communication leads many extroverts to excel in the workplace. They’re also bigger risk takers, wanting the thrill of the ride and reward at the end. Extroverts will stride towards promotions and will be one of the ones doing all the talking in meetings, determined to say their piece. Extroverts are also good role models as leaders, using their confidence and abilities to hold the room and make everyone focus on them and what they are saying..

Jobs extroverts will thrive in include teaching, sales, and politics. Politics is an especially good career choice for extroverts as they are more opinionated and open to people than introverts.

Take Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May. Jeremy Corbyn is open and comes across as more friendly. This is because he is more of an extrovert and therefore can reach out to people that introverts like Theresa May cannot because she keeps her feelings locked up.

You could say extroverts act like dogs. Dogs are highly excited by going outside, meeting new people, and hate to be left alone.

Extroverts have quicker brain activity than introverts. You likely wouldn’t notice this unless you were actually seeking it, but extroverts can process things faster because of the way the brain is wired, giving the stimuli a shorter trip. However, this skips areas such as planning and problem solving, leading to the risk taking I mentioned in the previous paragraph.

But this doesn’t mean extroverts simple avoid the problems. Far from it. They just prefer to work out the solutions through group work. If an extrovert has had a tough day, the easiest way for them to reduce the stress is to talk about it, whether to a family member, a friend, or perhaps even a random stranger.

Famous extroverts include Margaret Thatcher and Bill Clinton, Justin Bieber and Beyonce, Will Smith and finally, Ringo Starr.

All of the above have had great successes as extroverts and have changed the world one way or another. So to any extroverts out there, play to your strengths and you’ll have success because of them.

The Strengths of Introverts

If you’re an introvert raise your hand! There’s no need to raise both hands sir, just one will do. Oh you’re doing it because you’re proud to be an introvert? Then let me join you. I’ll even raise both my feet.

Being an introvert should affect people. It’s not something to be sad and ashamed about. It’s not something you can become or overcome overnight. And it’s not something other people should judge you by.

From my experience being an introvert can be an amazing thing, the same for being an extrovert. There are great positives, though of course there are likely negatives too. But let’s focus on the positives.

First of all, introverts have brilliant minds and imaginations. A lot of famous introverts are authors and have written bestselling books or have become world famous actors. Why? It’s a simple question with a simple answer; because they enjoy being inside their own heads.

Introverts are very creative. They love writing stories and lyrics, drawing all types of genre, and acting as characters. Remember your school and college days. Do you remember a person who was quiet? Kept their head down and didn’t make trouble? Didn’t make conversation? If you can’t, then that person is likely yourself, though you should be able to think of one, because there are millions.

Shyness is natural to introverts, but they have been proven to be great speakers when knowing what they are talking about. In fact, some of the most remembered speeches in human history were delivered by introverts. For example, Winston Churchill gave us the Iron Curtain and We Will Fight Them On The Beaches, major speeches that were turning points in 20th century history and still widely quoted to this day.

Why do introverts make great speakers? For one, they prepare and want to get it right. If an introvert has to make a speech, you’ll be sure they’re rehearsing it in their head over and over again. In that way, introverts are like actors. They learn the lines. Introverts also believe strongly in the message they are delivering.

Because of their introverted nature, introverts are believed to be uninteresting and boring to be around. But again, this is a terribly misunderstood assumption. Moving onto a negative, introverts are awful at small talk. Ever had an awkward period of silence when all you want to do is make conversation, but you don’t know how? That’s because introverts want to get to the nitty-gritty of matters. Discussion about the weather? Bah! Discussion about your deepest, darkest secrets? Now you’re talking.

People assume they have no confidence because of their lifestyle. But let me tell you, introverts have the power to make people underestimate them and then blow them away. Never underestimate an introvert.

Introverts are not social. Take them to a party, and they’ll most likely want to go home after just an hour, perhaps less. Unlike extroverts, who recharge their batteries through social events, introverts recharge by staying at home, tucked up with a good book, or watching Eastenders.

Staying at home will not only help introverts recharge and feel comfortable, they’ll learn an impressive amount of general knowledge. But that doesn’t mean introverts don’t want to be social.

For everyone who has an introverted friend, you should feel very proud. Introverts only take a handful of close friends. I’d say less than five at any time. If an introvert calls you a close or even best friend, that means they trust you completely. Going to a club might be a step too far for them, but going down to Starbucks to have a chat is their perfect cup of coffee.

Another brilliant aspect of introverts is that they are awesome listeners. If you’re in a meeting and an introvert isn’t speaking, this isn’t because they feel shy or scared. They’re listening to what people are saying, analysing it, and piecing together a response when their time to talk arrives. Listening also makes introverts great leaders and managers. They care about their team and listen to what they have to say. This also applies to friendship. If you have a problem with your work or personal life, try talking to an introvert. They’ll listen and try to help you, even if they don’t know the answer. They’re also more likely to keep things in their own head instead of voicing them. So listen when an introvert speaks because they don’t speak unless they think it relevant.

A sibling to listening is watching. Introverts will watch their surroundings and quickly start connecting the jigsaw pieces. People will be surprised when finding an introvert understands who they are and what they like. It’s because they’ve watched. That’s all there is to it. Watching and paying attention. They’ll pick up things you don’t even know about yourself.

As for those who work with introverts, they will be the best co-workers you could ask for. You can be sure they will do a proper job, being supportive and focused on what’s happening. Introverts are likely to have their efforts recognised. After all, if you feel they’re doing a great job, why not tell them? Introverts might also influence you without you knowing it. If you see them doing a great job, you might want to do the same and try to match them. Or perhaps their attitude and mood changes. If an introvert suddenly becomes moody, you might suddenly feel the urge to work harder to make them happy.

Many people who changed the world were introverts. Let me list a few: Bill Gates, Gandhi, Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Mark Zuckerberg, J.K. Rowling, Abraham Lincoln, Charles Darwin, Elon Musk, and lastly Barack Obama.

Darwin introduced us to evolution, Newton to gravity, J.K. Rowling wrote the highly successful Harry Potter series, Barack Obama became the USA’s first black president, Mark Zuckerberg invented Facebook, and Gandhi led peaceful protests that saw India become an independent country.

You might be there thinking, how does this make me happy? Because if you are an introvert, you too might do something that changes the world forever. Look back over the different topics I’ve covered. All of them can do this. Hard work, creativity, watching and listening, all pay off in the end.

So don’t worry about not being social and those who believe being introverted is wrong and judge you because of who you are. Introverts are more powerful than most believe. They have the power to surprise the world and when they do, you’ll be sure everyone will be listening to and watching them.

The 16 Personalities Test

Imagine. Just imagine for a moment.

You’re in the Great Hall of Hogwarts, ready for your name to be read out and the Sorting Hat placed on your head. You wonder which House you’ll be put in. Will it be the right one for you? What if the Hat makes a mistake? What if you’re actually a Muggle and you can’t be in a House?

You’re likely wondering “What is this guy on about?” Well, there’s a very good reason why I’m mentioning the Sorting Hat.

The Sorting Hat is practically a test of yourself. It looks into your mind, shifting through personalities. So, in other words, it puts you in the House your personality matches. Take Ravenclaw for example. Students in Ravenclaw are classed as witty, always learning, and having a good imagination. If that’s you, then you belong there.

The 16 Personalities Test works similarly. It asks you a series of questions, and at the end, it takes your answers and places you in a group it feels is correct.

It is important to point out that you won’t always belong to the same group every time you take the test. Who you are now could change completely in five years’ time, maybe even just one year or six months.

I won’t go into details about the personalities themselves, as their website does a brilliant job at it, but I will talk about why taking the test is vital in understanding yourself.

Many people wander through life thinking they know who they are. But there is a good chance they only know a little. The 16 Personalities expands on each area of a person’s life, from everyday habits, to careers and relationships, both romantically and friendly. You might find yourself agreeing with everything or only half, but the fact remains you know more about yourself then you did before the test.

Not only that, at the bottom of your grouping, there is a list of famous people, both real and fictional, who fall into your personality. Some examples are the Queen, Nelson Mandela, Gandalf from the Lord of the Rings, and Willie Wonka from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

So take the test and discover your personality. You might find something you never thought was a possibility.






Youth Unemployment – Causes and Consequences

Unemployment. Eroding the confidence and asperations of young lives.

Being unemployed, especially long term, can have devastating effects on a person’s life, whether that’s social, financial or another area completely.

Two of the biggest problems and main causes of youth unemployment are a poor education and lack of work experience. Many paths are closed if a young person fails to get the correct grades, and if they cannot find or get experience in their chosen field, it is likely they won’t be offered the job.

That is not to say that young people cannot get jobs without education or experience. The introduction of apprenticeships, spearheaded by the UK government, has opened new paths to young people. Those who might not be educationally gifted could find themselves talented in a more practical job, such as construction or hairdressing.

A third aspect of youth unemployment is a person’s background. A young person from an area of deprivation is more likely to have fewer opportunities than a young person from a rich family. Living in a deprived area within a town will also offer poorer Ofsted graded schools than those in richer areas.

Without jobs, young people can start to feel excluded from social groups and will have a lower life satisfaction than those in jobs. Some will even turn to crime, resulting in prison. Many go on to re-offend and enter a cycle of entering and leaving prison.

However, the main consequence will be on a young person’s health, both physically and mentally. Failure to get a job could result in rigid anxiety or depression, along with a loss of confidence and self-belief.

That is why supporting and helping young people access to education, employment, and training is crucial. They provide a young person with independence, a routine, a new social system, and new opportunities. This not only benefits the individual but also the community they are in and is why we are passionate about seeing lives and whole communities transformed.

If young people can get their foot on the first step, they can begin walking up the rest, and could become something greater than they expected.

Written by Calum Harbor
Starting Point Mentee and Community Journalist