Is it possible for an introvert to get along with an extrovert? Is there any way the two can work together?
I work with extroverts and introverts everyday but what makes the relationship work requires a bit of flexibility on both sides. As you know extroverts are out going, not afraid to speak up, and they’re extremely comfortable in large group settings. And, introverts like to work independently, keep to their self, and prefer to be in much smaller group settings.
Because I am very analytical I am always assessing my area and environment. Yes, I take a different approach on this but it may work for you too. While I am working in a large group setting with a mix of extroverts and introverts I assess my surroundings. Ok, I make this seem like it’s a very elaborate process but in reality I am seeking to understand the people in my surrounding. At the same time I am thinking how I may need to adjust my style to fit the current setting all while still staying within my “introvert comfort zone”. The last one may not always be achievable but it can be done.
So, when I am in situation where I’m speaking with extroverts, it doesn’t take long for me to feel my energy consumption start to get drained. When I notice this trigger, I seek out an introvert I want to talk with or I do a number of things to recharge my energy level. Once I feel my energy has been replenished and I know I have to talk or work with an extrovert minded person, I re-engage myself in conversation with them.
I perform this balance of pushing my limit (by talking/working w/extroverts) and knowing when it’s time for a break.
Now, if you’re someone who just doesn’t like to be in large group settings I completely get it. However, there are going to be times (how many depends on what you do for a living) that you are out of control of. So, my greatest recommendation is…
Find balance and know when it’s time for a break
If you’re in a one-on-one session with an extrovert, you may find your energy consumption drain even faster simply because it can be overstimulating. The same recommendation I provided above still applies and how you effectively do this in a one-on-one setting is to take frequent breaks (especially if you have to work w/them for a great length of time). One last bit of advice, if you have no ability to take a break then do your best to finish the task at hand quickly but effectively so that you can get that break we spoke about and recharge your batteries.
Do you have any ways you would like to share in how to effectively work with extroverts?
P.S. If you haven’t read Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking I highly recommend it, it’ll give you some more ideas how to navigate these situations.
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