This is the most commonly known, understood, and used temperament pairing in our American vocabulary. This pairing represents a person’s social energy. A person who is more extroverted (E) will find their juices flowing when there is social interaction. Talking, playing, and interacting raises their energy level. By contrast, an introvert (I) requires solitude to recover or refill their energy banks
75% of the general population is E (extrovert) and only 25% is I (introvert).
In my Equine Gestalt Coaching ® practice, I see it also as a difference in distilling thought. The E needs to process orally with another person. For the high E, this is a must. This action of speaking out loud helps the E distill their thoughts to a simpler declaration. This means that some of what they are saying cannot be taken as fact. It is only after this process that they come to their bottom line.
Here is a story from my book Equusology that may help.
A large Texas ranch owner went out to check on one hundred tons of baled alfalfa that his men were moving into the hay barns for winter storage. All the barns also had equipment stored in them. As he rode up, his foreman waved, and he could see the ranch hands moving bale after bale by hand in the summer sun. They were about halfway through the task.
“Looks like you have been making progress,” the rancher said to his foreman. “It would have been better if we had moved all the tractor equipment into that south barn and put all this hay in the two north ones. That would have made it easier for the crew to work on the equipment during inclement weather.” He went on to talk about what tractors needed what repairs, what was being prepared for lunch, and even what new piece of machinery he was thinking of purchasing. When his cell phone rang, he waved and rode off.
Wanting to make the rancher happy, the foreman stopped the hands in their work and told them they were going to reorganize and move all the equipment to the south barn and all the hay to the two north sheds. The men groaned and began moving the heavy hay.
The next evening, the ranch owner rode over expecting to see the job complete and was taken aback by the fact that it was not. “I thought y’all would be finished here by now,” he said.
“I did what you asked and reorganized the sheds,” the foreman replied.
The rancher slowly shook his head and smiled. “Happens all the time to me. I never said I wanted you to do all that, I was just thinking out loud.”
A person who is a high Extrovert often has an experience like the rancher. Someone will say, “But you said . . .” and the extrovert will reply, “No, I never said that.” The extrovert was simply thinking out loud in a process of discovering what it was they wanted to express. This is the way they distill their thoughts, but it can lead to confusion or even frustration for others. The extrovert is just trying to sort things out and come to some clarity, but the lack of filtering in their communication can make it difficult for others to know what they are actually saying and what they want. If others know that the person is an extrovert in the process of distilling information, then the communication between them may be easier and more fruitful. And those communicating with the extrovert may realize that they sometimes need to ask for clarification.
By contrast, the introvert needs time to process, preferably without interruption or distraction. They may appear withdrawn, shy, or even snobby to the extrovert when they actually just require time to be able to think and process what they want to express. If pressured to respond before they have the time and space to process, they may withhold valuable input or ideas that they have not distilled at that point. When the introvert is distilling their thoughts, an extrovert may think that nothing is happening because the distilling is happening within the introvert instead of verbally, as the extrovert does it. In actuality, a great deal is happening that the extrovert is simply not privy to.
In a group situation, the introvert is more comfortable when they have a chance to prepare ahead and are certain of their role. They are often excellent observers and listeners and will position themselves for those activities, but they are less likely to speak spontaneously or contribute to a group discussion. Instead, they quietly distill what they are taking in and when required to make a statement, it will reflect their bottom line.
The extrovert usually sees the breadth or totality of the event or situation while the introvert likes to see the depth of it. The extrovert likes to meet new people, networks easily, and can be very entertaining with their stories. The introvert likes to listen and converse in depth with fewer people, but they really develop their relationships with those people. Both can be valuable styles.
Introverts tend to be territorial. They like to have their own space, a private space. This is how they restore and conserve energy. Extroverts like variety and like having a broader territory in which to navigate. Seeing other people and having social interaction throughout the day charges them.
An introvert can feel quite alone, especially when strangers surround them, while an extrovert will easily make a new friend in a crowd of strangers. If that extrovert meets that new friend at an airport, she will quickly exchange contact information with them and suggest they get together for dinner the next time they are both in town. But in that same situation, among many people they do not know at an airport, the introvert can feel uncomfortable or even feel deep sadness, particularly if they have not had time to prepare for the experience. This is not to say that introverts don’t enjoy engaging with others. They do. They just prefer to find quiet places to engage in a more in-depth discussion.
In my book Equusology, I go into this topic further explaining all the types and the nuances of each. AND how this applies to our horses as well! Read this blog again and apply it to your horse and you can see what I am referring to here. The tests are in the book for you to type both you AND your horse … Discover s new way to relate !
Buy Equusology Now at Equusology.com – plus get information on upcoming events such as webinars and live seminars.