The Big 5 Personality Traits: “Extraversion”

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The “Big 5” personality traits are Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism, or OCEAN. The Big 5 is considered by many contemporary psychologists to be a reliable way to describe differences in personalities and is arguably the basis of modern personality research.

Extraversion

People who are high in Extraversion (or extroverts) are characterized as being very sociable and high energy, but can be perceived as arrogant attention-seekers. Extroverts seek stimulation externally through people and social events. They are on average more talkative and assertive than most people. Positive emotions are also associated with individuals with high Extraversion traits.

People who are low in Extraversion, also known as introverts, are on the other spectrum. Introverts prefer less social engagement, and tend to have lower energy levels. This tendency can be mistaken for shyness or depression, but in fact they are simply more independent from  their social lives. Low Extraversion individuals need more alone time than extroverts and their reserved attitude in social situations can be mistaken for unfriendliness.

Final Words

It is an important step in self-discovery to learn what our preferences and tendencies are. If we learn that we are introverts, accepting it and organizing our lives around that is crucial. It isn’t necessary to “become” extroverted or to adopt high Extraversion traits unless it’s desirable. But even then, one can only deviate so much from the way they were built to operate.

Needless to say, extroverted people have an easier time getting what they want from people and society, as they are more willing (and have more energy to) put themselves out there. Carl Jung believed that extroverts almost always marry an introvert. True or not, it is pivotal that we learn how to deal with our opposites.


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