In the last entry, we talked about how to deal with introverts. Knowing how to customize your own behavior to make others feel more comfortable may seem like a no-brainer, and it can help if you are aware if the other person is an introvert or an extrovert.
Extroverts dominate society. The adjectives to describe an extrovert are decidedly more positive than those used to describe an introvert. We usually describe an extrovert as “outgoing”, “sociable,” or “a people person.” (By comparison, you might describe an introvert as “distant” or “reserved.”) Even though being an extrovert is more socially acceptable than being an introvert, there are some common techniques to maximize your effectiveness when dealing with an extrovert.
If you find yourself dealing with an extrovert (especially if you are more introverted yourself), then you may find these do’s and don’ts helpful:
- Let them process their thoughts externally, usually through talking and narrating their opinions and emotions.
- Use small talk to loosen them up.
- Remember personal details to make them feel valued.
- Make an effort to listen and interact rather than simply letting them talk.
- Show that you are engaged and interested in the conversation.
- Let them have time to socialize with others before turning their attention to more serious matters.
- Assume extroverts aren’t deep or intelligent just because they enjoy casual conversation.
- Write them off as shallow, chatty, overbearing, flirty, or aggressive.
- Nag them about too much socializing.
- Appear apathetic or indifferent to their chosen topic of conversation (even if you are).
- Assume they just want to hear themselves talk. Make sure you really listen!
Homework Assignment: How do you handle those with extroverted personalities? What strategies have you found to be effective (or ineffective)?
John Bradley Jackson
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