Building Better Relationships for Introverts and Extroverts

During our 31 Days of Wellness 2.0 challenge, we encouraged people to find their personality types through the Myers-Briggs test – if you haven’t taken the test yet, you can do so here. Understanding our personality type can really help when it comes to building stronger connections, better relationships, and improving our mental wellbeing too. In this guide, adapted from the challenge workbook, we’ll look at how you can build better relationships and connections whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert.

Are You More Introverted or Extroverted?

The first letter you get in your Myers-Briggs personality test will determine whether you’re more of an introverted or extroverted person.

I – Introverted

E – Extroverted

When it comes to building stronger connections and relationships, these different personality types will require different tactics.

For example, those who are more introverted will likely have a much shorter social battery and so big group events may not be the right place for them to build connections. On the other hand, those with a more extroverted personality type may thrive in larger social settings but struggle to form one-to-one connections as much.

Once you know your type, pick the tips that best suit your type. Don’t forget, you may also be a little bit of both and all of the following tips could potentially apply to you too!

Building Better Relationships as an Introvert

“80% of Introverts say they often find that time spent alone is more interesting and satisfying than time spent with other people” – 16Personalities Social Activities Study.

If you find yourself getting exhausted or even overwhelmed by social activities then you may be an introvert. Here are our top tips to build better relationships if this is you:

  • Quality over Quantity – There’s a misconception that we need a large social group to be happy, but actually introverts thrive best with a few close friends and loved ones. Don’t push yourself to make LOTS of friends, focus on the quality of those relationships instead.
  • Shared Passions – You don’t need to “break out of your shell” to build strong relationships as an introvert. Instead, focus on what your passions and interests are and then look for communities of people who have the same hobbies (eg, book clubs for reading, arts and crafts classes, etc).
  • Practise Makes Perfect – Introverts can often feel anxious meeting new people as they’re unsure what to say. If this is you, consider building up a little list of anecdotes and questions that you can add to your arsenal for whenever you meet someone new.
  • Be Honest and Open – Want to know one of the best ice breakers I use in anxious social situations? “Coming to these events makes me quite anxious!” I’ve used this at talks, events and whenever meeting groups of people and guess what… Most people feel the same. It’s a great conversation starter and makes people feel more relaxed around you.

Building Better Relationships as an Extrovert

Those with more extroverted personality types may find that they crave social interaction and that it energises rather than drains.

While this may make it easier in social situations, some extroverts find it difficult to build strong relationships one-to-one. Here are our top tips to strengthen your relationships:

  • Express Gratitude – 89% of Extroverts say they are comfortable verbally expressing gratitude when they feel it according to research – and this is such a positive way to build and strengthen relationships. Just like our lesson earlier in the week, make it a habit to let people know you’re grateful for them and experience the warm and fuzzy feelings that come with it.
  • Learn Active Listening – Those with extroverted tendencies can often feel excited to talk to others and sometimes dominate a conversation without meaning to. Active Listening skills can help you build better rapport when meeting new people and strengthen relationships too. Being fully engaged and mindful in the conversation is key!
  • Learn to Love Your Own Company – Extroverts can sometimes experience loneliness when not surrounded by friends and loved ones, which can then be detrimental for their mental wellbeing. Spending time on some solitary activities such as reading or walking in nature can help strengthen your connection to yourself and this, in turn, can help strengthen your bond with others.

Understanding your personality type can really help you build better relationships with friends, family, loved ones and colleagues. We also highly recommend finding out your love language and attachment style for deeper personal relationships. Therapist Gemma walks us through both love languages and attachment styles in lessons on the platform.

This has been adapted from the Week 3 Workbook of 31 Days of Wellness 2.0. If you’d like to take the challenge, become a member here.