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The Real Difference Between Introvert or Extrovert Creativity, Explained

In the much-misunderstood world of introversion and extroversion, it’s thought that only introverted people have the true creative potential to become great artists. However, that’s just not the case, as introverts and extroverts tap into their creative energy in different ways.

Are you an introvert or extrovert? Either way, you can still be creative.

What Makes An Introvert and Extrovert?

Psychologist and philosopher Carl Jung invented the concepts of introversion and extroversion, but the modern usage of these terms varies dramatically from the original meaning of the words. Contemporarily, extroverts and introverts are often labeled as two distinct types of people. Extroverts are considered gregarious people who love socializing and do best in environments where they can pal around others. They usually have the following qualities:

  • Outgoing
  • Talkative
  • Energetic
  • Sociable
  • Charming

Introverts, on the other hand, are less social and more reserved. They enjoy being alone and entertaining themselves with solo activities. Introverts are:

  • Reflective
  • Thoughtful
  • Reserved
  • Modest
  • Contemplative

Beyond The Stereotypes

The standard mental images conjured when considering introversion and extroversion are relatively generic. They might include a bookish, homely, misunderstood girl with creativity oozing from her pores and her counterpart who loves getting wild. But this mischaracterization of these two personality types only puts people into boxes instead of seeing them for who they really are: multifaceted individuals with introverted or extroverted sides and plenty of creativity to go around.

1. Introverts

Introverts and Creativity

In the classic dichotomy of introversion and extroversion, people who consider themselves to be introverts are seen as creative powerhouses who create elaborate fantasy worlds in their heads. While reading, watching shows, drawing, or writing, these lone wolves can tap into their creative powers and harness them however they choose. But creativity isn’t more natural for introverts – it just manifests in more conventionally conceived ways.

How introverts find inspiration

People who consider themselves introverts on any level most often find inspiration by being alone. A study about Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and creativity reported that creativity is about perceiving and intuiting, two qualities that introverts have inherently. Hours spent alone are also great for focus, especially if you’re trying to make your way through an especially complicated project.

2. Extroverts

Extroverts and creativity

As opposed to their introverted peers, extroverts aren’t often considered to be creative, which is a false assumption. The same MBTI and creativity study found that creative people are moderately extroverted, as they’re more interested in going out and seeing the world with their own two eyes to get inspiration for their ventures. Creativity also doesn’t just manifest in solitary painting or writing, as people who consider themselves extroverts can often be creative in office brainstorming sessions, group workshops, and solving social problems.

Exteriorized creativity

Creativity looks a little different for an extrovert. Experts argue that extroversion fosters ethical awareness, meaning that an extroverted person has more social interactions from which to draw their understanding of morality and values. By frequently engaging with people by executing, defending, accepting, and understanding their actions, they draw creative inspiration from their various interactions. Talking out a problem is known to create innovative solutions, giving extroverts a different sort of perspective outside of the traditionally withdrawn idea of creativity.

Are You An Introvert or Extrovert?

Ultimately, no one is a hard and fast introvert or extrovert. It’s more than likely that you have moments of both. It’s all about tapping into what mood you’re in to see where your inspiration lies.

If you’re feeling less social, let your mind be your guide and take you down whatever roads of thought you might metaphorically wander. And if you’re feeling extroverted, get out and find inspiration from your relationships and connections to others.

Even if you’re someone who typically doesn’t love to hit the town with your unevolved bimbo friend, give it a try – you might find that you start to come at creativity differently, exploring characters for your next short story or seeing new colors in dark, neon-lit bars.

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