Introverts are full of mysterious depth.
Extroverts are the life of the party.
What do you mean you can’t? You have to be one or the other! In reality… things don’t play out this way. Extroversion, similar to most things in personality, exists on a spectrum. There are some on the extremes of either end who are more clear introverts or extroverts, but many of us fall closer to the middle. Here we get to claim the fun new title of Ambivert. “Woohoo a new label to put in my box,” cry the IxxJs. “Run they are trying to label us again,” cry the ExxPs.
This article is long, so use these links to jump to the parts you are most interested in. ❤
What is Extroversion really?
A recap on the definition of Extroversion from Psychology Today:
Extroversion is a personality trait typically characterized by outgoingness, high energy, and/or talkativeness. In general, the term refers to a state of being where someone “recharges,” or draws energy, from being with other people; the opposite—drawing energy from being alone—is known as introversion.Psychology Today
In Objective Personality there is no simple Extroverted or Introverted descriptor for a type as there is the MBTI. This isn’t part of their type code. The focus is instead on whether the individual is focused on Self (Di) or Tribe (De) and Organizing (Oi) or Gathering (Oe). Those who look outsides themselves towards the Tribe and Gathering new information will be seen as more extroverted types.
Types which are Di and Oi are naturally going to be considered more introverted. They are focused on their personal information, not everyone else’s. Types with De and Oe are going to be considered more extroverted. However, there are some additional factors at play within OPS that allows us to further refine our understanding of a given type’s general ‘extroversion’ level.
You can check out this video below if you want to see Objective Personality’s take on the Extroversion “coin” (and why its NOT a coin in OP). They explain that these generic descriptors are not good enough, which is why they instead chose to focus on the human needs and what the functions are actually doing when interacting with broadly outside the self or processing the information within.
The Animal Stack
The Animals in objective personality are combinations of the cognitive functions (Fe, Si – etc) working together. The Animal Stack or ordering of their preference of those animals, is one of the first big factors which determines whether a type comes off as ‘extroverted’ or not. We can split the animals into two categories, either extroverted or introverted animals with Play as the most Extroverted and Sleep as the most introverted.
Play = Oe + De
Blast = Oi + De
Consume = Oe + Di
Sleep = Oi + Di
Types which have more extroverted animals higher in their stack will tend to come off as more extroverted. The last animal in particular is something a type is not really comfortable doing, and will thus leave a large void making the type more introverted or extroverted depending on the energy of that last animal. See the charts below for which animal stacks have two introverted or two extroverted animals.
While typically you would expect those with an introverted animal first to be more introverted overall, when an introverted animal is followed by two extroverted animals, these types can actually come off as quite extroverted. The energy of these types is scaling upwards, particularly when the individual is in a growth state. Someone with a SBPC animal stack starts as introverted, forming their own organized understandings independently, but then moves towards extroversion and Blast/Plays their understandings out into the world. These types thus can seem much more extroverted than you would expect from a sleep first type, particularly if you are only interacting with them from inside their box of known information.
Conversely, those with an extroverted animal first, followed by two introverted animals will often come off as quite introverted. They start from a place of wanting to connect with the tribe, but then move towards introversion as they work their way down the animal stack. The PCSB animal stack starts as extroverted, pinging off the tribe to form connections, but then moves towards the independent forming of their own understandings and away from the tribe as they move forward on their path towards growth.
Animal Stacks like BSPC and CPSB tend to be more balanced since they bounce back and forth between the extroverted and introverted animals. These types are more likely to test accurately based on their first function on something like an MBTI test since the animal stack plays less of an impact for these types.
With this information, we can now roughly rank the animal stacks in terms of extroversion with PBCS (Tony Robbins) as the most extroverted and SCBP (Ryan Gosling) as the most introverted.
There was a survey project which had people determine which animal emojis would best align with these animal stacks based on their extroversion. Ex: which is more extroverted, a Turtle or a Panda? The results are as follows with Dolphins representing the most Extroverted of the animals and Owls as the most introverted of the animals. You can see which animal aligns with your animal stack as part of the OPS Type Analyzer application.
My type is FF-FeSe-PCSB so I’m a somewhat shy tiger. Rawr.
First Savior Function
Those with an extroverted animal stack, but a more Introverted Function first will tend to be more introverted than those with the same animal stack, but an extroverted function first. For instance, those with a Play First stack with De first rather than Oe will tend to be more extroverted than those with Oe first.
The same is possibly even more true when one of the two functions is introverted while the other is extroverted, like in Consume and Blast. A Blast first IxxJ will be more introverted than a Blast first ExxJ since the Oi comes first in the IxxJ and De comes first for the ExxJ. A Consume first ExxP will be more extroverted than a Consume first IxxP since the Oe comes first for the ExxP and the Di comes first for the IxxP.
A BPCS may seem like one of the most extroverted animal stacks, but if that type is also an IxxJ they are still going to be leading with introverted organizing, Oi. The same is true for a CPBS IxxP which is leading with the introverted deciding, Di.
This section might seem obvious coming from MBTI land since that is how they test for this there. That is why the IxxP begins with an I and the ExxP begins with an E. It is important to mention anyway though since we often focus on these newer aspects like animals and modalities in OP and forget to check back on the basics. For reference, the order of the functions/human needs in terms of extroversion are as follows from most to least extroverted.
- De – Te&Fe
- Oe – Se&Ne
- Oi – Si&Ni
- Di – Ti&Fi
Modalities of Extroverted Functions
This isn’t really something I have seen talked about as much by Dave and Shannon themselves, but is something I am personally seeing play out in terms of extroversion. The modalities of the extroverted functions contribute to the overall extroversion or at least the assertiveness of types. For instance, the type with double masculine Play as a savior will tend to be seen as more extroverted than a type with double feminine Play because their are pushing outward more directly.
Feminine functions want to work around the solid Masculine functions, but to do this they must approach cautiously and gently–testing the waters before plunging in. This sort of tentative behavior is generally seen as something more introverted, especially when compared to the direct brashness of the more masculine functions. This results in someone who is expressing themselves outwardly in a less direct and assertive manner, coming off as more shy and introverted even when oriented towards the outside world. You could think of it as asserting yourself outwardly with a stick vs a feather. One is much more gentle than the other.
This dynamic creates a bit of hesitancy which can in turn result in a less assertive individual. The ability to assert yourself into a conversation is often associated with extroversion since it generally involves you talking more within the conversation. Feminine functions as tend to be more passive and adaptive. They are instead taking in the information and figuring out where they can slide in without stomping on any toes. Someone with Savior Feminine Extroverted functions fills the voids of space when no one is talking rather than pushing to assert themselves. They want to pull in information from the external world, but may only find the need to do that pulling when nothing is already flowing.
Modalities of Saviors
Modalities of the Savior functions also seem to contribute to the perceived extroversion even when they aren’t extroverted. Types with Masculine Saviors, even when they are introverted are able to convey the confidence of their saviors in a direct manner. Someone with Savior Masculine Fi is hard in their values. They know what they are and can express them to others when appropriate in a calm, savior state.
Masculine Demons on the other hand feel like an unwieldy sledgehammer that the types are often careful more expressing. They don’t feel responsible to use their hammer and so they might avoid using it as much and end up coming off more introverted as a result, instead relying on their Feminine Saviors. The information from Masculine Demons feels solid, but since it is a demon, there is less of a respect towards it. This can give the impression that there is a wall there isn’t one and result in someone holding back their Masculine Demon for fear of failure.
Modality of Sensory
Those with Feminine Sensory often forget the facts and details. Particularly when their sensory is a savior, this can make them reluctant to talk since they remember the patterns, but they feel responsible for providing the sensory to support those patterns. They might be able to paint a picture for what they mean using sensory information, but might feel as if they are lacking on the detail they themselves would want provided to them.
This reluctance and hesitancy can again lead to these types seeming quite introverted. If they are unable to convey their thoughts to others effectively and they may simply keep them within.
Intuition vs Sensing
Sensing information tends to be seen as a more objective form of information in that it exists within the world in a way we can all perceive similarly. This allows types which prefer sensory to engage more readily from this point of shared information.
Intuitive types on the other hand may find themselves focusing on something others may not be seeing. They must then communicate what it is they are seeing in ways others might not be comfortable perceiving. This acts almost as a cultural barrier between people when they are not able to communicate effectively. Thus those with intuition may not as readily share their perspective as readily with others if they feel they will be challenged to back it up with the facts. This is not so different from those with feminine sensory.
Letters of the Animals
The letters of the animals in the animal stack also seem to have an impact on their intensity and level of extroversion. For instance, those with ST animals are going to tend to be more extroverted since they are figuring out how things work in the physical world. That isn’t something that can be done in a passive manner, you need to go out and actually make things happen.
Conversely, those with NF animals are going to tend to be more introverted. NF is about vibes in the abstract. You don’t necessarily need to create the sort of direct impact that you would when dealing with the physical world.
Gray from Augmented Personality on YouTube created a document that helps illustrate this. In her doc she ranks the temperaments intensity in this order: ST, NT, SF, NF. So a type with ST Play will have a more extroverted play than a type with NF Play. They are playing with the blocks in the physical world directly while the NF can play with the abstracted values in their mind more passively.
In the graph below we see two animal stacks being compared which helps illustrate the significance of this more clearly.
- Yellow: NeTe Play, NeFi Consume, SiTe Blast, SiFi Sleep
- Red: SeFe Play, SeTi Consume, NiTe Blast, NiTi Sleep
From this example we see that the NeTe type has a more introverted Consume, followed by a more extroverted Blast. This will result in some interesting patterns where it can be harder for this type to access their Blast as compared to the SeFe type which is more even on the extroversion of these two animals because of this gap between the animals. The NeTe has to shift states from deep introversion to extroversion which can be a difficult transition. Be sure to check out the full doc below where there are similar graphs for each animal stack if you are interested in learning more about how letters impact extroversion.
Gray also recently released a video on Extroversion in the Big 5, so you can think about how these factors from Objective Personality relate back to that model.
Combine it all together!
When we combine this all together we see that Tony Robbins is still the most extroverted type of all, with double masculine, ST, extroverted saviors, and the PBCS animal stack to boot! His type of MM-Te/Se-PB/C(S) is the most extroverted of all. All hail the king of extroversion and his two queens, Mo’Nique and Chelsea Handler!
We also see that a type with FF NF Sleep and a SCBP animal stack would be the most introverted type. Which would be MM-Fi/Ni-SC/B(P), which doesn’t actually exist in the OP database at the time of this writing. Jack Johnson is fairly close though with MM-Fi/Se-CS/B(P) and has 3 type twins in the database.
As for observers, we also have two Ni/Fi SC/B(P) in Jay-Z and Rich Schefren. Di is more introverted than Oi, which is why this isn’t the most introverted type.
The Value of Extroversion
While our ability to estimate levels of perceived extroversion isn’t necessarily the most useful thing in the world, it goes to show the depth and complexity the lens of Objective Personality allows us to apply to this otherwise straightforward concept. We get to overcomplicate the hell out of it and annoy our relatives… but we also get a chance to better understand ourselves and one another so that we can hopefully give the space we all need to express ourselves, even when we aren’t the most assertive person in the room.
In the end, that is what personality theory is really all about. We want to understand ourselves and one another better, so that we can grow and be our best selves. That means understanding where we fall on this spectrum, not because that is where we are stuck forever, but so we can know and understand our path towards balance. See my typology manifesto article for more on this.
Tony Robbins may be the most naturally extroverted person in most rooms he enters, but that simply means that he needs to learn when that isn’t what is needed, and when he needs to leave space for others. That might not be what is appropriate when he is on stage, but when he needs to connect with someone on a deep level, that might be just what is needed.
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3 thoughts on “The Spectrum of Extroversion”
I would say FF-Fi/Ni-SC/B(P) is more introverted than MM-Fi/Ni-SC/B(P), because the latter has M-Se and M-Te.
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yeah thinking about this, the MM ST seems to be more extroverted than MM NF, because even if you are concrete on the NF it isn’t something you can necessarily communicate verbally very easily. It is interesting from an “afraid of the tribe” perspective here though for an IxxP with demon M De.