Do You Confuse Extroversion with Confidence?

I think we all tend to confuse extroversion with confidence. So let’s re-think it.

I’m an introvert and when I speak up confidently about something, people sometimes say, “You must be an extrovert.”

Hey, I can be an introvert AND be confident and out-spoken. Or confident and quiet. (I can hear my confident introverted friend Jenn saying “Hell yeh.”)

Do you think introversion and confidence can go together? Think about it.

I was painfully shy in the past and I’m not anymore… but I’m still an introvert.

I believe that no matter how shy or anxious you might feel in certain social situations, there’s a way to find more ease and confidence. And you can still be an introvert (which is not the same as shyness).

I think I finally captured how introverts can find ease and confidence in an earlier post. I talked about how introversion can be connected to shyness or anxiety, and how it can also be connected to confidence and ease. It depends on what you do with your introversion. Here’s how I see it:
The Introvert’s Path from Pain to Confidence

(In case you’re wondering what the heck is introversion anyway, check out the above post and I think it will start to become clear. You can also get the basics about introversion here.)

What Is Your Experience?

Have you been confusing extroversion with confidence? We all do it. Comments welcome below.

Are you an introvert who wants to connect with other introverts exploring these kinds of things? Join the discussion in The Introvert Clubhouse on Facebook.

Here’s how a young introverted woman lawyer describes her frustration with this:
Is Confidence More Important than Competence?

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4 thoughts on “Do You Confuse Extroversion with Confidence?

  1. This is exactly why the phrase resonated with me. I was in a workshop where we were discussing weaknesses and I mentioned my struggle with thinking of introversion as a weakness. The speaker stopped and had me define introversion because he was sure that I did not know what it meant. When I defined it (pretty much as Jeff mentions), he said that I was correct in defining it, but I was clearly an extrovert. With a confidence that I had not previously felt, I said, No, I am an introvert who has the skill set to appear extroverted. Something clicked and I do not think of it as a weakness anymore, I can be an introvert AND be confident and out-spoken and will hear that “hell, yeh” in my mind in the future.

    • Hi Rennata. Hell yeh! How funny that he seemed to be confusing extroversion with confidence even though he understood the definitions. This myth is deeply ingrained in us. Thank you for the story.

  2. You are right. I have heard people link extroversion and confidence many times. Here’s the description of extrovert and introvert from Paul Tieger: Extraverts’ energy is directed primarily outward, towards people and things outside of themselves. Introverts’ energy is primarily directed inward, towards their own thoughts, perceptions, and reactions. Therefore, Extraverts tend to be more naturally active, expressive, social, and interested in many things, whereas Introverts tend to be more reserved, private, cautious, and interested in fewer interactions, but with greater depth and focus.

Comments and Questions Welcome: