Science 2 min read

Introverts Could be Happier by Forcing Themselves to be Extroverts

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

New research suggests that introverts would be happier if they force themselves to be extroverts.

An average extrovert is outgoing, expresses positive emotions, prefers taking charge, and could also be talkative. Introverts, on the other hand, enjoy solitude. They keep a small group of close friends and feel exhausted after spending time with lots of people.

Both personality type has its advantage as well as its disadvantage.

However, previous studies suggest that extroverts enjoy a motivational, emotional, interpersonal, and performance-related advantage over their introvert peers at the workplace. The outgoing personality types are not only motivated to achieve goals, but they’re better suited to handle stress at work.

But can introverts also enjoy these benefits by acting like extroverts? Could faux extroversion result in better well-being?

These were the questions that the researchers at the University of California – Riverside sought to answer.

Getting Introverts to Act Like Extroverts

For the study, the researchers got 123 introverts to act like extroverts for a prolonged period.

In the first week, participants were told to push the boundaries of their willingness to engage and act like extroverts. They could be as talkative, assertive, and spontaneous as they wanted.

Then, on another week, the researchers asked the same group to act like introverts. They had to be deliberate, quiet, and reserved.

The UCR team sent an email to the participants three times a week to remind them of their behavioral change until the study ended.

By all measures, the participants reported enjoying improved well-being after their extroversion week. Conversely, the introversion week lead to a decrease in well-being. Also, the faux extroverts reported no ill effect or discomfort during their extroversion week.

In a statement about the project, UCR psychologist and co-author of the study, Sonja Lyubomirsky said:

“It showed that a manipulation to increase extroverted behavior substantially improved well-being. Manipulating personality-relevant behavior over as long as a week may be easier than previously thought, and the effects can be surprisingly powerful.”

Since the participants were college students, the researchers noted that they were more malleable in terms of changing habit. So, future experiments addressing this question could involve switching up to more variables.

The researchers published their findings in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

Read More: Researchers Predict Personality Type Using Phone Movement

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Sumbo Bello

Sumbo Bello is a creative writer who enjoys creating data-driven content for news sites. In his spare time, he plays basketball and listens to Coldplay.

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