Introvert or Extrovert?

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More than a year ago, I wrote this article contemplating whether or not I was more of an introvert or extrovert.  Some people think that being an extrovert helps you in the business world and being an introvert helps you in retirement.  The difference comes down to your need to be with other people to ‘find your energy’.

Here is a link to that article:  INtroverts or EXtroverts – Impact on Early Retirement

Recently, I ran across this interesting chart that looks at how people fall in the managerial ranks.  It is from a study that the Wall Street Journal did that looks at business leaders.  Perhaps not surprisingly, they find that the higher up the organization you go, the more likely you are to be an extrovert:

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In retirement, the theory is that the more senior you are in your career, the more difficult it is supposed to be to retire.  The logic is that you are more likely super outgoing (as the chart shows) and will have a hard time adjusting your Type A personality to a slower-paced, status free life.  That’s the theory, at least.

I consider myself pretty balanced on the introvert / extrovert scale.  Some days, I am very busy with activities and feel like I need some quiet time.  Other days, I might not interact with anybody all day.  Most of the time, I get the right amount of social interaction.  Social media is another way to connect with people.  Regardless, I certainly subscribe to the early retiree saying that even if I was bored, I wouldn’t want to go to a work budget meeting.  🙂

How do you think about your tendency to introversion or extraversion and retirement?

Image Credit: Pixabay

20 thoughts on “Introvert or Extrovert?

  1. Definitely see the connection between managerial ranks and being an extrovert. Sure there have been some quiet leaders, by not many. An extrovert in retirement? hmm, maybe they’d miss the action, but agreed I’d skip the boring meetings any day over planning my own day.

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  2. I’m an introvert. I will have no problems retiring early!

    Even when I’m retired, though, I’ll have to find a way to get some social interaction. Preferably by volunteering somewhere. I would love to volunteer at an animal shelter!

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    • That’s great! I am on our metro Zoo Foundation board and really enjoy it. The Minnesota Zoo has hundreds of volunteers working each week and really couldn’t operate without all of their help!

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  3. Interesting chart! I didn’t think the scale would tilt that much, but I guess it makes sense. I like being an introvert in retirement, though. Life is easy when I don’t have to please anyone. Hahaha! 🙂
    Extrovert can have a good retirement too. They just have to get out more. Volunteer and get involve in the local community.

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    • I can definitely swing either way on any given day. I have known people so extroverted they drive themselves crazy in retirement.

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  4. This is an interesting thought experiment. I generally tend to think I’m extroverted but I am not in a senior management role, mainly because I didn’t want to chase that particular thing at my particular company. I would say, generally speaking, senior executives also have their identify tied up in their careers. If they’re not The Boss, then who are? I’m guessing there is more involved in the correlation than just personality type and career. I would say I’m an extrovert but I will also have no problem coming up with ways to fulfill my identity and spend my time. No need for a corporate job to tell me what to do 🙂

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    • There are so many dimensions to personality that it is silly to think that this one is singularly predictive. It is, however, an interesting consideration to reflect on with respect to early retirement.

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  5. I think that I am also fairly balanced on the introvert-extrovert scale. I can honestly say that in my 20 months of retirement I have never once been bored enough to wish to be back in a budget meeting…or in any work-related meeting at all!

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  6. I’m a middle manager and definitely an introvert. I’ve learned to interact with people at work all day and I do it reasonably well. But it takes extra preparation and effort for an introvert. It can also be exhausting, and one of the main appeals of early retirement is to escape the stresses of so much forced interaction. I enjoy socializing in moderation, but an introvert has a definite limit.

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    • Early retirement is definitely perfect for introverts – you will be able to call the shots of when and how you interact with people.

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  7. I think I probably am somewhere in the middle on the introvert extrovert scale. I tend to lean one way or other on any given day. Two of my coworkers are actually trying to determine which I am and have said as much to me. I suspect as a result I should be able to adapt fairly well once I’m ready for retirement so long as I achieve a mix.

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    • Yep – that is me too. Some days, like today I was around the house most of the day. Tomorrow and the next day I will be quite busy. I like having a variety.

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    • I’m pretty balanced between the two, but also ended up in an introvert job once (while in college). I learned a lot from that experience!

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  8. I’m young so I’m not thinking about retirement as much, but I definitely think there is a link between extroversion and seniority. However, my father recently retired (extremely introverted) and he had a difficult time adjusting to the slow pace of retirement. I think it has a lot more to do with career fit, and how much passion you have for your job. Extroverts just seem to be more outspoken about it.

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