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How Extroverts and Introverts Experience the Holidays

Extroverts get pumped. Introverts get drained. Different personality traits celebrate differently, which only makes coming together more, shall we say, interesting.

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The holidays are upon us, and with them come the parties and celebrations that energize extroverts, who are renewed by social interaction, while sending introverts back to the safety of their bathrobes and slippers to replenish their energy. Here’s how each personality type views some typical December gatherings.

The work party

The extrovert thinks:

“Finally, a chance to shake off all the office stuffiness and show that, not only am I an excellent crafter of memos, I’m also a hilarious stand-up comic. Can’t wait to try out some of my new material.”

The introvert thinks:

“I wonder if I’ll get fired if I don’t go. Who can I corner to talk to? Maybe I should bring a notecard with three conversation openers and go to the bathroom every 15 minutes to review it.”

The dinner party

The extrovert thinks:

“Please, please, please let me sit next to someone with a pulse. It’s going to be a long evening if I’m stuck trying to carry the conversation with some deadbeat for two hours.”

The introvert thinks:

“This is nice. We can actually talk and connect over dinner without all that party din and jostling and inane small talk.”

The block party

The extrovert thinks:

“Would it be too much if I show up with the lampshade on my head, or should I wait ’til everyone’s had a couple of cocktails? Hope they rented the karaoke machine again this year!”

The introvert thinks:

“I hope they like my bean dip and no one asks who made it. Maybe I’ll wear my zany Christmas pin so everyone will know I’m having a good time even if I forget to smile.”

The party you’re hosting

The extrovert thinks:

“Stupid ice bucket. I wish I didn’t have to keep having to stop what I’m doing to refill it. Next year we’re hiring a caterer. I’m missing all the fun.”

The introvert thinks:

“Ah, the safe harbor of the kitchen! Someone has to cut the cheesecake, right? Tomorrow I’ll have the house all to myself, plus it’ll be clean.”

Being partnered with your opposite

The extrovert thinks:

“I wouldn’t have it any other way, save for the occasional looks and arm tugs to leave. She lets me shine. Set her up in a corner with another wallflower, check in every 20 minutes and I’m free to circulate.”

The introvert thinks:

“I love having someone to go to parties with. He gives me cover. I need only stay by his side and occasionally nod and smile. Give him an hour to say his goodbyes, and we’re good. Now, where’d he go?”

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