New Study Shows How Introverts Must Face the World
A new study has found that in order to overcome introvert tendencies you must face the fear and act like an extravert.
The study challenged 123 participants to ‘push the boundaries’ of their willingness to engage, by acting as extraverts.
For another week, the same group was asked to act like introverts.
The benefits of extraversion have been reported before, including those of “forced extraversion,” but usually only for brief intervals.
In one study, train-riders were asked to talk to strangers; a control group was directed to remain silent. The talkers reported a more positive experience.
UC Riverside researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky wanted to extend the faux extraversion to see if it would result in better well-being.
“The findings suggest that changing one’s social behavior is a realizable goal for many people and that behaving in an extraverted way improves well-being,” said Lyubomirsky, a UCR psychologist and co-author of the study.
The Study Details
Researchers told participants – both the Act Introvert group and the Act Extravert group – that previous research found each set of behaviors are beneficial for college students.
Finally, the participants were told to go forth and to be as talkative, assertive, and spontaneous as they could stand.
Later, the same group was told to be deliberate, quiet, and reserved, or vice versa. Three times a week, participants were reminded of the behavioral change via emails.
According to all measures of well-being, participants reported greater well-being after the extraversion week, and decreases in well-being after the introversion week. Interestingly, faux extraverts reported no discomfort or ill effects.