Being extroverted can be a great thing. Extroverts are social, happy, and enthusiastic around others. Extroverts draw strength and energy from conversation and interaction. As a result, they likely do well in both social situations and in high-stress professional work, like sales and client success.
But while that can all great, there are certain aspects of extroverted behavior that might become annoying to others. It comes down to the principle of “too much of a good thing.” Being an extrovert is not bad intrinsically -- however, just as it is with introversion, there is bad along with the good, and that mostly lies at the extremes of behavior.
Here are a few ways an extrovert may unknowingly annoy others. If you’re an extrovert, read on to find out what you can do to avoid being a bother.
Some people not only enjoy, but need, their alone time
At work or in your personal life, not everyone is wired the same way. There are extroverts who dread not being out with others on the weekend. There are introverts who dread anything but a chance to relax and recharge at home. There are tons of people in the middle of the spectrum who feel different ways on different days. All this is fine, but the moment it becomes annoying is when people go out of their way to drag others out at times when they’d rather be alone.
On the work front, there will be times when you want to go have a chat with a co-worker or when you want to go out for lunch. If people say no, don’t get offended. Whether it’s because they’re intensely involved with their work or they’re just not feeling social that day, too much persistence on this front can really bother someone who’s already not in the right mood.
Instead, make sure you try to meet with people on their time, and meet their pace of social interaction. We’ve definitely had coworkers who want to chat every time they run into someone at the coffee machine. But if you see someone’s body language peeling away to try to get back to their desk, let them.
Know when to stop talking and listen
Extroverts are chatty by nature. This is both because they have a lot to say and because they fill in the silence their more introverted or less extroverted friends might provide. None of that is bad, usually. But the chatty nature of an extrovert can become annoying when the individual in question doesn’t know when to stop and listen.
If you’re the only one leading a conversation, or you’re cutting off your friends and colleagues, or that you’re getting your word in over everyone else, you just might be getting a few annoyed looks from the people around you. The people around you have their own thoughts and ideas that they want to get out in the open. Of course, there’s something to the idea that everyone needs to learn to get loud and proud at times to get a point across, but there’s just as much to the idea that good leaders enable others to speak and be heard.
So learn to hold back when someone else is speaking or even facilitate someone else sharing their point of view. Let them get their point across, and then add on to what they’ve said. Try not to negate any of the things they’ve talked about in favor of providing your own perspective or adding extra clarification. Doing so will make every conversation you have more dynamic.
Think through the things you say
Extroverts and introverts often don’t understand each other. An extrovert sometimes can’t wrap their heads around why an introvert is quiet and shy-seeming. An introvert can’t understand why an extrovert needs to be social all the time. And while introverts, quiet as they are, usually keep these stereotypes internalized, extroverts naturally say things that they don’t realize are annoying.
So next time you’re about to ask an introvert why they’re so quiet, or why they’re such shut-ins, or why they don’t go out more, think a bit about whether that’s a core part of their character. The next time you want to make a comment about someone being “so shy” when they don’t talk in a social situation, understand that they might be comfortable in silently listening. They don’t judge you for being the center of attention. Hopefully.
Part of being a self-aware extrovert is having the ability to feel out the mood of a room or a person. This is often a talent that extroverts develop but can forget around people that they consider friends and colleagues and spend a lot of time with. So, whether in the workplace or out of it, remember to consider how your reaction or feeling in a situation might be intrinsically different than another’s, and how you can both always feel comfortable being yourselves if you just understood one another better.