How do extroverts deal with stress? (A Complete Guide)

In this article, we will discuss How do extroverts deal with stress?. We will do that by describing what extroverts and stress are in detail. We will move on to explain the types of coping styles and which styles are extroverts most likely to employ. In the end, we will discuss how coping looks like in the form of strategies and suggest tips for extroverts to de-stress. 

How do extroverts deal with stress? 

Extroverts and introverts deal with stress differently. They are also stressed by different sources. Extroverts are more likely to be stressed when they do not get a chance to socialize or engage in stimulating activities. The way they de-stress is by communicating and letting out their feelings by talking to someone. Similarly, going out at a gathering or social event is a good way to increase their energy. Finally, seeking advice from someone can be beneficial for them. Extroverts are more likely to employ active or problem-focused coping compared to introverts who usually go for passive coping to deal with stress. 

Extroverts 

People who are high on extraversion can be described as social, energetic, and outgoing people who gain energy by interacting with others. Such people prefer to be among loud music, huge crowds, and energetic individuals. They like to go out and socialize in their free time. Similarly, they are open to different experiences, are spontaneous, and take risks. Extroverts process information better by talking it out with others. Being alone with nothing to do or talk to, can drain their energy and make them feel low and uninspired. To recharge their battery, they need to meet and interact with others. 

Stress

Stress refers to an emotional and physically tense state of body and mind. It is a reaction that occurs when external demands overpower the available resources. Stress can be positive and negative for us. It is positive when it occurs for a short period of time and pushes us to be more productive. Whereas, it can be negative if it persists for a long time and depletes our mental and physical resources along with decreasing our optimal level of functioning.

Acute stress is short-lived, is from minor everyday stressors, and has less drastic implications. Unlike that, chronic stress lasts longer, is from major stressors, and can have drastic implications especially on one’s health. 

The human body releases hormones when in stress which makes the muscles tense and increase our heartbeat. Generally, these changes are good as it helps us to fight with any threats, but if it stays like that for long it can cause health issues like high blood pressures, diabetes, obesity, menstrual issues, depression, anxiety, etc. Common symptoms of stress include weight loss, digestion issues, tension in the body, exhaustion, poor concentration, low energy headaches, etc.

Extroverts in stress

Since extroverts are social in nature, they share whatever is on their mind. They see communication as a means of releasing pent up stress. In a way, talking it out helps such people be less vulnerable to anxiety and anger related health conditions like heart disease, hypertension, etc. At the same time, oversharing may also escalate conflicts in some situations. 

Extroverts actively seek stimulation from their surroundings to feel energized. Lack of stimulation, socialization, and attention may make them feel stressed. However, compared to them introverts are more likely to undergo anxiety issues along with depression since they keep information to themself. Research supports this and also suggests that introverts are more vulnerable to developing heart disease.  

Experts on evolution suggest that extroverts deal and adapt to change in a better way compared to introverts. Whereas, when there is little or no change they are more likely to suffer from psychological issues. 

Coping styles of extroverts and introverts

Extroverts and introverts use different coping styles when in stress. It depends on how they prefer to reduce or increase stimulation. For extroverts, they seek stimulation to balance out their levels when in stress. However, introverts usually get overly-stimulated, so they seek to engage in activities that reduce their stimulation. 

There are different types of coping styles. Emotion-focused coping is linked with a person’s emotions and thoughts and the measures one takes to deal with emotional anxiety. Avoidant coping is when a person avoids emotions and situations to deal with their stress level. Finally, problem-focused coping is when a person deals with the issue in an active manner and tries to resolve it. 

The type of coping strategy a person uses depends on multiple factors e.g. situation, personality, circumstances related to the situation, level of stress, etc. Prior research indicates that extroverts usually use adaptive styles of coping that are according to the need of the situation. It is unlikely that they employ avoidance coping. Furthermore, people who have aggressive tendencies are usually extroverts and more likely to employ active coping. 

Unlike them, Introverts may withdraw during stress, so it is possible that they employ emotion-focused or avoidant coping to deal with stress. Aggression and introversion are negatively correlated. So, it is unlikely that they engage a lot in active coping.

    A study shows, when the stress levels are high, it is more likely that introverts use passive coping and extroverts use active coping. Whereas when the stress is moderate they might employ either passive or active. Finally, when stress is low extroverts may employ passive coping. 

However, it is important to mention that the coping strategies used is not fixed and varies according to the situation. It depends on the individual and the situation. So, at one point a person may employ active coping especially if the situation requires it. Whereas, in another situation, they might employ passive coping irrespective of the fact that they are introverts or extroverts. 

Coping strategies used by extroverts

When under stress extroverts may employ different strategies like enjoying a family meal or going out with friends after a long week. They may choose a concert or some loud event to de-stress. They might even meet up with old friends and try something new to increase their levels of excitement.     

If an extrovert is under stress, he/she should employ the following strategies:

  • Go out and participate in some social activity especially if it is a group activity e.g. an outing with friends, getting physical exercise, laughing and socializing with others, etc.
  • Have a social network and talk to them whenever you feel overwhelmed. Arrange a meet up or talk to them on the phone to let go of any bottled up emotions. 
  • Seek advice from someone you trust e.g. a professional, a counselor, a spiritual guide, etc.          

FAQs: How extroverts deal with stress?

Are extroverts better than introverts?

Not necessarily. Being an extrovert does not mean one is better than an introvert. However, being an extrovert has its advantages. They are optimistic, charismatic, confident, and genuine people. They express their availability, thrive better in the world, have higher mental well being, and are also happier. They are action-oriented people who know how to grasp the attention of others. Accordingly, they are more successful professionally. At the same time, introverts offer their own advantages.

Can an extrovert be shy?

Yes, extroverts can be shy. They can possess both qualities of extroversion and introversion. Thus, they can be ambiverts. They will have the social skills to interact with others but dislike being in the limelight. They would also need alone time to recharge.

Are extroverts more prone to depression?

It is unlikely that extroverts are more prone to depression. Prior studies indicate that extroversion and depression are negatively correlated with each other. So, the more extroverted a person is, it is less likely that they are depressed. However, there are multiple other factors that affect depression apart from extraversion. So being extroverted does not guarantee that a person cannot be depressed. 

Conclusion

In this article, we discussed How extroverts deal with stress?. We found that extroverts and introverts deal with stress differently. They are also stressed by different sources. Extroverts are more likely to be stressed when they do not get a chance to socialize or engage in stimulating activities. The way they de-stress is by communicating and letting out their feelings by talking to someone. Similarly, going out at a gathering or social event is a good way to increase their energy. Finally, seeking advice from someone can be beneficial for them. Extroverts are more likely to employ active or problem-focused coping compared to introverts who usually go for passive coping to deal with stress. 

 I hope you found this article interesting. If you have any queries or comments, please state them in the comment section 😊

Citations

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003211.htm#:~:text=Stress%20is%20a%20feeling%20of,danger%20or%20meet%20a%20deadline.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-human-beast/201701/do-extroverts-manage-stress-better

http://web.sbu.edu/psychology/lavin/daniella.htm

https://www.abrightertomorrow.org/stress-management-introvert-or-extrovert/

Divya is currently a Clinical Psychology Trainee in a Master of Philosophy program and holds a Master’s in clinical psychology. She has a special interest in Personality studies and disorders, having researched the subject before, and Neuropsychology; with an additional interest being Mood disorders. She likes to write about Psychiatric issues, having worked in multiple specialty setups during her time as a clinical psychology student, and in her free time she likes to cook and read.

Leave a Comment