Yesterday I received a compliment and kind feedback, part of this said “You are the most extroverted introvert I know”.
I don’t think I have ever been seen as an extrovert before but as I grow on my journey – especially with YouTube and now a Facebook Group, maybe this is how I come across?
This got me thinking about something I had heard in Susan Cains amazing book – Quiet.
“Free Trait Theory”….
A theory attributed to Dr Brian Little, partly through his own self discovery.
What is Free Trait Theory?
Free Trait Theory says that we are all born with certain personality traits such as introversion but that we can and do act out of character in the pursuit of what he calls “core personal projects.”
Basically, Little believes that introverts can act like extroverts when focused on:
↪️ Work they think is important
↪️ Family & people they love
↪️ Anything else they hold personal value in
For example, Bloggers / YouTubers, Marketers like yourself that are tying to build your business.
Stepping out of that COMFORT ZONE in pursuit of your goals – family, finance, freedom.
Professor Brian Little believes this is why people confuse him for an extrovert:
Even though I’m a classic introvert, when I give a lecture for my students I perform with great passion. Introverts, when they are ‘on,’ become pseudo-extraverts. Can you tell the difference between a born extravert and a pseudo-extravert? Usually you cannot.
These core personal projects can be trivial or extreme – from going to the gym on Wednesday night, to living debt free forever.
But they are all aspirations that we are invested in.
When we are invested, we are able to temporarily put on hold our natural desire (seek isolation in a good book) and do something less comfortable.
Attending a stag/hen party all weekend fills me with dread especially when i won’t know 90% of the other people attending, but equally, if that person is a good friend then that is what I will do.
Is this pseudo extroversion healthy for us?
According to Cain, “The answer is that a free trait strategy can be effective when used judiciously, but disastrous if overdone.”
Both experts warn that prolonged “acting out of character” can potentially result in:
❌ Increased stress
❌ Cardiovascular disease
❌ Increased autonomic nervous system activity
So how do we manage this?
For me, I soak up the positives and try and make those experiences more rewarding.
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