If you are an extrovert, this is my ode to you.
In my head, I have a like-dislike relationship with extroverts. Dislike, because I find extroverts a little overwhelming when they are in their element…dominating conversations, making their presence known, being friends with everyone, and hugging the spotlight whenever they can. And like because they represent the opposite of people like me who would rather speak only when necessary and shy away from the centre stage. I find extroverts interesting in almost the same measure that I find introverts intriguing.
In my younger days, people who were friends with virtually everyone and spoke a lot overwhelmed me. It was tiring to attempt to keep up with their hyper nature. As an introvert, I gravitate more toward those who are closer to me in nature; the guys who would rather listen than speak or spend time alone buried in a novel rather than attend a party. The folks whose idea of a fun day out consists of a one-on-one date or a hang out with a small group as opposed to large ceremonies of the Owambe nature.
Over the years, however, I have come to appreciate the boundless energy that extroverts exude, the ease with which they make friends, and their never waning life-of-the-party persona. Beyond their affable personality, perhaps the most admirable quality I find in these gregarious lots is their optimistic inclination.
You’ll hardly find them whining or lamenting the state of the nation like the rest of us. They are all about the good side and that precludes anything that dampens the mood. Fuel prices may continue their steady upward trajectory, bandits may not cease to strike in the north, and ASUU may not capitulate their stance on the lingering university strike, but extroverts will maintain their positive outlook on the situation. While the majority predicts doom, this category of humans forecast a constructive prognosis.
My 10-year-old nephew seeks out friends as soon as the family arrive at an event. When there’s a power cut and the rest of us are hissing and cussing out the electricity transmission agency, he turns to football or any other venture that does not require power. My friends and family who are highly extroverted are the ones who make things happen and supply the optimism the rest of the group needs when it’s crunch time.
I also think that these times of economic distress help us value the positive energy and good cheer that extroverts are never in short supply of. The e go better phrase that has the most cynical of us hoping in some corner of our minds that there’s a beam of light at the end of Nigeria’s tunnel must have emanated from an extrovert.
The downside to this upbeat personality may be their seeming propensity to be a little too lax and shy away from reality, but this is not necessarily true. The Bill Clintons, Muhammad Allis, and Steve Jobs’ of this world have proven that outgoing and outspoken people can be as successful, if not more, than introverts who the larger populace often view through the prism of seriousness.
Extroverts may come across as a deluge of energy that you need to take in measured doses, but it by no means takes away from the pivotal role they play in our challenging world.