Extraversion: The Price of Now
The optimal state of being is not to feel good all the time but to feel appropriately good or bad given your current circumstances.
What Is Extraversion?
Extraversion breaks down into the following two fundamental aspects: assertiveness and enthusiasm.
Those high in assertiveness are the take-charge types. The so-called natural-born leaders. The game-changing alphas. (A valuable trait for a pilot, I might add.)
Those high in enthusiasm are talkative and charismatic. They’re the life of the party. The ones who make friends with enviable ease. (Don’t you just love to hate them?)
What drives extroversion is one’s propensity toward feeling positive emotions. In that sense it’s great to be an extrovert. It feels good to feel good.
And it does feel good to take charge. It does feel good to be enthusiastic about stuff. It doesfeel good to have lots of friends and sex. (So I’m told.)
I am not extroverted by nature, but I try my utmost to wear that hat when I enter the cockpit of an aeroplane. That feeling when you take the autopilot out and really back yourself. There’s nothing like it. (If only I backed myself!)
But there are costs to extraversion.
How Much Should We Value the Present?
Perhaps the biggest danger comes from placing too much emphasis on the present. Sacrificing the future for the sake of a good time.
Researchers tested this by offering participants a small sum of money now or a larger one later. They found a clear correlation between extraverts placing a higher value on the present.
And this is a good question to ask: how much should we value the present? After all, we may get hit by a bus tomorrow. Or we might live till we’re 101. We simply don’t know.
At any rate, this is an excellent way to think about those who score high in extraversion…