Do you consider yourself an introvert or extrovert? What is an introvert and what is an extrovert?
As you may know, I am not big fan of labels of any kind. On the other hand it's not necessarily a bad thing to understand that there are differences within us. But are we born with these traits, or is it something we become later due to circumstances?
I am, on the other hand, a big fan of developing awareness. Awareness is more than being able to feel some muscles (such as the muscles that are involved in producing sound). It is also about understanding how we function as human beings.
So let's stick to the categories of introvert and extrovert, and ask the big question:
Do you need to be an extrovert to be an effective performer?
In fact, I am going to make it short today and not say too much about the issue, and instead ask YOU.
Do you think performing singers are more extroverts or introverts? Does one or the other bode for greater success as an artist?
Please share your thoughts on this below.
I would say singers don’t need to be extroverts to preform well. The reason I say that is because most fo the good singers I know are wery shy.
Please correct me if I’m wrong.
I THINK SINGERS ARE MOSTLY INTROVERT. AN INTROVERT PERSON NEEDS TO EXPRES HIMSELF AND BY SINGING HE CAN DO IT PERFECLY. BUT AT THE OTHER HAND YOU ALSO HAVE EXTROVERT SINGERS WHO CAN TALK TO THE AUDIENCE AND TELL JOKES ETC. ETC.
Either or! There is no need to sing to anybody at all. I sing when I walk down the street by myself and enjoy it as much as when I sing in a group setting. The fact that you’re one or the other has no bearing whatsoever with your desire and/or ability to sing. Just ask Per;-)
You have to look at this with an open mind. We all want to sing beautifully, being an extrovert or an introvert just means we have different challenges to get to that point.
It’s hard to tell, but I do know that being an introvert doesn’t make a person any less of an introvert. Introverted performers have just found a way to assume a different persona on stage. Also, they say that the one thing introverts like about performing, is the fact that the whole thing is scripted.
Still it must be a whole lot easier for the newcomer to be a natural extravert. It just makes things like audience engagement and the overall act of being hyped up to entertain a little less taxing on them, as compared to the introverts. 🙂
Singers can be introverts (e.g. Paul Simon) or extroverts (e.g. Paul McCartney). I think the major difference is where their inspiration comes from and how they approach the creative process.
There are some interesting opinions here …even one that states we are all exhibitionists. When I recently told a friend that I enjoyed singing and liked karaoke in an atmosphere that was in front of a crowd and not a closed room, he called me an exhibitionist and said that I liked to show-off. I’ve pondered his statement over and tried to decide. I am an introvert pretty well but I love music and singing so much that I want to share it with others and try to monitor how well I’m doing by the live reactions of some others. I have to admit that I take some satisfaction if they compliment me and I do it well. If that makes me an exhibitionist then so be it…but when it comes right down to it, what I’m doing is having a good time and sharing that with others who I assume are there for the same reasons. Thanks Per for you mentoring and encouragement.
I think most singers, and people in general. have two sides to their personality. In different settings one side may be more dominant than the other. On stage people might readily assume a singer is automaticlly an extrovert. Whether this is wrong or correct is irrelevant. I don’t care if I’m being entertained by an extrovert or an introvert! I’m just thrilled I’m being entertained by an amazing singer!!!
The best performers I know are introverted by nature. They are deeply emotional and music allows them to share their passions with the world.
I agree mostly with Salvio above. I am introvert, but when I am on stage or perform, I can sing like an angel and without fear. Feedback tells me I am a “natural”, and I too, express my soul in songs. So extrovert, introvert does not matter so much as desire, talent and work!
As has been noted, both intros and extras can be singers. I would suggest that the techniques of preparation, and audience interaction may differ between the two types of people (speaking in stereotypical terms, as we all fall more properly along a spectrum of intro-extravert.)
Introverted people tend to energize alone, and would tend to be drained more by performing. Whereas extraverted people are more likely to be energized by the audience and interaction.
It is also interesting to note that many actors and other public figures claim to be highly introverted people, yet perform extraordinarily well in front of crowds, and may have a high degree of interaction with their audiences at times.
I know of one very famous imtrovert and that is Elvis. He was very shy when not on stage or well even when he was onstage atone time I can remember hearing about him being shy. IE the Aloha from Hawaii concert.
I have studied Iris interpretation and can see if a person has a tendency to take their emotions inwardly (Introvert) or are able to express themselves outwardly (extrovert)
But I don’t think labels define our ability to sing, other than it may be more confronting for the “introvert” to be comfortable if front of an audience. I think both parts of me can sing with emotion or ease. I happen to be an extrovert.
I would say I am a little of both. I have always enjoyed singing while engaging in daily activities (even at my jobs). I sang to my children in utero (they all sing well). I didn’t start performing until my children were mostly grown. At first, it was terrifying. Now, a few years later, it seems quite easy to get up in front of a lot of people and start a song. Nature or nurture (meaning lots of practice), I don’t know.
Personally….I don’t see my self ether way. I think I am the same on stage as well as off. I know that I love to sing and perform and I am a people person. I know my limits…….sometimes I take chances vocally which makes performing interesting but other then that, it’s all good!
I’ve found that the nature of expressing art has many forms…ask yourself were miles davis mozart van gogh shakespeare examples of an extroverted or introverted character? Or, were they indicative of a mixture of the two? I’m just a vocal artist, retired, but somehow not so much. This is a question whose answer is nebulous. However, there are many examples of success wallowing in the extroverted nature of finding the freedom of giving more than one’s all in the form of a song delivered and received…it is the quiet frail side of the coin though that balances and brings truth to the premise that music is universal and not easily categorized unless you have comprehensive knowledge. That, my dear friends is beyond my experience.
I have had stage fright in the past and my shyness has really been a problem in my life. Singing in a a church choir and with barber shoppers has helped me a lot. I can feel a new confidence being developed I never had before. My goal is to sing a solo in church. I am hoping your lessons help give me that final boost of confidence I need.
I’ve played guitar for forty years. My wife and kids told me I couldn’t sing and this upset me. But then I heard myself on a tape and I agreed with them. This made me only sing when no one was around and I became introverted. Recently I started playing the ukulele in a ukulele group and I can sing with out being front and centre. I love singing as I believe we don’t sing to be happy, we are happy because we sing.
I say Pers is the man because he addresses the introvert and the extrovert by providing an all encompassing system geared toward extracting the best in all who strive to share the gift of vocal art in it’s most acceptable form
from what i gather, whether you’re shy or a ham, there is a science beneath the art, and they exist in harmony, when delivered in proportion
I agree with Kevin Hancey. I was very introverted when I was young, but learned by practice to act like an extrovert around people. When I sing in a choir or just a duet, I want to do my best to do a beautiful song justice so people listening can love the music as much as I do. In doing so, I forget myself and lose myself in the music.
I always smile when someone comes to my studio and says, “I love to sing, but I am so shy and I’m afraid to sing in front of people.”
I say “That is wonderful!” God puts the most beautiful jewels inside of the people that have to process, work, grow, learn to Trust with a capitol T.
That old “How beautiful the pearl, how tortured its making.”
I’m not entirely sure of the clinical definition of introvert and extrovert. I remember reading about it once and it surprised me.
However, I do know some of the most beautiful voices have had to go through so much in order for us to be blessed. I’m so grateful they do, and I have seen first hand what it can take.
Found these definitions
Definition: Contrary to what most people think, an introvert is not simply a person who is shy. In fact, being shy has little to do with being an introvert! Shyness has an element of apprehension, nervousness and anxiety, and while an introvert may also be shy, introversion itself is not shyness. Basically, an introvert is a person who is energized by being alone and whose energy is drained by being around other people.
Introverts are more concerned with the inner world of the mind. They enjoy thinking, exploring their thoughts and feelings. They often avoid social situations because being around people drains their energy. This is true even if they have good social skills. After being with people for any length of time, such as at a party, they need time alone to “recharge.”
When introverts want to be alone, it is not, by itself, a sign of depression. It means that they either need to regain their energy from being around people or that they simply want the time to be with their own thoughts. Being with people, even people they like and are comfortable with, can prevent them from their desire to be quietly introspective.
Being introspective, though, does not mean that an introvert never has conversations. However, those conversations are generally about ideas and concepts, not about what they consider the trivial matters of social small talk.
Introverts make up about 60% of the gifted population but only about 25-40% of the general population.
Definition: Most people believe that an extrovert is a person who is friendly and outgoing. While that may be true, that is not the true meaning of extroversion. Basically, an extrovert is a person who is energized by being around other people. This is the opposite of an introvert who is energized by being alone.
Extroverts tend to “fade” when alone and can easily become bored without other people around. When given the chance, an extrovert will talk with someone else rather than sit alone and think. In fact, extroverts tend to think as they speak, unlike introverts who are far more likely to think before they speak. Extroverts often think best when they are talking. Concepts just don’t seem real to them unless they can talk about them; reflecting on them isn’t enough.
Extroverts enjoy social situations and even seek them out since they enjoy being around people. Their ability to make small talk makes them appear to be more socially adept than introverts (although introverts may have little difficulty talking to people they don’t know if they can talk about concepts or issues).
Extrovert behavior seems to be the standard in American society, which means that other behavior is judged against the ways an extrovert would behave. However, extroverted behavior is simply a manifestation of the way an extrovert interacts with the world. Extroverts are interested in and concerned with the external world.
I’m an inteovert offstage, but onstage you’d think I’m schizophrenic, cos i become a whole new person, an extrovert.
Oh YES one needs to be an extrovert to be an impactful performer..being an extrovert myself, I love it when I m able to connect with the audience so well..
I’ve just had to take a personality test for my college class which showed that I am contemplatively introverted (turning focus within) and sentimentally extroverted (turning focus outward such as being expressive takes)… the more I know the song the easier it is for me to sing without shaking in my shoes, but I just LOVE to love God and want all the world to know it. If a song touches my heart, I want everyone to not only see it in my performance but also FEEL it! I believe performing can bring an introvert out of their shell and make them more extroverted. And I believe a natural extrovert will have fewer problems with singing to crowds.
I consider myself an introvert. By definition, this means that I need a certain amount of solitary time in order to recharge my batteries. Although I may have a wonderful time at a party, after 3 or 4 nights in a row of doing so, I am in serious need of time off. Extroverts need people in order to recharge themselves. An introvert may be friendly, and might not be shy. Extroverts can be shy, but there lack of ease in a situation would probably be exhibited in a noisy manner, as opposed to the quiet shyness of an introvert.
As a singer, I emote better in a group than individually, but I think that is a fear factor that either introverts or extroverts might experience. An introverted singer might perform brilliantly but it would expend a lot of energy and the introvert would have to make sure that part of the performance day is quiet in order to save energy for performance.
I’m definitely an introvert, and I think a lot of singers are. It seems like we are more introspective, thinking even unconsciously about how the music and the words of the song should make us feel, maybe about the composer’s life at the moment of creation or our life at the moment of discovery of the song. Sometimes, it’s time to sing something and I just do it – I always love to sing so it is not a hardship, but I’m acting. At other times, I feel the music running through me, and I sing because I simply couldn’t NOT sing at those moments. Being “ON” for me is having these occasions coincide – that is when I sing my absolute best. I am continually working on how to MAKE that happen more often, but it sure is uplifting when it does happen – a far better high than any drug or alcohol!
I am a singer who is very, very extroverted and always has been since I was a child. A person does not have to be extroverted to be an effective singer but it does help especially when on stage in front of a large audience.
I am basically introverted, but when singing in a male voice choir find that I become gently extroverted supported by the glorious sound and fellowship of those around me. The joy of being able to add just a little to the overall sound overcomes any reluctance to sing out, or fear that I will get it wrong.
This is an interesting topic to discuss. Most people would I suspect state, if asked, that a performer was extrovert in character by the very fact that they can stand up on a stage and perform in front of an audience.This is something that most people would express a great fear of doing… however, in my particular situation and experience i would say I am not particularly extrovert by nature. I cannot walk into a room of strangers and start talking to everyone and yet my wife can and yet she would be very daunted by the prospect of performing in public. Many singers that I know are exceptional performers but offstage quite unassuming. Personally I find that trait very appealing and attractive.
Without going into deep psychoanalysis I would state in my own case that singing is a very spiritual experience that enables me to express emotions through the medium of music that perhaps I would be less able to communicate in general conversation. It is a way in which I can seek a balance and harmony within myself and a great gift to be able to reach out and touch other peoples emotions in an intimate way that is not possible with strangers in polite conversation.
Are we born introvert or extrovert? I believe we are framed by our experiences in life and I think that those very early experiences when we are just young and to a degree blank canvas’s are extremely important in shaping our character and personality. I believe that I still carry around with me to some degree feelings I experienced as very young child and sense that they have formed part of my nature and personality.. it is indeed a fascinating subject matter :))
Any performer is usually an extrovert,but many like me, suffer from pre-performance nerves but i think this sharpens us.To sing in a CATHEDRAL as i have done, despite being an untrained Choirister is an acheievment of note and the euphoria of singing well ,gives the most wonderful uplift ever. At this moment of time, i’m stood down due to having throat treatment and at the age of 82, i realise that my options are limited, however ,i can not stop wanting to sing. I think all young people should be encouraged in school to take part in this.
Maybe the difference is between pride and humility. Pride is showy and a bit reckless, aims for the top climbing over the failures of others. But humility reaches from heart to heart and all are lifted and inspired. The beauty expressed through humble courage is really lasting. Humility teaches compassion to the extrovert, and courage to the introvert. This make sense?
I believe generally speaking most performers are introverts when it comes to communicating on a one on one basis , therefore they need an inner method of expressing they selves. once in the lights, they are great extroverts and after over coming the normal fear of stage fright which I believe they can overcome due to their need to expresses they are Dyn-O-Mite. And they will EXPRESS. Thanks and Adios
Show offs are extrovert and rarely make good performers. The good actor/singer internalises and develops the character or the feel of the song before a performance. Practising soto voce until the elements of the music or script is absorbed. Then the dynamics of the song or script must be used with full expression of the voice. Great singers/actors do not deplete their “CAPITAL” That is using the dynamics artistically with always something in reserve. My teacher stated that a performer must have “A HEART of FIRE and a BRAIN of ICE!”
I am an introverted, very reserved person but when I get behind the microphone and know what I want to express in my song, I open up and forget everything except the song and the audience. It’s an experience that exhilerates me.I can soar and free myself.
I have always considered myself extroverted but the comments give food for thought…I have never had a problem being sociable and can start a conversation with just about anyone…meanwhile I love alone time and that is where I turn to music and singing …and spirituality and it is this that grounds me.
I was always an extarvert so for me sining was not a problem. What I find fasinating is when I ask people to sing a along with me the usual answer is I am “to shy, or only when I’m in the shower.
Then I lie and say that it is my birhday, when of course it is not. The person who told told me was shy would accually sing very well.
Speaking for myself I would have both traits.
I’m saying their are times when I enjoy my own company the best . For exanple I love meditation, sound healing,and listening to soothing music or reading a good book.
Other times I enjoy the company of others and the exchanging of thoughts and insights can be very beneficial.
I feel we all are like this, or I would like to think we are.
Being a hermit cannot be healthy!
I am extroverted on stage as the audience demands, however, I tend toward contemplative introversion in my daily life, which I feel is necessary for aware vocal and instruments practicing. I have finally admitted that I prefer an introverted, inner directed, self aware lifestyle, mixed with periods of extroverted group activities.
I find many professional singers, or those who tend towards professional quality, are quite extroverted. It’s generally a mix between extroversion and introversion. When things go well in one’s music world, one feels accepted by one’s peers, that one’s singing is regarded at a high level. This reinforcement makes one feels secure enough that if one is extroverted, that characteristic is amplified or intensified.
However, the moment one is slighted, especially in the presence of others, the “wind is taken out of one’s sails” as it were, and a depressed feeling often ensues. This can nullify extroversion, ast least temporarily, and some degree of introversion results as a form of self-protection from further “slings and arrows” from a perceived leader of a group which has become antagonistic, so one might think, folks one once trusted as supportive colleagues..
As an artist I think that I recharge in the quiet environment. I spend a lot of time by myself and create during these quiet and alone times, space devoid of sound or loud noisy environments. I am pretty happy being this way. I have always considered myself to be introverted. I am not a hermit or a recluse.
Being in my quiet and recharging in this way does not exclude me from the love of performing and being the in the super charged excitement of the stage.
Being able to walk up to strangers and begin a conversation is not natural to me, and I practice all the time being gregarious and able to
be part of the external world, because I love people and I love talking with people. I would say I am shy and that makes it harder for me to be at parties and talk with people I don’t know. I experience myself as reserved.
If you were to ask me if I was an introvert or extrovert, I would say ‘introvert’ with tiny wings of ‘extrovert’ from time to time.
Thank you everyone for sharing your views!
Marti Olsen Laney, author of “The introvert advantage” writes, “Introverts are like a rechargeable battery. They need to stop expending energy and rest in order to recharge. Extroverts are like solar panels that need the sun to recharge. Extroverts need to be out and about to refuel.”
I was a professional actress for about 15 years and very shy/introvert in my private life during all that time. I remember a director saying “she is completely invisible as a person, she only ‘comes out’ when she is on stage.” Curiously, after I stopped acting, I started being more extravert in my private life… as if I had to compensate for the loss. I think introvert people are only like that until they find a way to channel their expressive potential.
One thing that I’d like to know is if ear dominance plays a role. Knowing that the neural pathway form right ear to left brain (rational, faster response) is shorter than from left ear to right brain (emotional), I ‘d be curious to find if there is a correlation.
I think I am an introvert. I love just listening to music by myself at home in my room. I love practicing behind closed doors sometimes late into the night.
i am usually an introvert…i sing with no audience for pure pleasure…
If you sing with a paper bag on your head, then the Gong Show hook will drag you away. If you sing above the Karaoke machine, then you will see an empty room when they turn the lights off. When it’s your turn then stand up and stand out. Otherwise, it’s all about how you accompany others.
I think to be a successful singer whether for pleasure or pay, you have to be an extrovert type personality. That is what gives passion and depth to a performance.
Whether you are introverted or extroverted is a personality trait. It has nothing to do with whether you are a singe. A singer can be either introverted or extroverted.
Is an introverted/extroverted woman and man feeling and acting it out in the same way as a singer and performer?
I was just out playing and singing in the shopping street in the city where I am at now, Århus, Denmark. I feel that I am able to be extroverted towards children and some few adults, the ones who have open eyes and open heart and mind. The humans that just “exist” in the moment. I see myself as living like that, but when I´m pressured into situations, such as a stage what makes me “higher” than the audience, then I either have to play a role of entertainer/extroverted or I feel like I want to vomit being “just me”….any thoughts?
As a classical singer trained in the Jean De Reske method, I believe singers must be a little bit of both. Introvert, in order to understand and interpret texts, meaning and emotion into their music. Extrovert, in order to overcome any obstacles, fear and give a confident presentation.
So much has been said that it is difficult to say much more than’ I agree with the idea that there is a bit of both in each of us’ but to add something practical could I just put in a word for the expression ‘thank you’ said simply and with meaning it is so much better than the air kisses and the ritual ‘Dahling you were wonderful’ that pervades theatrical circles – signifying nothing.
I don’t believe ‘being an extrovert or introvert’ has anything to do with singing. Singing is a skill which some people do very well and it just happens that introverts as well as extroverts are in that category of people who have the skill to sing. Genetic inheritance and childhood experiences probably dictate who is an introvert of an extorvert.
I think that most are introverts, just like a lot of actors. Often, very shy and introverted people find it easier to act and perform than to be involved in one-on-one personal relationships. It is easier to get up and pretend you are someone else through acting or singing than to actually reveal yourself as you truly are. Often it is hard for people to express their personal selves to others but they, in a way, have these personal relationships through their acting or singing. I think often, people fear rejection if they are themselves, but if they are acting or singing, they feel accepted and received for the talent they perform.
Like Mimi, as I understand it and introvert energises with space and alone time, and extrovert gains energy from interactions with others. As far as performing goes, if an extrovert has “learned” self-doubt it will stifle performance and an introvert with self-belief can project and interpret to an audience very successfully.
Artists are introvert and depressive people, and I am also like that.. But I usually overcome it especially now that I have a business.Self awareness is very important to overcome your weaknessess.
Personal idea, to be a singer should be extroverted. because singer standing on the stage should be show himself and let everyone know his brilliance.
You asked two questions. There are two answers:
Do you think performing singers are more extroverts or introverts?
A: Most are probably extroverts, especially the ones who are not especially good singers.
Does one or the other bode for greater success as an artist?
I don’t think either makes for greater success as an artist, nor do I think either hampers success. It is the art that an artist loves, and the feeling that one has done well with the art. I don’t think it necessarily has anything to do with ones feelings about relating to other people. (Unless the art is stand up comedy :o) :
First off: introvert is not necessarily the same as shy. If you want a really good description of introvert search TED.com for “The power of introvert”.
Having said that, I don’t think it introvert or extravert matters a lot when performing.
If you have the urge of expressing yourself, the pleasure of sharing it doesn’t matter.
I do happen to think that the best performers are not found in either of the extremes. I think the introvercy(?) helps with selfreflection and attention to what you want to express. The extravert side helps in the performance and being there in the moment.
Wow, so many people feeling like I do. I’m in my 40’s with a talented musician husband. We’ve been just surviving & raising our 3 kids (now teenagers, God help us) that music has been unattainable for both of us. I’m definately an introvert & shy around people, but music seems to liberate me. I definately need lots of alone time to recharge my batteries. I’m dying to sing with and for my hubby. If nothing else, just to inspire him & get him out there again. I like to think of myself as his muse. Ha, ha, ha.
Maybe we’re all a blend of extrovert and introvert. More like there’s a dimension here instead of a dichotomy. When it’s time to create, we have to dig deep inside ourselves, and that’s where you’ll find us. But when it’s time to perform, we have to use our personality to connect our performance to our audience.
What’s seems important to me is that we don’t have to be all things to all people, so to speak. If we simply enjoy singing as part of the creative process, we don’t have to work as hard on stage presence. We can just enjoy the chance to express ourselves, to let ourselves be inspired. That’s the beauty of personal expression. We can shape it to communicate with others. Or we can simply let ourselves ‘be’.
It took me a long time to be comfortable with being an introvert – especially with an extreme extroverted husband who was always in the limelight and loved by everyone! But I’ve always associated my introversion with my nerves and fear of singing in public – even though I’ve done so hundreds of times. Guess I’m learning now that my nerves is my judgment of others – but that’s a difficult concept to get my head around!
I am very intro when off stage but as soon as I am behind the mic I become an extreme extrovert which I think you need as a performer otherwise your audience can become bored.
I have sang a lot since I was little, but I did it mostly for my own enjoyment. However I have sang in school choirs, Up With People, and in church, often doing solos. So, I believe I am an introvert by birth, but have had to get better at acting like I wasn’t to get what I needed. I have somewhat enjoyed the act of being an extrovert at times, as it seems to get me farther with people. If I just be exactly who I am, I don’t usually get noticed or get the job, or whatever I’m trying to get. However, I know I’ll never truely be a full extrovert, as it is not my preferred style. It makes me wonder though, if maybe, we are all just somewhere on the continuum of the introvert-extrovert scale, just as we are with many other personality traits.
i don’t think it matters either way. I know a young lady who I would describe as both and introvert and an extrovert, her normal singing voice is powerful! When she hits a high note there is only one response, WOW! The air around you just vibrates! Seriously! It’s as if you can tough it.
Bristow-scholars are PER-verted! 😉
Directly provide your instruction how to enhance my singing technique.
I Agree with both Marynne and Diane, discipline along with
Inclination to express oneself will guarantee a better per-
Formance! Hugh Jackman quoted, that besides acting,
Singing is the only way one can express true passion and
Vulnerability , most difficult for us with Macho traits!!!
The comments posted have just turned on a light for me. My husband is normally introverted but can be quite extroverted when he has a mike in his hand. I have always wondered where this character came from.
I am more extroverted but down deep I am introverted. I freeze up when I attempt to sing in public. I joined the church choir about six months ago. If I had not seen and heard what Per teaches I would have missed some of the best experiences of my life. Thank you Per.