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Wellbeing and intentional extraversion

Two for You — take two minutes to live and lead with intention

Episode 4.3

Over three decades of research has found a relationship between extroversion and positive affect (well-being). So, are introverts doomed to be less happy than extroverts? What if you “act” like an extrovert? Would that make you feel better or worse?

Watch our video to find out what Sonja Lyubomirsky and researchers from University of California Riverside learned in their recent study.


Find below some information on how pretending to be an extrovert could make you happier.


Note: Two for You written transcripts are generated using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers, and may contain errors. Please check the corresponding audio before referencing content in print.

[Denise] Hello and welcome to Two for You. Now the labels extrovert and introvert have been around for quite a while. And so, Lori what would you say you are?

[Lori] Surprisingly, you might find surprising anyway, introverted.

[Denise] And I'm extroverted. And what we found is there some new research about being intentionally extroverted and how that can help your well-being. Yeah, so this is really fascinating.

[Lori] So Sonja Lyubomirsky and her team at UC Riverside asked people to be intentional about their behaviors in a certain way for a week at a time. And they didn't use the words extroverted or introverted because you know we have a lot of cultural thinking around that, like what that really means for us.

But they said, hey during the week when we want you to have more extroverted like behaviors. So think about being more, yeah

[Denise and Lori] Talkative. [laughter]

[Lori] Spontaneous, open.

[Denise] Assertive.

[Lori] And then during the more the introverted week be more um, quiet, contemplative, deliberative. Right so, and this is the interesting part. So during the extroverted week, the week where the people were more intentional about to be talkative, assertive behaviors, they had they reported having higher well-being.

Right, having higher positive emotions and more happy overall. And that is true even for the introverts. So the introverts when they had more behaviors that were more extrovert like, when they were more assertive and spontaneous their positivity or their their happiness rose.

[Denise] So this month we challenged you to be intentional about your behaviors. Put a little bit of assertion in your behavior. Be spontaneous. Talk it up a bit. Do it this month as you live and lead with intention.

Authors: Lori Rothstein and Denise Stromme, former Extension educators

Reviewed in 2020

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