Introversion and extraversion are opposite ends of the personality spectrum. Few people sit right at the edges of the spectrum, however, and this means that extraverted personality types will show introverted tendencies when they need to and, likewise, Introverts will tap into their less-dominant extraverted side in certain environments and situations. 

It's the latter situation we’ll be examining more closely in this discussion. Here’s how the eight introverted personalities show their extraverted side and what’s likely to trigger that behavior. 

The INFP: The voice of wisdom

While an INFP is frequently the quietest person in the room, they have a tendency to express themselves forcefully and passionately when discussing moral or ethical dilemmas, or when they are going the extra mile to help someone out. People turn to INFPs for their unfailing support and often see them as the voice of wisdom within the group. They can become quite outspoken when something or someone captures their attention – although they will need to rest up and avoid heavy socializing for a while when it’s all over. 

The INFJ: The spontaneous adventurer

In most instances, INFJs will seem like the most private people in the world. But, they are capable of spontaneous bursts of extraverted behavior if they see a chance for fun or are given an opportunity to try something new and exciting. The normally reserved INFJ might break out in song and dance if the music is playing, or jump to the front of the line to volunteer to do something that others consider a little scary or dangerous. (Skydiving or mountain climbing, anyone?) INFJs can be shockingly bold when there is adventure to be had, which can come as a great surprise to those who’ve never been exposed to that side of them before.

The INTP: The devil’s advocate

There’s a playful side to INTPs that can take people by surprise when they first encounter it. These types appreciate a vigorous exchange of ideas, and they will do what is necessary to keep a lively conversation going. INTPs will often spice up the conversation by playing devil’s advocate, just to see what happens or to puncture the balloon of someone who seems a little too confident in their opinions. When INTPs put on their back-and-forth debating shoes, no one would describe them as introverted.  

The INTJ: The natural-born leader

Known for their capacity to take charge, INTJs are natural-born leaders who aren’t afraid to seek out positions in management. Their introversion is basically no factor when they’re fulfilling their duties as problem-solvers, rule-breakers and bosses. They will delegate authority and responsibility without hesitation, and gain the respect of their employees by doling out the credit fairly and liberally. Their extraversion may not be their dominant characteristic, but when they unleash it the results can be quite impressive, and the envy of Extraverts everywhere who wish they could do as well.

The ISFP: The conscientious volunteer

ISFPs recognize the potential for fun and excitement in every moment and are eager for their loved ones to join them on their crusade to live life to its fullest. Their infectious enthusiasm for life’s simple pleasures is so strong that it can turn them into extraverted dynamos in an instant, and those who share those pleasures with them will definitely notice the change. Interestingly, ISFPs are as quick to react to suffering as they are to opportunities for fun – these types frequently volunteer with organizations that help animals, the environment, the homeless and so on, and they impress with their irrepressible optimism. ISFPs in these environments will often ascend rapidly in the organizational hierarchy thanks to their surprisingly extraverted ‘can-do’ energy.

The ISFJ: The charming host

ISFJs are one of the more sociable personality types and this is clearest when they have the opportunity to host a party or event. As hosts, ISFJs will do an excellent job of making everyone in the room feel comfortable and at ease, and they know how to make each guest feel important by offering a kind word or compliment at just the right time. In a hosting context, the ISFJ will display all the qualities of the "extraverted Introvert." Another area their extraversion stands out is in relationships. ISFJs are all about their family and loved ones, and they will be open and communicative with the people that matter the most in their lives. The ISFJ will continue to need their private time, as all Introverts do. But their extraverted side definitely shows up when they’re around those they care about.  

The ISTP: The self-assured professional

While they may remain in the shadows most of the time, when there is a problem or emergency that requires a quick and practical solution ISTPs will leap in to offer their services. They think and process information extraordinarily well, so, when something is broken and causing serious stress, ISTPs will ride to the rescue to offer an ingenious and totally practical solution. These types often end up in jobs or careers that involve building, repairing or otherwise working with their hands. They often will surprise coworkers and companions with their boldness and assertiveness when things need to get done, given that they are normally so quiet and unassuming.

The ISTJ: The extravert by choice

ISTJs are terrific organizers and, when put in position to organize and lead, they will seize the opportunity with extraverted gusto! They aren’t ego-driven, so they don’t deploy their organizational skills for the purposes of self-aggrandizement. They do it to make sure their workplace runs smoothly and efficiently, or because their friends and family members are relying on them to make something happen. Driven by a sense of responsibility, ISTJs will be as outspoken and assertive as they need to be to make sure things get done right. Fascinatingly, a lot of people who know ISTJs in work-related, volunteer-related or community-related contexts will never even realize they’re Introverts, since they are never exposed to that side of the ISTJ’s personality.

Nathan Falde
Nathan Falde has been working as a freelance writer for the past six years. His ghostwritten work and bylined articles have appeared in numerous online outlets, and in 2014-2015 he acted as co-creator for a series of eBooks on the personality types. An INFJ and a native of Wisconsin, Nathan currently lives in Bogota, Colombia with his wife Martha and their son Nicholas.