Fundamentally we all argue differently. Add any emotional or other pressures and that may change how we act from our “norm”. Just take the recent TV debates between politicians. I hope some of the unprofessional arguments we’ve heard lately are a stress response, rather than how they normally work! Arguments of that nature and name calling, rarely make it easy to bring a team together. Maybe that’s why I was asked “do introverts and extrovert argue differently“.
When an extrovert argues, there may be a more wordy approach to it, a more emotional component, says psychotherapist Nathan Feiles in Psychology Today. He also says the introvert tends to be more rational and reasonable about it, less comfortable experiencing the emotion and ambiguity. The extrovert is more likely to have wordy and emotional elements than the detailed elements from the introvert.
After the argument
The other interesting thing might be after the debate. After a tough debate an introvert may be more comfortable remaining silent and letting others in the room make the running. You’re probably thinking that sounds fairly normal, which is true and a reasonable assumption.
An extrovert is more likely want to keep going,, talk and finish things right away. Introverts tend to prefer to think things through, mull over arguments, the rights, the wrongs and then proceed carefully (perhaps that’s the Acetlyl Choline). If each side sees the other’s style as a wrong reaction, the argument can continue and fester.
Resolving the argument
Their different styles may make introverts and extroverts argue differently. More importantly, understanding those differences is important in resolving the issues they argued about; lest they then argue about the argument and who knows where that may end!
As a leader, understanding these differences may help you defuse situations in your team, whether or not you’re directly involved.
As a introvert, you might try a simple idea. In the moment you might explain why you need a break between the conflict arising and the debate happening. You might say something like “I can get overwhelmed by conflict situations, they can make me automatically close down. If you give me some time to think about things first, I’ll be much more able to talk things through.“.
But does it have to be the introvert making the running? Let’s all get better at understanding different ways of processing and communicating.