We wanted to find out how people would characterize their best friends with their own words. Probably it is safe to say that we all have a pretty good idea of what generally makes a good friend – but we wondered if there was a difference between how introverts and extroverts describe their besties.
We ran a 5-WORDS survey for a week: sent out the question link to our audience, who first categorized themselves as either Introverts or Extroverts and then described their best friends with 5 different personality traits. 5-WORDS collected all the answers, ran its AI analysis, and here are the results!
The axis of extro- and introversion is the dimension of personality that describes how someone directs their energies and whether they obtain gratification from outside (extro) or inside (intro) themselves. Extroverts are often described as out-going, and social, while introverts are more reserved and slower to speak up. So when we paint a verbal picture of our best friend, are we more likely to point out those personality traits that match our personality type?
What we found was that by far the most frequent personality traits mentioned about best friends were ‘hilarious’ and ‘caring’ and both words were equally popular among extroverts and introverts. When asked to describe their closest friend in 5 words, about half of the respondents used the word ‘hilarious’ and another 10-20% used other synonyms (“fun”, “funny”, etc.)
For our audience the funny, but caring type is the absolute winner.
You can see the most popular answers organized into word groups in this graph:
However, we received a lot of answers that were much more curious. Just take a look at this word cloud and you can see a kaleidoscope of personality traits and associations, not necessarily all positive (we spotted ‘neurotic’, ‘angry’, and ‘grumpy’ in there.)
So what is the difference between the introverts and the extroverts? Take a look at the graph below and discover which words were exclusive to introverts and extroverts and which were used by both groups. The graph below shows the 5 most popular words that were used by introverts, but not extroverts and vice versa.
It is noticeable that the most common word exclusive to introverts was ‘confident’, and the one most commonly used by extroverts was ‘grounded’.
It seems like both personality types appreciate that positive social and individual attitude that characterizes the other. It cannot be said that the extrovert-adjacent words were used only by the extroverts or vice versa. However, it is not surprising that the words ‘loud’, and ‘arrogant’ were never used by introverts during our survey, and that only introverts described besties as ‘nerdy’ or ‘insecure’.
Further readings about the philosophy around personality types and friendships: