Home page Psychology blog Psychology News From the World of Science Come out of your shell and become happy—you can do it. How to become happier: from an introvert to an extrovert

Come out of your shell and become happy—you can do it. How to become happier: from an introvert to an extrovert

28.10.2019 Author: Psychologist Pavel Khoroshutin

An introvert can become an extrovert and feel happy by working on his/her behaviour.

American psychologists set up an experiment in which they established a connection between positive affects (cheerfulness) and extroversion. It turns out that the path to happiness lies through one’s attitude towards life, and that can be changed.


The experiment involved college students. 123 participants were divided into two groups. During the first week, the participants in group one had to behave like extroverts: be talkative, energetic, self-confident and direct; and then transform into introverts—calm, cautious and withdrawn. The participants of group two completed the test in the opposite order: at first, they lived the life of an introvert, and a week later, they became extroverts. Three times a week, participants were reminded of their role and expected behaviour. The audience was young and flexible—no one had difficulties in changing their behaviour.


After the experiment, participants in both groups noted that when being extroverts, they had a generally good mood and feeling of well-being, and when they were introverts, they felt internal discomfort and disappointment. It turns out that a change in behaviour affects subjective psychological well-being*, in other words, a person can make himself/herself happy simply by changing behaviour.

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According to the author of the study, world-renowned psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky, “changing one’s social behaviour is an achievable goal that many can achieve”. Therefore, the reorientation of the individual towards extroversion can improve his/her quality of life.

Studies have already shown that people can consciously change their personalities. If a person has set out to become an extrovert, he/she can work on extroversion as a skill, consistently reinforcing the manifestations of extrovert behaviour. This was experimentally confirmed by psychologists Nathon Hudson and Chris Fraley in 2015-2017.


To feel happy, you just need to try to become an extrovert. It is possible to change behaviour and personal qualities even in a short time.

* The concept of psychological well-being was first worked out by N. Bradburn. According to Bradburn, it is identified with a subjective feeling of happiness and general satisfaction with life. The essence of psychological well-being is the balance between positive and negative life events in conjunction with their subjective perception. When the level of positive experiences exceeds the level of negative ones, a person feels happy and satisfied, and vice versa. This is the secret to the psychological well-being of the individual.