For introverts, faking the extrovert lifestyle has a positive outcome

Fake it ’til you make it? If you’re an introvert, that may be the best way to go in a culture that favors extraverts, says a new study led by the University of California Riverside.

The study required a group of over 100 participants to act like extraverts for a period of a week, doing things such as talking to strangers on the train. (They reported it as a positive experience.)

For another week, participants were directed to act like introverts – to be deliberate, quiet, reserved, and so on. They showed a decrease in well-being.

After their full week of extraversion activities,  even the “faux” extraverts (aka, the true introverts) did not report any negative effects; in fact, they showed increased well-being.

“The findings suggest that changing one’s social behavior is a realizable goal for many people and that behaving in an extraverted way improves well-being,” said Sonja Lyubomirsky, a UCR psychologist and co-author of the study, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.