She is the person saying hello to just about everyone she sees on campus. Her involvement serving as a FOCUS leader at California Baptist University makes her shine as the extrovert she is, especially with the big smile she wears.
Grace Park, junior health education major, is the women who encourages those to strive for the best they can be. She is constantly making new friends by talking to strangers.
“I’ve never considered myself an introvert,” Park said. “I really get my energy from seeing and meeting people and getting to know them.”
Park can always be seen ready to take action and loves showing affection, embracing everyone she knows and meets. Park is never afraid to be the first to initiate a conversation or say hello, even when she does not know who the person is. As an extrovert, Park said she gains her energy from hanging out with groups of people.
“One of my strengths is being an includer,” Park said. “If someone were to be sitting by himself or herself I would go up and talk to them. That doesn’t faze me at all.”
Kyle Querin, sophomore biomedical engineering major and Park’s FOCUS partner, describes Park as bubbly and including. He said she looks out for others and their students.
“When they had the giant tent out for orientation week, she was bringing students who were just sitting by themselves over our table to have lunch with us, and we had no idea who they were,” Querin said. “It’s easy for her to catch the attention of our students. They pay attention a lot to her because she’s very outgoing. I’m glad I got paired with her.”
Although Park is attentive to others’ needs, she described herself as someone easily distracted and has a hard time saying no. Park said she realizes being somewhat inattentive when wanting to build deeper relationships is a quality that she and many other extroverts tend to struggle with.
Dr. Ken Pearce, professor of psychology, said the study of extrovert and introvert personalities dates back to Socrates around 400-500 B.C. Extroverts are perceived as people who express themselves outwardly and take risks, Pearce said.
“Extroverts are leaders that can come up with innovative projects, new ways of doing things and probably invented the hula-hoop,” Pearce said. “These are the people we look for to leadership. These are the people we look for to create new ways of dressing, style, colors or fashion, because they are vocal about it.”
However, Pearce said stereotyping a person because of perceived extrovert or introvert characteristics can be harmful.
Park said she believes there is a balance between extroverts and introverts. There can be a positive and negative side to every personality, and Park said she finds the labeling of extroverts and introverts stereotypical.
As an extrovert and believer in Christ, Park said there is both a spiritual and personal connection in everyone.
“Introverts and extroverts are very broad terms,” Park said. “There are so many characteristics to a person that even if we could be categorized as introverts or extroverts, there are so many aspects and talents that shape a person. Different people bring different aspects and characteristics out of you.”
Both Pearce and Park said a person’s first instinct typically is to judge someone without really getting to know them. But Pearce explained stereotypes of both personalities can be
“You look at a diamond and all its facets, like in a ring, and you see that that diamond is finite, you’ll find the end of all that facets in that,” Pearce said. “But we’re infinitely made, we’re the diamond that God makes us infinitely. You keep on turning all the different facets of who we are, you’ll never get to the end of what God created in us and what he wants us to be.”
Both Pearce and Park agree learning to see someone for who they really are compared to what one thinks in their head is much more rewarding than placing a label. Park, like many extroverts, embraces each day loving on others and wanting nothing more than to accept everyone for who they are.
Park knows her strengths as an extrovert can help bring out the best in someone.