Things You Should Know About Ambiverts

One of the first things you should know about ambiverts is that I am not one. I’ve written extensively about my introvert nature and that all still stands; I absolutely fall firmly on that side. I am going to go ahead and humorously venture into unknown territory though.

caa222755c6a04fa7d99086e7e4485e91. Ambiverts have both introvert and extrovert traits working in sweet harmony with each other. Where an introvert likes to recharge alone and an extrovert is energized in the presence of others, an ambivert can thrive in both situations. So basically, you are smack dab in the middle without any of the crazy that either extreme brings. [Yes, I just called both introverts and extroverts crazy. Aren’t we all just a little bit? Well, except for ambiverts because I just said they weren’t. Geez, this argument is falling apart.]

2. Ambiverts probably aren’t walking around talking to anyone they see on the street, but they are pleased to join into the conversation when invited or necessary. [This can also be called “southern,” but that is a different “things you should know about” altogether.] An ambivert can happily run around all extroverted during the day, but need some alone time to recharge in the evening. They are typically social, but not aggressive. Quiet, but not reclusive. This is different than an introvert or extrovert who can “try on” the other personality when necessary.

3. We are all a little bit ambivert. Most of us don’t fall on the extreme introvert or extreme extrovert side of the scale. Just like in politics, most of us are somewhere in the middle. I’ve seen several mentions online about the “ambiverted introvert” or “ambiverted extrovert” and I think those are probably more realistic descriptors. You have to remember, none of these labels are absolute; they are just terms we made up to help us understand particular personality traits.

4. You rarely hear about ambiverts until people get tired of talking about introvert/extrovert. Or, more likely, run out of interesting gifs to illustrate their humorous points [guilty!]. That is because ambivert is much less fun and leaves little to argue about. Ambivert is kind of the “well, people are people” label in the personality world. And that just doesn’t fly on the internet these days.

5. People like ambiverts. In general, being an ambivert means different people can appreciate the traits they like best. An extreme extrovert or extreme introvert sharing an ambivert friend might argue (fight to the death?) over where that friend fits on the spectrum. Only if they are completely ninnies though; dump those friends, dear ambivert.

So, survey time. Where do you fall on the scale? If we are talking 1-10, 1 = full introvert and 10 = full extrovert, I’m probably a firm 3. Or 6 if I’ve been drinking.

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17 comments

  1. I have related to a lot of this post, but when I think about the times I am more extroverted, it’s when I’m in a situation that requires it (like my job) or I’m just a bit stir crazy and I’m up for just about anything (which hardly ever happens unless you include my wanderlust.) All that said, I would say my norm without any outside influence would be a firm 3. I hate large groups of people/crowds, love meaningful one on one conversations, and still need my alone “check out” time to keep from going crazy.

  2. I love “ambivert”. I have more introverted traits that extroverted, but I have never fallen squarely in either camp. I’ve never heard this before, I am a solid 4.8 ambivert. Thanks for the clarity.

  3. When I discovered this term I found a better description of myself. My younger self was probably an 8, my recent self closer to a 2. Depending of the company and the place I fluctuate a lot.

  4. I loved your introvert post, but I was too lazy to scroll through all the comments to add one.

    I had never thought about it, but I fit firmly into the introvert mold and it explains a lot of my unique craziness. It’s so weird how we can get so far through life without ever noticing things about ourselves. I am just now discovering how good we are at not noticing things we don’t want to notice, not knowing things we don’t want to know.

    1. Thank you for commenting – the introvert post comment section is crazy big. And thanks for reading! I think, a lot of the time at least, we don’t really need to learn things about ourselves. Then suddenly something becomes crystal clear and its like “Why didn’t I ever notice that?!”

  5. 2. I am seriously introverted, and always have been. My sister would be an 8. She is seriously extroverted. Our mom is probably a 4. She is ambiverted, slightly more on the introverted side. She can party with the best of them and can be as loud as sis, but unlike sis, she needs her alone time.

  6. Hey, there’s a term for me! This was a nice read. I’ve never got this intro/extrovertion thing pinned down, as I can find myself in neither camp and both. I reckon I’d label myself a 4.8 as a sort of average, fluctuating along most of the spectrum. I find interaction with friends is generally energizing, but interacting with strangers can be very draining.

  7. I’m a weird kind of ambivert: invigorated by leadership and performance, but drained by sitting in the audience. I look like I’m playing a part when it’s just within my nature to waffle between introversion and extroversion.

  8. I am a true ambivert though sadly, I don’t get to be in the “club of 3’s”. All the my school years, and even up until my mid-twenties, I was an extrovert (confirmed by my constant ENFJ result on the Myers-Briggs personality type test) though with age, or maybe it was moving to a big city (I’m from a small town), I’m definitely more introverted (also confirmed by my new result of INFJ on the same MBPTT). Though I believe my introversion result fell just on the lower half of that particular divider, making me probably closer to a 6 or a 6.5 on the I/E scale you mentioned in your post. I still say I’m more introverted though, because though I like meeting new people, I HATE putting myself in situations in which I would be able to meet new people, i.e. a party, book club , etc. I don’t have a problem talking extensively with someone new, in fact my bf would actually say that it seems like it’s easier for me to open up to someone I barely know than it is for me to do the same with him (we’ve been dating a year and a half). I definitely feel the need for quiet introspection and time to myself to recharge, and not getting enough time to devote to that will send me into a tailspin. One I’ve endearingly coined a “Mommy temper tantrum”. (Watch out for these, they can be quite destructive — think the Tasmanian devil with PMS). I have been called a flake a lot in recent years because the thought of leaving my house and being around people I don’t know, and sometimes do know, is terrifying and exhausting in itself, let alone actually doing it. I don’t necessarily have issues with small talk with strangers though, but that probably stems from my many positions where customer service (face to face kind, not over the phone) has been top priority, and let me tell you, I’m amazing at it. I have had several customers come back to my place of employment and tell me they had hoped I would be there because of the kind service and ” great smile” and friendly conversation (my bf calls this flirting) they got from me was refreshing. I’ve also been told that it seems like I genuinely like my job and that’s rare in today’s society where most people in the service industry seem jaded and they are only at work for the paycheck. So I may be an anomaly, but I’m just me. An eternal optimist, slightly outgoing but actually afraid of people, empathetic, loner, socially awkward geek (and I say that proudly and with every bit of respect for fellow geeks worldwide). But I’m incredibly lovable and incredibly loving to those that put up with the crazy long enough to break into my “circle of trust”.
    Phew, that was a long comment. Funny though because I know there was something else I was going to say, but I can’t remember what it was. I think the tape of my inner monologue was being eaten by the deck player (yes, I’m THAT old) as I was trying to type this on my phone fast enough to keep up with my brain. I think that bitch runs marathons or something…

  9. My understanding is that introversion and extroversion are not two ends of one scale, but are two different attributes with their own scales. What pop psychology likes to call an “Introvert” is relatively higher on the introversion scale than on the extroversion scale (and vice versa). A so-called “Ambivert” simply scores similarly on both scales.

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