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.

Other posts in the “Things You Should Know” series:

Things You Should Know About Introverts

From MeetTheIntroverts.com
From MeetTheIntroverts.com
1) We need to recharge alone.
This right here is the cusp of the entire introvert v. extrovert debate (if there is one, anyway) – Introverts need to be alone to recharge. We tend to get completely worn out by socializing. This is basically what it means to be an introvert.

2) We don’t hate being around people, but we probably hate crowds.
I love being with people, but if you drop me into a large crowd I instantly feel like I’m alone and invisible. I try to avoid situations where I feel that way, so I may decline your open invitation to some random event. It doesn’t mean I don’t like to be around you, it just means I like to have more control over my surroundings.

3) We don’t mind silence.
I can sit beside you in silence and not think we are having a bad time. This is especially true on road trips and can be a little confounding to true extroverts. For this reason, I especially like going to the movies where it is already considered rude to chat. Rule #1 for dealing with introverts – Don’t tell me I’m “too quiet.” I hate that. Sorry I’m making you uncomfortable, but you really don’t get to decide how much I have to talk.

4) Just because we are introverted doesn’t mean we are shy.
Introvert and shy are actually two different things. Google it! In my case, I’m a shy introvert (the double whammy!).

5) We can turn on an extroverted personality when necessary, but it is especially draining.
See #1 and #2. I have no problem getting up in front of a group of people and giving a talk. I don’t even get nervous by a question and answer period. But – here is the thing – I will need major recharge time afterwards and I won’t be able to keep up this extroverted illusion all day. I can turn it on to dazzle a crowd, but if you take me out for lunch afterwards, I’ll probably just listen to you talk. I am an excellent listener.

6) We aren’t judging you.
See #3. Did I get quiet? Do I have a mean look on my face? I’m not judging you; I’m just wrapped up in my thoughts with my bitchy-resting-face on. I might have even forgotten you were there. Sorry, just poke me. I didn’t do it on purpose.

7) We secretly love it when you cancel plans.
I like being with you, but finding out I suddenly don’t need to be “on” and it wasn’t actually me that backed out? – priceless! Don’t worry if you have to cancel, I’m probably thrilled to be able to stay in my pajamas.

8) We can get very wrapped up in our own thoughts.
My inner monologue is epic. When you have a strong monologue constantly running in the background, it is pretty easy to settle-in and listen for a while. I have to work through things in my head before I proceed, so I usually need a few minutes. When I’m ready to move forward though, I am 100% on top of it!

9) We can be pretty bad at connecting.
You know when you have had a really bad day and you just want to call up a friend and chat? Yeah, I’m bad at that. I tend to wait for extroverts to reach out and include me, so when the time comes that I need support, I can be a bit lost.

10) We don’t like to hang around.
That time after an event or meeting ends and stragglers hang around to talk – yeah, I know this is the perfect time to make more plans, connect with new people, and get involved with future projects, but I really really really hate this. I’m probably already checking my phone in my car before you have even picked up your purse. Small talk with strangers is my kryptonite.

11) We have strong opinions.
Just because I have difficultly sharing them sometimes doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions. Give me an extra minute to compose my thoughts and I will continue to push myself to speak up sooner. It is a give and take here.

Like talking about this kind of stuff? Check out my post Things You Should Know About Ambiverts.

O = Oblivion

ob·liv·i·on [uh-bliv-ee-uhn]
1. the state of being completely forgotten or unknown: a former movie star now in oblivion.
2. the state of forgetting or of being oblivious: the oblivion of sleep
3. official disregard or overlooking of offenses; pardon; amnesty.

Sometimes I feel a little bit invisible, like I’ve faded into oblivion. I’m a quiet person and fairly unassuming. If I wasn’t large, I bet I could slip in and out of a room unnoticed.

I don’t really care for this part of my personality – I often wish I was the kind of person who walks into a room and takes command without so much as a word. It wouldn’t fit with me though. I’m better as the quiet person. Quiet, but deadly. You can ignore me and you can pretend I’m not there, but I’m not going anywhere and eventually you will have to listen. And when you do, you will love me. They always do. Except when they don’t. Oh well. Jokes aside, it can be stressful to constantly try to hold my own against stronger personalities.

transparency_by_laura1995-d6femu9 Part of it is confidence; I’m a confident person, but it tends to hide deep inside when I need it most.

Another part of it is my appearance, I think. I have trouble getting people to take me seriously because of my weight.

Another factor is the fact that I like to talk about myself and – let’s face it – this isn’t exactly the best way to endear yourself to a group.

One last contributor is my fear of saying “too much.” I have a sarcastic sense of humor and I’m pretty bad a judging how it will be received. This has led to a few uncomfortable situations in the past and a bit of a hesitancy on my part to open all the way up now.

I’m going to turn this around though. Instead of welcoming oblivion and feeling invisible, I’m going to try to feel invincible. It sounds corny, I know, but sometimes just a simple change of your thinking can make a lot of difference in the day to day. They can’t ignore me if I won’t let them.

Growing up only

I am an only child. I am the oldest grandchild on my maternal side (and the only grandchild living locally for ten years) and the youngest grandchild on my paternal side. Yes, I grew up with attention galore. If you believe in the “only child syndrome,” you may think I have the following negative personality traits: spoiled, bratty, selfish, indulgent, entitled, self-obsessed, anit-social, self-conscious, or aggressive. And I do have some of those traits (or all of those traits if you catch me on a bad day), but I wouldn’t necessarily blame my only-childness.

I’ll be the first to admit that I am glad my children have a sibling, but that doesn’t mean that I would change anything about my upbringing. First of all, being an only child is amazing because you get to pick you own family. I hooked up with another only child early on and consider her my sister to this day. Plus, I enjoyed the addition of another extended family to go with it. How cool is that? While technically anyone could do the same thing, only children tend to do it at a much higher rate (no, I didn’t look up a statistic to back that up) and are fiercely loyal.

What did being an only child mean for me?

The good: It means my imagination is out-of-control vivid. My dreams are extremely vivid. I grew up to be very independent with a cool head in a crisis. My communication skills developed early because of all my adult contact (although hindered by my shyness). I was mature at an early age – but this didn’t stop be from acting a fool in my teens. I’m perfectly comfortable being alone. In fact, I crave my alone time to recharge.

The not-so-good: I like to do everything on my own. I seriously hate asking for help and admitting that I cannot do something. Being an only child nurtured and cultivated my introvert personality. Now I enjoy being an introvert, but spent many years trying to figure out how to be comfortable in some social situations. This is still a struggle for me. My imagination is out-of-control vivid. Yes, this one is a pro and a con. The vivid imagination gets in the way when you have a tendency to dwell on things and hold grudges.

Overall, being an only child rocks. I wouldn’t change a thing.

In The News

A very interesting articles about introverts.

The very fact that introverts are more sensitive to their environment often means they’re fully aware that they appear out of step with the expectations of others, and they can easily internalize that criticism. Just about every adult introvert can remember being scolded, even if gently, for being too quiet as a kid. Anytime a teacher grades on classroom participation, introverted kids will be at a disadvantage. There’s nothing wrong with parents’ nudging their shy children into the world, but there is something wrong if it’s more than a nudge. “You don’t want to break the kid by overwhelming their coping capacity,” says Jay Belsky, a psychologist at the University of California at Davis. “The key is sensitive encouragement.” 

Read the entire article @ Time.com.