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personality

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.