Introvert this, extrovert that; Not a day goes by that I don’t see an article that talks about the problems that these personality traits face. “Things only introvert or extroverts will understand!” Well, what about the ambiverts? Wait?! What?!
I have been an extrovert for the better part of my life; or at least I thought I was. Come to think of it, maybe I’ve been an introvert all of my life? On the one hand, I thrive within the company of others. It energizes me, but THEN, it drains me. On the other hand, I also enjoy my quiet time alone to reflect, but THEN, I’m lonely and my thoughts are all over the place. I never really “fit” into either category very well. Personality test results are always inconclusive for me. I appear to be all over the place. Well, it turns out that I am both an introvert and extrovert, or neither, depending on how you look at things. I’m not confused, I’m just an ambivert. The term “ambivert” may be new to you, but it may also define and shed some light on your own personality traits.
To simplify it, an ambivert is a person who has both introvert and extrovert qualities and may bounce between the two. Sounds a tad bi-polar, right? It can seem that way sometimes, but honestly it’s more of a need for balance. The ambivert loves social settings and being around others, but we also need our solitude. Too much time on either the introvert or extrovert side will make us moody and unhappy. Balance is the key for us ambiverts!
Understanding the Ambivert
An ambivert is rather balanced for the most part, or at least we try to be; we seek social settings and the company of others and do so quite well. We aren’t overly loud and aggressive like the extrovert can be, but we enjoy being outgoing and do so on our own terms. We also enjoy our solitude, but aren’t quite as extreme with it as the introvert. We need both settings rather equally to be fully happy. As I mentioned above, we don’t function too well in either direction for extensive amounts of time. When this happens, we are a mess. Again, we need balance.
With that being said, the ambivert can sometimes be a confusing to others; having both traits, we can sway too far in either direction rather easily. Our behaviors are likely to change with the situation, and we can easily become “unbalanced.” We enjoy doing something… until we don’t. These behavior “fluctuations” are a result of our need to find and stay balanced.
Because we are “in the middle”, we are flexible creatures; we have our personal preferences, of course, but we adjust pretty well in most situations (as long as we don’t stay there too long and get bored or unbalanced). We can work well alone or in groups. We can take charge or step down when the situation calls for it. We also have game plans in order for most things or potential problems that may arise. On the down side, this level of flexibility can cause us to be indecisive.
An ambivert also has a pretty good understanding of people overall and different surroundings/settings. We are highly intuitive and can sense the emotions of others while likely being able to relate to them in many ways. We aren’t afraid to talk, but we also like to observe and listen. We are likely to know when to help or stay back.
The truth is, personality goes way beyond a simple label, but having some understanding about the different traits can help you to understand yourself and others better and perhaps make you more successful in your daily life. So, if you can relate to the above, you just may be an ambivert too.
If you want a fun little test to see if you are an ambivert, visit: http://www.danpink.com/assessment
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