Have you ever questioned if you are truly an extrovert or an introvert?
You probably identify with one or the other, but maybe you feel the definitions don’t always resonate. Or perhaps you sometimes feel like one but underneath that the other?
Carl Jung – one of the fathers of psychoanalysis – coined the terms “extrovert” and “introvert” in 1910 (and also the word coincidence!).
However it was Edmund Smith Conklin who introduced the term “ambivert” in 1923, to describe someone with a balanced combination of introverted and extroverted tendencies.
In today’s world, most psychologists now see these personality types on a spectrum, with ambivert being somewhere in the middle, a concept popularized by iconoclast Hans Eysenck.
If you are wondering if you are an ambivert, check these signs to find out!
1) You get drained and charged by spending time with people
The most telling sign of being an extrovert is that being with other people charges you up. After a socializing session you are surging with energy and sparking with an electrifying buzz.
The classic way to tell if you are an introvert is that too much time with others leaves you feeling drained like a leaky water barrel. Drip drip drip…until you get to the point where you need to rest and recharge in a peaceful oasis of your own space and thoughts.
Do you experience both of these feelings at times? If yes, you are probably an ambivert.
2) But you also get lonely if you spend too much time in solitude
Introverts tend to really enjoy alone time, although almost all do need social contact occasionally. Extroverts thrive with the constant flow of people.
If you are an ambivert, you need the perfect balance of both.
This can be a challenge!
Why? Because sometimes you may find yourself really wanting to see other people and yet also wanting to be alone! But if you push it too far, the alone time can become overwhelming and then solitude turns into loneliness.
Maybe your mind starts racing with negative thoughts, or perhaps you just feel overly detached from the real world.
Essentially, you relish your own company, but also crave regular meaningful connections with others.
If so, this balancing act is another secret sign that you are an ambivert
3) You take ‘me time’ in the morning or at night
To compensate for this balancing act, as an ambivert you have probably carved out a little bit of personal time in the morning or night. (Depending on your life, and whether you are a night owl or morning lark!)
This way you get to recharge and spend some time with your thoughts, so that you are ready to bloom once again.
Picture a water lily: These amazing flowers go on a nightly journey, retreating beneath the water’s surface when the day is done, seeking nourishment and stability.
After absorbing the essential nutrients, the water lily resurfaces, gracefully emerging from the water, showing off its beautiful petals to the world.
Like the water lily, ambiverts gather their strength in their ‘me time’, ready to rise up again and share their unique bloom with the world once again.
4) You find it easy to be both a leader and a follower
Are you the kind of person that is happy to step up and be a leader when you see that no one else is taking the reins?
But are you equally content with letting others take the lead, when they show a strong desire or capability?
Well you guessed it, that’s yet another sign of ambiversion!
You possess the dexterity to switch gears when called for, assertively guiding the way when appropriate or graciously supporting others as needed.
5) You like group tasks and you also like working alone
Introverts tend to prefer more solitary jobs such as freelancing, writing and remote work or researching and data analysis, (but not in a co-working space!).
Extroverts tend to enjoy people-facing roles such as sales and customer service, public relations, public speaking, and teaching and lecturing.
As an ambivert you can probably imagine yourself being comfortable in some of the roles from each category.
You enjoy working as part of a team and bouncing ideas off other people, but you also can do very well focusing alone without distractions.
6) You like music when you work, but without the words
Speaking of distractions and work: Psychologist Henna Mistry decided to test extroverts and introverts and how well they performed various tasks with music.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, extroverts did better with music and introverts did better without.
If you are like me, as an ambivert you can work in either condition, but your favorite is music without words, giving you the best of both worlds.
7) You have a large set of acquaintances and a smaller group of close friends
Extroverts tend to have a large friendship circle while introverts prefer a close knit one. Just like Goldilocks and the three bears, the ambivert is happy somewhere in the middle.
What does that look like? Being friendly with lots of people, but having a smaller group of really close friends that you connect with to share and enjoy life.
8) You can do small talk and big talk
Do you know anyone who says they hate small talk? Or they don’t even understand how or why anyone would engage in such a thing? They are almost certainly an introvert.
As an ambivert you may not love the small talk but rather see it as a tool for casual situations, making people feel relaxed, and as a way to warm up the conversation for something deeper and more stimulating.
9) You’re highly adaptable
If you are an ambivert, you have a secret superpower! Because you’ve got the shapeshifting ability to adapt like a chameleon in any professional or social situation.
Imagine this: you’re part of a team project, and everyone’s wondering who should take the lead. Suddenly, you step up, confidently leading with your natural assertiveness and charisma.
But wait, there’s more! Just when your colleagues think they’ve got you pegged as a boss, you surprise them by stepping back and seamlessly transitioning into a supportive role, allowing others to take the limelight. You’re a team player with ultimate adaptability!
Being an ambivert means you can effortlessly navigate through different social dynamics, whether it’s enjoying the buzz of group activities or reveling in the calmness of your own company.
You have the gift of effortlessly fitting in, connecting with others, and bringing harmony to any social setting.
Whether you’re in a crowd or by yourself, you’re happy being you. Just as long as it doesn’t get too unbalanced, that is!
Does this all sound like you? If so, keep being your incredible ambivert self and let your versatile nature shine!