Yesterday, while talking to my parents, I realized something. They still think of me as an extrovert. I’m actually a mixture of an extrovert and introvert aka Ambivert. That is, someone who displays the characteristics of both an extrovert and introvert.
When I was much younger, I hated being alone, I either wanted to be with other people, and stay outside of the house. I disliked anything that had to do with me riding solo. Always wanting to be with my mates, just surrounded by people.
As I began to grow emotionally and mentally, I withdrew from all that, and now (not now, like years ago) I realize that I’m actually an Ambivert.
Now, you might (might not) be a little bit confused as to how can someone be a mixture of both extrovert and introvert. Let me break down the characteristics of an extrovert, introvert and ambivert for you.
Energized by external stimulation—with people, environment, activity
Processes thoughts while talking
Motivated by external rewards, recognition and feedback
Outgoing—easy to get to know
Energized internally, while being alone
Craves solitude to balance out social time
Speaks only when they have something to say
Thinks before speaking, processing thoughts internally
Socially flexible—comfortable in social situations or being alone.
Skilled at communicating—intuits when to listen or to talk.
Moderate in mood—not overly expressive or reserved.
Adaptable—no default mode, so they change their approach to fit the situation
(a big thank you to Beth Buelow for the differences between these personality types)
I can stay at home for let’s say one week and not feel like going out. And other times, I’d go out when I need to. I’m not really someone who has to always be doing something outside, because I have more than enough things to do at home, stuff that keeps me busy for weeks, months even.
Another thing is when I meet a person, I study their personality, and end up acting as their opposite personality if that makes any sense. If they are extrovert, I would be turn introvert (while also showing a few extroverted characteristics). If they were introvert, I would be extrovert (while also showing a few introverted characteristics). I’m yet to meet another ambivert like me. It’s something that I’ve always done. It started as I started to grow up.
Let me give an example. There was this girl in my high school grade, she was an introvert. And whenever she was with her friends, they would laugh and it was fun watching them. (SideNote: I didn’t really make friends in high school. But that’s for another post 🙂 ) Whenever I would be with her, one on one, I would automatically turn extrovert (while also showing a few introverted characteristics) and did most of the talking because I didn’t want her to feel uncomfortable around me. And when I was around this other girl who was a huge extrovert, I would again automatically turn introvert (while also showing a few extroverted characteristics).
I’m still not still not sure why I do that. For some time I tried to act like just one personality. It didn’t work out at all. I felt like a fish out of water and it drove me nuts so I stopped and just decided being me was the best thing to do.
A few years ago, I met an introvert, another girl. Family related. She disliked going out, I (the ‘extrovert’) always persuaded her to go shopping with me and go to school functions with me and hang out with me, outside. After a while of studying her, the way she acted convinced me that it being an introvert wasn’t so bad and that it was perfectly fine too. Although I still exhibited the characteristics of an extrovert, I began showing my introverted self too. That was the first time I showed both characteristics, like 50/50.
I can also relate to almost anyone, but the downside to that is that not many people can relate to me and when I’m exhibiting introverted characteristics, they’re always telling me oh, what a boring person you are, you don’t know how to have fun, and their talk goes on and on and on. I usually end up cutting such people off because they really give me a not so good vibe.
I found this article about 7 Things Only People With Ambivert Personality Will Understand. And it’s pretty accurate (apart from the party things, I hate loud noises, so no parties for me).
We are able to relate to nearly everyone: An ambivert personality gets along so well with both introverts and extroverts that we have no trouble making friends. The thing is, we can relate to both ways of being and are happy with our sociable friends and completely understanding of introverts need for time alone. The downside of this is that we often don’t receive quite the same understanding back. Our extroverted friends just don’t understand that yesterday we were the life and soul of the party and now we just want to be alone – and some of them can take the apparent change in behavior personally. In the same way, the introverted friend who enjoys quite a time with their ambivert friend can’t understand how he likes to party so much.
Our activity levels change constantly: Because there are two sides to our personality, we can have clear spikes and lulls in our activity levels. Some of our weeks may be full of activity, meet-ups, phone calls, messages and nights out. But then there is a lull, a few days when we just want to stay home alone and work on a project, watch TV or read. We find it hard to interact with others at times like this and friends may wonder why we don’t take their calls, answer their messages or say yes to a night out.
We like to talk but not for the sake of it: Ambiverts can talk about many subjects as loudly and as enthusiastically as the next person, but we hate small talk (I detest small talk). When around people with similar interests, ambiverts can get involved in long animated discussions about the things they love. However, with people we know less well, we struggle because many conversation starters, such as talking about work, family or the weather are unbearable for ambiverts – we don’t want to skim the surface of social interactions we want to go deeper.
After a day of being out in the real world with people and noises, I just want to come home, sit on my sofa with a hot cocoa, or bowl of candy while watching a movie or series. It’s always comforting to know after a long day, I can always be alone again. It really helps me feel good and just be me, alone.
Some of these things are like contradicting, if you notice, ‘normal ambiverts’ when with extroverts are extroverts, when with introverts are introverts. With me, it’s not really the case, I just tend to be the opposite of them.
But then also, I’m just starting to just be exactly who I am, whichever characteristic pops up at the moment, I go with it. Because trying to force myself to be one thing when internally everything is screaming NO NO NO drives me nuts. So yeah, this is me. Also when I met people that I just naturally flow with, I show both characteristics. With my best friend, I’m able to be me, today I’m all up and about chatty and crazy, and tomorrow, as silent as a church mouse.
Happy Sunday readers. I hope you had a good day, if not, it’s alright. Better days will come.