I have regularly been told that I possess both introverted and extroverted qualities in my personality and can easily switch from being a social butterfly one moment to being a complete loner the next; all at the drop of a hat. Having never truly felt that I fit into either category, I always considered myself an extrovert in certain social situations and an introvert in others.
When I first heard the phrase “extroverted introvert” also known as “Ambivert”, I was relieved to know that there was an explanation for this bizarre phenomenon. Who would have known that there really isn’t an end-all-be-all box in which to fit our personality in. I think tests that measure extroversion vs introversion are ridiculous. More than the half the population considers themselves to be Ambiverts. Why don’t they add this middle of the spectrum category to these personality tests? I think they should.
The next time you meet someone who considers themselves to be an ambivert, consider these 10 things:
1. Alone time is extremely important to us.
Introverts need time to recharge their batteries and that is no exception to extroverted introverts. Although there are times in which we absolutely love being around others, we can only handle so much before needing to retreat into our quiet zone. This helps to ground us and allows us sufficient time to recharge our energy. Therefore, don’t take it personal; just give us our space!
2. We’re selectively social and certain people drain our energy.
It’s true. The ambivert usually has a very unique taste when it comes to someones “vibrational energy” (Here’s a great article about this.) If we sense that our values and interests don’t align with one another, we will try our best to avoid future conversations or, simply keep them limited. Don’t take it personal though, It’s mainly to conserve our own energy and has very little to do with you as a person, we’re sure you’re great.
3. We aren’t quiet, we just don’t care for what you’re talking about at the moment.
We only contribute when we know and enjoy the conversation at hand. So, the next time your ambivert friend chooses to change the subject abruptly, just humor them and go along with it. You’ll be surprised at how easily they become more engaged when speaking on certain topics that actually mean something to them. This is a trait that’s seen with strong introverts as well.
4. We’re comfortable talking to strangers but HATE small talk.
I am not sure I can emphasize this enough. I enjoy deep conversations about life and how the universe works and can practically talk someones ear off (stranger or not) for 45 minutes straight about topics I actually enjoy. However, talk to me about how the weather sucks this week and be prepared to cut the conversation really short. Don’t get me wrong, I am fully aware that in certain social situations small talk is inevitable…but just know that as an extroverted introvert, we hate it. A lot.
5. Forming friendships is easy, maintaining them isn’t
Extroverted Introverts enjoy meeting new people and forming new friendships. Maintaining those friendships however, can be the real challenge and unless we’ve been friends for eons, It’s likely not going to happen. This is due to the fact that there are more days than not in which we would rather spend the day on the couch, in our pajamas, or in our own mind, than hang out and get to know new people. Luckily, our old friends understand us and can accept us on days when we’re feeling more introverted. Heck they’ll probably join us on the couch watching television in silence. We love to be accepted!
6. It’s hard to figure us out.
After all, it often seems that we have 2 personalities. We know that It’s difficult for others to comprehend how we can be loud and gregarious one moment and quiet and reserved the next. Just accept that there will be moments in which we choose to turn inwardly and focus on our thoughts and other moments when we’ll feel energized by your presence. We like to keep things interesting for you!
7. We love attending parties as long as we know someone there.
We do enjoy outings and even gain some energy from the anticipation of attending one once in a while. However, while there, we will likely cling to one person the entire time until we feel comfortable enough to mingle. Then, be prepared to see our fun/crazy extroverted side. It’s amazing how great we can feel knowing that we aren’t the center of attention. Loud music and dancing usually brings out the extrovert in us. I know that this is very true for me personally!
8. You can find us needing a nap after excessive interaction.
If this happens, direct us to the nearest bed and leave us alone for an hour or two until we are re-energized and can re-join the fun. ambiverts generally love being around friends and family but have a very limited tank when it comes to social contribution. Please bare with us and allow us to catch our Zzz’s after gatherings such as Thanksgiving dinner (the food-induced comatose doesn’t help the situation). When we awaken, we’ll once again be ready to get back into the conversation.
9. We enjoy intimate settings with good friends.
We would rather spend time with 2 close friends in an intimate, conversational setting than with 4 or 5 acquaintances at a nightclub. Oh boy, this one is a no brainer. Our introverted side craves deep conversation while our extroverted side craves being with others and feeding off their energies. Who better to be with than our greatest friends while discussing our goals and dreams? sounds like heaven to me.
10. We get along with most people.
Extroverted introverts can generally adapt to any situation and get along with just about anyone. This is because we understand both sides of the spectrum and have a very fluid way of interacting with others. Just face it, we’re destined to be besties (in a long distance kind of way)!
If any of these sounded familiar to you, you just might also be an ambivert! Hurray for being a well-rounded individual. You are likely the type of person who doesn’t allow society to force you into a box by choosing one side of the spectrum. Be true to yourself!