We all know people who are so shy, we have to pry words out of their mouths. The whole room goes quiet when they begin to speak. We call them introverts. Other people can talk to anyone in any social situation. We label them extroverts.
Introverts and extroverts are polar opposites, so how can we be one or the other? My eyes roll with every debate. Introvert or extrovert? GAH! There’s a gap the size of the Grand Canyon between them. It’s the perfect place for another personality type called, ambiverts. I would guess it comes from the Latin word ambi – both and verts – green. Both green? No. That’s probably not right.
In order to understand this new personality type, we need to review what we know about introverts and extroverts.
Introverts are reflective and happier alone with their thoughts. They energize through being by themselves. They stress out in social situations. If they do go out, they are exhausted afterward.
According to Wikipedia, extroverts are “enthusiastic, talkative, assertive and gregarious.” Extroverts get bored hanging out at home and are energized by socializing.
I’m a classic extrovert, but I’m definitely not comfortable in every situation. Who is? Am I still an extrovert? Definitely.
I know introverts who have their extroverted moments too. My dad is happiest lost in his thoughts while drawing and has never been into socializing. Even he enjoys capturing everyone’s attention with a funny story. Is he still an introvert? Definitely.
Let’s review, shall we? According to Myers Briggs personality test, introverts are thought-oriented, seek depth of knowledge and influence. They prefer more substantial interaction, and get their energy from spending time alone. Extroverts are action-oriented, seek a wide range of knowledge and influence. They prefer frequent interaction, and get energy from spending time with people.
Ambiverts have both personalities in balance. They can talk your ear off like an extrovert, but as soon as someone else enters the conversation, they will listen and step back like an introvert. They love socializing as much as they love their time alone. According to the Wharton School of Management, they make the best salespeople.
Billy could be an introvert, extrovert, or an ambivert. Everyone likes to read, but it appears as though he hasn’t quite gotten the concept of reading or turning the pages.
Somewhere along the line, some kind of crazy confusion began. Some believe their love for staying home to work on projects meant they were introverted.
Writing is my passion. I’m an extrovert who loves to write. Yes. This is possible. There are a few of us out there in the world. I can’t write in social situations. It would be impractical and awkward to lug my laptop to cocktail parties or tennis matches. I am happy and content to stay home where I can concentrate.
Could I be an ambivert? Nope. I took the Loner Wolf Assessment. I am a straight-up extrovert who gets tired after staying up late dance bombing, mingling, and meeting new people.
If there wasn’t a personality type in between extroverts and introverts, I was going to make one up:
Omniverts. Omni – all. People who have all traits. Think of how cool that would be. They could have a different personality every time you socialize, like Sybil. It would be like hanging out with somebody new every time.
Want to take a quick test to see which personality you are? I bet you’ll be surprised. Let me know! The Loner Wolf Assessment. (The first arrow will take you to a psychic. Click on “Take quiz.”)
Thank you, Carrie Rubin, for informing me about ambiverts.
What personality type do you have?
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No! I could never tell that you’re a extrovert. I am shocked! lol. Great job explaining this phenomena Susie. I had never heard of omnivert. That was new to me. Speaking of me, I think I fall into the ambivert category with a little omnivert sprinkled in. Very interesting. I hope you’re enjoying your summer! ((Hugs))
Good to know there is a spectrum and that I don’t have to be one thing or the other. Small talk is death to me, unless I’ve had a few drinks (social lubricant). But I love good conversation and someone who can flirt properly – funny, clever, non-threatening – is worth their weight in gold. Maybe flirting should be taught in school. And the tango.
I love that idea. There should at least be online classes. I thought I might be an ambivert, but other than my energy level soaring and then crashing I’m an extrovert. Nice to meet you!
Okay, I finally had the time to read this post and take the test, Susie. At 43% I was diagnosed as a low end ambivert. Now, I need to take a nap.
Ha! I think most people are testing in that range. Enjoy your zzzzzzzz’s…
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Ambi. Took the test just to make sure and scored a solid 52. Ah middle child, middle score, middle life. What a fun post. Thanks for the link.
Thanks Julie! I’m glad you took the test. It was fun to see where everyone ended up. Lots of ambiverts out there! That seems to be the best of both worlds!
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It amazes me how many bloggers say they are introverts. I wonder if this is a tag we are disinterested enough to hang on ourselves, or if it should be left up to others to classify us?
You can only classify yourself since you are the only one who knows how you feel in certain situations. Take the quiz!
I grew up with a dad and sister who were introverts. I want my sister to take the test. There wasn’t a classification for those who can roll either way. Finally there is!
I think I DO roll either way, depending on the situation. Very interesting, Miss SusieGoose!
Ha! My best friend in grade school and high school called me Susie McGoosie!!!
Way to go being an ambivert! Just going with the flow, eh?
I used to suffer from social anxiety, but as I got older I became much more comfortable in social settings. I still really love my alone time BUT, I notice I really look forward to getting out with other people now, which is way different for me. I guess I AM an ambivert! You’re ALWAYS teaching me something valuable.
PS- Nice artwork.
Thanks Cayman! I had an extra hour so I drew it up.
I think the majority of people are ambiverts.
I had thought I was an ambivert since socializing wears me out. Since I’m pretty hyped at the time, I’m an extrovert like I thought.
It was fun to research!
I’m an introvert who knows how to get along in social situations, but I need twice as much time to refuel as I spend socializing! I think because I can speak in front of people and I don’t “hide out” people think I’m more of an extrovert than I am, but by the Myers Briggs I hardly have a drop of extrovert in me. My husband is an extrovert–I think we balance each other out! Ambivert is new to me, but a fantastic word! 🙂
Did you take the one minute test? You may be an ambivert. There’s another one that’s super fast and interesting too – http://www.danpink.com/assessment/ It was down the day I posted, but it’s back up now.
Ambiverts are probably to new to be included in Myers Briggs. I get tired afterward, but am super hyped up when around people, so who knows?
I will definitely take the test! I enjoy these things. 🙂 It might be fun for us to take at work as well…we are a very mixed group of personalities and we amuses each other with our differences. Thank you!
What the h#@%!!!! The survey said that I am a “Pervovert”.
No surprise there. Kidding!!!
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That said, I am an extrovert who has learned to appreciate the benefit of being alone (and not lonely). One of my best friends at work is one of those people who everyone seeks out, yet she shared with me that sometimes she has to withdraw just plain because it feels like it takes too much energy to be around people. She hates having a birthday because of the attention. Yet she is definitely someone I would label as an extrovert. I can relate to her.
She’s probably an ambivert. There’s another test that is super fast and includes this new personality type. http://www.danpink.com/assessment/
I think ambiverts make up the majority! I’m like you. An extrovert happy to hang by myself especially since I love to write and am easily distracted. Hey look! A bird just flew by the window…..
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Hey, hey, Susie, I’ve missed you! What a fun post. I thought I was an introvert who loves to be a goofball, too, but I scored 42, so I’m an ambivert!
I love your drawing of extrovert Susie. You’re so talented. I’ve been meaning to get over here to say hi, but moving and family stuff and life stuff have kept me out of the loop, leaning toward my introvert side!
Lynne! It is so great to “see” you!! I think about you so often. Moving is so huge and you have grandkids to take care of on top of that.
Ambiverts make the best salespeople. That must help when pitching your books! What are you working on these days?
I got introvert with some ambivert function, that sounds about right I think!
Excellent! I think most everyone is a mixture, especially given the situation.
Thanks for stopping by, Vanessa. 🙂
I took the quiz and got “Extrovert with some Ambivert functions” I would totally agree! I love people and I love my alone time, but I’m definitely more extroverted. Great article! Very interesting!
Ambivert Alert! Ambivert Alert! 51% score. Perchance am I balanced?! Scary!
INTJ + Ambivert + Leo! Worldview: pleasantly pessimistic realist. I should stick this on my Twitter profile. haha
This is so cool, Susie.
Thought provoking and enjoyable post Susie, and I am an Ambivert with a leaning towards an Introvert as I am very self-reliant. Though there are times when the extrovert rears its head, more so with people I know now that I am older and wiser [tongue in cheek!]
Thanks so much, Suzanne!
It really is a sliding scale depending on the circumstances. Even I don’t speak up when I feel intimidated. LOL! Although nervousness can bring on a case of the Chatty Cathy’s.