I always hated putting labels on things, especially people, because it implies that whatever a thing or person is labeled as is set in stone. Saying someone is an introvert conjures up images of a reclusive individual who reads and talks to her cat all day, while the word “extrovert” brings to mind a party-hard, boisterous frat boy. But nobody is simply one or the other. In fact, most people probably fall in the middle of the scale, and can consider themselves ambiverts. Okay, I guess that is a label, but it’s much more fluid than either extreme. So, you might be an ambivert if:
1. You’re comfortable in a variety of social settings
In high school and college, it was always considered weird to eat alone. I never really understood that, and to be honest, I usually felt a bit uncomfortable when a classmate would come and sit by me when they saw I was sitting by myself. I understand they just didn’t want me to feel lonely or left out, but it never occurred to them that I actively sought out an empty table at which to eat a quiet lunch by myself.
On the other hand, (in my college days, at least) I was more than happy to get a group of five or six people together and hit the bars for a night on the town. I definitely would never find myself at a bar in my college town by myself, that’s for sure. It all depends on the situation, and your current mood.
2. You have a “happy-medium” point when spending time with others
My wife is a perfect example of this. When I get together with my friends, we tend to go into overkill mode, mostly because we rarely see each other anymore. We’ll overstay our welcome at each other’s homes, or we’ll try to keep the night going even though all of us just want to go back to bed. My wife, on the other hand, is more than happy visiting friends for an hour or two, and coming back home to relax for the rest of the night. She is one of the most outgoing people I know, and makes friends quickly wherever she goes, but she also needs time to recharge and be away from even the ones she cares about the most.
3. You stay pretty even-keel
This doesn’t mean you experience sudden mood swings, however. Ambiverts are pretty flexible, and because of that, they don’t tend to go to extremes. They won’t fly off the handle, but they also won’t sit there “stewing in their own juices” either. Ambiverts can deal with negative situations in positive ways to ensure a better outcome for all involved. Because of this, they’re often seen as leaders who can navigate bad waters, and get teams or groups through awful situations.
4. You’re a “Jack of all trades”
Ambiverts usually have a variety of talents, but often don’t specialize in just one area. Again, because you’re easily adaptable to a variety of situations, you’re often the “go-to” person when it comes to getting things done. You often get the ball rolling on projects, and are the one to seek out advice from those more knowledgeable about certain topics than yourself. Though you are the one to get everyone up out of their seat and moving, you also will take a backseat and listen to what others have to say.
5. You enjoy meeting new people, but usually through friends
You’re not the kind of person that would just go up to someone and initiate conversation, but you’re not a misanthrope, either. You like meeting people through friends because you know there’s a better chance you have something in common. Since you don’t have to waste time on small talk, you can dive right into each other’s interests, and can spend time deep in meaningful conversation. For introverts, networking is usually a nightmare; but for ambiverts, knowing the people around you share common interests is enough to push you into the fray.
6. You wear different hats depending on the situation
You don’t just fit in at one spot. Since you’re flexible, you adjust your personality based on the situation. At a concert, you’ll be up dancing and singing with the rest of the superfans. At a bookstore, you’re more than happy to curl up in the corner with a new novel without saying a word for hours on end. At dinners with friends you can come just short of causing a scene, while on a dinner date with your girlfriend’s parents you dress well and engage in polite conversation. This doesn’t mean you’re phony: it means you understand that different settings call for different behavior, and you have the ability to adjust yourself accordingly.
7. You balance yourself depending on who you’re with
I definitely find myself on either side of this category. When I’m with my wife, who is generally well-reserved when in public, I’m always the one doing something silly just to get a rise out of her, and make each moment as memorable as possible. On the other hand, some of my friends are the wackiest people I’ve ever met; when they get in the zone, I tend to sit back and enjoy the show. It’s always good to have a person in the group to entertain everyone else, but it’s definitely best to have someone to keep everyone grounded.
8. You often face an inner battle between fear of missing out and resting up
Some Fridays, you just want to stay home all weekend and catch up on sleep, chores, and errands. Then happy hour comes around and you wish you could split yourself in two so one side of you could get that stuff done, and the other could go out and unwind with your pals. Thinking about it, being an ambivert is the worst! You have so many needs to cover, and so little time to cover them in. Wouldn’t it be nice if you actually didn’t want to go out, and could be happy spending a weekend all by yourself without the anxious feeling that you’re missing something awesome happening?
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