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8 Signs You Are An Ambivert Even If You Don’t Feel You Are

8 Signs You Are An Ambivert Even If You Don’t Feel You Are

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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