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10 Signs You Are Probably An Ambivert (And You Didn’t Know It Until You Read This)

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10 Signs You Are Probably An Ambivert (And You Didn’t Know It Until You Read This)

Nowadays, if you identify as an introvert or an extravert, the internet is a wonderful resource for you to affirm your sense of self, find a community of similar individuals and celebrate the personality trait that strongly influences your social life. But what about the people who cannot place themselves squarely into either of the two categories made popular by psychologist Carl Jung?

If you are not the textbook example of an introvert or an extravert, do not fear. You might be an ambivert!

Knowing where you fall on this introversion-extraversion spectrum is not a trivial fact that you could maybe bring up during dinner if you felt like it. Being aware of which environments you flourish in can help you improve your relationships with others, choose a satisfying career and search for the right life partner.

1. Your friends have a hard time classifying you as an introvert or an extrovert

This is probably one of the best signs that you might be an ambivert. Often times, we can manipulate our thoughts into making ourselves believe we possess a desirable personality trait. Your friends may even know you better than you know yourself, especially when it comes to judging how you tend to behave socially. If they’re confused, you could very well be an ambivert.

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2. Your energy isn’t drained when you’re alone, nor do you feel exhausted after lots of socialization (or maybe you tend to be drained by both equally)

One of the most popular ways of defining introverts and extraverts is the fact that introverts can be social but are drained by that use of their time, whereas extraverts feel drained of energy after spending too much time in solitude. Personality psychologist Brian Little explains that ambiverts have the best of both worlds.

Compared to introverts and extraverts, Little says, “Ambiverts are in that nice zone, in that sweet spot, where they’re able to act out of character as a pseudo-introvert or a pseudo-extravert, without paying the nervous system costs.”

If you do not think there is much of a difference between the energy you spend talking to people at a cocktail party and what you spend reading a book in bed, you could be an ambivert.

3. You are usually satisfied with your weekend plans

Whether you have been invited to a large party or you’ve decided to eat in and watch movies with a close friend, you are satisfied, and even happy. This may have to do with you being a happy person in general, or it could be your body making it much easier for you to feel that way. Being an introvert or an extravert means more than just being sociable or not being sociable, it also affects how easily you are aroused by external stimuli (or your threshold for stimulation).

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In this infant study, developmental psychologist Jerome Kagan performed an enlightening experiment to confirm that introverts have low thresholds for stimulation, meaning that they are affected by the weakest of stimuli and hence tend to seek out calm and quiet places, while extraverts have high thresholds for stimulation, so it takes a lot of extra chaos for them to feel stimulated. Ambiverts, unlike introverts and extraverts, do not have very high or very low thresholds for stimulation, allowing them to feel comfortable in almost all environments, in this case during any weekend plans.

4. During conversations you know when to keep quiet and when to talk, and you do them both relatively easily

An introvert might know when to talk, due to their hypersensitivity in social situations, but may not feel like speaking out in a large group of people. An extravert, on the other hand, might not realize when to stop talking. Ambiverts are right in the middle, so they are more intuitive than extraverts when it comes to knowing when their input is required, and less likely than introverts to keep quiet in social contexts. Again, to clarify, introverts can also speak up and extraverts can keep quiet, but the ease that ambiverts possess while performing these tasks is not possessed by the other two kinds of people.

If you find that making the right decision in social situations is relatively simple for you than it is for your introvert and extravert friends, you could be an ambivert.

5. You are emotionally stable during a concert, a yoga session and everything in between

Introverts discover that they are emotionally stable in quieter places, while extraverts generally flourish in louder, more lively places. An introvert in a loud environment will find it difficult to remain emotionally stable, while an extravert will feel emotionally unstable in quiet places. Ambiverts have the benefit in most situations because they are highly adaptable, which also makes them emotionally stable during a wider range of experiences – from the earsplitting loud music at a concert to the quiet bliss of a yoga session.

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6. You don’t relate completely with posts about introverts and extraverts

This is probably the first sign that you may not be an introvert or an extravert, but it is definitely not foolproof. Some people who lean towards being one trait may not necessarily relate with every single point about that personality trait, but if you have a feeling you are in the middle, you might be. Also, you may not be able to relate completely with friends who confidently call themselves introverts or extraverts.

7. You can’t empathize with people who are not able to sit through loud social gatherings or are uncomfortable with time spent alone

You probably sympathize with such individuals and acknowledge that it is possible for them to have trouble in these situations. But that’s as far as you can go. Because you have the ability to navigate both situations without struggle, you aren’t fully able to understand what it might feel like to desperately desire time alone or time with people.

8. You meet more people who are like you

This may have to do with the fact that we choose friends who we relate to, but it could also have something to do with the fact that the number of ambiverts in the human population is just higher. The number of self-described introverts is lowest, the number of extraverts is a bit higher and the number of ambiverts beats them both. Many people respond to descriptions of ambiverts with, “Wait, aren’t all people like this?” No, not all people are ambiverts, but in general, most people are.

9. You are shy or stable and hence mistaken about your introvert or extravert status

Shyness and stability are personality traits that are separate from those of introversion and extraversion. However, because both traits influence people’s social lives in similar ways, the presence of one can influence the perceived presence of the other. In other words, you could be a shy ambivert but swear that you are an introvert, or you could be a stable ambivert and feel like more of an extravert.

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Even psychological assessments like the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) may place you as either an introvert or an extravert, but the real reason your answers make you seem like one or the other is because of your shyness or stability. If you are shy, insecurities or the worry of being negatively judged are what keep you from being as sociable as you would like to be, which is different from being an introvert, for whom the possibility of being more social may seem appealing. But actually being social when they don’t need to doesn’t make them feel satisfied, or it instead makes them feel worse.

10. Right now, you feel like me after watching the first episode of “The Mindy Project”

You may have never noticed the emptiness in your soul from never reading an article that addressed your personality trait, and after reading this one, you have realized that emptiness. It’s just like how I hadn’t realized the lack of (counter-stereotypical) Indian-American television and film characters had affected me until I watched “The Mindy Project” and felt so unbelievably proud of Mindy Kaling, almost like being Indian made us sisters. If you are finally feeling a similar gratitude of being represented on the internet, congratulations, you are an ambivert! (And we’re sorry it took so long.)

So how did you do? Did you relate to all 10 signs?

You’re probably an ambivert!

But keep in mind that human beings are never 100% anything. Psychologist have made divisions of this introvert-extravert spectrum, but there really is no distinct line that divides introverts from ambiverts and ambiverts from extraverts. Some people can distinguish themselves, because they are close enough to the extremes. You could be an ambivert, or just slightly introverted or extraverted. You could be a shy extravert or a stable ambivert, a shy ambivert or a stable introvert.

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The final take away? Try being more self-aware, keep track of what experiences make you happy and which ones you would feel happier doing without. Taking tests and reading articles to measure your personality traits definitely help, but they are not final, indisputable assessments of your personality. Only you can truly figure out where and when you feel most fulfilled.

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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