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

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.

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 December 16, 2018

12 Simple Ways You Can Build A Positive Attitude

12 Simple Ways You Can Build A Positive Attitude

We all look for a better and happier life, but somehow we realize it’s our attitude that makes it hard to lead the life we want. How can we build a positive attitude? Grant Mathews has listed out the things (from the easiest to the hardest) we can do to cultivate this attitude on Quora:

1. Listen to good music.

Music definitely improves your mood, and it’s a really simple thing to do.

2. Don’t watch television passively.

Studies have shown that people who watch TV less are happier, which leads me to my next point…

3. Don’t do anything passively.

Whenever I do something, I like to ask myself if, at the end of the day, I would be content saying that I had spent time doing it. (This is why I block sites I find myself wasting too much time on. I enjoy them, but they’re just not worth it when I could be learning something new, or working on projects I care about.)

Time is incredibly valuable.

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4. Be aware of negativity

A community that considers itself intelligent tends to be negativity because criticizing is seen as a signaling mechanism to indicate that you’re more intelligent than the person you corrected. This was irrationally frustrating for me – it’s one of those things you’ll stay up all night to think about.

5. Make time to be alone.

I initially said “take time just to be alone.” I changed it because if you don’t ensure you can take a break, you’ll surely be interrupted.

Being with other people is something you can do to make you happy, but I don’t include it in this list because nearly everyone finds time to talk with friends. On the other hand, spending time just with yourself is almost considered a taboo.

Take some time to figure out who you are.

6. Exercise.

This is the best way to improve your immediate happiness.

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Exercise probably makes you happy. Try and go on a run. You’ll hate yourself while doing it, but the gratification that you get towards the end vastly outweighs the frustration of the first few attempts. I can’t say enough good things about exercise.

Exercising is also fantastic because it gives you time alone.

7. Have projects.

Having a goal, and moving towards it, is a key to happiness.

You have to realize though that achieving the goal is not necessarily what makes you happy – it’s the process. When I write music, I write it because writing is inherently enjoyable, not because I want to get popular (as if!).

8. Take time to do the things you enjoy.

That’s very general, so let me give you a good example.

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One of the things that has really changed my life was finding small communities centered around activities I enjoy. For instance, I like writing music, so I’m part of a community that meets up to write a song for an hour every week. I love the community. I’ve also written a song every week, 37 weeks in a row, which has gradually moved me towards larger goals and makes me feel very satisfied.

9. Change your definition of happiness.

Another reason I think I’m more happy than other people is because my definition of happiness is a lot more relaxed than most people’s. I don’t seek for some sort of constant euphoria; I don’t think it’s possible to live like that. My happiness is closer to stability.

10. Ignore things that don’t make you happy.

I get varying reactions to this one.

The argument goes “if something is making you unhappy, then you should find out why and improve it, not ignore it.” If you can do that, great. But on the other hand, there’s no reason to mope about a bad score on a test.

There’s another counterargument: perhaps you’re moping because your brain is trying to work out how to improve. In fact, this is the key purpose of depression: Depression’s Upside – NYTimes.com

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I can think of examples that go both ways. I remember, for instance, when I was debating a year or two ago and my partner and I would lose a round, I would mull over what we had done wrong for a long time. In that way, I got immensely better at debate (and public speaking in general – did you know debate has amazing effects on your public speaking ability? But now I really digress).

On the other hand, there’s no way that mulling over how dumb you were for missing that +x term on the left hand side will make you better at math. So stop worrying about it, and go practice math instead.

11. Find a way to measure your progress, and then measure it.

Video games are addictive for a reason: filling up an experience bar and making it to the next level is immensely satisfying. I think that it would be really cool if we could apply this concept to the real world.

I put this near the bottom of the list because, unfortunately, this hasn’t been done too often in the real world – startup idea, anyone? So you would have to do it yourself, which is difficult when you don’t even know how much you’ve progressed.

For a while, I kept a log of the runs I had taken, and my average speed. It was really cool to see my improvement over the weeks. (Also, I was exercising. Combining the two was fantastic for boosting happiness.)

12. Realize that happiness is an evolutionary reward, not an objective truth.

It’s easy to see that this is correct, but this is at the bottom of the list for a reason.

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