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10 Signs You Are Probably An Ambivert

10 Signs You Are Probably An Ambivert

Common thought holds that there are two types of social personalities. Extroverts are the norm, and they tend to draw energy from their physical and social environment and interactions in highly social situations. Introverts have been getting more attention recently, as characterized by Susan Cain in her work Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. Not surprisingly, introverts tend to draw their power from solitude and silence.

But there might be a third category of social personality: the ambivert. You may be an ambivert and not know it, but with this list of signs, you can diagnose yourself and plan accordingly.

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1. You are most comfortable in crowded spaces, but when you are in them, you don’t tend to seek out interaction.

Whether it’s at a party full of people you are somewhat familiar with, or in a coffee shop full of fellow writers knocking out their next best-sellers, ambiverts tend to want to be around but not with people. If you find yourself consistently seeking out crowded spaces so that you can blend in, you might be an ambivert.

2. You tolerate or engage in small talk, but can get very engaged in intimate conversations.

You know what the requirements of making small talk are (What’s the whether like? What happened in a generic pop culture moment?), but you often find yourself getting engrossed in deeply intimate and sometimes existential conversations. If you find yourself surviving small talk, but living for the conversations about the meaning of life, this is a sign you are an ambivert.

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3. You adjust your personality based on the energy level of the company you are in.

Because you are flexible, you find yourself shifting personalities sometimes. If you are with a high energy, highly-extroverted person, you will try to rein them in by becoming more reserved. If you are with an introverted person, you will try to dial them up.

4. You might be the life of the party – until you are 100% drained and cannot manage that energy any longer.

Ambiverts can dial up their story-telling abilities and their energy levels and hold a crowd – but only for so long. If you find yourself holding court for a while and then hitting a wall, you’re an ambivert.

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5. In spite of being the life of the party at times, you find it hard to assert yourself and your needs in intimate situations.

You think a person who can hold court at a party would be unafraid of telling others what they need in smaller settings, but in reality, it’s often hard for ambiverts to make it clear what they need in a small setting. When asked about themselves in intimate conversation, ambiverts often stumble over their words. Intimate conversations are supposed to be about the meaning of life or the significance of a new film or a societal ill, and not about something silly like yourself, right?

6. Meeting new people is fine, and being in new places is fine, but meeting new people in new places overwhelms you.

Like a childhood teddy bear, ambiverts need to hold onto something familiar. If you are intending to meet new people, you’d rather it occur in a familiar place, and if you are going to a new place, it better be with those you trust. Throwing both together is too much.

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7. You can’t decide which is a better memory – that one party or that night spent alone watching Netflix.

Ambiverts treasure both situations equally. They may spend a whole weekend partying in the same suit or dress, or they might spend a whole weekend in sweat on the couch, and they will love both situations equally.

8. You understand very quickly what drives others.

Ambiverts know both social personality types, and so they can immediately tell which person is which. They know what drives the party girlfriend and the bookworm friend, mostly because they’ve lived both situations themselves.

9. Group projects or solo ones – you always achieve the same (high) level.

Ambiverts have no preference about whether to complete tasks alone or with others, but they tend to be able to drive the project to completion regardless. Depending on the people involved or the content, they tend to enjoy both.

10. You’ve been called both an extrovert and an introvert, and didn’t know there was another option until now.

Your book club wonders how you can be so outgoing, and your party people wonder why the heck you are in a book group. Until know, you didn’t know which category you fit into, because it was neither! Congratulations, you have figured yourself out, you complicated ambivert, you!

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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