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20 Things Only Those Who Are Neither Introverts Nor Extroverts Understand

20 Things Only Those Who Are Neither Introverts Nor Extroverts Understand

Are we like others? Do we exhibit the same traits as our peers, can we be put in a neat little box, or are we unique? Not to get too existential right at the start – but although you’ll find that all people have certain very specific traits that make them who they are, most of us can relate on some level. We all like to belong, to have a group that understands us and shares our interests. This is why you’ll see so many articles online detailing the good and the bad sides of being either an introvert or an extrovert. But what if I told you that you don’t have to identify with one or the other?

Morpheus

    There are actually a lot of people out there who can exhibit some textbook introvert behavior, but at other times they seem like a true extrovert. We are often called ambiverts, but I’m not that big on names, so I just see myself as an in-betweener. It can be a bit weird when you can see eye to eye with both people who like to keep to themselves and people who are always out making friends, yet can’t truly be understood by those living either extreme. There are some things that only those who fall somewhere between an introvert and an extrovert will understand, things like…

    1. We are only an extrovert as long as we need to break the monotony

    Bored

      If you live the life of an introvert (e.g. doing things on your own or being passive during conversations) and yet are not a true introvert, it’s easy to get into a rut. When I get into a routine I start to get nervous, and start planning fun activities with my friends and family. However, I’m only going to party for as long as I need to spend most of that extra energy, and then it’s back to the Fortress of Solitude.

      2. We sometimes wish to be all by our lonesome, but still have plans for later

      alone

        It’s easier than ever to just focus on yourself and have some quality alone time. Just one look at the online shopping statistics is enough to show you that a lot of people prefer sitting at their computer than driving around town and interacting with other people. While I personally enjoy having a quiet day to myself once a week – ordering food and doing my shopping online, listening to music, doing a little dance as I brew a fresh cup of coffee – I still make sure that I’ve got something interesting planed for tomorrow. I know I’ll recharge my batteries and want to have fun with others in a day or two.

        3. We hear about introverts and extroverts, and realize that we can’t choose a side

        something in common

          Did you ever get the feeling that you might have a lot in common with a person, only to say to yourself “Nope, you lost me there buddy,” half way through the conversation? Well, that’s how I feel most of the time. I’ll be there talking to someone who seems to like some of the things I like, but then they go off the rails. Yes I might enjoy hiking – but camping out in the woods for several days with a group of people, followed by other “fun group activities” is really not my thing. At this point an introvert might chime in with “Yeah, it’s much more relaxing to go running by yourself and then read some good books”, at which point you’re just going to have to give up.

          4. We are able to relate to nearly everyone, which is a double edged sword

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          double edged sword

            Another fun thing about being able to relate to the vast majority of people (at least to some extent) is that nearly everyone you meet will want to be your friend. “Hey, you’re a really cool guy, we’ve got so much in common, let’s hang out” – they’ll all chirp happily, but the truth is you simply don’t want or need hundreds of friends. Your introvert side will start panicking and tell you to run for the hills, but your extrovert side will keep getting you into these situations because it’s fun to meet new people.

            5. We don’t mind spending long hours learning something new or developing a skill

            working hard

              When not out meeting new people and making friends through no fault of my own, I tend to spend a decent amount of time hiding from the friends I do enjoy being around, simply because I want to focus on a hobby. You’d be surprised at all the things you can learn if you put in the time and the effort. Chances are you’ve lied about being sick so you can spend a couple of extra hours working on a DIY project or learning French.

              6. We lose focus if we become too isolated

              stupid brain

                While there are times when I will happily go for a run or work on my skills instead of sitting around talking to people, if I go too long without human contact my brain tends to wonder off. I keep thinking about all the fun people are having without me, and I start to miss the long random conversations I have with my best friends over a couple of beers. At some point you can’t really get anything done, because it becomes impossible to focus on the task at hand, and you end up reaching for the phone.

                7. We can sometimes spend 48 hours partying, then go back to quietly sipping coffee with friends

                party hard

                  I’ve mentioned the need for partying that you get after spending a long time on your own, but the truth is that sometimes you just feel full of life and want to do as many exciting things as you can, all at once. Now that I’m a bit more mature and happily married, a nice vacation or a fun weekend out of town with the Missus and our daughter is enough, but when I was younger I’d party for two or three days straight. People who met me during the party phase tended to be surprised at how relaxed and quiet I was when they saw me mere days later.

                  8. We tend to be quite intuitive and can sense how people feel, but sometimes we just don’t care

                  feelings

                    Having spent a lot of time talking to a wide range of different people, I can tell you that being an ambivert makes it a lot easier to sense how people feel, as you can put yourself in their shoes for the most part. However, being able to understand others and being emphatic are not the same thing, and while the tendency is to make an effort to comfort people or hear them out, there are just some times where you can be focused entirely on yourself and not really care.

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                    9. We catch ourselves sitting quietly and observing others every now and then

                    watching silently

                      During those times when I feel especially introspective I often catch myself just kind of sitting there, with a bunch of friends who are chatting over a cup of coffee. It’s not as if you’re not listening to what is being said or that you’re in a bad mood, it’s just that you get contemplative and start observing the whole situation like an outsider gathering information. You can feel warm and cozy in your own head, and really not have much to say, although you actually enjoy the company.

                      10. We can also get excited and become the life of the party in the right circumstances

                      life of the party

                        It always amazed me how fast I could go from quiet and somewhat distracted to chatty and witty when the mood struck. For me it was always about having the right kind of people around, and I usually needed someone to give me a push in the right direction by bringing up a topic I am passionate about. It is a wonderful transformation, but that euphoric feeling can dye down slowly if there is no-one to keep feeding the fire.

                        11. We sometimes spend time among people we don’t know, and we tend to get really shy

                        shy

                          You see, one of the biggest triggers that pushes most ambiverts into “fun and talkative mode” is the presence of good friends. As long as you have someone you know well with you, you can relax because you know you can switch between casually talking to a friend and telling a few interesting stories to a few people that were part of the extended group. However, once you’re among strangers, you become shy and somewhat clumsy.

                          12. We will still get quite talkative among good friends

                          talking with friends

                            Ah, those rare moments of pure bliss when you get a little drunk with a few good friends and start blabbing about random little things, jumping from topic to topic and barely even stopping for breath. These are great opportunities for those who only know you as the quiet and mysterious one to see your other side.

                            13. We have clear spikes and lulls in our activity levels throughout the week

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                            activity lulls and spikes

                              If my life was presented in graph form, it would probably look something like the lines on a heart monitor. Oh sure, there are strong heartbeats in there, and during those periods we are larger than life. Our phone won’t stop ringing, we keep looking for people to hang out with on social media and there is always someone at our house having a coffee or a beer. However, there is a noticeable silence in between beats, with plenty of missed calls and quiet nights in front of the TV with significant others.

                              14. We surprise our close friends when they see us being reserved during social occasions

                              reserved gentleman

                                Because of all that talking that we ambiverts tend to do around close friends, they envision us as a social butterfly. They think that we are talkative and relaxed in all other occasions, because that is what they have experience with. My friends would experience shock and confusion when they saw me, the quirky chatty guy, just smiling politely and exchanging a few words here and there during big social gatherings.

                                15. We often find that we just want to leave a party and spend the rest of the night alone

                                so long farewell

                                  This one is very difficult to explain to people – I actually like hanging out with friends and a bunch of people I don’t know, as long as I am in a good mood and the atmosphere is stimulating. I have a specific taste and there are several things that I find fun, and if none of these elements is present then I simply leave. It might have been a good party at the start, but it’s not uncommon for me to start thinking that I’d have a much better time watching a movie at home or scrolling around social media.

                                  16. We find it’s easy to get confused about what we really want

                                  i do not know what i want

                                    Given the fact that ambiverts can be all over the place when it comes to their energy levels and general mood, we often find ourselves confused about what we want. I’ve had friends get mad at me because they thought I was messing with them when I would change my mind about whether I wanted to go out about 6-7 times in 10 minutes. The switch between introvert and extrovert is not always a smooth and easy one, and it pays to have patient and understanding friends.

                                    17. We like to talk for hours on some subjects, but small talk bores us out of our mind

                                    small talk

                                      I’ve already mentioned that my friends tend to see me as a chatty person, and I’ve been known to be quite interesting when meeting new people if the conversation steers towards something I find interesting – however simple social interactions where people keep up the pretense that they respect and enjoy each other’s company can drive you mad. I never liked talking about the weather or asking arbitrary questions like “How’s the wife?” or “So, what have you been up to?” just to kill the time or because I bumped into someone I haven’t seen in a while in the street.

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                                      18. We never feel truly bored, but we can get a bit lonely at times

                                      lonely

                                        I’ll be the first one to say that you can be your own company as long as you have a little bit of imagination, a sense of humor and a positive attitude. However, while I won’t necessarily run out of things to do on my own or with a few close friends, I can get definitely get lonely and start missing the chatter and laughter you get with a group. This is why we can’t stay passive and closed in our own heads for too long.

                                        19. We don’t spend too much time socializing because it can drain our mental energy

                                        Mentally draining

                                          Just as sitting around the house and going to the same few coffee shops with one or two close friends tends to eventually push ambiverts into a more active phase, so too does being overly friendly, going to all the big events and being around other people on a daily basis cause us to eventually go into hibernation. It’s all about a balance between being open to the world and having some privacy, and too much human contact can be rather mentally exhausting. If I’m energetic and ready to hit the town one day, and then I keep giving excuses so I can stay at home the next, it’s not because I don’t like a person very much – I just need a break from people in general every now and again.

                                          20. We struggle to find a partner that can get used to both sides of our character

                                          quirky character

                                            With all these complex emotions, mood changes and character traits from both ends of the spectrum, it can be difficult to pin an ambivert down. What I found most challenging is the fact that when I start dating someone it can be quite the challenge for them to get used to both sides of my emotional coin. Again, I’ve been lucky enough to find myself a beautiful wife who, being an ambivert herself and as emotional and stubborn as I am, learned to understand me. It can take some time before you find someone you can be yourself around, both when you feel like closing up and staying silent, and when you want to sing at the top of your lungs, act silly or go out and have fun.

                                            As an ambivert you’ll go between wanting nothing more than to be left alone and have limited interaction with others, and being around plenty of people and having a great time. People will find it weird, some may get a bit frustrated, but on the plus side you get the best of both worlds and may even have an edge when it comes to achieving success, so just be honest to yourself about who you are and enjoy the ride.

                                            Featured photo credit: Hipster man with a fixie bike and smartphone in a park outdoors via shutterstock.com

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                                            Ivan Dimitrijevic

                                            Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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                                            Last Updated on March 14, 2019

                                            7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

                                            7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

                                            Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

                                            For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

                                            Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

                                            1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

                                            A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

                                            It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

                                            It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

                                            How it helps you:

                                            If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

                                            Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

                                            2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

                                            Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

                                            Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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                                            How it helps you:

                                            Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

                                            Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

                                            If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

                                            Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

                                            3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

                                            Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

                                            Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

                                            How it helps you:

                                            This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

                                            For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

                                            Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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                                            A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

                                            4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

                                            To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

                                            A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

                                            How it helps you:

                                            One word: hierarchy.

                                            All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

                                            In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

                                            If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

                                            5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

                                            Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

                                            Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

                                            How it helps you:

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                                            Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

                                            If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

                                            This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

                                            6. What do you like about working here?

                                            This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

                                            Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

                                            How it helps you:

                                            You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

                                            Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

                                            Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

                                            7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

                                            What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

                                            As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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                                            How it helps you:

                                            What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

                                            First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

                                            Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

                                            Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

                                            Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

                                            Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

                                            Making Your Interview Work for You

                                            Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

                                            Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

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                                            Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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