real life

Love parties AND alone time? You might just be an ambivert.

I’ve never thought of myself as a super-extroverted social butterfly – but I’ve also never accepted that I was a lone wolf introvert, either.

Like Miley Cyrus, or the platypus, I didn’t fit into a neat category. I was a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.

Until (drum roll…) I discovered the term ‘ambivert’.

An ambivert is someone who sits on the personality fence: sure, we like people, and socialising with said people, but we also enjoy our own company. And sleep.

Ambiverts have been described as “the forgotten personality type”, but it is estimated that around 38% of the population falls into the ambivert category.

This time of year is a nightmare for introverts…

Personality psychologist and author Brian Little recently told The Huffington Post that we ambiverts actually have the best of both worlds: We have the classic introvert’s skills of self-reflection, coupled with the extrovert’s outgoing nature:

“Ambiverts can take the best of both. Those who are ambiverts have rather more degrees of freedom to shape their lives than those who are at extremes of other ends.”

Huzzah!

Sound familiar? Here are the 8 signs you might be an ambivert.

1. You don’t feel like you fit into either introvert or extrovert category.

The clearest sign you are an ambivert is if you think you are. Duh. So if you think you sit somewhere in the middle, according to whatever particular circumstances you are facing at the time, you are probably correct.

“How I made peace with being an introvert”.

2. You can party with the best of them.

Ambiverts love mixing with other people – but on their own terms. So if you have your best buddies with you, you are often quite happy to meet new people and socialise to the wee hours.

3. But you also love your ‘alone time’.

On the other hand, one you have reached your socialising quota, you are Done. Out. Gone. You have a finite amount of energy, and once it is used up, you will gratefully rush home to the warm embrace of your bed.

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4. Decision making can be agonising…

Because you spend a lot of time self-reflecting and mulling things over in your mind, but also feel the need to weigh up the pros and cons with family, friends and anyone who will listen.

5. You enjoy being the centre of attention sometimes, but you also find yourself regularly observing from the sidelines.

Ambiverts are very intuitive and are known for being good listeners. We often find ourselves quietly watching and observing. But we’re also not the shy, retiring types. We enjoy praise and recognition as much as the next person does.

6. It’s all about balance.

Too much socialising and you will burn out. Too little and you will feel isolated, depressed and unproductive. Traditionally, extroverts are thought to draw energy from being around others, while introverts are energised from spending time alone. Surprise, surprise: ambiverts sit in the middle.

 7. You love a good chat – but on your own terms.

If you are passionate or excited about a certain topic, you will happily chatter away to a complete stranger. But being forced to network and endure small talk with randoms at events and parties? Not so much. In fact, awkward small talk can feel like hell to you.

8. You excel in certain situations.

Psychologist Dan Pink came up with the term “ambivert advantage” to describe the way we can use the strengths of all personality types. For example, ambiverts are awesome at sales, as they strike the balance between being assertive and confident, but still approachable and friendly.

So there you have it, my ambivert friends. We now have a special category all to ourselves. And it turns out that it’s pretty awesome.

Do you think you could be an ambivert? 

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