I fall in the middle of the introvert-extrovert continuum, much more social in some situations and reserved in others… So, what am I? An ambivert, a term that’s often overlooked due to society’s tendency toward black-and-white definitions.
People always claim that they are “introverted,” “extroverted,” or “a little bit of both,” but never “ambiverted.” Especially in a school as large as UC Berkeley, constantly meeting new people and interacting with others can be overwhelming and stifle some individuals’ typically outgoing personalities. My guess is that at least a third of Berkeley students would consider themselves ambiverts, if only they knew that the term existed.
You are most likely an ambivert, or at least fall somewhere in the middle of the introvert-extrovert continuum, if:
#1: Most simply, you often feel like you don’t fit under either the “introvert” or “extrovert” label. Or, you feel like both labels resonate at different times.
#2: When asked “Are you an introvert or an extrovert?” your most frequent response is: “It depends.”
#3: You think before you speak. You don’t have any issues putting your thoughts into words, but you don’t say the first thing that comes to mind. Rather, you have a filter. You wait to hear what others say first, and then you’ll speak up.
#4: You tend not to match the other personality types around you but balance them out. If someone is very extroverted and talkative, you’ll be quieter and listen instead. If they’re quieter and more introverted, you’ll become more talkative.
#5: You like to observe those around you before diving into a social event. Although you’re excited to go to things, you often hang back at first.
#6: Your social comfort zone has strict limits. You’re comfortable socializing most of the time, but asserting yourself can sometimes be difficult or awkward. (As an extreme extrovert, my dad gives me the most flack for this one. Unfortunately, though, I can’t always help it!)
#7: You prefer having backup in social situations. You really like meeting new people, but you would rather have friends around you when you do so! At least, it’s unlikely that you’d run up to a stranger on your own and introduce yourself.
#8: You can be incredibly shy in some situations. You act differently to peers and casual acquaintances than you do with your close friends. In other words, if you don’t know someone very well, you are not always the truest version of yourself but much more reserved.