What Does It Mean to Be an Ambivert?

Whether it’s a one-hundred question survey of “what would you do’s” or a Buzzfeed quiz of “Choose a Type of Cheese and We’ll Tell You if You’re Introverted or Extroverted," we’ve all been there: taking an online test to figure out which end of the personality spectrum we stand. The logic behind these tests are simple. If you’re an extrovert, you’re outgoing and impulsive. If you’re an introvert, you’re quiet and reserved. For the longest time, it felt like I had to belong to one group or the other. But one test after another, my results seem to be all over the place, and I was more confused than ever.

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I really enjoy being around friends, whether it’s going out on a Friday night or simply walking to classes. I also love meeting new people at social events. These things leave me feeling energized and renewed. But, at the same time, it also drains me. Sometimes I would rather be alone in my room with a cup of tea, binging my favorite show. As much as I like being around people, I also enjoy some quiet time alone to reflect. I don’t really fit into either category completely, so which side am I on?

Turns out, I can be both introverted and extroverted; I’m an ambivert. An ambivert is someone who possesses traits from both sides. They have the outgoingness and boldness of an extrovert and share the thoughtfulness and reservedness of an introvert. Most people are familiar with the opposite ends of the spectrum, but in fact, a lot of us are most likely to identify with the in-betweens.

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So, what is it really like being an ambivert? Speaking from my own experiences, I can say that spending time with my friends makes me feel energized and confident, but it can also completely exhaust me. Sometimes I want to be around people, but other times I feel like I’ve had enough and just want to be left alone. There are also times when I’m alone in my room, but all I want to do is hit up a friend and go out, so I don’t drown in my own thoughts.

Being an ambivert, like all personality types, has its drawbacks. For instance, I find it hard to know which side of my personality I should “use” to engage in certain situations. Falling in between the personality spectrum, I struggle to know for sure what I prefer and what kinds of situation I thrive in. Not to mention, keeping a balance of both extroversion and introversion can be tiring. People consider us as moody because we may act strangely at some place and be perfectly normal someplace else.

On the bright side, ambiverts are really good at conversations because we’re both good listeners and communicators. Extroverts know how to talk, and introverts know how to listen. But ambiverts know when to speak up and when to listen. When I’m talking to a friend about his or her issues, I listen and understand where he or she is coming from, but I also spend my time giving advice and asking thoughtful questions to help. By learning to master the positive aspects of both personality type, an ambivert can excel in building relationships and deep bonds with people around them. The extroverted side may lead to meeting and interacting with more people, while the introverted side can help with cultivating close friendships.

As a fellow ambivert, I can say being both extroverted and introverted is great! Acquiring traits from both sides of the personality spectrum allows you to be a strong individual that always get the most out of life. As they say, it’s always better to have the best of both worlds!

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