Nowadays, if you identify as an introvert or an extravert, the internet is a wonderful resource for you to affirm your sense of self, find a community of similar individuals and celebrate the personality trait that strongly influences your social life. But what about the people who cannot place themselves squarely into either of the two categories made popular by psychologist Carl Jung?
If you are not the textbook example of an introvert or an extravert, do not fear. You might be an ambivert!
Knowing where you fall on this introversion-extraversion spectrum is not a trivial fact that you could maybe bring up during dinner if you felt like it. Being aware of which environments you flourish in can help you improve your relationships with others, choose a satisfying career and search for the right life partner.
1. Your friends have a hard time classifying you as an introvert or an extrovert
This is probably one of the best signs that you might be an ambivert. Often times, we can manipulate our thoughts into making ourselves believe we possess a desirable personality trait. Your friends may even know you better than you know yourself, especially when it comes to judging how you tend to behave socially. If they’re confused, you could very well be an ambivert.
2. Your energy isn’t drained when you’re alone, nor do you feel exhausted after lots of socialization (or maybe you tend to be drained by both equally)
One of the most popular ways of defining introverts and extraverts is the fact that introverts can be social but are drained by that use of their time, whereas extraverts feel drained of energy after spending too much time in solitude. Personality psychologist Brian Littleexplains that ambiverts have the best of both worlds.
Compared to introverts and extraverts, Little says, “Ambiverts are in that nice zone, in that sweet spot, where they’re able to act out of character as a pseudo-introvert or a pseudo-extravert, without paying the nervous system costs.”
If you do not think there is much of a difference between the energy you spend talking to people at a cocktail party and what you spend reading a book in bed, you could be an ambivert.
3. You are usually satisfied with your weekend plans
Whether you have been invited to a large party or you’ve decided to eat in and watch movies with a close friend, you are satisfied, and even happy. This may have to do with you being a happy person in general, or it could be your body making it much easier for you to feel that way. Being an introvert or an extravert means more than just being sociable or not being sociable, it also affects how easily you are aroused by external stimuli (or your threshold for stimulation).
In this infant study, developmental psychologist Jerome Kagan performed an enlightening experiment to confirm that introverts have low thresholds for stimulation, meaning that they are affected by the weakest of stimuli and hence tend to seek out calm and quiet places, while extraverts have high thresholds for stimulation, so it takes a lot of extra chaos for them to feel stimulated. Ambiverts, unlike introverts and extraverts, do not have very high or very low thresholds for stimulation, allowing them to feel comfortable in almost all environments, in this case during any weekend plans.