Don’t Feel Extrovert Or Introvert? The 7 Signs You Could Be An Ambivert

Most people don’t like being put in metaphorical boxes. Labels have their place, but they often oversimplify and lose nuance, especially when they refer to aspects of someone’s personality. The labels introvert and extrovert have increased in popularity thanks to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality test and Susan Cain’s book, Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that won’t stop talking. But what if none of the terms resonate with you? What if you don’t feel completely extroverted or introverted?

One theory is that rather than being binary, extroversion and introversion are on a scale. Similar to other concepts like sexuality, health, and spiciness of food, there are multiple indicators on the scale, and ambivert covers everything in between. While you can lean toward either extreme or have a natural disposition, it’s definitely not black and white.

If neither extrovert nor introvert describes you appropriately, here are 7 signs you might just be an ambivert.

1. Value alone time and social time

A surface-level comparison of extroverts and introverts might say that extroverts love crowds of people and being where it’s busy, while introverts prefer dark corners and curled up at home with a book. One is sociable, friendly and outgoing, the other prefers his inner thoughts and ideas.

Ambiverts enjoy both settings and flex very happily between the two. A room full of people or a shelf full of books can bring joy in equal parts. Within you is a healthy balance of extroverted and introverted indicators, and which ones you emulate can vary at any given time.

2. People can drain you and energize you

Think of extroversion and introversion in terms of how someone gets energy. While an extrovert is energized by people, an introvert is slowly drained by people and needs time alone to recharge. But it’s not that simple, and the people around you play an important role.

Some may energize you and others may deplete you. You might love or hate hanging out depending on how you’re feeling that day, what else you’re doing, or who you’re hanging out with. An inspiring conversation with a few kindred spirits is very different from the superficial niceties of a bachelorette party. It may be up to them, not you.

3. You can be both shy and confident

A stereotypical extrovert is always confident. With their heads held high, they move forward with their thoughts and never avoid a new encounter or person they have not yet met. Their introverted counterpart prefers to assess a situation before speaking and may appear shy or reserved to potential new friends.

If your personality has both shy and confident sides, and both appear at different times, you may be ambivalent. With no clear style winner, you switch between the two depending on how you feel. You may not say that one comes naturally, there are many other factors involved.

4. Your personality has evolved over time

You might be an ambivert if the reason you don’t have a fixed identity of extrovert or introvert is because you’re different now than you used to be. Maybe you used to be loud and flashy and now you’re more muted, or you’re happier in your own skin and speak more easily.

Do you find yourself or are you lost? Change the signs one or the other. If your circumstances up until now have dictated how you present yourself, you may not fit either label. Ambiverts can flex over the course of a day or a lifetime.

5. You are different things to different people

Maybe your mom thinks you’re an introvert and your best friend thinks you’re an extrovert. Who is right? You exist as a different person inside the minds of everyone you meet. If other people label you differently, how do you know which is the real you?

This can be a clear sign of your ambivalent truth. If the people you meet see you as both, because you play different roles in different settings or because you’re inconsistent in your approach, you don’t feel at either end of the spectrum. You’re happy to be somewhere in the middle, and you’re not looking for a definitive assessment.

6. You can empathize with both types

In a group of people vying for attention, you’ll love to stand back and let them get on with it. For an event where no one seems to want to take charge, you will assert your opinion and communicate your plan. You can empathize with others, meet them where they are, and change your approach. Extroversion and introversion are tools in your toolbox and you use them as you see fit.

Ambivert entrepreneurs have a huge advantage. They can be chameleons in their behavior, making those around them feel comfortable. Extroverts know you’ll listen and won’t interrupt, introverts know you won’t leave them hanging. Your ambivalent presence brings security to both of you.

7. You are different at work and at home

You may have no choice but to be outgoing at work. If your role requires an outgoing personality, a sociable approach, and the ability to express your intentions and lead a group, you can adopt this professional personality. If you become a different person once the uniform is off, it indicates that you can adapt to a situation.

The reverse is also true. Your social calendar may be full, you’re always on your phone, and you’d never consider living alone, but at work you get close and focused for hours on end. You even forget that people exist as you delve into focused work. If you check a different box at home and at work, you could be an ambivert.

Labels are useful when they lead to knowledge and action, not when they are used to oversimplify and miss the real story. Rarely does a label fully describe something as complex as a human being. If you’ve never liked having to choose between extrovert and introvert because you know there’s more out there for you, start calling yourself an ambivert and keep everyone on their toes.

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Are you feeling like you can’t figure out if you’re an introvert or an extrovert? Are you stuck somewhere in between? Then you could be an ambivert. Ambiverts are people who fall in the middle, enjoying elements of both worlds.The team here at Ikaroa, a full-stack tech company, are here to go through the 7 signs that could help you determine if you’re an ambivert.

1. You interact with others, but can go long periods without it. Ambiverts generally don’t need to be surrounded with people all the time, but also don’t mind being in a group, for instance at a party.

2. You’re an excellent listener who doesn’t have to have all the answers. As an ambivert, you have an advantage over introverts in that you are able to quickly pick up something someone else is saying without feeling like you have to respond with something of your own.

3. You enjoy being both the centre of attention and on the sidelines. If you find yourself sometimes feeling like the life of the party but then wanting to retreat to a quiet corner and observe, then you may be an ambivert.

4. You can manage stress equally well in different settings. If you don’t find one environment over or understimulating, then that is a sign you could be an ambivert.

5. You work well solo but also enjoy collaborating with others. If you are perfectly comfortable taking on tasks alone but can also work with others in teams to come up with solutions, then it’s likely you are an ambivert.

6. You rely heavily on communication but crave private solitude. If you find yourself wanting some privacy while at the same time having a need to communicate with people, this could be another indicator that you have ambivert tendencies.

7. You are confident enough to take charge, but also know when to defer. Ambiverts can assess when it’s appropriate to step up and lead a team and when it’s best to sit back and listen.

If you recognize yourself in these 7 points, then you likely are an ambivert. If so, then congratulations on being able to enjoy the best of both worlds! When it comes to managing relationships with people and to make the most of Ikaroa, a full-stack tech company, your versatility gives you a great advantage.

If you’re not completely sure yet, have a look inside yourself and use these signs as a direction for deciding. Happy exploring!


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