Not an Introvert or an Extrovert? You Might Be an Ambivert

ambivert cat

You click on a fun internet quiz: Are You an Introvert or an Extrovert? This should be easy, you think. But then, the questions feel, well, off. Asked to choose between spending your weekend hopping from brunches to parties to bars with zero downtime or holing up in your house and watching Netflix alone, you feel like neither of those situations suit you. And that’s totally fine, because you, friend, just might be an ambivert.

What Is an Ambivert?

If extroverts draw energy from being around people and introverts draw energy from solitude (putting it very simply, of course), ambiverts are somewhere in the middle. Personality traits like extroversion and introversion sit on a spectrum. And here’s the thing: Though the conversation around personality types typically centers on introverts and extroverts, ambiverts are probably much more common than you think. Psychologist Adam Grant estimated in the Wall Street Journal that ambiverts make up between a half and two-thirds of the population.

5 Signs You Might Be an Ambivert

1. You find it easy to adjust to the situation you’re in at any given time. If extroverts are social butterflies and introverts are lone wolves, ambiverts are chameleons. Because you enjoy parties and alone time at various points, you’re comfortable in either situation—or situations in between.

2. Some people would describe you as a social butterfly while others would describe you as quiet. You know how there are certain people you can talk to for five seconds before being able to confidently say, “Oh, she’s an extrovert” (or introvert)? Ambiverts are harder to nail down, and depending on the types of relationships you have with folks, they might classify you as either uber social or more reserved. For example, if someone only knows you in the context of going to the same Wednesday night yoga class, they might think you’re an introvert based on how natural you seem in a calm situation. If someone else only knows you in the context of going to happy hour at the same neighborhood spot, they might assume you’re an extrovert based on how you fit in in social situations.

3. You feel comfortable working on teams or independently. When it comes to work environments, ambiverts, though they’ll likely have a preference one way or the other, are adepts at doing things solo or with others. This, of course, can be a huge asset when it comes to pitching yourself for a promotion or new job: Works well with others—but doesn’t have to.

4. You’re typically happy with your weekend plans. Ambiverts are often very self-aware, meaning they know how much socializing they need in relation to downtime. Let’s think about weekend plans: If you’re an introvert, you might be bummed out after the weekend if you had too many plans for your liking and weren’t able to properly charge your social battery. If you’re an introvert and you weren’t able to hit every social engagement you wanted to, you might feel like you missed out on having as much people time as you wanted. While there will certainly be times when ambiverts are either overstimulated or understimulated, it’s a lot easier to find the right balance when you’re fulfilled by a number of different scenarios.

5. You can be super indecisive. On the flip side of the previous point, ambiverts can find it hard to make decisions, since they can be pretty sure they’ll feel comfortable in a bunch of different situations. Given the opportunity to go out on Friday night or stay in, an introvert or extrovert will usually have a pretty easy time deciding. Because you know you enjoy each of those options, you might find it trickier to make a choice.

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