“There is no window to look outside. There is no window to look within. Open the doors.”
You’ve probably been asked many times whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert.
While for some people this is an easy choice, for others, it might be difficult to choose one way or the other.
In his 1921 book Psychological Types, psychologist Carl Jung first popularized the terms introversion and extroversion. Later, other theories emerged and improved on Jung’s viewpoint (Myers-Briggs’ type theory is a good example). However, most theories suggest that everyone has both an extroverted and introverted side, with one being more in command than the other.
Today we’re encouraged to tick one of those two boxes due to critical strengths and weaknesses being associated with each type.
But what about those of us unable to identify strongly with one or the other?
Wharton School psychologist Adam M. Grant set out to study this, and his findings are fascinating. Firstly, he found, that two-thirds of people don’t identify strongly as introverts or extroverts. These people (actually the vast majority of us) are called ambiverts. They have both introverted and extroverted tendencies, and the direction they lean towards varies greatly depending on the situation
And here are 5 revealing signs that you might be an ambivert:
1. You’re a great listener and communicator
Extroverts prefer talking more, while introverts like to observe and listen. But ambiverts know when to speak and when to listen.
The ambivert might open an event by giving a brief inspirational talk but then offers their employees the chance to talk about their own challenges and concerns.
2. You feel fairly comfortable going to new places and meeting new people
An ambivert is not afraid of diving into new experiences, but sometimes they can get a bit anxious in an unfamiliar setting with people they don’t know. However, they aren’t going to avoid the chance to try something new either. It’s not in their comfort zone, but hey, that’s ok with them.
3. Empathy comes naturally to you
Ambiverts are able to listen closely and understand where a troubled person is coming from.
If a friend is having a problem, an extrovert might jump to offering solutions right away, and the introvert might be a great listener. But an ambivert will listen carefully and ask thoughtful questions to try and help.
4. You don’t overshare
Opening up to others is not a problem for ambiverts, but they also choose to keep some things private. They know that the perfect conversation is both a give and a take. They listen to others and share when it’s their turn. Ambiverts don’t monopolize the discussion.
5. Sometimes you struggle with balance
Ambiverts are thought to be more flexible because they can seamlessly move between introversion and extroversion. This might place an extra strain on the ambivert, depending on the situation. While keeping the balance might be a good quality to have, it can also be tiring for the ambivert.
The ambivert may also find themselves in the position of peacekeeper in a social or work setting. Those closer to the introvert or extrovert side of the spectrum might have trouble understanding where the other side comes from, and will often look to an ambivert to bridge the gap.
Do you consider yourself an introvert, extrovert, or as in this case, somewhere in between? Join our discussion in the comment section below.