Extrovert, Introvert, Ambivert

By Jessica Migala

You like to go out, but you’re not one to party so hard you close down the bar. At work, you share ideas in meetings and also feel for those who stay quiet. You don’t identify with your best friend who can chat with anyone for hours, but spending an entire weekend alone would make you feel cagey and bored.

Guess what? Sounds like you’re a classic ambivert.

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An ambi what? You’ve heard of the terms extrovert and introvert; each describes a specific personality type. Yet if you don’t see yourself as outgoing enough to be extroverted or not shy and reticent enough to be introverted, you may be an ambivert, which means your personality falls between the two.

While it’s easy to think that extroverts and introverts are two strictly different types, the reality is that we all lie somewhere on a scale, William Revelle, PhD, a psychology professor at Northwestern University in Illinois, tells Health. On one end, there’s the very introverted. On the other, the very extroverted. An ambivert will fall somewhere in this middle space. “Ambivert simply means in between,” he says.

In fact, most of us occupy this personality middle ground. “We’re talking about being average, and by definition, you expect people to be average,” Revelle explains. While being in the middle might sound like kind of a downer, average can actually be pretty great and offer big advantages in life.

Are you an ambivert? 

An extrovert generally loves to go to parties every weekend—or at least have a packed calendar. An introvert tends to avoid social activities; being at home is their bliss. “Ambiverts don’t avoid social situations, but they also don’t seek them out very actively,” Barry Smith, professor emeritus in the department of psychology at the University of Maryland, tells Health.

In the office, introverted team members avoid gossiping with coworkers. When they do chat it up, it’s all about the job. An extrovert is hard to shut up sometimes; they may plant themselves at your desk to talk about everything. They go to happy hour or other work outings as often as possible and tend to be the first to arrive.

What about ambiverts at work? When called to an in-office party, an ambivert will stay at her desk and work if she’s under deadline. If she’s free, she’ll head over briefly, make nice, and then hightail it back to her desk, says Smith.

Still not sure where you fall? “If you can’t tell if you’re an extrovert or an introvert, you’re an ambivert,” confirms Smith.

 

Source: health.com

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