Story By Caitlin Paroczai
Ambivert. It is a term that makes you sound like some kind of dinosaur. But behold! You are not in fact a dinosaur, you are an introverted extrovert.
I have always been fascinated by personality profiling and when I stumbled across the 16 Personalities Test, I was a bit more excited than I would like to admit. This particular personality test is based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Being a self-described ’freakishly accurate’ test, I thought maybe it was too good to be true. But after I read through my results, I became a serious believer.
I felt like it understood me better than I understood myself. I got ‘The Campaigner’ which fit me to a tee. This particular personality type is hallmarked by intuition, empathy, flexibility, perfectionism and… extroversion. Really? I am an extrovert?
I have never thought about myself as an extrovert. I originally completed this test a couple of years ago and every time I revisit it, I am still surprised by that result.
So, I decided to take a closer look into what being an ‘extrovert’ is really all about. People often think an extrovert is the social butterfly, or the most outgoing person in the room. However, an extrovert is truly defined as someone who is energised by being around other people. Okay. I guess that is me… sometimes? Don’t get me wrong, I can totally be that person. I love performing and if I am comfortable around a group of people, I probably won’t shut up. But I also have an incredibly large urge to leave, get into bed and watch Netflix by myself. I cannot deny that pretty frequently I feel drained after social events. If I was truly extroverted, wouldn’t I feel energised?
I was chatting to a friend about this, who suggested maybe I was an introverted extrovert. I did not know such a term existed. But after a quick google, I discovered the term ‘ambivert’. Basically, an ambivert is a hybrid between being an introvert and extrovert, taking characteristics from both personality traits. BUT IT DOESN’T STOP THERE. Apparently, you can also be an ‘omnivert’ who will be extroverted in a low stimulating environment, while being introverted in a highly stimulating environment. Say whaaaat?
I really don’t know how credible these terms are, but it is just good to know that other humans in this big-wide-world feel the same confusion as I do. So, what does an introverted extrovert actually look like in a social setting? I have done my best to brainstorm some ideas:
Being an introverted extrovert, you really know how to talk to people. You feel comfortable instigating a conversation and being able to sense someone’s extroversion or introversion, you can adapt to suit different conversational styles.
But you prefer one-on-one conversations
While you are great at talking to people, group conversations with lots of big personalities can be overwhelming and you find yourself taking a step back.
You LOVE people who understand your need for quiet time
When people view you as an extrovert, they might not understand your need for personal space. The best kinds of friends are the ones that know you need alone time and don’t take it personally.
Social interaction is rewarding but draining.
You enjoy spending time with people, but after a couple of hours it becomes draining and frankly, you just gotta get out of there. Cue the bubble bath and cup of tea.
Ahh, yes. The internal struggle between wanting to go out and wanting to ghost. Wanting to be around humans and wanting to be alone. Which one will you choose? This is a VERY confronting question for an introverted extrovert.
As I mentioned before, I’m not sure how much credibility these terms have. But I think this is probably really relatable for a lot of people.
If you want to find out what personality type you are, take the free personality test here: https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test.