Life, Magazine, Spring 2017: The Easter Issue

Ambiverts: How To Tell If You Are One & What It Means

Brandi Redd

We have all heard the terms ‘introvert’ and ‘extrovert’; but, what about the word ‘ambivert’ and what does it mean? If you are an ambivert, you have traits of both an introvert and an extrovert. According to Adam Grant, in an article for Forbes magazine, two-thirds of the population do not strongly identify with traits of an introvert or extrovert; this makes them an ambivert. As an ambivert, your personality does not lean too heavily on either side of the spectrum. Because of this, it allows you to easily and effortlessly move between introvert and extrovert groups.

How do you know if you are an ambivert?

According to Buzzfeed, these are some of the signs:

  • Spending too much time with other people can be exhausting
  • Your calm, controlled, “professional self” feels like a different person compared to the one your friends and family see
  • Thinking before you speak isn’t a problem…most of the time
  • You’re the Yang to someone else’s Ying or vice versa
  • You are known for being very intuitive and good at reading people
  • You’re an observer
  • Out in the world, you’re probably not starting conversations with strangers
  • You’re always happy to meet new people, but at times are uncomfortable doing so without your friends around
  • You see things written about being an introvert and can relate, but, you can also relate to the characteristics of an extrovert.

Characteristics of an Ambivert

There are other defining characteristics of someone who is considered to be an ambivert, such as:

  • Being able to adapt to the situation and environment easily – someone who is an ambivert knows when to be outgoing and when to be reflective and silent
  • Ambiverts don’t take too many risks or play it too safe – sometimes ambiverts will be impulsive, and other times not
  • Ambiverts know when to talk and when to listen

What I Discovered

After reading through some of the information and researching further, I have discovered that my personality is that of an ambivert. I had always considered myself and introvert; I was quiet,  shy, and not very outgoing. I preferred to read or write and spend time by myself.  However, as I got older, the introverted personality I had in my younger years grew into a more extroverted one. In college, I had to learn to step outside of my comfort zone. I realized that I was more outgoing when I was comfortable and was able to drift more easily in between social groups. I realized why I had different groups of friends throughout my life, and why we eventually went our separate ways the older we got.

In Conclusion

Ambiverts tend to be assertive and enthusiastic; but, they are also good listeners and can avoid looking or acting overconfident or excited. There is one major drawback to having an ambivert personality. Because ambiverts possess the ability to drift between introvert and extrovert groups, they are sometimes unable to distinguish what drives them. Ambiverts have a hard time figuring out what they want and where exactly they fit in, often causing them to make poor choices in friendship and other areas of their lives.

There is no easy way to overcome this personality flaw other than knowing yourself and your strengths and weaknesses. Your super power is your ability to adapt. Knowing the situations you thrive best in, and the people who build you up is key. Surround yourself with individuals who add to your ambivert personality and make it better. Having different groups of friends is good, just be careful to realize that not every group of friends are the ones you want to keep.

Ambiverts are more common than we realize, and if we look carefully at those around us, we just might find others like us!

Not sure if you are an ambivert? Try taking this short Personality Assessment to find out! 

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