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The Ambivert Struggle

April 29, 2020 2 min read 12 Comments

No matter which article you read, personality descriptions can almost always be whittled down to  a few basic characterizations:

  • If you’re an extrovert, you’re a social butterfly, think the life of the party 
  • If you’re an introvert, your free time is spent with your head in a book avoiding the party

Both descriptions, I feel fall flat in fully describing the complexity of personality which is why I tend to follow Carl Jung’s theory of personality. A Swiss psychiatrist, he developed the ideas behind personality types noting that the introversion/extraversion dichotomy was more about one’s orientation of energy. Huh?  

Well, his idea was that extroverts focus on the outer world and restore their energy by being around other people.  Whereas, introverts focus on their inner world and restore their energy by reflecting on thoughts and ideas while preferring to spend more of their time on their own. 

But what happens if you show preferences for both? Cue the struggle of the ambivert!

An ambivert is someone who falls in the middle of the introvert/extrovert continuum; having a blend of traits from both, as well as their own unique strengths. More often than not (and depending on the mood, context, and goals of the person) you can flip back and forth between the two types. 

Sometimes ambiverts are called:

  • Outgoing introverts: An introvert who can be outgoing in certain situations, around certain people, or when they absolutely need to be
  • Antisocial extroverts: An extrovert who needs time to recharge before socializing, or who likes to be alone more than a typical extrovert
  • Social introverts: An introvert who can dial into extroversion when needed

And this is where I come in: the outgoing/social introvert. 

Some days I’m completely content spending a weekend, day, or evening in the quiet of my apartment. I could even say that I have to, in order to dispense some of what I can only guess is active energy that comes from being a busy beaver.  So I’ll spend those quieter moments catching up on chores, getting ready for the week ahead, organizing, surfing the net or just enjoying alone time.  

On other days, I thrive being around people, love being “a part” of the life of the party, or even striking up a conversation with anyone anywhere (though this is super rare).

Best explanation? I’m a walking conundrum. But on the bright side, I have the best of both worlds! And what a life it is, striking a balance between the two polar opposite personality traits.

Want some more personality articles? Check out some of my other posts:

Where do you fall: introvert, extrovert, ambivert?

12 Comments

  • Christa Anne May 1, 2020 at 9:18 am

    Thank you for this post! It described me so well which is hard for me to do sometimes.

    • annaelleliz May 2, 2020 at 12:30 am

      Hahaha us ambiverts are kind of hard to describe 😅

  • angela@marathonsandmotivation.com April 30, 2020 at 5:14 pm

    This is really interesting! I think I may just be an ambivert, it totally fits!!!

    • annaelleliz May 2, 2020 at 12:27 am

      Glad you liked it! It’s so hard to narrow down a personality type but I actually think most people are ambiverts!

  • Melanie April 30, 2020 at 4:04 am

    I’ve not heard of ambivert but it makes complete sense. I definitely fall into that category and enjoy the best of both the introvert and extrovert worlds. xx

    • annaelleliz April 30, 2020 at 3:16 pm

      Hannah Montana said it best, “you get the best of both worlds!”

  • mriveraediblesense April 29, 2020 at 12:13 pm

    I definitely think I’m an ambivert. I can push myself outside of my comfort zone in social situations, but I definitely prefer to be alone or with my very close group of friends.

    • annaelleliz April 30, 2020 at 3:15 pm

      I so get you! I’m exactly like that too! Though sometimes in social situations I’m looking for the nearest exit 😁

  • TheSuperMomLife April 29, 2020 at 11:06 am

    I’ve always considered myself an introvert, but I do think I could be somewhere in between sometimes as well.

    • annaelleliz April 30, 2020 at 3:14 pm

      I was definitely an introvert in my middle/high school years but I think college pulled the inner extravert out of me, lol! I think most of us are in between or have a good blend of both though!

  • federica April 29, 2020 at 9:36 am

    Hi, my namename is Federica and I am an outgoing introvert – more introvert than outgoing, I suppose 😂

    Federica | bitsoflifestyle.wordpress.com

    • annaelleliz April 30, 2020 at 3:12 pm

      Welcome to the club 🤣! I’m an outgoing introvert for sure!

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