On Being an Ambivert

Wednesday, 18 November 2015


Before I started my psychology degree I thought there were only two types of social personality types; extrovert and introvert. These types are the most well known, but what if you feel like you don't fit into either category? That you like going to parties but your also perfectly happy staying indoors with your own company and a Tv series. Well my friend like me, you might be an ambivert and if you haven't heard of this before, I'm sure you're not the only one. 

ambivert
ˈambɪvəːt/
noun
PSYCHOLOGY
  1. a person who has a balance of extrovert and introvert features in their personality.

Think back to a past social situation and look at (if you remember) how you felt in that exact moment, if you're an introvert science tells you that you shouldn't have enjoyed that situation. If you thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this situation, soaking up the conversation and joining in with it, science tells you that you are an extrovert, simple right? But what if you remember being pretty happy during that situation, even joining in at some point, but once you get home, away from people you suddenly feel emotionally and physically drained, for what you think is no reason. I had many of these experiences, I would spend all night with people and once I arrived back during the early hours of the morning I felt that if I had to hold one more conversation I would probably collapse. Pretty dramatic but that's honestly what it feels like, as soon as you leave that environment, you find how hard your body and mind have worked to keep the conversation going and remain your chirpy self that people see, but in that moment you don't notice at all. The best way I can explain ambiversion for me personally is that I feel the most comfortable when in the presence of a person, but I don't necessarily always want to talk to them. This sounds pretty mean but it's the easiest way to explain it, I have nights where I have to be on my own and I get really down because of this but once I'm with people I don't want to start the conversation, I'm more of a listener who likes to be in the moment, but doesn't really 
 want to join in with it. 

After a lecture on social personalities I decided to do a little bit of research on ambiversion and found that ambiverts take up more places in society than both introverts and extroverts , meaning that ambiversion should be a well known social personality trait, but because of past research psychologists only believed that there were just two types. But when you think about it it is an incredibly narrow spectrum, the human brain isn't that simple, you could feel comfortable in one social situation and feel under threat in another, that's just common knowledge. So it baffles me that ambiverts are not spoken about more, they now have a place on the spectrum but it has only been modern research that made a place for it. There's even a theory to say that the social constructs introvert and extrovert were created to make people conform, they are told they are this particular personality type and so they must act that way. Very interesting I must say. 

So if you feel like you have never really fitted in to these two types of personality, then do not despair, there is a group for you out there that can answer all your questions about how you like house parties but feel uncomfortable in nightclubs (cause you know I do). How you can talk to someone for hours but afterwards but afterwards have to take a 3 hour nap! I do think though, once you know what your social personality type is it is much easier to adapt your needs and even choose the places and people you want to be around, but don't let it run your life, if you are introverted please inform yourself about the difference between that and social anxiety because there is a big one and if you feel like you are extremely introverted to the point of being terrified of social interaction, that's when you need to see the difference and get help, don't let your personality type make decisions for you!

I love being an ambivert because it gives you a little bit of both. I don't crave for human contact all the time, I can be my own person but I can also be in a room comfortably with a lot of people. It's the best of both worlds and I really think that us ambiverts should have a little bit more notability. 

Do you think you're an ambivert?


4 comments

  1. I think I've changed during my life from being an introvert to an extrovert - whereas before I liked being alone on the time, now I can't bear it and need to be around people! This is so interesting xx

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    1. That's interesting that your personality has changed through the years! I hope it's a good thing for you:)

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  2. I've never heard of the ambivert personality type before, but you're right, you can't just categorise everybody into two groups, that's crazy aha! I think that I'm definitely more of an introvert though.

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    1. No it's not spoken about a lot like! And no I do think that's the wrong way of looking at it, it should be more of a scale. As long as being an introvert suits you, there is nothing wrong with that :)

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