“Are you an extrovert or an introvert?”.
Since quite a few people asked me about this recently, I decided to do a little rant. The truth is, I am both. I always get confused when someone pigeon-holes me in a specific personality group. I think as far as personality types go…I like go about it via the nature vs nurture explanation rather than having a clear cut answer.
By nature, I am an extrovert. When I ask my family and close friends about it, they would identify me as an extrovert. I like to be around people & crowds. I was always very talkative as a child and I’m very vocal about how I feel. I like to plan events, host parties and find any excuse to be with friends.
But as I got older, I learnt to filter what I say (to not offend people), I learnt to listen (to not talk over people) and I learnt to think before I speak (to articulate rather than thinking aloud). I’ve also developed a liking to having the occasional alone time. All these ‘skills’ I’ve acquired over the years have dampened my naturally extroverted personality to the point where I can also identify with introverted characteristics.
But that doesn’t mean I’m an introvert; which is why I believe that I don’t fit in with either personality types. That’s when one friend pointed out that maybe I’m ambiverted.
An ambivert is the happy medium between extroverts and introverts. People who are ambiverted share characteristics from both groups. I enjoy both socialising and being alone. I can talk nonstop for hours when I have things to say but I’m also happy to sit and just listen when I don’t. My personality adjusts accordingly, depending on who I’m with.
When I’m around my close friends, I can be both the no-filter, super talkative social butterfly and the quiet, anti-social hermit because I know they’ve accepted both sides of me. They’re happy with whichever mode I’m on and won’t judge or ask questions.
When I meet new people, it becomes trickier. I become…sort of an inverted mirror whereby I balance out the other party’s traits. I become more quiet if they’re talkative and vice versa if they’re shy. This gradually changes as I get to know them more.
None of this is conscious, of course. It’s just something that happens automatically. I still like to think of myself as an extrovert but I can no longer deny my ‘acquired’ introverted traits. So let’s just say I’m an ambivert and be done with that.