Don’t feel like an introvert *or* an extrovert? You might be an ambivert, the Goldilocks of the EQ


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Most people are either extroverts or introverts. Extroverts are society’s business-world-ready social butterflies who thrive at parties, captivate a crowd, and are… too aggro for their own good. Introverts are down for a quite night with Netflix, heart-to-heart when you’re feeling blue, and just… really, you’re going to cancel our plans AGAIN? Both personality types are built on extremes, and you might feel lost as the forgotten middle child: the ambivert.

Wait, what is an ambivert? Okay, the ambivert (or omnivert) is essentially the Central Jersey of social personalities—some people say it doesn’t exist. But I’m from Monmouth County, baby, and ambiverts do exist. Not everyone feels so socially intense in one direction or another. As such, ambiverts collect a blend of characteristics that are generally ascribed to both ends of the spectrum.

“Ambiverts lie in the middle of the traditional introversion and extroversion spectrum,” says clinical psychologist Carla Marie Manly, PhD, author of Joy From Fear. “Ambiverts tend to be more flexible in nature as to their needs for stimulation and contact with others whereas true extroverts and introverts tend to have more specific needs and tendencies. The term omnivert is sometimes used rather than ambivert, but they hold the same meaning.”

If you’ve long felt out of place in this war and feel like reclaiming your identity, what signs or characteristics mark you as an ambivert? There are a few contradictory qualities that you might want to look out for.

10 surefire signs that you’re an ambivert

1. You’re equally comfortable in new and familiar social situations, but…
You do have limits regarding the amount of time and frequency of events, according to Dr. Manly. You’re probably not married to that Couch Life, it’s more that when you do go out, you’re not trying to stay out til 3 a.m.

2. You feel interested in discussions and small talk, but you find too much banter and dialogue to be off-putting.
You’re very middle ground when it comes to what kind of conversations you can handle. You’re not looking to command discussions ad nauseam, and you’re not really looking for an intimate heart-to-heart. You feel very good just, you know. Chatting.

3. You’re not afraid of solitary time, yet they do enjoy frequents contact with others.
You probably have the most healthily balanced Google Cal of all of your friends, that’s for sure. You know when it’s time for a self-care day and don’t feel any FOMO about it.

4. You’re comfortable being on the sidelines at a social event, but is also comfortable being in the spotlight for brief periods of time.
Sometimes, like on your sister’s wedding day, it’s okay to fade into the background a little. An extrovert might want to ham it up big time during the maid-of-honor speech, and you kept it classy and focused on the bride. On the flip side, an introvert would’ve needed to take about 300 mini breaks. (Trust me on this.)

5. If you’re pushed into being too social, you may feel depleted or exhausted.
Sadly, ambiverts are not immune to feeling that annoying Introvert Burnout. You’re basically someone who can go hard Friday and Saturday, and really needs to recover come Sunday. Day of Rest indeed.

6. An ambivert won’t generally be anxious in social settings unless feeling pressured by boundary invasions.
When you’re introverted (and loudly, again, It Me), being in groups for longer than five minutes has you looking for the exit. It’s a fun and sexy building-on-fire feeling, highly recommend it. When you’re an ambivert, you don’t really get that feeling unprovoked. It’ll only dial up if you’re stuck in uncomfortable “Can I get your number” situations.

7. You appear as a chameleon to outsiders given the tendency to fluctuate between being very social at times and rather quiet on other occasions.
To read it another way, you have a delightful air of mystique! People maybe aren’t able to exactly figure out because you don’t always attend a party as the same person.

8. You does not need constant “fixes” of contact with others to feel “alive” and fueled.
While you may be prone to some introvert strains, you’re unlikely to have the same social junkie tendencies as an extrovert. You’re not about to mass text your friends with “LET’S GO OUT!” and then start rallying.

9. You can be sedentary and quiet yet will feel best when also given frequent opportunities to engage in novel experiences.
Let’s say your work wife invites you to go on a winery tour with some of her normie friends. The experience, to me, sounds like a wild nightmare and I would decline that RSVP so hard. An ambivert, however, will happily sign up for it and maybe just take a seat back. Enjoy the cabernet and smile a whole lot.

10. You feel pulled between the poles of extroversion and introversion.
Sometimes you don’t feel certain of which “identity” is best for a certain situation or time. Hopefully, having reached the bottom of this list, you’ve figured out where you belong!

Okay, if you still landed on the side of introvert, here’s how to be shy without being rude. And this will allow you to lean into the more positive traits of your extrovert side.

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