As I was scrolling through my FaceBook feed today, I saw a friend posted an article about having an outgoing personality while being an introvert. This caught my eye as I often find I have these conflicting sides to my personality. Upon further googling around, I started reading more about “ambiverts” and I had an epiphany moment where the spotlight shown on me and I thought, exactly! That is exactly how I feel, I’m such an ambivert! So yet again, as with everything in the human condition, there is a spectrum and I seem to fall very much in the middle of the spectrum. I guess I just like being in the middle… I’m in the middle of the culture spectrum (not an American, not quite a Dane)… I’m in the middle of the gender spectrum and now I realize I’m in the middle of the personality spectrum. I always attributed some of my more introverted traits to me being a bit “scientific” minded or another way of saying I thought I was edging towards being in the autistic spectrum but now I think that this was a miscalculation. I just hadn’t realized that you could have strong introverted traits while also being an outgoing person.
Here are some things that I thought made me a bit quirky but now realize may point to me being an ambivert:
- I strive for stability but then get bored, feel trapped and crave change.
- I like going to social gatherings but I need to have my own space there and room to mingle with people individually. Therefore, intimate dinner parties with a few friends = scary, but huge birthday party at a bar = count me in.
- I am terrible at having conversations with multiple people at once but I love one-on-one conversation and am energized after a really good conversation with someone. (This again scores badly for the dinner party but good for the bar.)
- I love to travel to places where I know people so that I can experience a new city just how I want as well as have the possibility to meet up with a friend when I start to feel lonely.
- I have trouble going to a new restaurant or bar because I don’t know how it will look inside or what I should order and it seems too overwhelming. Yet after I experience it, I can easily go back, even by myself, and strike up a conversation with a stranger.
- I tend to mirror the person’s personality that I am speaking to, though I have learned to control this much more now, but this means that if you are super awkward, I’m probably also super awkward, if you are talkative and chatty, I’ll be excitedly interrupting you with stories from my own experience.
- I’ve developed a math-like formula (just substitute words for numbers) for how to start up conversations with strangers or have a conversation with an acquaintance.
- I need to feel like I can leave a situation at any time if I get too uncomfortable. Therefore, I am the type of person that can disappear from a party though I will definitely give a heads up to those I came to the party with, not everyone needs to know I’m leaving and give a goodbye speech or worse the “Noooo, don’t go” speech which is even more tiresome.
- I will SMS with you all day long but ignore your phone call.
- I hate conversations where nothing is said, please don’t talk to me about celebrities, but I will happily talk about celebrity culture and how it has developed over time. Other acceptable subjects are science, philosophy, religion, economics, politics, literature… ok, basically anything that has subject matter and can feed my brain with some form of new knowledge or perspective.
- I made a conscious decision at some point to stop exerting emotional energy on people I didn’t think were worth the effort. This means that many people I am introduced to might find me snobby because I can’t be bothered to exert emotional energy or time on interacting with them. But well, you know…. ain’t nobody got time for that!
I think that many of my experiences resonant with a lot of people, even those that identify strongly as an introvert or extrovert. So tell me your experiences or tell me which of my experiences you identify with, I’m curious to find out!