Ambiverted [NaBloPoMo 5]

Wednesday, August 5, 2015 / 3:40 PM

I've always considered myself an introvert, although when I say that to people, they immediately push back. "I find that really hard to believe!" someone said to me recently. And while the intention was well-meaning, I can't help but wonder why people think it's not an entirely positive thing to be an introvert.

via The Oatmeal
Or perhaps no one really thinks that, but they assume me saying I'm an introvert is some way of putting myself down. Which isn't true--I think there are wonderful things about introverts and extroverts!

But recently I stumbled upon the term "ambivert," and I found myself drawn to its definition more and more.

According to this Wall Street Journal sidebar:
The Ambivert:
  • Socially flexible—comfortable in social situations or being alone.
  • Skilled at communicating—intuits when to listen or to talk.
  • Moderate in mood—not overly expressive or reserved.
  • Adaptable—no default mode, so they change their approach to fit the situation
The Extrovert:
  • Energized by external stimulation—with people, environment, activity
  • Processes thoughts while talking
  • Motivated by external rewards, recognition and feedback
  • Outgoing—easy to get to know
The Introvert:
  • Energized internally, while being alone
  • Craves solitude to balance out social time
  • Speaks only when they have something to say
  • Thinks before speaking, processing thoughts internally
So am I an ambivert? All I know for sure is I'm not an extroverted person. I need to be alone once in awhile, especially in a city like New York. (One of my favorite things to do in the city is go to the theater alone to a matinee.) The month before I moved here, an old professor said to me that there would be some days I would have trouble simply standing on the sidewalk because this city is exhausting.

But I do enjoy spending time with my friends and occasionally networking in large groups. The "adaptable" clarifier in the ambivert definition makes sense to me. The other night at a dinner, I was feeling tired, but knew I wanted to be around the people I would be dining with. But I didn't have much to say for about 75% of the dinner--not because I wasn't interested in anyone or in the conversation. I just hoped I wasn't coming off as rude, because while I can be talkative, I also enjoy being quiet and absorbing others' words and energy too.

Anyways, I'm not quite sure where I'm going with this, but I was just thinking about this because I have a large amount of networking to do coming up and it's giving me anxiety. Which would make a great topic for tomorrow's blog...

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