People

Introverted, Ambiverted and Extroverted: It is okay to be different.

Identifying what we are personality wise can be a difficult task, especially when you are told one thing but then you research it, disagree with it, then believe something else. It can be a confusing cycle, however, only you can know what you are. 

Introduction:

Most of us have preconceived notions about what introverts and extroverts are like, based on what we seem to hear in popular culture, as well as from the people around us. Have you ever heard these sayings before?

“Oh you are an introvert? You must be so shy around people!”

“Introverts are just anti-social.”

“Extroverts are so loud, always partying and going crazy!

What people need to know is not all introverts are shy and not all extroverts like to party. Each can have traits from the other.

Introversion and Extroversion Origination:

The concept of introversion and extroversion was originated from the theories of Carl. G. Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist. He theorised that there are two basic personality types (later updated to three) introverts and extroverts.

The primary difference between them was where they derive their energy from. An introverts energy is derived from their inner world – they recharge their energy by spending time in solitude, introspecting their  thoughts and feelings. This is often why they are seen as ‘anti-social‘ or ‘reserved.’

On the other hand, an extroverts energy is directed towards the outer world. They recharge by spending time socialising and being engaged in activities that encourage social stimulation. Their preoccupation with others and interpersonal relationships is what generally gives them the tags of ‘outgoing‘ and ‘loud.’

Introverts:

Below are few points about introverts:

1) Always Thinking – Their minds are almost always on the go. While you may see a quiet surface on the outside, inside there is a storm brewing. There are a so many different things that are ongoing in an introvert’s mind at any given moment. Introverts often prefer to observe surrounding issues and form conclusions about the issue at hand instead of speaking aloud.

2) They Are Not Antisocial – Contrary to popular belief, introverts do not dislike people. However, they usually only have a small circle of close friends. As an extension of this, they are firm supporters of deep and meaningful conversations held over a cup of tea, rather than somewhere noisy like a busy restaurant.

3) Stability Is Key – Something that introverts do like is stability. They are not usually ones for unpredictability and they like things to have a structure to it. Last minute changes can throw them off-track as their hearts lie in planning, organising and envisioning. 

4) They Enjoy Solitude – They would rather spend time reading, playing video games, or just listening to music, instead of socialising with other people sometimes. This quiet time is important to their sense of well-being even though there are plenty of times that they enjoy social gatherings.

5) They Make Great Leaders – Despite the belief that introverts are so quiet that they are unable to manage tasks, under the right circumstances they can be the best leaders of all. If a group is ready to lead itself, then the introverted leader will draw the most potential out of them. It is only when the group needs a spark provided by its head that introverts might be unable to provide the necessary guidance.

Extroverts:

Below are a few points about extroverts:

1) They Rely On The External Environment – Extroverts often rely on information and stimuli from the external environment while making decisions and coming up with solutions. They are more likely to rely on the ability to actively participate and perform things, rather than thinking about them. They also make their best make decisions by verbalising their thoughts out loud and involving others in the thought process.

2) They Can Be Loud – Extroverts are well-known for their enthusiasm and spontaneity, which comes to them naturally. It is hard to socialise with an extrovert and not become excited. This is where the tag ‘loud‘ comes from.

3) They Are Outgoing – They also love to network and interact with people from different walks of life, which is where the tag ‘outgoing‘ comes from. They like to join in and belong, thus they are more likely to be a part of a range of groups and communities; anything that gives them a chance to interact with other people. They feel much safer in a group, surrounded by people rather than on their own.

4) They Like To Think Aloud – When they are facing a problem, they prefer to discuss the issues and various options with others. Talking about it helps them to explore the issue in depth and figure out which option might work the best. After a difficult day at work or school, talking about it with friends or family can help them to feel less stressed out.

5) They Are Often Friendly And Approachable – Extroverts are typically very open and willing to share their thoughts and feelings. Because of this, other people generally find that extroverts are easier to get to know. Since people with this personality type love interacting with other people so much, others tend to find extroverts likable and easy to approach. At a party, an extrovert will probably be the first one to walk up to new guests and make introductions. It is for this reason that extroverts typically find it easy to meet new people and make new friends.

Ambiverts:

 Picture by: Sarvpreet Kaur (2017). Mindler

Although it might seem appealing to classify yourself into set categories of either ‘introvert’ or ‘extrovert’, the truth is that there are no ‘pure introverts’ or ‘pure extroverts’, as everyone shares at some qualities of both. I am sure you have been asked many times whether you are an introvert or an extrovert. For some people, it is an easy choice, but for most of us, it is difficult to choose one way or the other. It is hard to choose because the introvert / extrovert dichotomy reflects a tired and outdated view of personality. Personality traits exist along a continuum, and the vast majority of us are not introverts or extrovert; we fall somewhere in the middle.

Ambiverts have a distinct advantage over introverts and extroverts because their personality does not lean too heavily in either direction, they have a much easier time adjusting their approach to people based on the situation. This enables them to connect more easily, and more deeply, with a wider variety of people.

Below are a few points about ambiverts:

1) They Like Being Alone and Being Social – They like to spend time with other people as it sometimes energizes them and other times it can completely exhausts them. They tend to go through phases where they want to be around people, but then at some point they have had enough and need to retire from company to restore their energy levels alone.

2) They Have A Good Sense Of Trust – They can sense when they need to listen or be assertive and know how to adapt to the environment or person they are with. These are the subtle habits that make people trust them.

3) They Are Comfortable in Most Environments – Ambiverts like both stimulating and non-stimulating environments. They can seek social interactions and pull back when they need a break. This makes them very versatile and well adapted to whatever situation they might find themselves in.

4) They Are Good With Communication – Ambiverts love delving into deep, intimate, one-on-one conversations just as much as they enjoy engaging in small talk with strangers on the train. They are good listeners and have a distinct intuition about when it is appropriate to speak and when it is simply better to listen.

5) They Can Work Independently Or In A Team – Ambiverts can be excellent team players and thrive in a group setting. They are usually content to take on assignments alone and find no problem sourcing knowledge or information themselves. 

Conclusion:

There is no right or wrong personality type. The only right thing to do is to live, act and address who you really are. Act on your strengths, purge toxicity and get to know your true self. Instead of thinking introversion, extroversion and ambiversion as labels, think of them as a part of a spectrum.

What are your thoughts?
Thank you for reading.

References:

Chelsea RE

I am a graduate of university, with a degree in Applied Animal Studies. Higher education gave me the chance to get actively involved in political and educational issues that had a national effect on students. Therefore, I mostly specialise in Education and Politics within the UK, however, I try to keep an open mind when writing articles. Whilst animals have nothing to do with writing, I soon became very passionate about important issues that people seem to turn a blind eye to, so decided to start writing. As a result, this has intrigued me into wanting to write professionally.
  • Danielle

    Just realized I am an ambivert! I always considered myself and extroverted-introvert or introverted-extrovert but this is much easier to say! Loved the long and informative article!

    • Aha! I always considered myself to be an introvert, however, I do possess extrovert qualities… so I identify more so as an ambivert too.

  • Dee Warner

    In a society in which we become ever more isolationist, where we communicate more and more by written word there is a tendency to label everyone. The problem is, these labels were designed to communicate vast and complex information in a neat package. This is why professionals in many walks of life devised them. But the information contained within pigeonholes us into a set of descriptors and before you know it we’ve embraced our descriptors, and our friends descriptors. I fear that we are at risk of forgetting who we are because the labels fire allegations of what we are.

    Your article is brilliant as always Chelsea, but dear friend, first and foremost you are ‘Lil’ Chelsea’. A creative powerhouse, a mind with depth, texture and brilliance, a kind, loving, free thinking, unique spirit who cares too much for too many. Your labels are just like an invisible clothing layer, there to be worn while you need them or feel like it, but changed and moved through on your own terms.

    Congrats on a brilliant article. Stay beautiful. x

    • Always one with the detailed answers. I like that. A nice intellectually stimulating conversation we seem to have ourselves here 🙂

      Labels are almost impossible to ignore in modern-day society. If you’re not one thing then you’re something else, and if you don’t identify with a specific label, then there is something wrong with you… according to society of course. I agree with your point of ‘forgetting who we are.’ Getting people to describe themselves without the use of any labels would be interesting, considering a label is fitted onto almost everything these days. The labels almost remove what it is to be human.

      Aha, ‘Lil Chelsea.’ Is that my official name now? Big things come in small packages ‘n’ all. You speak words of kindness, thank you 🙂

  • Anh Ha

    Articulate with substance, like always.
    I’m Anh though, and trust me no labels will ever stick hehe.
    I was gonna say I’m covered in lube so try your best but lucky I kept that inside my head.