Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Or like me, do you find you have some extrovert traits and some introvert? When I do tests to work out what I am I find myself looking at a number of the questions and saying, 'Sometimes yes, sometimes no,' or 'Depends on the situation.' Recently I heard the term ambivert, an individual who possesses a balnce of traits from both the introvert and extrovert camps. Ah, I've got a label I am happy with, I'm an ambivert. Are you an ambivert too?
Adapted from Pixabay
Firstly, about the spelling of the word that describes that lively, outgoing party animal who love being the centre of attention. Is he/she an extrovert or an extravert? I did a bit of research and it seems extrovert is more commonly used but in technical writing such as psychology, extravert is generally preferred.
Adapted from Pixabay
Definition of an ambivert According to the English Oxford Living Dictionaries an ambivert is
'A person who has a balance of extrovert and introvert features in their personality.'
Who coined the term 'ambivert' and when? I assumed the term was fairly new as until very recently I had only heard of introverts and extroverts. Today I read Hans Eysenck, a psychologist born in Germany, came up with the term in 1947, some 70 years ago. Okay, it's not a new term after all.
What are the advantages of being an ambivert? Ambiverts tend to be flexible and are able to adapt to the situation they find themselves in. An ambivert may speak up in a quiet group where no one else is encouraging conversation but be happy to keep quiet and listen when a number of people in a group are doing all the talking.
Hans Eysenck said ambiverts are 'stable' and are neither over-sensitive as is the case with some introverts nor domineering as some extroverts can be. Ambiverts have also been described as 'even-tempered' and 'middle of the road'.
Other advantages -
good at achieving a balanced lifestyle
cope with being alone but are happy to have company
able to work in a team or alone
flexible approach in leadership positions and sometimes come up with unusual solutions to problems
less likely than introverts or extroverts to suffer anxiety and depression
What percentage of people are ambiverts? Barry Smith, Director of Laboratories of Human Psychophysiology at the University of Maryland says 68% of people are ambiverts. An online Daily Mail Australia article claims about two thirds of the population are ambiverts which pretty much agrees with Smith. However, personality psychologist, Robert R. McCrae (National Institute on Aging in the USA) says 38% are ambiverts.
If you have felt you aren't truly an introvert or an extrovert perhaps you now have a label you feel describes your personality.