If you’re not an extrovert or an introvert, there’s actually a term for that
Finally, those of us who are not totally extroverted and not totally introverted have a title: We are ambiverts. Ambiverts, who fall in between the extremes of social behavior, make up something like two-thirds of the population, but for a long time they were ignored in discussions and research.
That’s been changing recently, with everyone from social psychologists to journalists paying more attention. Being an ambivert, according to behavioral science author Daniel Pink, who studied the trait, is kind of like being bilingual. Ambiverts are able to connect with and understand more people, and can navigate social situations with a bit more adeptness.
Not sure if you’re an ambivert? Pink made a short assessment you can take to find out. (The quiz told me, as I’ve always kind of thought, that I’m an ambivert. Love finally having a word for myself!)
Extroverts love being around people and being the center of attention, while introverts like to be by and keep to themselves. Ambiverts fall somewhere in the middle of that. We’re the kind of people who will actively enjoy being at a party, but also can’t wait to go home and watch Netflix for a bit.
Ambiverts are also, apparently, good sales people. This is because ambiverts are able to adapt to pitch situations, either being aggressive or passive, depending on what they feel is necessary for the sale.
But being an ambivert isn’t always a perfect balance – every sort of personality has its pros and cons. Ambiverts can often get stuck, Adam Grant, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School told The Wall Street Journal’s Elizabeth Berstein. Bernstein cites Grant’s assessment, writing:
Ambiverts won’t always know exactly what will make them happy or how they will react to a certain situation. Unlike, say, extroverts, who know that staying in on a Friday night will make them unhappy. So there’s some extent of uncertainty that can confound those between the extremes.
Dr. Grant recommends that ambiverts shouldn’t feel compelled to concretely decide to act either introverted or extroverted, and instead take each situation as it comes. This way, ambiverts are less likely to get stuck, bored or worn out from acting in just one way.
So there you have it, ambiverts. You’ve got your own name, not that you needed it. We’re all unique in our own ways and it’s obviously impossible to break humans down into three different categories. That doesn’t mean we won’t take personality quizzes when they’re just sitting there, begging to be taken.
(Image via iStock)