Do you know yourself well? Are you an Extrovert or an Introvert?
Yes, I’m pretty sure most of you have read about this dichotomy: Extrovert vs. Introvert. There are so many personality type tests out there, including: the famous Carl Jung’s and Isabel Briggs Myers’ typology, Keirsey Temperament Sorter and many others. Since I was around 13 or 14 yrs old, I have always felt this intriguing curiosity and fascination on people’s personality. All of us have fundamentally different characters and it’s useful if we can learn how to get along with one another. I believe that the better interaction and relationship you have with other people, the happier and more comfortable your life is. Those days (even ’til now), I would often spend hours researching, reading and taking the tests I mentioned above to determine my own personality group and preference. I could even dwell on less-scientifically proven methods like analyzing personality from the Chinese/Western horoscopes and palmistry *anyway, I’m a Virgo Fire Tiger*. I’d often buy and read self-help books about people’s personality and analyze them. Yeah, I’m a geek on this matter.
Well, for this post, I’ll only discuss the Introvert vs. Extrovert Personality type. First, you can scan the two background readings below to get the general idea of major differences between these 2 types.
After reading so many articles, a few years ago I’ve realized that the main difference of an extrovert and an introvert is on “how we recharge our energy: is it by being with people and sharing stories? or is it by being alone with our own thought and reading or doing other solitary activities?“
I’ve always thought of myself as the latter, by nature an introvert. If we put these two extremes in a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being an introvert and 10 being an extrovert, I used to consider myself a 2 or 3. However, as time goes by, the more life experiences I had, the more places I visited, the more people I met; I started to feel like I don’t belong to any of these 2 groups. So a few days ago, just when I was thinking of what to write for my next post, I conveniently came across this term ‘Ambivert’.
As a fairly equanimous person, you display both introverted and extroverted characteristics. While on some days you like being surrounded by many people, on others you prefer to relax on your own and take some time out. As such, you can easily relate to both extremes on the personality spectrum, and have an easier time delving in and out of the internal and external worlds. This may lead to feelings of confusion as many times you feel like a “walking contradiction”, feeling one thing one moment, and another thing the next. Your friendship circle tends to consist of 3, 4, or 5 people. To summarize, these are some of your defining characteristics:
- Enjoys socializing, but also being alone at times.
- Behavioural decisions usually rely on “how one feels”, or the context of the situation.
- Usually has a small group of friends.
- Ability to appreciate both inner and outer worlds.
Famous Ambiverts: George Carlin, John Lennon, Celine Dion, Rowan Atkinson, Angelina Jolie, Marilyn Monroe, Julian Assange, Richard Dawkins, Princess Diana, Johnny Depp, William Shakespeare, Jesus of Nazareth, Leonardo DiCaprio, Stephen Spielberg.
Famous Fictional Ambiverts: House, Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Patrick Jane (The Mentalist), Gandalf, Superman, Alice in Wonderland, Belle (Beauty and the Beast), Sherlock Holmes, Bruce Wayne (Batman), Emily Thorne (Revenge).
I’m (probably) an Ambivert because of these 3 reasons:
1. I can go crazy on social sites and in person for one moment. I’ll be super ON the whole time, planning different activities with different circles of friends (cycling, hiking, dinner gatherings, etc) and totally be outgoing, cheerful and talkative in each event. Then the next moment, I’d suddenly need a 1-week to 1-month break from all interpersonal interactions. This weekend alone, I’ve had 3 gatherings with 3 groups of friends. They were all fun activities and filled with great people whom I’d like to surround myself with. But guess what? I could feel my energy being sapped out of me and now I need to recharge, retreat to my own cave and re-connect with my thought by writing:). Here are the photos I compiled from the awesome gatherings with my close friends.
After all these fun gatherings, let me hibernate until before new year. Okay?
2. As I previously said here, I need time to warm up with strangers and new environment. I’m not naturally an extrovert who loves to meet new people, instantly click with them and be so upbeat around people the whole time. I also tend to express my thought and feeling better by writing instead of talking. But gradually, as I became more and more confident with myself, I could usually do unexpected things, be friendly with strangers, be adventurous & bold and be more talkative. All the traits of an extrovert. For example: 2 weeks ago when I was ziplining at Waiheke, I met this wonderful family and we got along well. Another example is when I was at a bus stop 3 days ago and met this lady with her 8-month-old baby boy. We ended up chatting all the way during our 1-hour bus ride. Sometimes, I’ll be so confused with my contradicting preference and attitude on different days that I seriously believe I’m somewhere in between the introvert and extrovert scale.
I took this test eventually and confirmed my hypothesis.
Introvert or Extrovert Test
You have reached 47 of 100 points, 47%
Personality Continuum Scale
If your score was between:
0 – 20 points You’re predominantly an Introvert.
20 – 40 points You’re an Introvert with some Ambivert functions.
40 – 60 points You’re an Ambivert.
60 – 80 points You’re an Extrovert with some Ambivert functions.
80 – 100 points You’re predominantly an Extrovert.
3. I have no problem being ALONE with my own company, activities like: watching a movie alone at the cinema – I watched Harry Potter, The Deathly Hallows Part 2 alone. That time, I couldn’t fit my schedule with any of my friends but I wanted to watch it so badly. So I booked 1 seat right at the back, enjoyed the movie and zoomed out right after:); eating meals; traveling to another country alone – I did it once and it wasn’t so bad, just that some logistic issues like: who helps you take pictures of yourself with the nice background and who helps you read the map, are more apparent when you’re traveling alone. I’d sometimes forgo eating at a fancy restaurants too, just because I prefer to have someone to accompany me when eating anywhere that involves huge portion of food, grilling, gourmet or fine dining; wandering around a bookstore – I’d spend hours just randomly browsing books and drown myself in between those pages. I might occasionally buy 1-2 books home. Yesterday, I bought this at the BookFest, reading in progress:), sitting at a coffee shop while reading a book on a lazy Saturday afternoon – well while waiting for a friend or if I’m on a lazy-day out, I’ll usually prefer to do this than wandering around and window shopping, especially when the shopping malls are too crowded and packed with people. I’ll escape and sit somewhere quiet to read a book; watching tons of dramas and movies in my room and be totally disconnected from interpersonal interactions – in the past, I could even sacrifice my sleeping time and watched them non-stop. Nowadays, I hardly do that. I’ll carefully select what I want to watch and arrange a special time without sacrificing my sleeping hours. Sleep is more important!! ^_^
Luckily, I’m grateful that I’m NOT the extreme introvert who is super shy and pushes everyone out of her life. After a stretch of solitary activities, I’ll usually crave for some human interactions and start organizing/attending multiple gatherings. I love spending quality time with my close friends and family, example: dinner, movies, outdoor activities or just saying a simple ‘hi’ and catching up with them once in a while. I guess these following graphics have the best descriptions of my personality as a self-proclaimed ambivert with a 25% inclination to introversion.
Folks, regardless of which type you lean toward, I think it’s best to have a well-informed self-awareness, to discover your own preference and character, and then eventually be confident with who you naturally are. Just like this quote I took from one of the links I shared below.
As Cain writes in her book, we are exquisitely complex individuals. Your introversion or extroversion will interact with your other personality traits, personal history and the culture you grew up in, she says. So, again, there are many differences among introverts and among extroverts.The key message to take away when thinking about yourself is an insight Cain regularly comes back to in her book: Whatever type you lean toward, embrace it and feel entitled to be yourself [Susan Cain, author of ‘Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking’]
Susan Cain is the author of a book called ‘Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking’. I haven’t read the book yet but I’ve watched her TED talk video last year and found myself agreeing to most of her points on introversion.
I’ve also seen the below graphics going viral in various social medias and they are pretty accurate reminders on how to interact with introverts and extroverts.
So folks, are you an extrovert, an introvert or an AMBIVERT?
No matter which type you are, you’re AWESOME!!
Do check out these other articles on Ambivert personality type (middle of the Introvert-Extrovert personality scale):