Are you an extroverted introvert? The term might sound oxymoronic, but some people fit this description. It’s not an uncommon personality type in the population. You probably wonder if you’re an extroverted introvert or an extrovert who needs more time alone than others.
You may feel misunderstood by both extroverts AND introverts because you don’t fit their descriptions of what they are. Though it can be hard to feel like you fit in with extroverts AND introverts, it’s possible to be both and feel understood by each group. That’s what I’m here to help you do.
Introverts, Extroverts, and the Spectrum in Between
Introversion and extroversion are two broad categories of personality traits that help to describe or define an individual’s social behavior.
Introversion and extroversion are not limited to an individual’s behavior in a single social situation but rather describe how the individual acts in many different social situations. These two broad personality traits also help identify how much energy an individual draws from being with others and how much energy they expend when interacting with others.
An introvert is a person whose energy is drawn primarily from within. Introverts tend to be more reserved, quiet, and thoughtful than extroverted counterparts. They often need time alone away from other people to recharge their “batteries.”
Extroverts, on the other hand, are people who get their energy primarily through being around other people. They tend to be more outgoing and assertive than their introverted counterparts. Extroverts often need time alone away from other people because too much interaction will leave them feeling drained and exhausted.
Ambiversion is a combination of extroverted traits and introverted traits. People who are ambiverted feel energized being around people but also need time alone to recharge. They tend to be quiet in large groups but are comfortable speaking up when they have something to say.
Ambiversion is also called “extroverted introverted” or “extroverted sensitivity.”
The term ambiversion was coined by psychologist Edmund S. Conklin, who described it as a temperament between introversion and extraversion in the middle of the spectrum.
People with an ambivert personality type tend to:
- Prefer one-on-one conversations over group discussions;
- Enjoy socializing with others;
- Feel energized when they’re around people but get drained quickly;
- Take time alone after spending time with others;
- Have strong opinions that they’re hesitant to share until they know someone well;
Characteristics of an Extroverted Introvert (Ambivert)
The term ambivert is used to describe people who have both introverted and extroverted tendencies. While the term “ambivert” is not yet in the dictionary, it’s important to understand these characteristics if you feel like you may be one.
The biggest difference between ambiversion and introversion-extroversion is that ambiversion does not imply that a person is equally comfortable with being alone and around others or that they can change between the two states at will. Ambiversion refers only to the degree of their extroversion or introversion traits, not to how often they use them.
- They like being around others but also need time daily to recharge their batteries.
- They value their personal space and enjoy having time to recharge their batteries daily.
- They are good listeners who are often overlooked by others because they don’t talk much or share much about themselves (which can be mistaken for disinterest).
- They can be shy at first but warm up quickly once they get to know someone (they just aren’t likely to initiate conversations with strangers).
- They are not completely introverted but don’t function at their best when in the limelight.
The Ambivert Advantage
Ambiversion is a widely misunderstood concept. It’s not just a middle ground between being an extrovert and an introvert — it’s a personality style that’s more flexible than either of those traits.
Ambiversion is the ability to move fluidly between introverted and extroverted modes of behavior, depending on the situation. That means you can be outgoing one minute and quiet the next without feeling awkward or uncomfortable about it.
Ambiverts are well-suited for many jobs because they can adapt to different situations without stress. They’re often seen as good team players because they’re comfortable working alongside introverts and extroverts.
In relationships with other people, ambiversion can also be beneficial. If you’re dating someone who’s an introvert, for example, your ability to go out with friends or talk at parties will help your partner feel less anxious about social situations — even if it means you’re out more than they would rather be!
In a business setting, introverts and extroverts may be able to complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses. For example, an extrovert might be great at generating new ideas, while an introvert might be great at evaluating them before implementing them.
The strengths of ambiversion are that it allows us to adapt to a situation without being forced to change who we are. It allows us to adapt our personality based on the situation and the people around us.
Common Misunderstandings About Extroverted Introverts
Extroverted introverts are often misunderstood. They are often seen as shy when they just need time to recharge their batteries and process information. Here are some common misunderstandings about extroverted introverts:
1. Extroverted introverts are always outgoing and loud
Extroverted introverts are not shy and do not stay in their rooms all day. They like socializing but prefer one-on-one conversations rather than big parties or crowded gatherings.
2. Extroverted introverts are always friendly and outgoing
While extroverted introverts like to interact with people, they can be quiet or reserved around people they don’t know well. The key here is that they are comfortable with one-on-one interactions — when there are too many people, they start feeling overwhelmed and need time to recharge their batteries.
3. Extroverted introverts don’t have any friends because no one likes them
Extroverted introverts have just as many friends as other types of people; however, their friendships may differ from those of extroverts who love parties and large gatherings. This type of person tends to have a few close friends rather than many casual ones.
4. Extroverted introverts don’t like going out in public
Extroverted introverts enjoy going out in public but may prefer quieter, more intimate settings. They might opt for activities like coffee dates, small gatherings, or exploring places that aren’t overly crowded. Large, bustling events can be draining for them, so they’ll likely need some downtime afterward to recharge.
Introverted Extrovert Vs. Extroverted Introvert: When Personalities Collide
“Introverted extrovert” and “extroverted introvert” are terms often used to describe individuals who don’t fully align with traditional definitions of introversion or extroversion. Here’s a brief look at the nuances of each term:
Also known as “social introverts,” these individuals primarily exhibit extrovert traits but have substantial introversion aspects. They tend to be energized by social interactions like extroverts but will also require their “downtime” to recharge, similar to introverts.
These individuals might enjoy being around people and engaging in social activities but also value their alone time. They are likely to balance social engagements with periods of solitude and may occasionally feel drained after prolonged social interaction.
Sometimes called “outgoing introverts” or “ambiverts,” extroverted introverts are mostly introverted but can display extroverted tendencies when required. They are comfortable being alone and refueling their energy by spending time in solitude, but they can also enjoy social interactions.
They prefer Being alone, but they are not necessarily uncomfortable in social situations. These individuals may engage in social settings and show extrovert-like traits, but they’ll also need periods of alone time afterward to recharge.
It’s essential to note that these terms represent points along a spectrum. Introversion and extroversion are better understood as a spectrum rather than a binary choice, and these terms simply capture the grey area between these two ends. They provide a more nuanced language to discuss personality traits rather than existing as rigid categories.
People might see themselves falling more towards one end or another or find that they fluctuate between the two based on the circumstances. Each person is different, and their introverted or extroverted tendencies can change based on the situation, their mood, or their current stage of life.
How to Navigate Being an Extroverted Introvert
Introverts and extroverts are different, but both have their place in the world. Introverts tend to be more inwardly focused and quiet, while extroverts are more outwardly focused and talkative. Both sides have something to offer; many can identify with both tendencies.
An introvert might be a great listener and enjoy one-on-one conversations, but also feel energized by being around other people. An extrovert may love being around others and discussing their interests but also need time to recharge. The key to being well-rounded is finding ways to balance both tendencies so you don’t sacrifice your true self in favor of what society expects.
Here are some strategies for balancing introverted and extrovert tendencies:
1. Take advantage of your strengths
Introverts often have strong listening skills, which make them great conversation partners. Extroverts often enjoy discussing topics that interest them, making them good life teachers or mentors for others who share similar interests. Use those strengths in your relationships with others!
2. Be yourself
Don’t try to be someone you’re not: Introverts prefer quiet environments over loud ones, so it’s easy for them to appear quieter than they are.
Don’t let others convince you that being shy or quiet means that you aren’t passionate about your work – it just means that you prefer more intimate surroundings where conversations can happen naturally and without interruption from others.
3. Find balance in your social life
If you’re an ambivert, you probably find that some days you want to spend time alone, and some days you want to be around people. The key is finding a happy medium between these two extremes. Be sure not to overextend yourself by spending too much time around others or vice versa.
4. Take time for self-care
Being able to spend time alone means taking time for yourself — whether going for a walk or reading a book — so that when you spend time with other people, it feels more rewarding and enjoyable rather than draining and exhausting.
5. Understand Your Work Preferences
Extroverts like working on teams or through brainstorming sessions. They thrive when interacting with others during the workday and enjoy going out after work for happy hour or weekend plans with friends or family.
Conversely, introverts thrive when they can work independently without distractions or interruptions from co-workers or supervisors — they need long periods alone to reflect on what they’ve done during a project before moving on to completing it successfully.
This means that extroverts tend to prefer jobs that involve lots of interaction with other people. In contrast, introverts prefer jobs that allow them to work independently without interruptions.
Extroverted Introverts: The Happiness and Productivity Paradox
Overall, it’s important to understand that introverts aren’t necessarily anti-social or shy. They may appear quieter or reserved, but they don’t lack friends and social connections. They simply need a lot of downtime to recharge after being around people.
So the next time you see someone with a “quiet” disposition, remember: they’re not necessarily lacking in personality. They just like to spend time engaged with others on their terms.
When it comes down to it, both personality types are seen as desirable. Each has unique strengths and talents, and there is still plenty of room for collaboration. Just be sure to understand what makes your particular Type A person tick so that you can work with them effectively.
The idea of the introverted extrovert is nothing new, but it can still be difficult to grasp its meaning fully. While you won’t find any one-to-one correlations between Myers Briggs and Enneagram, both personality tests show how you operate psychologically.
Knowing your personality type can help you understand why you exhibit certain behavior patterns and what you can do to avoid some of their potential pitfalls.