Do you thrive on other people’s energies, or do you prefer spending time alone? Do you crave the limelight, or shrink into the background? Would others call you outgoing or consider you to be shy? Basically, are you an introvert or an extrovert?
I’m sure many of you have contemplated the question, or maybe even taken a Buzzfeed quiz to provide clarity (guilty). But what exactly does it mean to be an introvert or an extrovert, and can you be a bit of both? Let’s find out…
They are the quiet ones, the listeners and the deep thinkers. You won’t find these guys leading the conga line at the party – they’re happy to let the extroverts take the lead on that one. No, introverts are often uneasy and exhausted by large crowds so prefer one-on-one conversations with smaller groups of good friends.
The introvert re-energizes and recharges by spending time alone and turning their thoughts inward. They find solace in solitude. And while they are unlikely to be the ones to strike up a conversation, don’t mistake them for being shy, boring or lacking in social skills. They just have an approach to the world that could be conceived as more measured, eloquent and meaningful.
Ah the extrovert, the most social of butterflies. They are happiest and most energised when they’re around others, especially if the attention’s all on them.
“The bigger the better” and “the more the merrier” are the extrovert’s mottos and they are always expanding their network of friends and acquaintances. The extrovert tends to talk more than they listen, are easily distracted and crave the approval of others. But they are also strong, excitable and full of life. Fun and frivolity follow them and there aren’t many things in life that can dull their sparkle.
Carl G Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist once said: “there is no such thing as a pure introvert or extrovert. Such a person would be in the lunatic asylum”. The truth of the matter is that introversion and extroversion are two extremes of a continuum, with most of us falling somewhere in between the two. These in-betweeners, aka ambiverts, possess both introverted and extroverted tendencies and the way in which they lean depends on the situation and the environment.
Ambiverts are more flexible than other personality types as they are equally comfortable being alone as they are in large groups. Ambiverts are pretty balanced beings who are emotionally stable and are not easily influenced by others and their opinions. They are intuitive little beings who can read a room and know when to speak their mind and when to shut up.
I don’t know about you guys, but I’m pretty sure I’m all three.
In the grand scheme of things though, it doesn’t matter where you lie on the continuum, everyone is unique and quirky in their own way and that uniqueness should be celebrated!
Feature image: http://mikuta.nu/