We don’t need scientific evidence to understand that the human brain is highly complex. It’s a complicated series of neurons and lobes that essentially makes us who we are.
And yet, when we use labels to define people’s personality type, we insist on lumping each other into two categories: introvert and extrovert.
Introverts are shy and prefer to keep to themselves. Extroverts are outgoing and in their element when surrounded by people.
But it’s a huge oversimplification to ask somebody if they are introverted and extroverted. Not everybody is either Nell or Van Wilder. If you don’t get those references, then you need to brush up on your movies, my friend.
There are different degrees of outgoing, as there are various grades of shyness. And then there’s some people who have the capability of molding their personality to a situation. They can be introverted and extroverted. What do you call them?
Enter the ambivert.
The Wall Street Journal reported in the above link that that social psychologists have coined the term to define people who “move between being social or being solitary, speaking up or listening carefully with greater ease than either extroverts or introverts.” They’re not overly talkative, but they don’t sulk away in a corner, either. They’re adaptable.
It’s amazing that it took a social psychologist to figure this out.
Not to turn this into being about me — even though this is my personal blog and you have no say, you subservient minion — but I’ve long known that I am an ambivert, even if I didn’t call it that. I’ve just called it awesome.
I thrive in large groups, particularly in social settings like a party. I have no problem speaking up or initiating conversation when the time calls for it. At the same time, I can be very self conscious about things I say or do, and I also love being independent and alone. In case you don’t believe me, I have almost 1,500 blog posts over six years as proof.
Even though this is hardly a groundbreaking revelation, it’s still fun to think about what personality type you lean towards. I imagine after this article came out, there was a shitload of people who shared it on Facebook and said, “This is SO me! I’ve always wondered what the name of my personality is. I am totally an ambivert 🙂 ” And then the comment underneath said “Me too!!! 🙂 ”
And I’m also being told that experts have identified a fourth category of personality type, solely to describe Donald Trump.