Ambiversion happens when someone has characteristics of both an introvert and an extrovert, and these ‘ambiverts’ tend to fall somewhere in between the two personality types.
Ambiversion is therefore a hybrid personality that exhibits introversion and extroversion.
An introvert is someone who enjoys spending time alone, and typically needs time alone to recharge after being social. Many introverts can only handle social interaction for so long, before they need solace in solitude.
Introverts gain energy from long periods of solitude, which gives them a chance to recharge and puts them in the mood to perhaps be social once again. When introverts are social, they tend to prefer social interaction with just one or two people, rather than in large groups or gatherings. In other words, even when they’re social, they still don’t act extraverted.
An introvert is often a bit of a recluse, finding alone time peaceful, and able to go for long periods without seeing other people. In fact, too much socializing often leaves introverts feeling very drained.
Rather than focusing on what’s happening around them, introverts tend to focus more on their inner dialogue, and sometimes they think - I’m too in my head.
Extroverts, on the other hand, are typically quite outgoing and feel the most recharged when they’re around the energies of other people. Unlike an introvert, the extroverts aren’t likely to leave the party early.
An extrovert tends to seek out social interactions rather than having to be coaxed into socializing like an introvert.
So, what happens if you find yourself regularly presenting with both introverted and extroverted tendencies? What if you don't really feel like you can define yourself as an ‘introvert’ or an ‘extrovert’? This is what’s called an ‘ambivert’.
What is Ambiversion? The Outgoing Introvert
Ambiversion is interesting because ambiverts are people who can display both introverted and extroverted personality characteristics synchronously. Their introverted or extroverted side might come out a bit more, depending on the context of the situation, their mood, and other variables. However, they’re always able to balance both introverted and extraverted traits simultaneously, and they therefore will rarely come across as ‘super’ introverted or ‘super’ extraverted.
Ambiversion proves that there are instances where introversion and extroversion can overlap. Introverted people can display evidence of extroversion in certain situations, or when they’re in a particular mood, but they’ll simultaneously exhibit introverted traits as well. This balance of introversion and extraversion is commonly referred to as “ambiversion”, however, there are other terms used for ambiversion today.
Below are some examples of terms used to describe an ambivert:
- Outgoing introvert
- Social introvert
- Extraverted introvert
- Introverted extravert
Ambiverts show stronger signs of either introversion and extroversion depending on the situation they’re in, but they’ll always exhibit tendencies of both personality types.
Signs You’re an Ambivert
The personality scale for introversion and extroversion is broader than most people realize. Most of us don’t fall at one extreme end of the spectrum or the other. Instead, our personalities differ depending on various stimuli. Below are some signs you may be an ambivert:
- You find people exhausting and intriguing: We all respond in different ways to different people. Some of the people you meet might intrigue you and you’ll feel compelled to strike up a conversation. Others might be difficult to communicate with or just ‘be’ with, which leaves you feeling exhausted. Furthermore, you may find you’re more introverted around people who push your boundaries.
- Your energy level is tied to your surroundings: Ambiverts are sensitive to their surroundings. The place they’re in, how it looks, and the tasks or duties associated with the environment can all have an impact on how you feel. A place can energize you or drain you, depending on your prior experiences with the space. For example, perhaps you feel comfortable hanging out at the apartment your friend lives in. So, within this familiar space, your extraverted traits might come out a bit more.
- You can be both withdrawn and confident: In some situations, you might feel more confident. For instance, if you’re deeply educated about specific subject matter, you may feel more capable of speaking out. However, in other situations, you may prefer to sit back and think things through before you say anything. You don’t seek out the spotlight, but you’re not the one alone in the corner, either.
- You can be comfortable alone or with others: Ambiverts generally feel comfortable regardless of whether they’re alone or with other people. In most cases, their level of comfort around others depends on the people they’re with. Certain people might make them want to withdraw, while others help them be more outgoing.
- You’re happy at some social events, for a certain amount of time: If you’re an ambivert, you might find you’re relatively comfortable going to parties and social events. However, you prefer to know you can leave the environment whenever you choose, and you like to have control over your surroundings. You may not seek out entirely new situations unless you’ve assessed them carefully first. You’ll likely feel more comfortable going to a social gathering if you have an escape plan in mind. Ambiversion allows people to explore their extraverted side on their own terms, knowing they can give their introverted side what it needs when it needs alone time.
If you like going to parties sometimes, but you typically don’t like staying until the end because you like going to your peaceful home - you might be an ambivert. And another sign that ambiversion describes you better than introversion or extraversion is when you could go see a movie by yourself or with a friend, and you’d be happy either way.
If ambiversion sounds like you, you’re also probably a good negotiator. You likely have the ability to be both an active listener, taking a backseat when you need to, but you can also be a great talker and be more assertive when you need to be.
Ambivert vs Omnivert
Similar to an ambivert, the omnivert is a person who exhibits both extroverted and introverted traits. However, omniverts can’t comfortably balance the two personality types at the same time the way ambiverts can.
Ambiversion involves a mix of the two personality traits (introversion and extraversion).
While omniverts have the ability to be introverted or extraverted, it tends to be one or the other depending on their mood. They’ll either fall to one extreme or the other, depending on the situation and their internal mindset.
When an omnivert is in ‘introvert mode’ they are very introverted, without displaying signs of extraversion. When an omnivert is in ‘extravert mode’, they are unmistakably extraverted.
Getting to Know Your Personality Type
Being aware of the personality traits you have a tendency to exhibit can be useful when it comes to understanding yourself better, and helping others understand you. However, your personality is much more than just being ‘introverted’ or ‘extraverted’.
We all have many different personality traits, some of which are partly due to our genetic makeup.
A CircleDNA test is an at-home DNA testing kit that provides you with 500 reports about yourself. This includes genetic personality reports that tell you how likely you are to have certain personality traits, based on your DNA.