I’m sure we all know people who seem to thrive in social situations – they are the life of the party and love to be the centre of attention. Then there are others who tend to be more reserved, happier on the sidelines, observing rather than being in the thick of it.

You might assume the former are extroverts and the latter are introverts. But it’s not always that simple. Many people exhibit a mix of extroverted and introverted qualities – they’re ambiverts.

The Introvert

It’s a common misconception that introverts are antisocial. This isn’t the case…well, usually! More often, they just find that their energy comes from within.

They often enjoy solitary activities like reading, writing, or pursuing hobbies that allow them to focus on their inner world. I’m firmly in the introvert category and this is certainly true for me.

Imagine a cozy chair, a good book, and zero interruptions. Perhaps a furry companion to keep you company. More than likely, this would sound like paradise for an introvert.

Introverts tend to be more selective with their social interactions, preferring smaller gatherings or one-on-one time with close friends.

Large crowds or overly stimulating environments can leave them feeling drained and overwhelmed.

The Extrovert

Extroverts, on the other hand, seem to operate on a different kind of fuel. They crave social interaction and thrive in group settings.

An image of a group of people sitting together relaxed and happy to illustrate the feeling of being an extrovert.

Big social gatherings? Perfect! Networking events? Bring them on! Extroverts gain energy from being around others and talking things through. They might feel restless or drained if they’re alone for too long.

Extroverts typically excel in leadership roles and careers that involve frequent interaction with others.

The Ambivert

The ambivert is the chameleon of the personality spectrum. They can feel comfortable in both social and solitary settings, adjusting their energy levels based on the situation.

One day they might be leading the discussion at a work meeting, the next they’re happily curled up with a good book.

This adaptability makes ambiverts excellent social connectors. They can easily switch gears between being an active listener and engaging in lively conversation.

Finding Your Balance

Maybe you identify strongly with one category or find yourself somewhere in the middle. Regardless, the key takeaway is this: there’s no single “right” way to be on the introversion-extroversion spectrum.

However, knowing your introversion-extroversion preference is essential for your peace and happiness. Here are some ways it can benefit you:

  • Social Savvy: Introverts might plan one-on-one coffee dates instead of club nights, while extroverts could join clubs to meet new people. Knowing your preferences helps you choose the right social settings and activities to avoid feeling drained.
  • Productivity Powerhouse: Introverts might schedule focused work time alone, while extroverts might find brainstorming sessions with colleagues more effective. Knowing when you’re most energized can help you structure your day for optimal productivity.
  • Stress Less, Live More: Social overload can be draining for introverts, while isolation can be stressful for extroverts. By understanding your needs, you can create a healthy balance between social interaction and solitude to reduce stress levels.
  • Relationship Recharge: Introverts might need more alone time to recharge after social gatherings, while extroverts might crave more frequent social interaction. Recognizing these differences can foster understanding and empathy in your relationships.

It’s All About You

Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. The goal is to create a life that allows you to be your most authentic and happy self, wherever you fall on the spectrum.

It can be tempting to try to fit in with those around you and sometimes those closest to us can try to influence us, often with the best of intentions, to “get out of our comfort zone”.

On occasion, that might not be such a bad thing, as long as you don’t lose touch with who you are and what truly brings you inner peace. We can’t live our lives to please others, no matter how much we care about them.

Inspirational quote by Lorri Faye - I am what I am...

I thought it would be fun if we finished up with a quick quiz. I found the prompts a surprisingly helpful way to get me thinking about how I really feel in certain scenarios. It can be a challenge to step out from behind the social mask many of us develop over the years.

Please drop me a note in the comments to let me know if you found it helpful too. I’d love to hear from you.

Quiz: Are you an Introvert, Extrovert, or Ambivert?

 
Author

Lorri Faye is the creator of the popular Facebook page Life Rhino with Lorri Faye which currently has over 1.2 million followers. She is a writer and publisher and is passionate about spreading messages of hope, kindness and positivity.

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