Who are you?

Ask yourself,
as you are cruising the Holiday Party chaos…

Common thought holds that there are two types of social personalities. Extroverts are the norm, and they tend to draw energy from their physical and social environment and interactions in highly social situations. Introverts have got more attention, as characterized by Susan Cain in her 2012 work Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. Not surprisingly, introverts tend to draw their power from solitude and silence.

But there might be a third category of social personality: the ambivert. You may be an ambivert and not know it, but with the list of signs below, you might diagnose yourself and plan accordingly.

Extraversion (E)

I like getting my energy from active involvement in events and having a lot of different activities. I’m excited when I’m around people and I like to energize other people. I like moving into action and making things happen. I generally feel at home in the world. I often understand a problem better when I can talk out loud about it and hear what others have to say.

The following statements generally apply to me:

  • I am seen as “outgoing” or as a “people person.”
  • I feel comfortable in groups and like working in them.
  • I have a wide range of friends and know lots of people.
  • I sometimes jump too quickly into an activity and don’t allow enough time to think it over.
  • Before I start a project, I sometimes forget to stop and get clear on what I want to do and why.

Introversion (I)

I like getting my energy from dealing with the ideas, pictures, memories, and reactions that are inside my head, in my inner world. I often prefer doing things alone or with one or two people I feel comfortable with. I take time to reflect so that I have a clear idea of what I’ll be doing when I decide to act. Ideas are almost solid things for me. Sometimes I like the idea of something better than the real thing.
The following statements generally apply to me:

  • I am seen as “reflective” or “reserved.”
  • I feel comfortable being alone and like things I can do on my own.
  • I prefer to know just a few people well.
  • I sometimes spend too much time reflecting and don’t move into action quickly enough.
  • I sometimes forget to check with the outside world to see if my ideas really fit the experience.

The fact is, extraversion and introversion isn’t an either/or type of thing. It’s a spectrum and you can lie anywhere along that spectrum.

Ambivert

10 Signs You Are Probably An Ambivert

  1. You are most comfortable in crowded spaces, but when you are in them, you don’t tend to seek out interaction.
  2. You tolerate or engage in small talk, but can get very engaged in intimate conversations.
  3. You adjust your personality based on the energy level of the company you are in.
  4. You might be the life of the party – until you are 100% drained and cannot manage that energy any longer.
  5. In spite of being the life of the party at times, you find it hard to assert yourself and your needs in intimate situations.
  6. Meeting new people is fine, and being in new places is fine, but meeting new people in new places overwhelms you.
  7. You can’t decide which is a better memory – that one party or that night spent alone watching Netflix.
  8. You understand very quickly what drives others.
  9. Group projects or solo ones – you always achieve the same (high) level.
  10. You’ve been called both an extrovert and an introvert, and didn’t know there was another option until now.

So….who are YOU?

An extrovert, an introvert, an extroverted-introvert, an introverted extrovert, an ambivert?

Photos: Leonard Freed 1966 NYC Office Party – Magnum Photos
Looking at Type: The Fundamentals by Charles R. Martin (CAPT 1997)
Communication Motivation by Jacob Cashman