Day 25 – Ambiversion

Many people who know me are surprised to hear that I wouldn’t describe myself as an extrovert. I would say that it depends on the context.

At work, I love talking and shooting the shit with people. I love group discussions, brainstorms and teamwork. I put my headphones in when I need to focus on my own shit, but on the whole, I’d rather feel like I was part of a team than feel isolated at my job.

Social situations are a different animal. I’m not someone who has a million friends. I prefer small groups to large ones. One weekend, a perfect outing could be going out to a show at City Winery with some friends. And the next weekend, I would love nothing more than a night alone with wine, a movie and a book. A small group dinner sounds lovely, but an event with all the parents from my son’s grade has me mute in the corner and overwhelmed.

I came across this Buzzfeed article on ambiverts and so many things described me perfectly. (An ambivert shows qualities of both an introvert and an extrovert.)

For example:

Generally, you’re always happy to meet new people, but you’ll probably be uncomfortable if you have to do it without any of your existing friends with you.

I would not say I’m always happy to meet new people, but I feel much better about it if I have a crutch – I mean, a friend – to help break the ice. If I walk into a room where I don’t know anybody, I will stand in a corner awkwardly on my phone until someone I know comes in. Going up to introduce myself to someone I’ve never met before is extremely anxiety inducing for me. This is why I suck at networking events.

Your calm, controlled professional self feels like a very different person to the one your friends see.

I described this earlier, and while I would not say I’m always a controlled professional, I’m definitely different at work than outside of work.

You can often go out and have hours of fun being the life of the party, but suddenly find that your energy has dropped, and all you really want to do is go home.

So much yes. I can go out and hang with the best of them, but once I’m done, I’M DONE and want to leave immediately. I will stand quietly in a corner until I’m able to do so.

In fact, your friends disagreeing about whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert is probably a very good sign you’re an ambivert.

People at work are sometimes surprised when I describe myself as introverted. People outside of work are surprised when I describe myself as extroverted.

Small talk is something that annoys you, because while you can do it, there are instances when it feels a bit insincere.

I’m the nosiest person in the world and want to pry into every salacious detail of your life. I would much rather talk about that weird growth on your neck or your ex-girlfriend/boyfriend than about the weather.

For the 15 people reading this post, I’m curious which one of you would describe me as extroverted vs. introverted – or just generally weird and annoying/uncategorizeable.

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