An ambivert is an extroverted introvert. Am I one? Are you one? Confused? Me too.
Ever made plans with all the enthusiasm in the world only to change your mind the minute you leave the social situation you are in and wish you hadn’t?
I often get caught up in a moment and agree to things that I actually would rather not do. Then I have to pain myself to find ways to get out of it.
I watched a Nigel Latta documentary last night, “Kids: an instruction manual,” where Nigel talked about the differences between being an introvert and an extrovert.
I had never put a lot of consideration into whether I was an introvert or an extrovert before now. So I decided to look into it further.
Introverts recharge themselves when they spend time alone.
Social interaction is draining for people with introverted tendencies, and they are often thought of as quiet and reserved.
Extroverts recharge themselves when they spend time with other people.
Extroverts are often thought of as very social and outgoing.
Ambiverts are a mixture of both Introvert and Extrovert personality traits.
OK, so now what?
The consensus is that most of us humans are ambiverts.
If we think of introversion and extroversion as a spectrum, with ambiverts being somewhere in the middle, that’s where the vast majority of the population live.
I was interested to know where I was on the scale, mostly because I would like to know the shortcuts to recharge myself. I would love to be able to consistently keep my battery in the top half of the charging station rather than letting it get down low and experiencing overwhelm. Prevention is key.
After a little more research, I figured out some ways to gauge where I fit in the Ambivert continuum. You can too.
First of all, Figure out which way you lean:
Do you noticeably enjoy charging with, or without, people around you? I am an alone charger.
Do you enjoy socialising in large groups or prefer one on one? I am a one on one kind of girl.
Do you enjoy talking for the sake of talking? Small talk makes me miserable; I enjoy deep conversation. But still, I run out of steam after a while.
Of course, this will be different for everyone. It all depends on your lived experiences, temperament, personality type and about a billion (this statistic could be an exaggeration) other factors.
6 ways I keep myself charged:
- Spend time alone every day. At least an hour. Doing something I enjoy. I love to colour in; it soothes my soul. There is nothing like outlining the picture with a felt pen and colouring in the middle with coloured pencil to relax your mind. At the end, you get a pretty picture!
- I don’t like to socialize in large groups or be “stuck” anywhere without a plan to get home. I much prefer one on one interactions and knowing what to expect during it – where/when/how etc. so I always plan. This does kill spontaneity, but it helps reduce any social anxiety and stops me from cancelling altogether.
- Spending time with people that fuel me up is the best time spent. Some people drain you and some people fill you up. Engaging in deep conversation and avoiding small talk is next-level charging. Know who these people are in your life and spend more time with the energisers!
- Getting in the garden always makes me feel calm. Especially the verge garden. There is something about sprouting your seeds, caring for seedlings, planting them in the garden and watching them grow. The whole process is like magic, plus, for obvious reasons, it’s a super useful activity too! The feeling of going to harvest that broccoli or silverbeet that you grew from seed and feeding your family that is very rewarding.
- Reading books is something I enjoy, especially the self-improvement books that offer new insights into yourself. How wonderful that you can spend decades with yourself, read words in a book and learn something new about why you are the way you are. Ways to make positive changes and also to relate with other people’s stories. I really love to read Dr Libby’s books on food and nutrition. She has a lot of interesting information which I have used over the years.
- Last but certainly not least, exercise. Whether it’s a nature walk, stroll at the beach with my pup, run on my treadmill or a gym class. All of these things fit into my life, and they serve different purposes on different days. When I feel down or unmotivated, it can be hard to find the energy to get moving and do something, but it is the only GUARANTEED way to feel better. Getting the blood moving seems to have a 100% success rate on my mood improvement. Some days I don’t feel like doing anything too strenuous, and a walk does the job just fine.
I am learning to just do what feels right for myself on any given day. Also keeping in mind to give other people a break when they need space, aren’t up to hanging out or change their mind about participating in something. None of us is bound to anything, except mortgage repayments .. and taxes etc. Spend time working out how best to maintain your battery charge levels and do more of that. Signing off – a proud ambivert.