You've likely heard about introverts and extroverts, but you may not know that there's also a middle ground reserved for a large group known as ambiverts. No matter where you fall on this intriguing spectrum, it's helpful to understand your tendencies. Knowing whether you're mostly introvert, mostly extrovert, or an even blend of both will help you determine where you'll thrive best.
What Is an Introvert?
An introvert is someone who is quiet, reserved, and introspective, preferring solitude or small groups to large gatherings. Though introversion is usually considered a personality trait, it's likely rooted in physiology. The reticular activating system (RAS) that regulates arousal and stimulation runs high in introverts. This means that introverts naturally operate at a state of high arousal and need environments with low levels of stimulation to recharge.
Where Introverts Thrive
Introverts thrive in careers and situations where they have plenty of time alone. Introverts often find social interactions exhausting, and may even experience some social anxiety or shyness. However, they work well in small groups once they've become familiar with those around them. Introverts will likely do well as accountants, architects, artists, librarians, research scientists, or IT professionals.
Introverts also make great therapists and counselors. They're outstanding listeners and usually have a deep interest in how the brain works. The high level of empathy that makes crowds so difficult for an introvert becomes a strength in one-on-one or small group situations.
Who Introverts Should Be Around
Though introverts do like to limit their time in busy social situations, this doesn't mean that they're strictly anti-social. In fact, introverts are highly sensitive individuals who benefit greatly from having close friendships that they can rely on when they're feeling overwhelmed by the stimulation of the world around them.
Introverts often prefer written communications over verbal ones. They like to think through their responses carefully, which is why they're typically quiet and reserved in big, bustling groups. An introvert will thrive with a pen pal or thoughtful online acquaintance who likes deep philosophical discussions.
An introvert may also prefer to have at least one close friend who is an extrovert. This allows the introvert to sink comfortably into the background while their buddy takes center stage.
Enriching Your Life as an Introvert
As an introvert, you probably feel uncomfortable in fast-paced environments. You don't like to make decisions on the fly, preferring instead to think through all your options and come back with a well-formulated response. Since you're already operating at a high level of arousal, last-minute surprises can really throw you for a loop. You'll feel better if you have a plan so you can rehearse challenging situations in your head and master them in advance.
Though it may seem like you move at a slower pace, you make solid, thoughtful decisions. Your extroverted friends may try to rush you, but it's important to resist any outside pressure to move too quickly. Keep a pace that you're comfortable with and always take the time and solitude that you need to consider your path. This strategy is sure to keep you on course.
What Is an Extrovert?
An extrovert is someone who is extremely sociable, outgoing, and energetic. As mentioned above, the RAS plays a big role in the difference between extrovert and introvert tendencies. An extrovert's RAS functions at a lower rate, leaving the individual less stimulated by everyday life. As a result, extroverts continuously seek out stimulation in the world around them. They're always interested in meeting new people, trying new things, and actively exploring the world around them.
Where Extroverts Thrive
Extroverts thrive around big groups of people. If you're an extrovert, your friends may describe you as a people person or say that you've never met a stranger. Extroverts love fast-paced environments with new challenges. This makes them great first responders, lawyers, and politicians. An extrovert's social nature also makes them well-suited to a career as an event planner, customer service manager, HR professional, or cosmetologist.
Since extroverts are always looking for something new to experience, you will often find them in jobs that allow them to get out and travel. An extrovert will enjoy the stimulation of working as a flight attendant, news correspondent, travel nurse, or cruise ship director. If their job doesn't include travel, expect to find an extrovert planning lots of exotic vacations.
Who Extroverts Should Be Around
Extroverts like to have a large group of friends with plenty of diversity. They enjoy the company of other risk-taking extroverts who will jump on board and join them on their latest adventure. However, an extrovert will also gain a lot from spending time with introverts, because the introvert will happily sit back and listen to the extrovert's stories or stay content in the background while the boisterous extrovert takes the stage.
Extroverts greatly prefer in-person interactions. The energy and vibrancy of a group of people hanging out together fulfills the extrovert's need for stimulation. The extrovert will quickly become bored if they have too many introverted friends who want to stay in most of the time.
Enriching Your Life as an Extrovert
As an extrovert, it's important to recognize your tendency to act quickly and make snap decisions. You're always on the move and don't often slow down for introspection and thoughtful consideration. If you're finding that your rapid-fire decision making isn't giving you the results you want, make the effort to find a good group of counselors to help you work through big choices. You love talking things out, so collaboration is a great way to improve your efforts.
While an introvert will think through all possible scenarios before offering an opinion, you're more likely to let your thoughts burst forth without much forethought. This is fine in trusted social circles, but you should consider your company when you're sharing personal details. If you really need to vent, an introverted friend makes for an excellent confidant who's unlikely to share your secrets.
What Is an Ambivert?
If you're asking what is an extroverted introvert or what is an introverted extrovert, the answer is an ambivert! Ambiverts have some characteristics of both introverts and extroverts. This classification likely makes up the majority of the population because so many of us have traits from both of these extreme personality types.
Ambiverts can fall in different places on the spectrum of introvert vs. extrovert vs. ambivert. You'll find ambiverts who are usually introverted but come out of their shell in a big way and become the life of the party when they're comfortable in their surroundings. You'll also see ambiverts on the extroverted end of the spectrum who greatly prefer to talk things over in a group yet still maintain a deep interest in introspection and self-improvement. In many ways, ambiverts can get the best of both worlds.
Where Ambiverts Thrive
Ambiverts make better leaders than both introverts and extroverts. It's a common misconception that extroverts should always be at the head of the pack. In fact, the extrovert's tendency to make rash decisions and dominate the room can rob them of the thoughtfulness and wise council that a leader really needs.
Ambiverts can both listen and speak well, which positions them perfectly for any job that requires good communication. You'll find that an ambivert excels in sales, journalism, or public relations. Ambiverts are also outstanding mediators. This makes them good HR professionals, contract negotiation managers, arbitrators, and parents.
Who Ambiverts Should Be Around
Ambiverts can enjoy all kinds of company. Since they fall around the middle of the spectrum, it's important for these individuals to keep a finger on the pulse of their own stimulation level. Sometimes, an ambivert will become depressed from too much time alone. In this situation, it's important for them to find a group activity or busy, stimulating environment to help recharge their batteries.
At other times, an ambivert may begin to feel anxious and overwhelmed from too much activity. In this instance, the ambivert needs to step back and take some time for introspection to get things back in balance. Maintaining careful balance among their social circles is important for an ambivert to stay content and comfortable.
Enriching Your Life as an Ambivert
Awareness of your ambivert personality will help you make the most of your distinctive strengths. When you're interviewing for a new job, don't hesitate to mention this personality trait and expound upon how it helps you get along well with extroverts, introverts, and other ambiverts like yourself. Learn to listen to your intuition, because you have a balanced personality that will likely steer you true when you balance listening to your gut with thoughtful consideration of the situation at hand.
What Your Zodiac Sign Can Tell You
Your zodiac sign can give you some valuable insights into where you fall on the scale of introversion, extroversion, and ambiversion. In general, Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, and Sagittarius individuals are more extroverted. You'll find Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn, and Pisces signs tend to have more introvert characteristics. If you're a Taurus or Aquarius, you're solidly in the ambivert camp in the middle of the spectrum.
While your sun sign is probably the one you're most familiar with, this represents only a portion of your overall astrological chart. Your sun sign represents your core identity, but you also have a moon sign that reflects your inner self and a rising sign that represents the way others tend to see you. Evaluating all three of these signs will yield more comprehensive insights into your introvert, extrovert, or ambivert personality.
Getting Deeper Insights From Numerology
Numerology offers another insightful way to explore your introvert or extrovert tendencies. You can find your number by adding all the digits in your full birthday until you get to a single-digit number. For example, if your birthday is August 10, 1980, you will add 8 + 1 + 0 + 1 + 9 + 8 + 0. This gives you 27. Add 2 + 7 to get 9, which is your number.
In most cases, individuals with an odd number will be more introverted. These people are more self-motivated, introspective, and perhaps a bit self-centered. Those who have an even number are more extroverted. They're the team players who want to have others around them providing a solid support system for their projects.
Embarking on a Journey of Self-Discovery
Your numerology and astrology profiles can give you a wealth of information about how you typically think, act, and feel. Understanding the position of the planets and stars at the time of your birth and the impact that mystical numbers have upon that day is just the first step on your journey of self-discovery. These factors will yield so many intricate insights that you really need to combine them with your own introspection to get to the heart of who you are and what this life has in store for you.
You can begin your journey of self-discovery with some thoughtful and meditative journaling or worksheets. Exploring the way you see yourself and your future is a powerful piece of the puzzle. You can then refer back to these insights as you begin diving into astrology and numerology further. If you describe yourself as a homebody who doesn't like to travel but find that you're a Sagittarius destined to explore the world, you'll have some intriguing inconsistencies to dive into and figure out.
Speaking with an intuitive guide is one of the best ways to navigate this part of your journey. While you may feel overwhelmed at the center of all the new information at your fingertips, a skilled psychic will be able to look at it all from a few paces away, where the picture is clearer.
Working with a psychic that you feel a strong connection to will help you make sense of all this new information and decide exactly how to act on the insights you've gained. Whether you're an introvert, ambivert, or extrovert, you have an exciting journey of self-exploration ahead.