5 Things You Need to Know About the Ambivert in Your Life
noun | am·bi·vert | \ˈam-bi-ˌvərt\
Finally, there’s a personality type to describe those of us balancing our lives in the middle. I struggled for years trying to place myself into the quiet, self-reflective box of the introvert. Or the attention-grabbing, flashy box of the extrovert. But I never quite fit into either comfortably. There was either something wrong with me, or there had to be more to the personality prototypes.
Turns out, I’m pretty interesting. I am an ambivert. I am that magical balance of both the introvert and extrovert. But if this is the first time you’re hearing about this particular personality type, here are five things you need to know about us:
Sometimes we need to be alone.
As in, I’m getting a glass of wine and my books and going to my room, office, car, wherever, to be a-l-o-n-e. No offense, but this absolutely includes my dear husband, and darling children. If the next time you see me you are expecting a doting wife and loving mother, and not an irritated ogre of a woman, then for the love, let me recharge without interruption. Because this time out will ensure the smile plastered on my face is real. Mostly.
We can and like to be social. Just on our own terms.
Please. If you love us, don’t trick us into a social situation. I like to call this particular brand of sorcery “forced socialization.” And I. Am. Not. A. Fan. For instance, If my husband has somehow gotten me to agree to hosting a dinner party, he CANNOT call 10 minutes before the guests arrive to say he’ll be late. Wait. What? No. “What do you mean just entertain them until you get here? You mean, with small talk?” Which brings me to:
We destest small talk.
I know. Some of you extroverts aren’t going to get it. You’re thinking, “Well, isn’t she rude?!” And, well, maybe. But I can’t help it. Personally, I find small talk unnecessary, redundant, and boring. Now, I’m not saying we don’t like to talk, period. Quite the contrary. I have been labeled a know-it-all more than once in my life because of my ability to hop up on my soapbox to debate any issue that I am passionate about. Want to dig deeper into scripture? Or maybe talk about why you should become a foster parent? Hey, I’m your girl. But if you’re looking for a sit-on-a-park-bench-chat about the weather, or heaven forbid, baseball, talk to my husband. I’ll have my nose stuck in a book. Quietly.
Speaking of my husband:
We can balance our outgoing husband, and our quiet BFF.
This is where our wonderfully unique ability to compliment the personality of those around us comes into action. “See a need, fill a need” right, Rodney? (Anyone see Robots? Anyone?) When my naturally Chatty-Cathy husband is around, I’m safe from the unwanted small talk. I’m free to simply smile and sip my coffee. However, when he gets into a heated conversation and I feel he needs someone in his corner, so to speak, there’s no shutting me up until I’ve had my say. Same goes for my normally very quiet and introverted friends; I can tell when they are uncomfortable. Especially in social situations. (Trust me, I feel your pain!) But because they are uneasy, I can be that buffer between them and their feelings of “forced socialization.” I’ve even been known to endure small talk to save a friend!
We are not bipolar.
Allow me to be very serious for a moment. I think we have all been guilty of joking inappropriately or about things of which we may not have accurate knowledge. However, mental illness is never something to be taken lightly. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, bipolar disorder is a chronic mental illness that causes dramatic shifts in a person’s mood, energy and ability to think clearly. While it is certainly nothing to be ashamed of, as a person who has been diagnosed with a mental illness, it’s just not funny to have words like “bipolar” tossed around carelessly. All I’m saying is, do some research. Personality traits, quirks, or even mood swings are pretty normal. If you still think you have to try and be funny, blame PMS. That’s probably it anyway.