What’s Your Vert? Introvert, Extrovert, or Ambivert?

Christine Johnson on

As part of a leadership program, I had to introduce myself to someone I did not know.  During the conversation with my partner, I began describing myself to her.  At the end, she said

“So you are an ambivert.”

Ambivert?  I had never heard the word.  She told me that an ambivert is a third personality trait in addition to introvert and extrovert.  An ambivert is someone who could display both introvert and extrovert characteristics.  Someone who seeks out social interactions on some occasions and avoids them at others.

I felt like she was onto something.  I had considered myself an extrovert, but sometimes felt uncomfortable in social situations.  My ambivert light bulb grew even brighter after reading Dr. Travis Bradberry’s recent post on ambiverts describing me to a tee.  So, what’s your Vert?

3 Verts

Here are some high level definitions of each:

Introvert:  Feels that being around people can be exhausting and draining.  Introverts enjoy solitude and usually have a small group of close friends.

Extrovert: Energized by being around people and open to sharing thoughts and feels.  Extroverts like being the center of attention and feel isolated if they spend too much time alone.

Ambivert: Has both introvert and extrovert tendencies who sometimes jumps into social situations and at other times seeks to avoid people interactions.  Ambiverts with high self-awareness know when “to force yourself to lean to one side of the spectrum when it is not happening naturally.” (Dr. Travis Bradberry)

Why is recognizing a Vert important?

It is easier to be uncomfortable in a social situation when you can recognize the uncomfortableness is typical for you and not a sign of something bad or dooming.  According to Bradberry, ambiverts are usually better at this type of self-awareness because of their flux between the two extremes.  But introverts and extroverts need to be self-aware as well.  For a deeper dive on the Verts, here are three resources to get you started.

Whether it be interviewing for a job, working in groups, giving a presentation, or attending networking events, knowing where your personality tends to go during social settings can help relieve some stress in anxiety and allow your personal best self to show up for the activity.

We would love to hear about your Vert self-awareness stories.  Share your stories here or on Twitter use the hashtag #CFobserver.

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