Introvert vs Extrovert vs Ambivert
Most believe that being an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert is as simple as falling into one of the three categories. But, personalities aren't that black or white -- they're actually pretty complex.
You can think of introversion and extroversion as a continuous spectrum with ambiversion falling somewhere near the middle. Regardless of where you sit on the spectrum, there's no doubt that personality plays a substantial role in your everyday life. Just how introverted or extroverted someone is, can influence their career choices, social views, and relationships.
What's an introvert?
If you're more of an introvert, then you love being alone with your thoughts. Common introvert traits include spending time in solitude, preferring one-on-one relationships, thinking before speaking, needing time alone to recharge, and enjoying working in quiet and independent environments. Introverts are also intensely focused on specific interests.
Being introverted isn't the same thing as being shy. Shyness has an anxiety component to it, whereas introversion doesn't have that negative aspect. Just because introverts enjoy being around fewer people, doesn't mean that they don't have thriving friendships and relationships. Introverts also can still be extremely successful in their careers, except that they tend to gravitate towards professions that have an element of solitude, such as engineering, writing, and accounting.
What's an ambivert?
You're an ambivert if you aren't strongly extroverted nor strongly introverted. Ambiverts have traits of both extroverts and introverts. This is why there is no single way to define an ambivert. You might be somewhat talkative and not that assertive, or you might be really assertive but not very sociable. People who are ambiverts tend to moderately enjoy interacting with others but are also moderately drained by it.
What's an extrovert?
Being an extrovert means that you thrive on the energy of the people around you. Extroverts tend to enjoy being the center of attention, have large social networks, tend to think aloud, are outgoing and positive, and thrive in team-oriented work settings.
If you're an extrovert, you also tend to accept change better than introverts, since extroverts tend to have larger social circles. This means they can draw on more people to provide support and comfort. Extroverts also tend to be in leadership roles or people-centric careers like marketing.
Which personality type are you?
Remember that most people will fall as ambiverts somewhere in the middle of the two extremes, meaning there's a good chance that you're probably an ambivert. If you're curious, there are many accurate and free online that'll give you a better sense of your level of extroversion and introversion, such as The Big Five Project.