The "antisocial" social butterflies of the world
For a long time, I thought I was just an introvert who could “fake” being an extrovert when I felt like it.
Personality psychologists say that 38% of people fall into this middle ground. But being in the middle doesn’t mean you can’t make up your mind. It means you feel the extremes of both extroversion and introversion, depending on your mood.
If that sounds familiar, think about your usual mood on a scale from easily bored to easily overstimulated. If you’re the former, you probably like keeping your social calendar full (extrovert). If you have a low tolerance for socialising and feel most comfortable when things are low-key, you may be introverted. Ambiverts experience both. When you invite us to a party, we will probably wait until the day of to see how social we are feeling.
We’re not bipolar, we swear. What many don’t realise is, we love a fun night out. In fact, we can be the life of the party when we want to be. But the next day, we’ll need a “day off” from socialising. It’s nothing personal. Everything depends on our mood.
At times we crave the company of others, and other times we don’t even feel like returning text messages.
We like being around people, but not always interacting with them. An ambivert would opt to work from a crowded coffee shop over working from home alone. However, they would probably not do well in an office where they were being spoken to or interrupted constantly. We need balance, so please be patient with us – once we get tired of our own company, we come blazing with all the energy we’ve saved up from being alone.
Meeting new people is nervewracking, until the ice is broken. After that, you may not be able to get us to shut up.
We’re chameleons with that rare duality of living inside our own heads yet being social and articulate enough to express what we’re feeling. We tend to be the last to speak but the most adept at listening. In fact, research shows that ambiverts are the best salespeople because we are assertive without being pushy.
Small talk is our own personal hell. We are selectively social, and like to make conversations count. Nothing bothers us more than polite forced small talk about the weather.
Okay, maybe we are a bit bipolar. Standoffish or shy to strangers, or charming and engaging with friends – we are both. We may not be the first to come and introduce ourselves, but when we do make connections they are genuine. That’s because we are not actively seeking new people to just to pass the time with. So if we’re focusing on you, then we genuinely find you interesting.
Talk to us! We’re great listeners – just please don’t talk about the weather.