Wednesday 28 October 2015

Introvert, Extrovert or Ambivert?

Extroverted Introvert

I have considered myself since the mid-1980s as an extroverted introvert (after Dorothy Rowe's The Successful Self), as - more than my need to be social - I HAVE to have alone-time; I start to get very tetchy if I cannot grab time to myself. Don't get me wrong, I love being with friends; but being alone on a desert-island does not fill me with horror whereas being in the Big Brother house with nowhere to go away from others really does mortify me. When alone for my sojourns in Spain, I am more than content - as long as I get to go somewhere familiar and have a brief chat with someone I know at least once per day.

Myers-Briggs Personality Types

About three weeks ago a questionnaire appeared on my Facebook timeline from the i newspaper. I took a short Myers-Briggs test and came out as an INTJ, Introverted INtuitive Thinking Judging, personality:

[Image Description: the results of my test plotted on a W8 web-graph]

"Expert - Unique and pursuing excellence. 
You have many creative thoughts. You always try to turn your ideas into fact tirelessly reaching your goal that you set for yourself. You can understand the connotative model of the outer world and think with a long term perspective. Once you make a commitment, you make a plan and accomplish it. You are very independent and skeptical. You always have a high standard no matter if its for yourself or other people." {all sic}
This past week, I did a different, more complex and much longer Myers-Briggs test and came out ENFJ, an Extraverted (sic) INtuitive Feeling Judging personality.

It seems it depends how the questions are framed alters whether I am introverted or extroverted. I think the issue is that I am very close to the border between introversion/extroversion (recall I consider myself an extroverted introvert) and thinking/feeling, both of which I consider important and use in decision-making.


This past couple of days I discovered a term I have never previously encountered "ambivert", which originated in the 1920s - a person who is neither an extrovert nor an introvert, but rather someone who is in between, or, as my computer's dictionary states:

"a person who has a balance of extrovert and introvert features in their personality."

I suppose that is the top of the curve on the standard bell-curve.

"Ambiverts fall somewhere in the middle of the extrovert-introvert spectrum. Ambiverts gain energy from both time spent with others and time spent alone. Socialising and meeting new people may be important to an ambivert, but they also value time for themselves. Typically, ambiverts are good socialisers, as they keen to talk as well as listen to others. In the work place, ambiverts make efficient and adaptable workers as they are able to work well alone and within a team."

Which Label?

Now I have discovered ambiversion, I am unsure what to label myself. Is it more correct to aver I am an extroverted introvert or to say I am an ambivert? Maybe, I need to put both terms out there and let others decide. After all, I am still me on the inside, whatever label is affixed me. And I am certainly not going to attempt to alter aspects of my personality to conform to someone else's labelling system. Still, something to ponder. %)

No comments:

Post a Comment