Like many categorizing systems, the separatist thinking behind them attempts to firmly place us in one container or another. The flaw in these types of systems is that they don’t always take into account the middle areas of the spectrum. And any system is just that: a spectrum. I’ve long stated with unequivocal certainty that I’m introverted. My friends, however, look at me askance, because I’m actually very fun-loving and outgoing when I need to be. So on that introvert/extravert spectrum, I fall somewhere to the introverted side, but exhibit limited extroverted tendencies. Here is an article found on Thought Catalog by Brianna West that I have updated to reflect this:
1. You’re not anti-social, you’re selectively social. It’s not that you don’t like going out, it’s that you are very choosy about when, where, and for how long.
2. At any given point, you have one (maybe two) best friends who are your entire life. You’re not a “group of friends” person. You can’t keep up with all that. This small group are those you know well, trust implicitly, and with whom you feel the most comfortable.
3. Social gatherings that are supposed to be “rites of passage” like prom and dances and other such typical nonsense is just… not for you. You don’t understand it. You want nothing to do with it. You don’t need a flimsy reason to go out, and these events seem just like that to you.
4. When you do choose to grace a party with your presence, you are the life of it. You’re dancing on the table and doing body shots until 3 a.m. This is not to imply that you’re arrogant or snooty…it’s just that once you decide to commit to it, you actually commit to it.
5. … You then retreat into three days of complete solitude to recover. Naturally.
6. You go out of your way to avoid people, but when you inevitably have to interact with them, you make it seem like there’s nothing in the world you’d rather be doing. Because you are such an active and interested listener, you are able to fully focus on others when you find them interesting and engaging. That is, you don’t participate in small talk (and why should you?), but if it’s a topic you’re truly interested in, you’re an amazing conversational partner.
7. Dating is weird, because you’re smiling and laughing and talkative at dinner, and then you don’t want to answer their texts for days, because like, you just want to be left alone… And there’s nothing wrong with that.
8. You’re accused of being flirty with everybody, which is hilarious, because in reality, you can only tolerate like four people. Flirting is your way of being in control of social situations. For you are not entirely comfortable in such settings many times, you can always find a way to make it bearable.
9. You retain an air of mystery about you, completely unintentionally. (There’s no mystery. You just feel no need to update the social sphere on what’s going on in your life every two hours.) You can blame reality television for others’ need to continually provide updates on every little thing they’re doing, because non-introverts often act as if they’re appearing on their own reality show.
10. Not to mention the fact that you either have days in which you’re tweeting and status updating every five minutes… or you delete your accounts for a month. We’ve all done it. Sometimes, you just. need. a break.
11. You become unintentionally awkward because you at once feel the need to be a social life jacket for other people, though you’re just as uncomfortable yourself. You are sensitive to the discomfort of others, so often because it reflects you’re own discomfort in such settings. But you’ve developed you own personal safety feature to rescue yourself, and therefore cannot abide by allowing others to suffer through the same intense feelings.
12. You’ve never really understood the whole “introvert vs. extrovert” dichotomy (can we call it that?) Because you’re… both… And that’s where the term “ambivert” comes in. No one truly falls on that spectrum at the extreme ends of it.
13. You’re always run through the ringer because people think you’re best suited to be the one who gives the presentation, confronts the boss, gives the speech, etc. Meanwhile, you’re practically throwing up over the thought of it. Your choice to keep to yourself often gives others the impression — wrong or right — that you are much more capable of saying things to others, and that they’ll listen…because you speak so infrequently, your words carry more weight.
14. You ebb and flow between wanting to be noticed for your hard work, reveling in the attention and achievement you receive, to sinking and panicking over the thought of somebody else paying more than 30 seconds of attention to you. You prefer to operate behind the scenes. Let the extroverts take the spotlight. That’s where they thrive.
15. The entirety of your being is a conundrum, so needless to say, indecisiveness is your Achilles’ Heel. This is not always true. Many introverts are fully capable of being decisive. But when it comes to leaving your comfort zone, you really have to wait until you determine how prepared you are to participate. And sometimes, that doesn’t come until the last minute.
16. You’re at your happiest in places like coffee shops and cafés: surrounded by people, but still closed off and keeping to yourself. In this way, you can feel like you’re part of the crowd without actually having to immerse yourself in it.
17. You prefer to travel alone, but meet up with people once you’re there, on your own terms and at your own speed. Not only in traveling, but in most situations, you prefer to be in control of your comfort levels.
18. It’s taken you years to figure out that you’re different than many introverts you know. Literally years. Because the spectrum has always been presented as either/or, you may not have realized that ambivert was also a choice. Until now.
19. While we were chastised as children for daydreaming, we do so deliberately as adults, as our inner lives are rich, fertile, and sustain us. And daydreaming doesn’t necessarily mean that your head is in the clouds. It also means that you could be contemplating issues that no one else is aware that you even know about. And then you come up with — as if out of the blue — stunning solutions that no one else had taken the time to think through.