In large part due to Susan Cain's bestseller Quiet, the differences between introverts and extroverts have been getting tons of attention lately. No doubt all this chatter has caused you to consider, which am I?
Many people give an instant and emphatic answer to this question. The fact they're an introvert or extrovert is as obvious as the color of their hair. But lots of others aren't so sure. They read about reserved introverts, who are slow to warm up in social situations and need lots of alone time to recharge, and about people-loving extroverts, who get jazzed up by large gatherings, and they think, in some ways I'm like one and in some ways I'm like the other.
Are these people just weird? Not at all, according to experts. Apparently introversion and extraversion are just two ends of a scale, and most of us fall somewhere in the middle. Those who blend characteristics of both extremes are called ambiverts. If you're an ambivert, not only are you not strange -- you're actually in the majority -- you're also more likely to succeed in sales, science says.
In short, personality is much more complex than the old introversion/extraversion binary suggests (complicating things further, there are actually several sub-types of introvert as well). So what are some signs you might be a healthy mix of different types? On The Muse recently, Jenn Grannemann outlined 10 tells you're an "outgoing introvert." Among them:
1. You find people to be both intriguing and exhausting.
"People watching? Yes. Meeting new people and hearing their life stories? Fascinating. Spending every weeknight hanging out with a different group of friends? Not a chance -- as much as you enjoy people, you can endure only so much socializing before you need downtime," writes Grannemann.
2. It actually takes less energy to say what's on your mind than to make small talk.
"Fake small talk bores you and drains your life force." (Here are some tips on avoiding another chat about the weather, if you're interested.)
3. You're selectively social.
When it comes to friends, quality beats quantity for you. "It's hard to find people you click with, so you only have a few close friends. But you're OK with that."
4. You have no interest in trying to prove yourself in a crowd of strangers.
"'Working the room' isn't your thing. Nor do you feel the need to draw a lot of attention to yourself. You're content hanging out at the edges of the party, talking to just one or two people," explains Grannemann.
5. You're often confused for an extrovert.
"Your friends and family don't buy that you're an introvert because you're just so social. In fact, it may have taken a while for you to realize you're an introvert because you play the extrovert so well."
If you're still unsure, check out Grannemann's complete post.
Do you recognize yourself in these signs?