Life Of An Ambivert
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Politics and Activism

Life Of An Ambivert

And why I'm not an extrovert, introvert, or ambivert

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Life Of An Ambivert

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) told me I was an ENTJ. So, I thought at 15, I must be a very outgoing person destined to bring people together and serve as a leader. And I loved the idea that something was telling me I was an extrovert -- I'd always looked up to people who were so naturally skilled at the art of social networking. I was a bit afraid to call myself an introvert, because the truth was I did need draw energy from interacting with people sometimes. But over the years, I realized neither label -- extrovert or introvert -- fully captured my unwillingness to party and need to be alone for at least a part of every day.

The answer I found: ambivert.

When I saw that word online and realized what it meant in my life, I felt like all my confusion had been condensed into a clearcut answer I could live with. It felt like I'd truly discovered who I was and that I could finally get away from the years of wondering, "Should I interact with people more?" even when I felt like all I wanted to do was hole up in my room and watch Youtube videos. Yes, I thought, yes, I'm an ambivert.

Life as an ambivert can be a bit difficult sometimes. I mean, people like to categorize each other as "outgoing" or "reserved" and being an ambivert means being both, just at different times. When I see someone, I have a 50/50 chance of feeling like I want to chat for an hour and feeling like I want to say hi and race back to my room so I could have all my time to myself. Some might think I'm unpredictable or weird -- but that's the life of an ambivert, and that's what I'm comfortable with.

But after some time since I assumed the label of an ambivert, I reconsidered it. Why did it make me feel so good?

Why does MBTI exist? I guess it's probably useful in certain psychological settings, but why do I need to categorize myself by answering some questions and seeing what this test spurts out as "what I am?" I was elated when I read I was an ENTJ -- it represented so many things I wished I was. When I found the word "ambivert," however, I retook the MBTI test and got ENTJ again. But this time I looked specifically at the percentage between E and I, extroversion and introversion. I was 51% E. Wow.

Extremes in life are really quite upsetting. Boy or girl, black or white, beautiful or ugly, strong or weak -- so many extremes that have developed over time have prevented society from seeing all the in-betweens. "Ambivert" granted me the right to officially label myself as an in-between, and that's why I loved the word so much.

But really, there are so many different types of ambiverts. I can be 30% E and 70% I, 40% and 60% 10% and 90%. There are so many labels we haven't made. But I'm not saying we need a separate word to represent the 30/70 ratio and another one to represent the 40/60 one. What I'm saying is that the system of labelling is problematic in itself, and that while it's great to have words to describe things, words can constrain. Especially when the people around us seem to prefer one extreme over the other.

I'm glad there's the word Ambivert out there that got me out of my misery not fitting in to either group of extroverts or introverts. I'm glad it helped me realize extremes didn't suit everyone and that being in-between was ok -- I mean, there's a word for it.

But I like to think to myself, even when telling you that I'm living the Life Of An Ambivert, that I'm not really an ambivert. I'm simply an in-between with varying percentages and I be what I feel I am at different moments each day. You don't need to be the social butterfly, and you don't need to be completely happy with no social interaction.

Just like our genders, appearances, and abilities can't be summed up into one word or another, our personalities can't either.

And that's fine. Be as you are.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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