"What the hell is an ambivert?" you might be wondering. No, it's not exactly what Carl Jung had in mind when he shared his typological theory. Jung believed that all people have personality types that they can be distinguished by. He was always careful to say that no one person could be entirely introverted or extroverted, that all people are a combination of the two, but that typically one had a stronger presence in an individual's personality.
"There is no such thing as a pure introvert or extrovert. Such a person would be in the lunatic asylum." – Carl Jung
An extrovert is someone who is energized by stimulus occurring outside the body (groups, entrainment, intensity) whereas an introvert is someone who thrives on internal stimulation (solitude, relaxation, peace). It's easier to notice in others, though. You probably have one friend who becomes animated and recharged in group settings and one friend who needs to go home and chill out for a bit in order to recharge. But if you think about it, you probably also have a few friends that you can't really put your finger on. Sometimes they're lively in group settings, becoming more energized and more powerful the more they interact with people. But sometimes that same friend becomes exhausted after an interaction. Sometimes that friend just needs to stay home to charge their batteries. If that person fluctuates regularly between those extremes, they're probably an ambivert, consider the fact that a good 38 percent of us are.
But what do we know of ambiverts, the lost personality type? Here's what you need to know about ambiverts and how to handle them, especially when dating one.
Don't Put Them In A Box
If you're an introvert or an extrovert dating an ambivert, you'll notice that there are sides to their personality and temperament that match yours. But at other times, you might see none of yourself in them. Try not to overthink this. Ambiverts believe in the gray area because they live in it most of the time. They might go months pulling their energy from the world in a way that appears extroverted, before switching back to an introverted way of life. Or it might change on a minute-to-minute, day-to-day basis. Just let them be and be up for the challenge of keeping up.
Mix Things Up
Ambiverts have a shifting sense of center. They feel frustrated and stuck when monotony sets in. To keep them interested and on their toes, occasionally mix up your routines. And don't be scared to throw a surprise — most ambiverts love surprises, as long as it doesn't embarrass them in front of other people.
Ambiverts rely on their energy level and mood to dictate what they feel like doing. Sometimes they might need a push to go out and be social, but don't push too hard. Be encouraging and present a few strong options, but if they say they'd rather stay in, drop it.
Extroverts don't mind change, while introverts need a moment to adjust. If you have a change of plans for your ambivert, be sure to give them as much of a heads up as possible.
Give Affection, But Not A Show
When you're in public give your ambivert just enough attention to make them feel secure and loved, but don't embarrass them. Doing discrete things like putting your hand on their knee when you sit or on the small of their back as you stand, will make them feel comfortable without calling too much attention to them. But always take your cues from them directly.
Know When To Back Off
Ambiverts might get a little stressed when they're busy. Give them room if they ask for it but don't take it personally. Offer to help when you can but know when to give them a little space when it seems like they need it. But if you can't do it selflessly, don't do it at all.