Four Qualities of an Extroverted Introvert

As a big fan of personality quizzes, I’ve spent a significant amount of time pondering whether or not I’m introverted or extroverted. There’s something so validating about taking a quiz and receiving a resulting reading that explains you and your behavior. I think it stems from our desire as humans to feel understood (and to understand ourselves).

Yes, I adore taking personality tests, but the introvert vs extrovert question really stumps me. Extroversion and introversion are certainly not black and white qualities. Perhaps some people can clearly identify as one or the other, but I can’t really choose which one I identify with more. In the end, I usually tell people that I’m an ambivert, because I think I have qualities of both types.

I have found that being somewhere in the middle, I have a few distinct qualities of my own. Here are some characteristics that I often share with other ambiverts.

1. We can be particular about who we spend time with.

Something I recently discovered about myself is that I hate living alone. Also, if I have a significant other or close friend that I particularly enjoy, I’ll almost always choose to hang out with them rather than by myself. But on the other hand, I’m particular. I prefer to have people to spend time with, but only if they are people I have a strong connection to. If I don’t click with anyone around me, I’ll choose my alone time over small talk with people that don’t share my interests.

2. We prefer one-on-one relationships to group hangouts.

I’m extremely relational and I enjoy having lots of friends, but I usually prefer one-on-one, meaningful conversation over hanging out in a large group. I enjoy meeting new people, but sometimes I’m too shy to initiate conversation unless I know we have a common interest that I can ask questions about.

3. We need an equal balance of alone time and social time.

If I spend too much time alone, I start to feel depressed and bored. But after a long weekend of socializing, I feel drained and I need to recuperate alone. I tend to plan my weekends so that I have one social day and one day to myself.

4. We can work well independently or as part of a group.

I love working alone on my own projects (like this blog), but I also adore collaboration, and I love the way that groups of people can work together to achieve a bigger purpose. I enjoy the synergy of working as part of a group, and yet in my career I have been particularly successful at working independently.

My Myers-Briggs Type

As I wrote this post, I decided to take the Myers-Briggs test to see what I’m currently testing as. My result was INFJ, with 51% Introversion and 49% Extroversion, thus confirming that I’m pretty much split down the middle.

Are there any other ambiverts out there? I would be interested to know what combination of introverted and extroverted traits you have.

Things I Didn’t Know About Motherhood

Motherhood is an experience that is both challenging and rewarding. Despite having many friends who became mothers before me, and despite listening to them tell me about their experiences, there was absolutely nothing that could have prepared me for the reality of motherhood. There were parts that were way more difficult than I anticipated, but there are also parts that are so much better than I could ever have imagined.

On Weight Gain and Body Acceptance

Over the past few years, I’ve put on a lot of weight. It actually started with a medication that I had to take for bipolar disorder. One of the side effects was that I put on a few pounds. But it wasn’t until recently, when I got pregnant with my first child, that the weight really started to pile on. During my pregnancy, I was a bit overwhelmed at the rate at which I was gaining weight, and it was hard to prevent it from happening. I was constantly hungry, and as my pregnancy progressed, I replaced going to the gym with more leisurely walks because I was constantly winded and tired from my workouts.