Ambivert — who is it? How does he or she differ from an introvert and an extrovert?

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What is an ambivert?

An ambivert is a person whose personality shows a balance between introverted and extroverted traits. The author of the term “ambivert” is Hans Eysenck, a famous English psychologist with German roots. He was a personality researcher and for many years analyzed personality traits using the method of statistical factor analysis. He worked in the behavioral system and believed that basic factors describing human personality could be distinguished. His academic output is really impressive with about 50 books and 900 scientific articles. Even today, his EPQ-R questionnaire is used in diagnosis or research, although it must be admitted that this practice is becoming increasingly rare.

Ambivalence, introversion, extraversion — what are these terms about?

Ambivalence is a term that was coined recently, in contrast to the terms “introversion” and then “extraversion” (before this term was coined, the terms “introversion” and “extraversion” functioned in psychology). They were introduced by Carl Gustav Jung, who studied human personality based on Ernst Kretschmer’s old classification of temperament. The terms introvert and extrovert were first used in a work titled “Psychologische Typen” published in 1921, but entered the everyday vocabulary of those interested in personal development somewhat later.

Carl Gustav Jung — [Photo: ETH Library, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons]
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Ambivert and introvert — the differences

The ambivert is in the middle on the scale between extroverted and introverted personalities. He or she is certainly different from an introvert, whose mental energy is directed inward and focused on his or her own experiences. Introverts need distance from other people, which does not mean they are afraid of or dislike them. Their level of need to feel risk and adrenaline is lower than that of extroverts.

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Ambivert and extrovert — differences

An ambivert is also different from an extrovert. Extreme extroverts have trouble coping when they are isolated from a group of people. They can ill tolerate prolonged quiet, lack of intense stimuli, and stressful situations to which they react quickly and strongly. An extrovert needs people, conversation, and confusion. Therefore, it may be difficult for him to concentrate in work that requires monotonous activities.

Ambivalence traits

Ambivalence is not a disease, so it is difficult to talk about its “symptoms”. There are many indications that ambiverts are 2/3 or even 3/4 of the population. Who is an ambivert and how do you tell if you belong to this group? Some argue that both introversion, extraversion, and ambivert are artificial terms that promote the pigeonholing of people and assign them to top-down created types. According to the descriptions of ambivert personality, its representatives are almost “perfect people”, coping well in every situation. Indeed, a careful study of their declared traits might suggest so.

Ambiverts exhibit the following characteristics:

  • ability to adapt to most circumstances,
  • liking of people and being with them,
  • the ability to listen and at the same time share their own thoughts,
  • flexibility in a broad sense,
  • good stress tolerance,
  • ability to cope with loneliness,
  • emotional balance.
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