Some individuals sit somewhere in the middle between introverts and extroverts or can even switch between the two.
Initially coined by Carl Jung, introversion and extroversion sit at opposite ends of most personality theories. Someone who is introverted gets their energy from within and tends to be self-reflective, quiet and enjoy solo pursuits – and may find social engagements difficult. Conversely, an extroverted personality gets energy from outside of themselves. They relish human interaction and typically thrive in social situations, but do not necessarily welcome time alone.
An ambivert is someone who shares both introverted and extroverted traits. They sit between the two extremes of personality, never leaning too far one way or the other.
According to studies, only 20 percent of people can be considered ‘true ambiverts’, while Carl Jung believes that those who struggle to label themselves as introverted or extroverted are the majority.
While an ambivert will be a balance between introversion and extroversion, an omnivert can display both traits, depending on the environment. For example, in a social setting they may appear to be the life of the party. However, if they are in a situation that they find difficult, or uninteresting, they may become withdrawn and need time to recharge.
Research suggests that ambiverts tend to be better in the workplace, especially in sales settings, as their approach makes them more amenable to management, colleagues and customers. They also typically find it easier to adapt to new situations and challenges. Even so, omniverts can still flourish in careers that provides them with opportunities to both thrive socially, and recharge introspectively.