Every personality test I’ve ever taken has told me I’m an introvert, so that’s what I’ve always identified with. It made sense because I highly value my alone time and too much socialising for a long time tends to tire me out and I crave the opportunity to be alone. That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy being social, it just meant that sometimes my battery would run out and I would need to be alone in order to recharge. However, too much alone time also sometimes became too much for me, which confused me. So I think there’s more to it that just introversion and extroversion. I thought there must be something in between. That’s when I discovered ambiversion.
An ambivert is someone who is neither an introvert nor an extrovert, but somewhere in between. Instead of having a battery that is recharged solely by either social interaction or alone time, it can really depend on the person and the situation. For me, I have more like a double ended battery. I think that’s the best way to describe it. In order to visualise it, let’s say the battery is filled with two different colours and the ideal way for the colours to be distributed is for it to be even. So I need an even amount of social interaction and alone time in order for me to be the most mentally happy and healthy. If I start spending too much time alone, it starts filling up with that colour and the colour representing the social side of the battery starts to decrease, and vice versa.
I think I realised this when I found a few people whose company I truly enjoyed. Their company didn’t drain my battery in any way, but refilled it if I’d been having too much time alone. I suddenly wanted to spend time with other people. I found people who I didn’t feel lonely around, which showed me what socialising is meant to feel like. Humans are social creatures. We aren’t made for complete constant solitude, so it seemed unnatural for me to feel so not myself when around other people. But I think when I learned and found the people who made me feel myself and who allowed me to be myself, I simply realised that being social isn’t something that should make me feel down or that should drain my battery, and it is something that can charge it.
So I think the main message here is that everything should be done in moderation. Like everything else; exercising, eating, spending time on social media, working and relaxing. And when you find what works for you, a lot can change.
As a side note, I don’t believe that one needs to be labelled as an ‘introvert’, an ‘extrovert’ or anything in between in order to ‘be something’ in a sense. No one needs labels in order to be validated. No one truly needs to know which category or label they fall under. In fact, I don’t like labels terribly much. But sometimes, I find that working out where I fit under these umbrellas can help me to develop base understandings of who I am, especially in relation to other people. Because everyone is different and I believe knowing and recognising how people differ is important when it comes to accepting and appreciating others for who they are as well as accepting and loving yourself for who you are. And I believe gaining acceptance and appreciation for the people and world around you are both key stepping stones in finding true happiness.