The Great Ambivert Debate

The Great Ambivert Debate blog cover

There’s a lot of talk these days about “ambiverts”. But what exactly is an ambivert? And do they really exist? Let’s take a closer look at this hotly debated topic.

What is an ambivert?

The term “ambivert” is used to describe people who fall somewhere in between extroverts and introverts on the spectrum. In theory, these people have qualities of both personality types and are, therefore, able to adapt to different situations.

Are ambiverts real?

This is a widely debated topic. Some experts say that ambiverts definitely exist, while others believe that the term is a label used to describe people who don’t feel they fit neatly into either the introvert or extrovert category. It all comes down to the exact definition of an ambivert.

If you define an ambivert as someone who is a perfectly even split between introversion and extroversion, then no, ambiverts don’t exist. No one is an exactly equal balance of the two.

If you define an ambivert as someone who displays both introverted and extroverted tendencies, then yes, ambiverts do exist. Absolutely everyone on the planet has qualities of both introversion and extroversion. It’s part of what makes us human. It’s impossible to be purely an introvert or an extrovert.

In Conversations with Carl Jung & Reactions from Ernest Jones, Jung states, “There is no such thing as a pure extrovert or a pure introvert. Such a man would be in the lunatic asylum. Those are only terms to designate a certain penchant, a certain tendency.”

He goes on to say, “There are people who are fairly well balanced and are just as much influenced from within as from without, or just as little.”

If either none or all of us are ambiverts, then what use is the term?

The introvert-extrovert spectrum

We all sit somewhere along the introvert-extrovert spectrum. And it tends to be those who sit closer to the middle who self-identify as ambiverts.

If you’re one of these people, you may enjoy spending time alone, but you also enjoy socializing with others. You might be comfortable in both small groups and large crowds. And you may work efficiently alone at home and in an office with colleagues.

But you will have more of a preference for either introversion or extroversion, even if there’s only a slight difference between the two.

The great ambivert debate

While there’s a lot of debate around the term ‘ambivert,’ one thing is for sure—the concept of the ambivert has sparked a lot of interesting conversations about personality types and human behavior. And that’s not a bad thing. After all, knowledge is power. So whether you’re an introvert, an extrovert, or you’re still working it out, understanding your personality can help you better understand yourself—and the world around you.

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