Ambivert: A Word That Finally Describes Your Personality

Every party needs more than the class clown and the wallflower.

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You don't consider yourself the "life of the party," but still like to hang out and mingle. Sound familiar? Turns out you may not be an introvert or an extrovert—you're an "ambivert." And that might be the best of all.

The Wall Street Journal reports that experts are finally investigating what it means to be an "ambivert," a person with a balance of both introverted and extroverted traits. Half of Americans might be ambiverts, but in reality, everyone's on a spectrum. How do you know if this fits you? Daniel H. Pink, author of To Sell Is Human, has set up an 18-question quiz on his website that can help you figure it out. (I, for one, thought I was an extrovert but ended up being an ambivert, since I don't love being the center of attention but I do like hanging out with people.)

Ambiverts make the best salespeople, Pink says on his website, because they know when to push people and speak up, and when to hang back and be quiet for a while. But social situations can sometimes be difficult, since it's hard to know what will stress them out. For ambiverts, the best technique is to be self-aware, and know when to "turn up" or "turn down" their introversion or extroversion.

So if your version of a perfect night is drinks with a big group of friends, then retiring home to cuddle up with a book, don't fret because you don't fit one specific category. You might just have the best of both worlds.

Megan Friedman

Megan Friedman is the former managing editor of the Newsroom at Hearst. She's worked at NBC and Time, and is a graduate of Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.