Tales from a (recently realised) Ambivert
AMBIVERT: Noun, a person who has a balance of extrovert and introvert features in their personality.
For more than a decade, I worked in a role where a big part of the job was in essence a sales role. It was my role to have people part with large chunks of their money to sponsor or purchase tickets to an event / support a charity / invest in a long-term project for the benefit of the community. This meant there were many networking functions, coffee catch ups, many presentations and loads of business lunches. Which probably sounds like a lot of fun. And, for the most part it was. But boy-oh-boy, would it take me a TLC routine, to recharge the very drained batteries after this.
This kind of tricked me, for a good third of my life, thinking that I was an extrovert. I could small talk and mingle, address large crowds and even captivate an audience with a topic I was passionate about. But then I would need a heap of time in my own space, to perk back up.
My environment will dictate which side I lean toward more and the difference in my energy can be yin and yang. I can get lost in conversation or my own thoughts; people can drain me or lift me up; I want to socialise, I want solitude; I love to attend festivals and chill in a yoga studio and both are equally energising and fulfilling; sometimes I am reserved, sometimes you know my whole story... I adapt and change with those around me and can flick between craving people time and wanting space.
So… here are a few things that may indicate you are an ambivert too, and some tips and tricks that I have been finding helpful, to stay balanced in my energy output and input.
1 – You are the life of the party when you are with your #girlgang (or guy-gang), but around new people, you can be more reserved. You can flick on and off your ‘extrovert game’ but, you need time to mentally prepare for it.
2 – You enjoy socialising, but sometimes, you would wayyyyy rather stay home in your jim-jams (me right now). Take cues and listen to your body on this one. When the tank is empty, trying to force polite conversation is even more draining.
3 – On the polite conversation note - you have a great small talk game, but you would much prefer an intellectual or insanely stimulating conversation with nearest and dearest.
Small talk can be exhausting, but you will do it when the need calls for it. On the other hand, when you are talking about something you are super passionate about, you will find a level up in energy and be glowing from the inside out.
4 – Whilst you love to be spontaneous, you also need preparation time if there will be a decent amount of socialising. Refer back to the first two points – you can be the life of the party and enjoy the socialising, but there is some mental and physical prep time needed. This is important so that you have a ‘full cup’ so that you have something to give. Don’t let this dull any desire for spontaneity though. When last minute plans pop up and you have plenty of juice – fly and be free!
5 – As an ambivert, you are far more aware of who is an energy vampire and who lights you up like a Christmas tree. Let’s face it, there are some people that just absolutely sap the energy from you like a ShamWow. These people still can play a role in your life, just be selective in your catch ups, in order to avoid needing a weekend retreat to regather yourself. Pro tip opt for larger group settings (avoid the one-on-ones) and make sure there is a time limit e.g. a lunch event. Or even better – go to the movies – spending time together without the need to talk hahaha.
6 – I mostly hate talking on the phone… unless it is to someone that pumps air into my tyres and keeps me rollin’. There are times where I will screen calls, because I just can’t. But generally I am happy to text or email. This is not a fail proof though… I can be crazy lazy with replying to texts – I promise I don’t mean to be… sometimes it just becomes overwhelming.
7 – only your closest friends (if any one) really know how vulnerable you are. Yep, that Wonder Woman / Superman mask exists for most of the world, and the freedom of taking it off is liberating!
The mix of being an extrovert, giving off a confident persona, is often a coping technique so that you don’t have to open up before you are ready to. Your introversion tendencies make you more of a thinker, so when you do want to open up, you want to really dive into it.
8 – You like to organise the catch ups because you know the ins and outs of the plans and have far less anxiety when you are in control. Sometimes it is hard to let others make the plans but make the effort to share the roles. If nothing else, it is a learning experience for everyone involved.
BE KIND TO YOURSELF!
My go to TLC plan:
Because you can often be thought of, maybe even expected to be the more outgoing person in the group, it is important to take time to refill your cup. For me, this means soaking in the tub whilst listening to anything from UB40, to sounds of the rainforest; a solid Netflix binge with a lifetime supply of tea; immersing myself in nature – ALONE (or with my fur little fur baby, Millie). Taking a 75-minute restorative class (conveniently for you there is a class scheduled at The Den each Thursday at 6.15pm).
Take cues from your body, sometimes self-care will be resting, other times it will be burning off excess energy. This is going to be different for all, so try a few things.
Other tips for your self care…
-Be selective with who you spend your time with, particularly if you only have limited time for self care.
-Refuel your body with foods that are fresh and packed with vitamins and minerals that help keep your body and mind firing.
-Move each and every day. Keep the body limber and moving to promote good circulation and healthy range of movement.
-Last, and most importantly, spend at LEAST one hour EACH DAY, spending time doing something for you. Whether it is a walk (alone or with the bestie) a book in the bath (thanks to my friends at Clear Mind Studio for my recent bath salt purchase), brew a cuppa and check out my fave new series – The Umbrella Academy (p.s. I binged this in a few days- so I am looking for a new series, open to recommendations)
Want to know if you are extrovert / introvert / ambivert - take the test HERE
Remember - this doesn't define you, just creates awareness for you.
Love and light
Cover pic cred to Raw Rap Relationship.