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The Inbetweeners

Let’s admit to this one guilty pleasure. Most of us here would have taken a Buzzfeed quiz that promised to spill the beans about the deepest and darkest aspects of our personalities; some are super weird too. Say, “Design your wedding cake and we’ll tell you what dog breed you would be.” More precisely, I’m sure you would have come across a certain, particularly tempting quiz – “Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?”

We’ve always been taught that the world is made for extroverts. Or created by introverts, as some may bravely put so.

It is never entirely possible to pigeonhole someone as a complete extrovert or an introvert. Because such a dichotomy only reflects an outdated understanding of the personality. The verity is that personality is a continuum – a transient collection of emotions and thoughts that change and evolve according to the situation faced with. The best way to explain it would be to think of it as a spectrum with extroversion and introversion on either end of the range. Everyone can have varying degrees of the same.

For example, you may love socializing and find people your source of energy. Being around people vitalizes you and pushes you through any drudgery of the day. That’s a clear sign of extroversion. But then once in a blue moon, you also like a quiet lazy day, with just your own company, to unwind and rejuvenate yourself. Now, this would make you an extrovert with introverted tendencies.

Similarly, you might generally prefer to enjoy the company of your thoughts and live in a fascinating world that is your mind. Spending too much time with people, albeit however close they may be, drains your batteries. But once in a while, you do love a crazy evening of bonhomie with friends. Making treasured memories with loved ones leaves you with a warm and fuzzy feeling at the end of the day. This depicts an introvert with extroverted tendencies.

There may be some who relate equally to both extroverted introverts and introverted extroverts.  For them, the ambiverts, the situation at hand warrants their behavior. It’s like waltzing through the personality spectrum from time to time.

In fact, even this is only a broad classification. For all the people in this world, it would be quite unreasonable if we had only 4 or 5 kinds of personalities. All I’d like to say is that no one is on either end of the personality spectrum, quite contrary to common myths. Funnily enough, extreme introversion or extroversion, are deemed as warning signs of serious mental health impairment. So, now that you know how vast the personality spectrum indeed is, I’ll give you 2 tips:

  • Asking someone if they’re an introvert or extrovert is an amazing conversation starter, for it’ll give you a deeper insight into their lives.

  • DO. NOT. TRUST. BUZZFEED. QUIZZES. Because, honestly, why would you expect a bot or a mere bunch of pre-calculated questions to analyze something that is so dynamic, vivid, and colorful?

Tagged in : ambivert, personality spectrum,