Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Since the dawn of time, or at least since the psychologist Carl Jung created the two camps in the 1920s, you’ve either been one or the other. Extroverts are typically deemed as outgoing and very sociable, while introverts are seen as shy and reticent. The former are often touted as more successful and the ‘better’ camp. A new study revealed last week added weight to this assumption.
Scientists at the University of California tasked 123 participants with being more extrovert for a week and encouraged them to be more sociable, and to be more introvert for another week. The result? They felt happier when they were more extroverted.
“The findings suggest that changing one’s social behavior is a realisable goal for many people, and that behaving in an extroverted way improves well-being,” said Sonja Lyubomirsky, psychologist and co-author of the study.
Plenty of studies in the past have highlighted the power of being more sociable can have on not just our wellbeing but our health as a whole, so the results might not come as a surprise to everyone. However, if you’re not naturally inclined to be spontaneous, outgoing and talkative, forcing yourself to be might not come as easily. Perhaps the key is to move more into the centre and be a little more ambivert?
What is an ambivert?
Ambiverts are people who portray qualities of both extro- and introverts depending on the situation. While they might thrive in certain social environments, they might also need some alone time to recharge.
What are the common traits of an ambivert?
Well, if you are an ambivert you’re generally a good listener, but you can switch on the small talk when required. Importantly, you’re empathetic and can see a situation from other points of view, question it, think about it and then provide an opinion. Essentially, ambiverts have the best of both worlds.
However, it’s not without its pitfalls. Ambiverts run the risk of suffering from burn out. Everything that might come easily to introverts and extroverts require a little more effort from someone who sits in the middle. The solution? Don’t feel compelled to say ‘yes’ to everything and learn the power of saying ‘no’ and taking time for yourself. We’re biased, but we’d also recommend keeping a stash of Magnolia Rhodiola Complex close by to keep stress levels down.