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Ambivert Definition & Meaning |

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[ am-bi-vurt ]

/ ˈæm bɪˌvɜrt /

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noun Psychology.

one whose personality type is intermediate between extrovert and introvert.



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Origin of ambivert

First recorded in 1925–30; ambi- + -vert, as in extrovert, introvert

Words nearby ambivert

ambitious, ambivalence, ambivalent, ambivalent sexism, ambiversion, ambivert, amble, Ambler, Ambleside, amblygonite, amblyopia

Dictionary. com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does 

ambivert mean?

An ambivert is someone said to have a personality type that is in between that of an introvert (shy and reserved) and an extrovert (outgoing).

Ambivert, introvert, and extrovert are all words used in the study, classification, and popular discussion of personality types. Extroverts are said to focus on the outside world, being social and talkative, while introverts are the opposite—more focused on their own thoughts.

Example: As much as I love going out with friends, being an ambivert means that sometimes I’d just rather stay home and have some alone time.

Where does 

ambivert come from?

You’ve probably taken an online quiz to find out your personality type, but have you stopped to think about where the result came from? The root of ambivert is vert, from the Latin vertere, meaning “to turn. ” So, introverts turn inward. Extroverts turn outward. And ambiverts can turn both ways: the prefix ambi- means “both.” You’ve seen it in ambidextrous (“able to use both hands”) and ambiguous (“having several possible meanings”). The first record of ambivert in the English language comes around the 1920s.

Most theories about personality types agree that a person usually has some elements of introversion and some elements of extroversion. However, many of these theories state that one of those tends to be stronger. The term ambivert, though, implies that a person can act or feel differently at different times, without being primarily outgoing or primarily reserved.

Due to the popularity of personality tests and discussion about personality types, you’ll see ambivert frequently used in popular psychology articles, though perhaps less commonly than introvert and extrovert. But that doesn’t mean ambiverts aren’t common.

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How is 

ambivert used in real life?

Many people use ambivert when discussing how they sometimes like to socialize and sometimes would rather keep to themselves. Sound familiar?

Q: are you an introvert, extrovert or an ambivert?

i am probably an introvert or an ambivert.. i prefer to be alone most of the time but sometimes it's nice to have

— nea⁷ 📌 GA (@yourlostjams) December 28, 2019

Also this goes out to my ambivert babies who love going out but also love staying in. It is OK to do both xxx

— Niamh Bennett (@niamh_bennett29) January 1, 2020

I’m an ambivert, meaning I’m introverted AND extroverted.

…it’s just a lot easier to be alone than it is to plan stuff with people so I mostly just do that

— Brody Harlan (@BrodyHarlan) December 31, 2019



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Do you think you are an ambivert? If so, explain why. If not, explain what you think it means to be one.

British Dictionary definitions for ambivert


/ (ˈæmbɪˌvɜːt) /


psychol a person who is intermediate between an extrovert and an introvert

Derived forms of ambivert

ambiversion (ˌæmbɪˈvɜːʃən), noun

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

What is an Ambivert? Are You an Introvert, Extrovert or Ambivert?

Do you think you are an ambivert? I always have struggled with the question:

“Are you an extrovert or introvert?”

Like many people, I don’t quite fit into either category. In this article and video I want to introduce you to the concept of an ambivert.

What is an ambivert? An ambivert is someone who exhibits qualities of both introversion and extroversion, and can flip into either depending on their mood, context, and goals.  

Ambiverts have also been called:

  • Outgoing introverts: An introvert who can be outgoing in certain situations, around certain people, or when they absolutely need to.
  • Antisocial extroverts: An extrovert who needs time to recharge before socializing, or who likes to be alone more than a typical extrovert.
  • Social introverts: An introvert who can dial up into extroversion when needed.

Extroversion and introversion describe how someone reacts to people. Ambiverts are flexible in how they react to people.

  • In the right context, in the right mood, around the right people, ambiverts can flip up into extroversion.
  • In difficult contexts, when tired or cranky, or around toxic people, ambiverts can flip down into introversion.

Here are some of the differences between extroverts, ambiverts and introverts:

Research has found that how we react to people is physiological. This study found that we judge someone’s level of extroversion or introversion immediately–often based on facial structure. For example:

We can also self-select our tendency toward extroversion. Which explanation sounds more like you?

  • I am drawn to people; I get energy from social gatherings, and am fairly outgoing. (Extrovert)
  • It’s draining to be around lots of people. I prefer peace, solitude, and quiet time. I usually crave alone time in my free time. (Introvert)
  • It depends. (Ambivert)

I will use the terms as labels for the sake of the article, but let’s get one thing straight:

Ambiversion Is Not a Label, It’s a Spectrum

Instead of thinking about extroversion or introversion as labels, let’s use an extroversion spectrum:

When I talk about the Big 5 Personality Traits, I explain the extroversion scale. You can rank low, high, or medium. People who fall in the middle of the spectrum are called ambiverts.

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Why Ambiverts Are Amazing

Many people assume that extroverts are the best at sales, the best leaders, and the most successful at work—WRONG! Adam Grant, an associate professor at Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, analyzed 35 separate studies and found the statistical relationship between extroversion and income was basically zero.

He conducted a personality survey and collected three-month sales records for more than 300 salespeople, both male and female. The people who ranked right in the middle for extroversion and introversion–ambiverts–turned out to be the best salespeople.

“Ambiverts pulled in 24% more revenue than introverts, and a mind-boggling 32% more revenue than extroverts!”

Grant theorized that ambiverts seem to strike a balance between the two more extreme personality traits:

“The ambivert advantage stems from the tendency to be assertive and enthusiastic enough to persuade and close, but at the same time, listening carefully to customers and avoiding the appearance of being overly confident or excited,” Grant said.

Are You An Ambivert?

First, let’s find out how you rank on the scale. Do you think you might be an ambivert? Or do you know one in your life? Take the Ambivert Quiz:

Take the Quiz

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Situational Introversion

Ambiverts typically slide up and down the spectrum depending on the situation, context, and people around them. I call this situational introversion.

For example, certain locations make me extremely nervous and quiet—nightclubs, rooftop bars, and stereotypically ‘chic’ places make me feel super out of place. Whereas, in learning environments — such as classrooms, workshops or seminars — you can’t get me to shut up. I constantly have my hand raised, try to make friends with everyone sitting within ten feet of me, and always ask for extra credit.

If you want to master your people skills you have to build a solid foundation.

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Find Your Nourishing Locations

I split locations into three categories: Survive, Neutral, and Thrive.

Use this list of common places to find your top three thrive locations — places where you are your best self, and your top three survive locations — places where you dread going.

  • Bars
  • Nightclubs
  • Restaurants
  • House Party
  • Board Rooms
  • Office Meetings
  • Conferences
  • Coffee Shops
  • Cocktail Party
  • Backyard BBQ
  • Networking Event

For example, here are mine:

When you know where you thrive, you can build your schedule and your time around the locations where you can be your best self.

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Find Your Nourishing People

People also can affect where we fall on the extroversion scale. Who brings out the best in you? Are there people you dread seeing? How about people you can’t get enough of?

Right now, make a list of the toxic and nourishing people in your life:



See every person on that nourishing list? Text, email, or call them right now to get together. 

See every person on that toxic list? You deserve to be around people who sustain you.

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The Ambivert Advantage

Being able to balance both extroversion and introversion is an asset. Study these associated traits, courtesy of Larry Kim:

  • Flexible: Ambiverts typically can adapt to context and situations more easily.
  • Stable: According to psychologist Hans Eysenck, who coined the term “ambivert” in 1947, ambiverts offer a good balance between the hypersensitivity of some introverts and the domineering attitude of some extroverts.
  • Intuitive: Daniel Pink said that ambiverts “know when to speak up and when to shut up, when to inspect and when to respond, when to push and when to hold back.”

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Ambivert Problems

With all that flexibility comes some liabilities. Since ambiverts can be so flexible, they often run into a few problems:

  • They love to talk to people, but want to plan it out first.
  • They say yes to too many things because they aren’t sure what will work best for them.
  • Their extroverted side says yes to things in the future, but then their introverted side had a hard day and no longer wants to go.
  • When they’re in a bad mood…nothing sounds fun.
  • They like going out only when they are in the right mood, with the right people.
  • 18 more problems only ambiverts face.

Sometimes ambiverts are caught in the middle — between their desire to be extroverted and the needs of their introverted side.  

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Amplify Your Ambiversion

Now I want you to leverage your ambiversion! Here’s how:

“The ambivert advantage stems from the tendency to be assertive and enthusiastic enough to persuade and close, but at the same time, listening carefully to customers and avoiding the appearance of being overly confident or excited,” Grant said. Know when to flexibly use the traits that serve you.

I want you to take control of how you spend your time, and who you spend it with. I am giving you permission: you do not have to spend time with people who drain you, or in places that drain you.

Life is too short to spend time with toxic people in draining places!

If you have to see a toxic person—such as a family member or co-worker–use time-blocking to buffer time spent with them. If you know you’re going to see them, be sure to schedule in some recharge time for yourself before or after. You also can have an escape route or excuse ready to go if your time with them runs long. Use scheduling to your advantage by blocking out times and places that work best for your personality.

What is an ambivert?

An ambivert is someone who exhibits qualities of both introversion and extroversion, and can flip into either depending on their mood, context, and goals.

How do you pronounce ambivert?

Here’s the ambivert pronunciation: am-buh-vurt

Remember: There is no right or wrong personality type. The only right thing to do is to live, act, and address who you really are. Act on your strengths, purge toxicity, and get to know your true self.

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Master Your Personality

Whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert, you can level up your strengths and strengthen your weaknesses. Take the flagship course in order to gain that edge:

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Master Your People Skills

Achieve your impact. Up your influence. Share your ideas with the world. People School is the only science-based interpersonal communication training for top performers.

Want to get to know your fellow colleagues? Read up on Introverts and Extroverts.

Extroverts, introverts, ambiverts: who they are and how to work with them

The company's team consists of a large number of people with different characters. In order for an HR specialist to effectively interact with employees, understand their motivation, know which work is comfortable for them and which is not, you need to be able to determine the personality type of specialists. There are three types of personality types: extroverts, introverts and ambiverts.

In our new article, you will learn what these types of people are and how to interact with them for productive work.

Extrovert: Distinctive Characteristics and Secrets of Interaction

Extroverts are the “lighters” of the company that are open to the world and directed towards people. They are very sociable and easily get along with people. As a rule, extroverts quickly get used to the new team and can carry on any conversations.

Extroverts are filled with energy if there are a lot of people around them. The book Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience states that there are two types of extroverts:

  • Active. Their key characteristics are assertiveness, success leadership, perseverance. Active extroverts like to be the center of attention and very often occupy leadership positions.
  • Affiliates. Friendly, open and sincere guys. They easily find contact with new people and value their loved ones very much, because relationships mean a lot to them.

The main characteristics of extroverts:

  • love to be the center of attention;
  • do not like routine and monotony, they prefer variety;
  • know a lot of people and make contact with strangers easily;
  • they are driven by interesting work tasks, they are happy to take on a variety of complex tasks, but only if they are interested;
  • first they speak, then they think;
  • prefer to talk and talk about themselves than to listen to the interlocutor and try to understand his problem.

How to work with extroverts and set them tasks: 4 tips from the Hurma team

1. When setting tasks, it is very important to give them time and the opportunity to reason and ask interesting questions. Ask the extrovert for feedback on the task, let him tell you how he understood it, say deadlines and expected results.

2. Extrovert employees should be assigned to projects where they can learn something new for themselves. In addition, it is important to create a “competitive” environment for them, since it is these conditions that motivate them the most.

3. Give them the opportunity to be in the spotlight, be a mentor to someone, lead a discussion in which they can take the initiative and take action.

4. As a rule, extroverts have adequate self-esteem and are self-confident. But despite this, it is important to praise them and celebrate their achievements.

Introvert: distinctive characteristics and secrets of interaction

An introvert is the exact opposite of an extrovert. Such people focus more on their inner world than on the outside. Introverts are not very sociable, but at the same time, very pleasant interlocutors, if you talk with them on topics that interest them. In addition, if you find an approach to them and make friends, you can learn a lot of interesting things, since these are people with a rich inner world.

They place the main emphasis on their own knowledge and experience, and not on the views of other people. An introvert likes to read, plan things, work more productively in a calm environment. You can recognize an introvert by the expressions: "I need to think", "I need to analyze", etc.

  • only those people with whom they have developed close, trusting relationships are considered friends;
  • calm and balanced;
  • first they think and only then they speak;
  • do not like multitasking and work overload.
  • How to work with introverts and set them tasks: tips from the Hurma team

    1. Introverts think a lot and that is why they cannot always answer the question quickly. Give them time to think things over, formulate an answer, study more information. If introverts do not know something, they study the issue, delving into the details.

    2. Be prepared to answer a large number of questions, because it is important for introverts to understand the manager's analytics, why the task needs to be done in this way, on what grounds this or that decision was made.

    3. Introverts have one feature similar to extroverts - they also need praise and recognition of their merits. And in principle, praise is important to everyone, do not spare praise, well, really 🙂

    4. When working with an introvert and setting a task, accurately calculate the time frame, explain step by step how and what needs to be done.

    5. These are not the kind of people who need to be constantly monitored. If you want to work with an introvert, give him more freedom of action.

    6. If you do not have time to communicate with them personally, use e-mail or corporate messengers.

    Ambivert: distinctive characteristics and secrets of interaction

    Ambivert is the golden mean between a calm introvert and a hyperactive extrovert. Depending on the specific situation, they can behave both as introverts and as extroverts. If they are uncomfortable, they immerse themselves in themselves; if they like the surrounding conditions, ambiverts actively communicate with everyone.

    These people value both social interaction and solitude, when they can be alone and think. Barry Smith, director of the Human Psychophysiology Laboratory at the University of Maryland, claims that 68% of people are ambiverts.

    The main signs of ambiverts:

    • quickly join a new team and do not experience discomfort when communicating with strangers;
    • have empathy, understand and listen to the emotions of other people;
    • they have a wider social circle than introverts;
    • they connect with people more deeply than extroverts.

    How to work with ambiverts and set them tasks: tips from the Hurma team

    1. Ambiverts can work with both routine and interesting tasks. Therefore, if there is monotonous work in the list of tasks, they will do it.

    2. If you have difficult tasks, you can entrust their implementation to ambiverts. They are easy-going and not afraid to take risks.

    3. Ambiverts are not afraid of public speaking at events, make many contacts and quickly win over. So they are the first who want to participate in various activities.

    4. While working with them, remember that they, like introverts, think a lot, try to analyze all moments and aspects in order to make an informed decision.

    Flexibility is key

    It is important for HR managers and leaders to consider the personality types of employees in order to entrust them with projects in which they will perform at their best, and not vice versa. For example, if you want an extrovert to do a great job, don't give them a task that requires a lot of attention to detail.

    Encourage introverts to be active when they are active, make sure that there are not too many extroverts and they do not annoy their colleagues.

    But, most importantly, remember that there are very few people who are of the extraverted or introverted type. So put in the forefront not what type you or your colleagues are, but flexibility and mutual respect.

      Extrovert? Introvert? Ambivert! | PSYCHOLOGIES


      Know thyself Man among men

      Most of the psychological tests for introversion and extraversion do not so much help us understand ourselves as they offer us to take one of two sides. Even if, when answering questions, we constantly fluctuated from one side to the other, as a result we will still be ranked either one or the other.

      If we were classified as the first, it is clear that we are lovers of fun, outdoor activities, risk and a quick change of activity. If the latter, we simply have to be careful, self-sufficient and hardworking silent people.

      But what if our sense of self does not fit into any of these stereotypical images?

      In this case, we can rather be classified as ambiverts (from the Latin ambi - "on both sides") - people in whom, to one degree or another, features of both types are present. Or rather, which can manifest themselves differently depending on the situation and environment.

      Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Take our test!

      Middle Way

      What makes it possible for us to call one person an extrovert and another an introvert? Psychologist Marty Laney believes that the main difference is in the way we replenish energy. Extroverts are fueled by socializing with other people and new experiences, while introverts need peace, quiet, and solitude to recover. But in fact, this division is very conditional, and many of us, to one degree or another, need both.

      In The Introvert Advantage, Laney suggests speaking of extroversion and introversion as two ends of a single energy continuum. If we compare it to a color temperature scale, where extreme introversion corresponds to blue, and extraversion to red, somewhere in the middle, among the shades of yellow and green, are those who can be called ambiverts.

      Carl Gustav Jung himself, the author of the terms "extrovert" and "introvert", meant an intermediate position between them

      A person who belongs to this position “is influenced both from without and from within. It forms part of a large middle group, on one side of which are placed those whose motivations are determined mainly by an external object, and on the other those whose motivations are formed from within. In addition, Jung believed that extreme attitudes are somewhat smoothed out as we adapt to the demands of society.

      Ideal Salespeople

      The rhythm of the modern world favors extroverts. At least we used to think so. Books on motivation and success stories most often cite the fate of open, daring and charismatic leaders like Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple. However, expansive behavior does not always play into the hands of such people.

      Psychologist Daniel Pink, in his latest book, "Selling Comes Natural to Us," provides data from a survey of European and American buyers. Among the most annoying traits in the behavior of sellers, most of them called excessive persistence, annoying and assertiveness.

      Psychologist Adam Grant, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, found that in sales, highly extroverts (as well as their antipodes) on average show an average level of achievement.

      Grant tested salespeople at a software company by scoring them on an extraversion-introversion scale (from 1 to 7, with 1 being strong introverts and 7 being strong extroverts), and then tracked their progress over a period of 3 months.

      Introverts fared worse than others, earning an average of $120 an hour. Those who scored between 3 and 5 on the test performed best, earning $155 an hour.

      According to Grant, the key to their success is "the ability to access different behaviors" to strike a balance between the desire to sell a product and the desire to help the buyer make his own choice.

      This description is very close to "attunement" which Daniel Pink described as "the ability to relate your actions and plans to other people and to the context in which you find yourself." Pink believes that it is attunement that allows us to effectively communicate our ideas to others and - ultimately - convince them to believe in us.

      The Art of Balance

      So, it seems that ambiverts are in demand where flexibility and the ability to find an approach to people are needed. Their key characteristic is the desire to find a balance between stimulation from within and from without. The main thing for them is not the quantity, but the quality of social ties. And this is precisely their strongest point.

      “It seems to me that we care too much about how to draw more people into our“ networks ”, says psychologist Susan Cain.

      Learn more