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Introvert Mandela, Shocking Stats & The Curse Of An Ambivert
Ahh, the worldwide debate. Introversion, Extroversion, Ambiversion. We've got something else for you (Psst... it's at the end).
This one’s about the verts.
A Story For You
Homo sapiens love categorization. It’s a hot take and on the off chance you’ve raised your eyebrows in disagreement, I’d prod you to think again. Without classification, singling out the venomous spiders from the innocuous ones, especially if you’re living down under, would be a nightmare. Think about that for a second. And this is just one deadly example of what nature has to offer. Would you opt for a declassification of species and tiptoe fearfully your entire life or would you rather live the extra day by distinguishing between revolting arachnids that can instantly end your existence?
But wait, we’re not here to talk about spiders. A short trip down the rabbit hole - my bad. It was because of a close encounter with one, a supernaturally monolithic one, right outside the supermarket around the corner. Living in Australia did nothing for my fear of anything with eight legs.
Before we digress any further, let’s get back on track (if you clicked on the link, sorry).
So, where were we? Yes, categories. Our mind likes to simplify the world to make sense of it. One of the many ways we’ve simplified the world is by classifying and labeling the people, i.e your fellow humans, that live in it. Nationality, culture, ethnicity, race, gender, age, and accent are some of the ways you can divide and judge them (FYI, sarcasm).
On a more psychological level though, the most common trait that people want to find out about you is whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert. It’s not a question that looms over when you meet new people, it’s more of a check on the long list of attributes that you have in mind every time you meet a person you’ve never met before.
Introverts, for most extroverts are a mystery and vice-versa. While introverts avoid populous social gatherings altogether, extroverts thrive in the environment without breaking a sweat (TED has a simple quiz for you to find out which group you’re in). To be honest, that’s my definition of an extrovert or an introvert and I know there’s a whole lot more to it. It’s just that it’s easier for me to spot the latter. If you’re in a party and you see someone bewilderingly comfortable not talking to anyone, I’d say they’re an introvert. And that’s because I’ve been that person occasionally.
The cause for this deliberation was a conversation I had with someone recently. For a long time, I viewed myself as an introvert but as I was backing it up with reasoning, it ended up confusing me.
Received this from someone else and really liked what you’ve read? Don’t let the sender have all the fun!
This is what I had in my mind and I want you guys to decide for yourself:
“I’m an introvert until I’m an extrovert. A bit of both, but the scales tip to the former. If I had a choice between a large social gathering and a meaningful conversation with a close friend, I’d obviously choose the conversation but if I find myself in a large social gathering, I can be the most social, talkative, gel-with-everybody person there is. I like my quiet, thinking time but I also like to be in a crowd. Both ways, my battery eventually runs out before I want to jump to the other extreme. Depending the mood, I can be anxious and be highly avoidant, or be a social butterfly. I can’t seem to make up my mind.”
That’s what lead to some research. Turns out there are 4 types of introverts and 2 types of extroverts and I fit the prerequisites of each type. Or, I’m an ambivert and why I’ve not used the word yet is because being an ambivert is tricky. Turns out 68% of people across the globe are ambiverts. That's 2 in 3 people.
As a kid, I loved the centre of the Venn diagram, when the two circles overlapped creating that little space that got the best of both worlds. But not this time. Because being an ambivert is tricky. You’re eternally living two lives. If you’re an extrovert on one day, people assume you’re in a bad mood on your introvert day. Do you go out or choose to stay in? Will your extrovert battery run out whilst you’re out? How do you maintain a routine with that kind of personality?
And no, this isn’t a rant. Because there are a few upsides. Ambiverts make for better leaders and no, this isn’t an opinion. Regardless, I will adapt one day. Just not today. I’ve got this newsletter to publish!
A Story From Someone Else
While extroverts have everything working for them, this one goes out to the introverts. Here are some of the great men and women of our generation who were, or are introverts.
“I had been writing almost continuously since the age of 6 but I had never been so excited about an idea before. To my immense frustration, I didn’t have a pen that worked, and I was too shy to ask anybody if I could borrow one… “ - J.K. Rowling
“Well, I think introverts can do quite well. If you’re clever you can learn to get the benefits of being an introvert, which might be, say, being willing to go off for a few days and think about a tough problem, read everything you can, push yourself very hard to think out on the edge of that area. Then, if you come up with something, if you want to hire people, get them excited, build a company around that idea, you better learn what extroverts do, you better hire some extroverts (like Steve Ballmer I would claim as an extrovert) and tap into both sets of skills in order to have a company that thrives both in deep thinking and building teams and going out into the world to sell those ideas.” - Bill Gates
When Jongintaba had meetings of his court, the men gathered in a circle, and only after all had spoken did the king begin to speak. The chief’s job, Mandela said, was not to tell people what to do but to form a consensus. Don’t enter the debate too early, Jongintaba used to say… The trick of leadership is allowing yourself to be led too. It is wise, he said, to persuade people to do things and make them think it was their own idea. - By Nelson Mandela
(Credits: Introvert Dear)
A Story From You
And now for the best part, let us know what you think of introverts (if you’re an extrovert) and extroverts (if you’re an introvert).
What category do you feel like you fit in? And yes, since you’ve got this far with the newsletter, we thought we’d give you something else. There’s one more vert. Ominvert.
Goodbye and take care,