Omnivert: A misunderstood personality!

Pardon me if I sound like Phoebe from Friends :)(:

Disclaimer: Following questions were created while searching for characteristics of an Introvert and Extrovert as part of my training program. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Do you:

  • Need time alone to recharge their batteries
  • Spend a day at home alone with tea and a stack of novels/magazines, this sort of down time feels necessary
  • Shy away from the spotlight
  • Want the aisle seat or the back seat.
  • Resort to zoning out after you have been out and about for too long
  • Rather be an expert at one thing than try to do everything
  • Enjoy talking when you are mentally prepared
  • Exhibit increased brain activity when processing visual information and often have a keen eye for detail
  • Think first and talk later leading yourself to appear wise to others
  • Tend to have lower blood pressure than their extroverted counterparts
  • Large parties just aren’t your thing
  • More interested in ideas and the big picture rather than facts and details
  • Often better at communicating in writing than in person
  • Solitude is a value to be alone with their thoughts
  • easily distracted
  • Innate handicap in self promotion
  • Small talk-phobic
  • At a party, most introverts would rather spend time with people they already know and feel comfortable around

Mostly Yes: Introvert; Mostly No: Extrovert; Equal Yes or No: Omnivert, a little of both

I am a little of both with a tiny tilt of being an extrovert. I am extremely extroverted around introverts and very much Insecureintroverted among extroverts. However, being an Omnivert remains a frequently misunderstood personality trait. As someone who is “modal”, I often feel misunderstood by both introverts and extroverts. Besides my time at work, about half of the time I am all by myself reading, blogging, flipping through channels or simply being creative. The remaining half of the time I am socializing – trekking, enjoying a gig or a dinner with friends. Thus, it is funny to hear comments such as “She needs to get out and have fun with people more often”  and from others “She is a such a talker, making friends so easily.” Neither can see the whole ME as being complex and multi-faceted. The whole “Don’t you have a life?” line of thinking assumes that just because I don’t spend all my weekends at social gatherings, I must be leading a boring life and “Need to get out more often.” (my single-status plays a role in this too). I feel like agreeing and opposing at the same time. Who could not agree to more balance between both types of “verts” – introverts and extroverts? Just like the wheel that makes noise gets the grease, a quieter voice out there has something vital to say! Balance, as always, is important 🙂

I was appalled to know that students in Germany are graded on how much they talk in class throughout schooling (or at least in the later years). I have personally never been in a system that grades “participation,” but the thought of it makes me highly uneasy. Solitude is a value of mine but I relish the casual interaction with others, even strangers, yet do not want to spend hours in discussion.

One of the problems of extrovert dominated world is that emotions dominate reason. Too often introverts are also thought to be shy and/or lacking in confidence. This may or may not be the case. If I am introvert, I still find people to talk to, sooner or later. It’s not about being afraid to socialize or having no social skills. I enjoy social engagement but I do require some time to myself, to walk or read, in order to recharge myself. So this makes me an extrovert too. But some are not lucky enough. One must realize that either of the characteristic is not a problem. Its not black and white, its grey. Not better – just different for not conforming to the popularly accepted standard.

I am not insinuating that extroverts are not modest. That is as wrong as to say that introverts are intelligent. Those are prejudices. There are more roles in the world than certain strains of creativity and leadership, and saying that introverts do indeed fill certain roles well is not in any way saying that extroverts fill no roles better than introverts. Each serves different purposes.

Just as a bow and arrow, we need both the bow and the arrow to be a functional weapon. Wondering if the weapon was first invented by an Extrovert, “Hey, look what I can do? It flies far and kills deer fast!” and most likely refined by an Introvert “There, now that the arrow is streamlined, it will fly farther and faster!” Makes me think just how many more inventions have been created by one side, refined by the other, for use by both. However, seeing the bow and arrow analogy in reverse – invented by the contemplative introvert and marketed by the extrovert.

Here’s a toast to the generation of Renaissance men and women capable of being thoughtful loners who go off to explore ideas and learn skills, but then come out and fearlessly share themselves with the world through every aspect of human creativity and self-expression. I wonder what impact technology and social media has on this. So much “socializing” and exchange of ideas now takes place in a more introvert-inclined environment – sitting quietly in front of a screen. For example: I am writing this post alone on my laptop. I am feeling comfortable sharing my thoughts and allowing my mind to wander than if I were physically present.

So what are you my dear friend, an innie or an outie or a little of both, just like me?

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Categories: General | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

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14 thoughts on “Omnivert: A misunderstood personality!

  1. Definitely an introvert – tho’ most people would think otherwise..

  2. I don’t know what the heck kind of ‘vert’ I am. But as long as I’m not a pervert, I’m pretty happy! 🙂

  3. Hurray, an actual word for me. Usually, I had the choice of either/ or. Really enjoyed this especially since I can relate wholly. Nicely done!

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  6. Hello!
    Just stumbled on this blog as research for a class. I too am what would be considered an “omnivert”. It is really interesting that you brought up being graded on participation in class because I come from a college where participation usually makes up about 20% of your grade. For am omnivert, it is a lot of pressure to use your extroverted side! However, most professors realize that we are not all going to be shouting our ideas from the rooftops, and accept this. Sometimes “participation” is in the form of simply nodding along with discussion or having a few well placed thoughts in the conversation. This makes my introverted side happy!
    Anyway! Not to ramble, just thought you would find that interesting and could probably relate to it.
    Thanks for the thoughts! 🙂

  7. Chris

    Ambivert

  8. Reblogged this on dideaboard and commented:
    Well reasoned and articulated article 🙂

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  10. I’d say I’m also an omnivert. I just considered the term tonight. I’ve been trying to sort out what I am without outside descriptions, but that sums me up. I’m an artist, (senior world artist at Warner Bros. Sony, and Midway, too. Musician, played in a family band, played banjo since I was 6, played on a tour train. Missionary, Navy field medic. I try to fit in, and the thing is, I always do, but but at the same time, don’t. We’re the most fun to talk to, to hang out with, because seeing things from different sides turns us into a buffer zone. I’m not a believer in astrology or anything, though I’ve done a painting series based on the Zodiac, but it’s similar to Gemini. The twins. Art imitates life.

  11. Seems the innies and outies of the world exist ‘on the spectrum’ much like other personality traits (yes even like Aspergers) so to say 100% one or the other may likely not be true (nor wise). I am mostly an ‘innie’ and particularly this trait > “More interested in ideas and the big picture rather than facts and details” so such discussions about this ‘big picture’ are noteworthy.
    I often wonder about whether this tendency to be comfy on one end of the spectrum or the other is an innate thing we were born with OR does it develop and maybe even change as life experiences form our character? This ‘big picture’ interests me.
    Maybe a combo of both nature and nurture is the source, think? For example, many seem to become more of an introvert after a tragic life event, like divorce or death of a loved one. So trust issues might make being surrounded by people become more uncomfortable. Or maybe the person raised in a very large family might be more likely to become an introvert simply because solitude and quiet time were so difficult to come by while growing up?
    Seems to fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum as omnivert would be most healthy, rather than to rely on a heavy dose of either solitude OR dependance on other people for personal peace.

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