You’ve probably heard the term “ambivert” if you’re a personality aficionado. Maybe you’ve identified with some ambivert qualities. But now you’re confused.
You’ve been told that you are an INTJ or another personality type, and now you’re wondering if you’ve had it wrong this whole time. Or maybe INTJs can be ambiverts and you never knew.
We tackle the question of whether INTJs can be ambiverts in a truly dissatisfying way (yes, you read that right). But we think it’s the most honest way to tackle the topic. Let’s dive in!
INTJ primary characteristics
First, let’s break down what INTJ stands for before determining if they can be ambiverts.
INTJ stands for :
– I: Introverted
– N: Intuitive
– T: Thinking
– J: Judging
For the sake of this question, we need to zero in on the “I” in INTJ.
INTJs are introverted. They are not shy, but they prefer to spend time alone or with a small group of close friends. They like to think before they speak and often come across as reserved.
That doesn’t mean, however, that they don’t come alive when around people they find interesting and know well.
INTJs in Group Settings vs Intimate Gatherings
INTJs behave differently in big group settings where there is pressure to be “on.” INTJs dislike small-talk situations and will require a great deal of alone time to recuperate from them.
But that’s not true for all social settings. INTJs are perfectly happy hanging around close friends with whom they have shared interests. In these settings, they can even appear outgoing!
Does that mean INTJs can be ambiverts? Well, it depends if you think ambiversion is even a real thing.
Let’s explore that.
What is an ambivert?
Those who accept the premise of ambiversion define an ambivert as somebody who doesn’t fit squarely into either the introvert or extrovert category. They are a little bit of both.
Think of it this way: Extroverts are energized by being around people while introverts are drained by it. Ambiverts, on the other hand, can go either way.
They don’t mind being around people, but they also don’t feel the need to be constantly surrounded by others in order to feel good.
Do ambiverts exist?
There is a little controversy with the term ambiversion. Do ambiverts truly exist or is it simply a way for us to over-complicate the spectrum on which personality traits exist?
Because the truth of the matter is human beings do not fit neatly into one of 16 personality types. There are traits and tendencies that will be more prevalent in some and less so in others.
That’s because personality typing is a framework, not a rigid set of immutable traits for which there is no variation or flexibility.
Some personality experts, like the fine folks over at 16 Personalities reject the term outright.
As far as Myers-Briggs personality typing goes, Carl Jung never adopted the concept of ambiversion, but he also stated that it is rare for anyone, regardless of personality type, to exist on the extreme end of introversion or extroversion.
Common Misconceptions about Introverts
The question of whether INTJs can be ambiverts is often rooted in misconceptions people have about introverts.
Some people hear the word “introvert” and automatically think about somebody who is shy or somebody who doesn’t like people. That’s not necessarily true!
In fact, most people lean into their natural tendency toward introversion or extroversion depending on the circumstance. I’ll use myself as an example.
I am an INTJ who can be very extroverted around close friends. In fact, I can be the life of the party.
But if you put me in a room with people I do not know, it takes a lot of energy for me to turn on the charm. I’m perfectly capable of doing it, but I will feel like I’ve just run a marathon when it’s over. That’s because I am introverted. I am not naturally invigorated by being around people.
There are extroverted personality types who thrive in a meet-and-greet setting. It gives them energy and is a wonderful adrenaline boost. Extroverted types tend to feed (positively) off the energy of others.
So while it’s true that some introverts are shy or even hermit-like, many introverts are perfectly comfortable around other people. In fact, introverts can enjoy the company of others as much as anyone else. They just prefer to spend more time alone than their extroverted counterparts.
Related Post: How to Tell if an INTJ Likes You
Can an INTJ be an ambivert?
It depends. If you’re asking if INTJs can display an even mix of introversion and extroversion, depending on the situation, then of course.
But this is true of all personality types.
Remember that Myers-Briggs, like all personality typing systems, merely offer us a framework for understanding ourselves. Failing to fit perfectly into one type doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re something else. It just means we are human beings and we contain multitudes.
So on the question of INTJs and ambiversion, we give it a solid “maybe.”
If you believe ambiverts are a distinct category, separate from introverted or extroverted designations, then perhaps an INTJ who scores only slightly higher on introversion than extroversion will find this distinction helpful.
But if you’re an INTJ wondering if you’re an ambivert because you don’t feel like you fit neatly into the INTJ framework, just know that most people aren’t perfect matches for any personality type. You’re just uniquely you!