Extrovert or introvert? Or maybe a little of both?

One of the most profound discoveries I have encountered in my years as a parent was when my children took a career aptitude test in Dallas known as the AIMS test. What did I like about it? Besides seeing a child's direction for a profession, you find out if your child (or you, if you're taking the test) are an extrovert, introvert, or ambivert.

Since this is my website, let's start with me. I am the picture of a high extrovert. I love people. I love talking to people. People absolutely energize me. As an extrovert, I have several extrovert friends. But the person I married? Not an extovert. As in many relationships, opposites attract. It would be difficult for two high extroverts to even be attracted to one another. My husband swings both ways, as we say. He is what is known as an ambivert. Ambiverts are what social media coined as "extroverted introverts." My husband likes people but really likes his down-time. Most of the time in his profession, he spends time managing humans, so his idea of a crazy Friday night is sitting on the sofa after a dinner at home watching Netflix. This is the same man who speaks to thousands of people at his company sales meetings. But he needs time to recharge. Extroverts, on the other hand, recharge being with other people. So I like to go out on Fridays because, well, it's a day that ends in "y."

As for those with the introvert persuasion, they love solitude, hate small talk, and don't want to be put on the spot. I birthed all three of the basic personality types. I have made many mistakes with the introvert. I kept thinking that if I just said it a different way, she would love to go to another party or event. Nope. She likes her alone time. When she was in high school, she spent her Friday nights often in her room cleaning a closet or just having solitude. I remember thinking that we were gifted parents because she didn't participate typical teenage behavoir shenanigans with her peers. It had nothing to do with our parenting and everything to do with her wiring. When I went back into the work force when she was in 8th grade, I started back in my vocational love of radio. She left me a note on the counter that read, "Don't talk about me on the radio." My ambivert son wrote underneath it, "Talk about me." See the difference in two different children in one family? Introverts don't like attention; ambiverts are often okay with it. Respecting an introvert's privacy is essential to keeping things civil. I don't tell her business without her permission, and I don't talk about her on the radio without a thumbs up from her. Introverts don't want to be fodder for people's conversations. They also don't want to be embarrassed, so don't put them on the spot by asking them to answer something publicly without them first getting to think it over. They tend to OVERthink things. As an extrovert, I honestly have never spent any time thinking about anything. I'm a gifted-blurter-outer.

A few years ago, I was the emcee at a beautiful fundraising luncheon where a high profile clothing designer was in town. It was such a thrill getting to meet her and then interview her before the crowd of 600. But there was a hurdle I had to overcome. She was an introvert. A high introvert. If you know about this personality type, you likely know that most artists are introverts. This woman happened to be a successful business mogul as well as a talented clothing designer. Interviewing her was definitely not her comfort zone. It's difficult for introverts to promote themselves so I could tell she was retreating when I asked her questions on stage about herself. She felt more comfortable talking about the global concept of fashion and trends. So I did what any extrovert does to garner the attention of an introvert: make him/her laugh! And I did. She warmed up and when the luncheon was over, she approached me thanking me for an enjoyable and fun interview. She was totally at ease once I pointed out that models in the 80s were happier because they ate carbs. That's all it took! When in doubt, throw shade to the carb!

Here is a link to a quick assessment to see if you're an introvert, extrovert or somewhere in between.

Here's a link to a website that gives you career ideas for introverts and also gives you the characteristics of introverts. If you are an introvert or who has a child who is one, relish your unique design by our Creator.

For some reason, teens and young adults feel this desire to say they are extoverts. Extroverts are painted as more fun. And we are fun. But a little of us goes a long way! Those same teens who swore they were extroverts begin to realize as they age how unlike a true extrovert they might actually be. My hope is that introverts can relish in how valuable they are. They have so many personality traits that I flat out envy. (The ambivert is actually a chameleon who can go in either camp when needed.) But know this: If you're having a party, put the extroverts at the top of your list. The introverts are thinking of sock drawers to clean out as soon as they open the invitation.

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