Ambivert. This is a word that frustrates me like very few words do. It is a buzzword used to describe a person who likes time with people and time alone. Why does it frustrate me? Because it’s unnecessary, inaccurate, and damaging. Unnecessary because the truth is we all enjoy some time with people and some time alone. That’s normal. We don’t need a word to describe it. Inaccurate because introversion and extraversion mean a lot more than whether or not a person prefers people-time or alone-time. I’ll explain this in more detail momentarily. Damaging because this is the starting line for identifying a person’s personality type, which only leads to confusion rather than clarity. And if personality is confusing, it’s unusable. So what’s the point?
Let me say it clearly: Ambiversion is not real.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about how our personalities develop as we age. To avoid the technical psychology shop talk, we’ll turn to our friends in the 100-Acre Woods for an example.