Byte of Prevention Blog

by Jay Reeves |

7 Signs That You’re an Outgoing Introvert

jay reevesIf you get along with people but actually prefer solitude, you might be an outgoing introvert.

If you can be the life of the party but hate small-talk, you’re most likely an outgoing introvert.

And if people are always mistaking you for an extrovert because you’re so social – when inside you know differently – you’re almost certainly an outgoing extrovert.

It seems the either-or dichotomy of extroversion versus introversion is bogus. Most people fall somewhere in between the two extremes. Call them outgoing introverts – or as psychologists prefer, ambiverts.

“[I]n the dichotomy, you were either one or the other,” says this source. “Well, like with many things in life, this is not a simple case of black and white. There’s a large gray area to account for a wide range of personalities. These two options are really opposite ends of a spectrum rather than a simple case of this or that. The majority of people fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum and are more ambiverts.”

Lawyers and legal professionals tend to be ambiverts. They’ve chosen a career that requires communication, leadership and an outgoing nature. But after work they’d rather lounge at home, go to a movie alone or have dinner with a close friend.

7 Signs You’re an Ambivert

Accepting that you’re neither extroverted or introverted, but a blend of the two, can make your life more understandable.

It might explain why you enjoy attending local bar meetings but have no desire to be an officer, or why you enjoy interacting with clients but only in a office setting, or why you feel a need to decompress after concluding a particularly draining case.

Here are some indicators that you might be an ambivert:

  1. You have a tight circle of friends that you choose carefully. You feel no need to be a social butterfly or constantly make new acquaintances. You’re comfortable with the few friends you have.
  2. You feel no need to draw attention to yourself. You’re happy being second chair at trial. You enjoy legal research. Having your name on the letterhead is less important than feeling good about what you do.
  3. You enjoy observing people, but from a distance. You find people interesting but exhausting. You journal or write stories. You don’t work the room at a social get-together but are happy hanging out on the periphery, chatting with one or two people.
  4. It takes you time to warm up. “[Y]ou don’t particularly care for mindless chatter about the weather, but once you start to get to know people a little better, you’re fine talking about virtually anything,” says this writer.
  5. You don’t like feeling stuck in a situation. Ever snuck out the back door at work or made a quiet exit from a party? Ambiverts like having the option of leaving whenever they want.
  6. You enjoy planning as much as – or even more than – execution. You like the idea of going on an adventure, but as the time draws closer you wonder what you were thinking. You go out for a night on the town but are the first who’s ready to head home.
  7. You seek growth and balance. You have personal goals and seek self-improvement in your career, health and relationships. Yet you are not a navel-gazer, nor do expect someone else to do the work for you.

Perhaps the most telling sign that you’re an ambivert is that you’re often confused for an extrovert. Friends and family say: “You’re so good with people!” and “You’re so extroverted!” Maybe you even believe it yourself.

But deep down you know your story is more complicated. You’re outgoing, but you also draw strength from solitude – and that is a potent combination.




About the Author

Jay Reeves

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. He was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. He is the author of The Most Powerful Attorney in the World, a collection of short stories from a law life well-lived, which as the seasons pass becomes less about law and liability and more about loss, love, longing, laughter and life's lasting luminescence.

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