Are you someone who repeatedly takes the MBTI personality test because you get different results each time? Have you tried taking it on all the websites that offer an assessment of your personality type, yet you never identify with any of the results you get?
Sure, some descriptions fit you somewhat, but none of the results are really you. If this is the case, it’s possible that you fall somewhere in between when it comes to the extroversion-introversion spectrum.
MBTI looks at personality types in terms of getting one out of two results in each of the functions it tests. It doesn’t take into account personalities that exhibit both in some measure.
If you’re one of these people who are equally extroverted and introverted, you’re facing a different question: are you an ambivert or an omnivert?
If you’re not familiar with these terms, keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the ambivert vs. omnivert distinction and figure out which one you are.
Ambivert Vs. Omnivert: Key Traits
MBTI is based on the theories of the psychologist Carl Jung, who proposed that people experience the world using four categories: introversion and extraversion, sensing and intuition, thinking and feeling, and judging and perceiving.
In this article, we’re only interested in the first category. It’s enough to know that extraverts focus on the world around them, and introverted people focus on their inner thoughts and feelings.
However, many people feel like neither – or both – of these descriptions fit them. If you’re sometimes a total ENFJ and sometimes definitely an INFJ, you might be neither. Or both, depending on how you look at it.
The thing about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is that it gives you results that define you as one or the other if your results reach 51% for any given function. So if you score 51% on the extroversion scale, your MBTI might be ENTP, for example. If one of your answers on the test had been different, you might have received INTP personality type as your result.
This kind of scoring is fine if you’re distinctly introverted or extroverted, but if you have features of both, it might not be a question of introvert vs. extrovert but a question of ambivert vs. omnivert. Let’s see which one you might be.
Ambiverts: Key Traits
Even though the concept of introverts and extroverts is so well-known, most people belong to neither of these extremes. Most people are ambiverts: somewhere in the middle between introversion and extroversion, so they’re capable of balancing both of these modes as needed.
1. Ambiversion exists somewhere between introversion and extroversion.
If you‘re an ambivert, your behavior is somewhere in the middle of the two modes. You can exhibit both extroverted and introverted behavior and anything in between, depending on what the social situation requires.
You rarely show extremely introverted or extroverted behavior and personality traits – you’re always somewhere near the line that separates them. Still, you’re able to dip into one or the other as needed.
2. Adapting to circumstances
Depending on what you feel is best for the occasion, you’re able to adapt to any situation and find a balance between introversion and extroversion. You react to the circumstances, so your behavior changes with what the context demands.
This ability to adapt makes ambiverts excellent diplomats, teachers, actors, and salespeople. Because you’re so in touch with what the situation requires, you’re able to use your ambivert personality to hone and perfect your social skills.
3. Emotional stability
Ambiverts are capable of finding balance in their emotions, so you’re considered very mature and organized. Because your mode of relating to the world is flexible, you can remain calm and collected under any circumstances.
You’re level-headed and display emotional stability in most situations because you have a fine-tuned sense of what the context requires.
Because your reactions are always appropriate for the situation, you appear approachable and likable.
4. Easy switching between extroversion and introversion
Ambiverts are intuitive and know when to speak and when to listen. You’re capable of using your introvert mode and your extrovert mode in the best possible way. You’re flexible and can exhibit both qualities in the same situation as needed.
For example, you can perform well at public speaking if that’s what you feel is best at the moment, even if you’re nervous, and you’re a good listener when you need to be. Your ability to use the best of both worlds makes you successful in dealing with other people.
5. Social battery recharges quickly
Ambiverts balance their introversion and extroversion throughout the day, so it doesn’t take long for them to recharge their social battery. A good night’s sleep might be enough to completely recharge you, and you wake up with energy levels sufficient to face the day.
You don’t spend your social energy quickly, so if you’re taking it easy and quietly spending time together, ambiverts can sometimes recharge even with another person around.
Because your behavior is based on your reactions to the situation you’re in, you don’t have to look for different people when you want to recharge your energy – you simply adjust your behavior.
Because you don’t switch between extremes of behavior, you’re able to quickly and easily recharge your battery without isolating yourself completely. You’re capable of adapting your mood and behavior to the people around you.
Omniverts: Key Traits
Omniverts aren’t as common as ambiverts, but they still exist. A good description of an omnivert would be a loner who’s sometimes the life of the party. You’re often misunderstood, and you can surprise people who only met you while you’re either feeling extroverted or introverted.
1. Omniverts behave either like extreme introverts or extreme extroverts.
Unlike ambiverts, who are always somewhere in the middle of the spectrum between introversion and extroversion, if you’re an omnivert, your behavior is situational: it‘s either completely introverted or completely extroverted.
One day you might be a social introvert, and the next day, you’re the center of attention. You might enjoy spending time with a group of people, or you might feel too exhausted to engage in small talk with a coworker.
2. Behavior depends on mood
When you’re in an uncomfortable situation, you have trouble adapting. If you’re feeling drained, you need alone time, no matter what the circumstances ask for. If you’re lonely, you need to go out and be in the company of other people.
If you’re an omnivert, you react to your environment in accordance with your internal state and not the situation. This can make it difficult for you to handle things when they require you to use a different approach than the one you’re capable of at the moment.
3. Prone to mood swings
Because omniverts’ behavior is motivated internally, you can appear to some people as being unstable because of your emotional changes.
One day you might exhibit only extrovert qualities, such as needing to be surrounded by people, and the next day you might withdraw and act like a real introvert.
For someone who doesn’t understand how an omnivert functions, these highs and lows might seem like you’re emotionally unstable even though you’re only being attentive to your needs. This is one of the main challenges of being an omnivert.
4. Don’t switch between modes at will
The key omnivert vs. ambivert difference is that, while an ambivert is able to choose their mode of behavior, an omnivert can only act in accordance with their feelings and their mood.
It doesn’t matter if it would be better for you to be more sociable or more withdrawn in a certain situation – you can only behave in the mode that’s possible for you at the moment.
An omnivert can seem rude without intending to be when you’re forced to be in a social setting when all you want is to be alone. You’re not influenced by external circumstances, so you have trouble adjusting to what the situation requires.
5. Social battery takes a long time to recharge
Omniverts love being around people, but they also need plenty of alone time. Sometimes you might have to completely isolate yourself for days to be able to recharge your energy after acting in an especially extroverted way.
Because when you’re extroverted, you’re completely extroverted, and your social battery drains quickly. When your social energy is completely depleted, you might have trouble adjusting to situations and communicating.
6. Social groups change depending on needs
Depending on how you feel, you might need to spend time with different people. When you’re feeling extroverted, you look for people who can keep up with you, such as other extroverts, and you enjoy spending time in a larger group.
When your energy is low and you’re in a more introverted mood, you prefer spending your time with people you can be silent around, or you need alone time.
How To Tell If You’re An Omnivert Or An Ambivert: A Short Quiz
You might already know which one of these two modes of functioning describes you after reading the details of their features, but if you want to make sure, try taking this quick test.
1. Social battery.
Do you need
A) several days to recharge after spending the whole day around people, or
B) are a few hours enough to replenish your energy?
2. Time to recharge.
A) prefer to withdraw completely when you need to recharge, or
B) can you just sit quietly for a while?
3. Difference between modes.
A) act like a different person depending on whether you’re feeling introverted or extroverted, or
B) are you the same most of the time?
4. Switching between modes.
When it comes to public speaking, do you
A) either feel confident about it or are completely incapable of it, or
B) feel nervous when you need to engage in it, but you manage to do it?
Do you view yourself as
A) as very introverted or very extroverted, or
B) as average?
A) pick your company according to your mood or,
B) always hang out with the same people?
If your answers were mostly A, you’re an omnivert.
If your answers were mostly B, you’re an ambivert.
Challenges Faced By Omniverts
It might be tempting to ask, “Ambivert vs. omnivert, which is better?” but it’s the wrong question. The real concern here is that while it can be quite easy for ambiverts to function and be successful in society, omniverts might have trouble balancing their introverted and extroverted modes.
If you’ve gone through this article and are wishing you were an ambivert, but you’re sure that you’re an omnivert, don’t worry. We can’t change our personality types, but it’s possible to learn how to manage your traits for the best possible results.
There are steps you can take to make things easier for yourself, and they all come down to learning how to anticipate your needs. The way to make things easier for yourself is to be fully aware of your feelings and your needs and organize your schedule and environment in a way that best suits you.
Start by being mindful and paying close attention to your feelings and mood. When you‘re able to recognize that your social battery is running out of charge or that you‘ll soon become desperate to talk to someone, making sure your needs are met before they become too difficult to handle will make a lot of difference.
To Wrap Up
I’m sure this has cleared up all your questions regarding ambiverts and omniverts. At first, it might seem that being somewhere between introvert and extrovert, they’d be similar. The truth is, they’re two very different – almost opposite – types of people.
Ambiverts react to their environments, while omniverts behave in accordance with their mood. This makes ambiverts adaptable to any situation, and omniverts might find it difficult to balance their moods and their needs with the requirements of their surroundings.