Discussion: Ambiversion in the Bookish World


I've always considered myself an introvert. I prefer to lose myself in a good book then to go out and party. It's who I am. Furthermore, it's a stigma that I have grown up with as a bookish person. Bookish people stick with bookish people, but more often we keep to ourselves because we like to do our own thing. Everyone I know simply considered me an introvert. That's not to say every bookish individual prefers introversion to extroversion, it's just that many do.




But then I came to college. And, well, my perception of myself has been undeniably altered. To put it simply, I haven't had the best transition to college. My roommate and I have had some major issues and finding new people isn't always easy. I found myself being more extroverted than ever before in my attempt to make friends. And yeah, I met people, but I was uncomfortable in the sense that this wasn't me. I'd much rather spend my Saturday night watching SNL or having a movie marathon instead of getting wasted and throwing up on a sidewalk in NYC. My extroversion, while not forced, simply didn't lend itself to a college lifestyle that I wanted.


So I altered my type of extroversion, so to speak. I found people who enjoyed others company and prospered due to company, but didn't need a constant bond to get by. In other words, I began to surround myself with people who just like other people around. There doesn't have to be much speaking, but there is a proper coexistence. Simple, right? It really wasn't for me. Because of my roommate issues, the mere idea of co-existing peacefully and healthily with someone was completely foreign to me, so this wasn't easy either. Eventually, I got the hang of it though.

I've had entire days where I hang out with friends, we grab meals together and we go in and out of conversation, but a lot of the time we're doing homework, or reading, or watching Netflix in our own little bubble in a shared space. Such a thing brings peace to me. It gives me the comfort I crave because I do not have it in my own living quarters which makes me feel super uncomfortable and then some but it also allows me to lose myself in a new world and escape reality. Books are my version of escapism and I can't leave them behind.


There was a time that I barely read at all, and it killed me. It's true to say that my lack of reading is killing me slowly, but at least I am reading again when, a few weeks ago, I was barely reading at all.

It was during a moment like this that I realized something. I'm not an introvert, nor am I an extrovert. I'm actually an ambivert. I showcase characteristics under both personality types. I like to be alone and I enjoy having the ability to do my own thing, but I enjoy having bodies around and people to interact with if I so wish, though I don't thrive off of constant conversation.

Gillian says talking about having bodies nearby is creepy, but just roll with it.
 
I didn't realize this at home because I got used to a certain level of comfort. No matter where I was in my house, even if I was alone in my room, I knew that my parents or my sister was just a floor if not a room away. I didn't realize this aspect of my personality until I came to college and realized how miserable I was because of my living situation.
 
I find there to be something calming about knowing that there is someone I can turn to to talk to, though I don't have to talk to them at all. It's a nice thing to have. I spent the first almost two months here without that, and it killed me a little more each day. It made me miserable and I hit the lowest of lows for a little bit, but now that I realize there are people like me, I feel amazing.

And it got me thinking...there are a lot of bookish people out there that fit in this gray area, too. We are neither introverts or extroverts, but our own special blend of both. Yes, there are some who wholeheartedly are introverted and some who are solely extroverted, but then there are others like me who crave their escape from reality, but also need company to get through the day, though their preferred introversion lends them to a specific type of company. Simplicity at its finest, really, no complexity in friendship aside from general companionship and coexistence.

So, here's my question to you...Do you consider yourself to be an introvert or an extrovert, or are you a newly discovered ambivert like myself?

15 comments:

  1. I'm not quite sure I buy into your theory of ambiversion because the true definition of introversion does not mean you don't like being around people. The best definition of introvert vs extrovert is that introverts take their energy from being by themselves, while extroverts take their energy from others. This means that extroverts constantly get receive energy while interacting with other people, but introverts require a recharge time. Once that energy is gone, it's gone and me time is a must-have. So, it's totally to be an introvert who still likes to be with people, but it's also okay to still require your reading time. I found this Huffington Post article most helpful as well as this cartoon.

    I'm so sorry that your roomate/living situation sucks. Trust me; I was there when I was a freshman. My first roommate was okay....for the first week. But then she began to make me feel uncomfortable, and I felt like I was being forced out of my space. She moved after that first semester, and my second roommate was equally awful. While I know you wish you had an immediate solution, I will tell you there is good news to your situation: 1. It won't last forever. 2. Learning to live with a craptastic roomie is a good life skill. Keep your chin up, Lili. Enjoy your new friends! Don't let one awful person keep you from enjoying college in whatever manner you want to enjoy it.

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    1. Ambiversion is a real thing, Mary lol And I truly do fit into it. I get my energy from thriving off of others in simple situations, though I need to be alone too. My description may not be perfect, but it's a legitimate thing and there are really people out there like that.

      I kind of just want to get out of my situation like now. I had hope then I found out it won't work out and I legitimately cried at the thought of going through this for another 3.5 months second semester. ugh

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  2. I feel like I'm pretty adaptable, but taking an honest look at myself, probably not. I had a situation once where I was living with Mike (who was just a boyfriend at the time) as well as my family AND another friend of mine. I love having full houses, but like you, I hate always having to DO something. This friend? She constantly had people over and always wanted to go out and do something, even if it was just driving around.

    Now, I always thought I was like you, in that I've always had a full house with a large family around. But now that it's just me and Mike living alone (and Mike having 12 hour shifts, sometimes overnight) I am in love with all this alone time. I don't think I could ever go back to having more than just us in the house.

    This was a really interesting post, Lili. It made me look at my living situation and how I am able to thrive. Lots of things to think about now :)

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    1. I should also add that I am an extreme case when it comes to my introversion. I do not exaggerate when I say that I never crave company. I literally never do; and maybe once or twice a year do I want to go out to a social event (if that.)

      So, maybe I'm not the best example to go off of.

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    2. Haha you are an extreme case, I'd say. I don't need to go out and do stuff, though I want to enjoy the city since I live here now, but I want to be with people for company. I want simplicity instead of complexity.

      And ugh, it just kills me, Bekka. This adaptation may be a little too much for me. It's so damn hard. I feel like everyone has found this group but me.

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  3. I guess college makes you learn a lot about yourself. I'll be going next year and I'm still trying to figure out how I connect to people. I'm also introverted in the sense that I absolutely need alone time to regain energy and being with people too much tires me out. I can be a little too focused on me and my world, but I'm also okay with being in crowds. I just need a common interest with someone to spark up a convo. In general, I think most people are a mixture. I think it's more healthy that way. Most book people I meet are introverted, in the sense that they think about themselves a lot, but they are also great communicators through words so that makes them extroverts in a sense too.

    Interesting post! And I'm glad you found something that works for you. :)

    -P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex

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    1. Thank you! And yes, I agree with your statement about book people. It was why I was wondering if other book people would agree with ambiversion or not.

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  4. Thanks to you, I am now a newly discovered ambivert. I can go a long time in the company of others, but there is a point where I need some me time. I need a combo of both.

    Marie @ Marie's Bookworm Blog
    http://www.mariesbookwormblog.blogspot.com

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    1. Haha I highly recommend reading up on it if you ever have the time (:

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  5. I used to be a hardcore extrovert. ALL THE PEOPLE. And then I moved and something happened and I embraced being an introvert. I started to not like who I was around people. But slowly but surely I can see I'm a mix of both. Still have STRONG introvert leanings, but when needed I am very much ambivert.

    And I'm sorry you're having roommate issues, those are some of the worst things ever. <3

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    1. They are the worst things in the history of the world and make college really unenjoyable.

      Yeah, I don't know. I just like people, though they annoy me too. I like COMPANY. That's a better way to describe it.

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  6. I'm finally catching up on my blog reading (as you know by the notifications by now) and so YAY for this discussion post! I really think being an ambivert describes me really well. I never thought of myself as an extrovert (although I may be loud with my family, that's just a small part) and I'm not AS introvert as my sister. But like you, I want people...I just want my own space as well. I love that you made this discussion post!

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    1. Haha thank you! Your sister actually told me she thinks this described you perfectly after I was talking to her on twitter before writing it.

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  7. Ergh, this reminds me of how over Thanksgiving my friend got all know it all/you're an idiot about how introversion and extroversion do not exist and Meyers-Briggs is the most idiotic theory ever and I wanted to stab him with a fork. Or make him watch while everyone else ate dinner and he didn't. Cruel and unusual punishments both.

    My dad's just like that. He doesn't necessarily interact much at home, but if my mom goes on vacation he gets SUPER lonely. He'll call me and be like CAN I PLEASE TAKE YOU TO DINNER AND ALL YOUR FRIENDS AND PLEEEEASE. He needs someone around, even if he doesn't want to talk with them.

    I consider myself an introvert. I actually am almost always most comfortable without any other humans nearby. Though I do have Percy.

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    1. Your friend sounds frustrating!

      I just need company. Is that too much to ask for?! It's like within the home I like to do my own thing and not interact, but I like the option to interact if I so wish.

      Percy is amazing. As is all my kitties too <3 Pets don't count. They provide companionship, but in the end it'd be weird if you took your pet out to the movies haha

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