The Participation Blog

Who Knew?!

Somebody said to me recently, “You must be a real extrovert to do what you do.” As a guy who has always avoided large social gatherings, that made me laugh until tears ran down my leg. But I’ve discovered that I might very well be an ambivert. Until recently, I didn’t know that there were such people; I’d never heard the term before. (I should get out more.) In our world of dealing with and engaging people, introverts and extroverts often play significant but distinctive roles. Extroverts thrive around other people and social situations, introverts tend to recharge by spending more time alone or in smaller groups, and I see both kinds of people doing this work. In my observation, a lot of introverts tend to occupy positions in hard science, engineering and other exact disciplines, more so than the so-called soft sciences or less testable career choices. I know there are lots of exceptions and I don’t want to label anyone, but the obvious idea that people can have and develop skills in both areas has a name that I never considered, and you might be one, too.