The pathetic life of an ambivert

Before you get too alarmed by the headline, let me explain that an ambivert (according to Merriam-Webster) is “a person having the characteristics of both extrovert and introvert.” Which confuses some people…at least those who aren’t ambiverts.

For an ambivert, seeing that definition is eye-opening. “What? Do you mean I’m not crazy? I really am both an extrovert and an introvert?”

I never could figure out what to make of those Myers-Briggs type tests, where my score always fell squarely on the line between E and I. Maybe a point or two one way or the other, but I seemed to be neither fish nor fowl.

And parties? I love parties! I get energized by talking with people and getting excited and laughing! I can’t wait to spend time with friends.

Of course, I also spend hours before and after parties angsting over my behavior and whether people like me. And I much prefer working at home to working in an office, because when I work in an office I have to talk to ::shudders:: people.

In fact, I sometimes think of myself as an extroverted misanthrope. I like being with people…but I’m very picky about which people I like πŸ˜‰ It’s kind of strange being an introvert who needs people…or maybe that’s an extrovert with social anxiety? An introverted party animal?

It’s the beginning of the school year, time to meet new parents and the kids’ classmates and people want to make playdates and I swear to Darwin, even with a 6 1/2 year old, I still don’t know how to arrange playdates. If not for preschool, my kids would be so socially deprived it’s not even funny.

One problem with being an ambivert, of course, is that I don’t look introverted. (Somewhere there’s a “Funny, you don’t look introvertish” joke waiting to be told…) I love to talk to people and not only gladly chime in, but I’ll often dominate a conversation if not reined in. So everyone assumes I’m an extrovert and thus, if I wanted to organize a playdate, I’d do it.

Sadly, I love taking my kids on playdates but I’m absolutely terrified to set one up because I might screw it up. ::sigh::

The bright side of this time of the year is that there will be lots of opportunities to hang out on the playground after preschool and talk with the other mommies without the stress of me having to, y’know, plan it. ::double sigh::

Now I have to get up the nerve to invite someone other than the usual suspects over for Shabbat dinner before next week. I can do that, right? Right?

Um…anybody want to come to Shabbat dinner next Friday? I’m making chicken…


About mamamara

I'm a 40-something, work-at-home mother of two. I'm pro-vaccine, pro-medicine, pro-science, and an avid reader of information about all of the above, and I want to combine my love for my children with my love for science. So here we are!
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7 Responses to The pathetic life of an ambivert

  1. Beth C. says:

    Making playdates for older kids is more difficult for me! Because there’s the awkward questions of whether I am supposed to stay, expected to stay, welcome to stay, whether the other parent expects to stay or not to stay, etc. I once had Alexander on the sidewalk in front of a friend’s house before I realized that they expected me to drop him off and OMG I was not cool with that and how could I think of an excuse in a split second?! I too definitely have characteristics of both! πŸ™‚ Good luck to you and Yael for a great first grade year! πŸ™‚

    • SarahB says:

      My older kid thank god has friends that I know really well (and their parents).

      But Ive given up (all but 2) playdates with my 3 year old. My town is full of crazy mommy club types. Although part of me wants in… I cant keep up with that pressure.

      • mamamara says:

        Playdates…so tough! My poor five-year-old is always begging for playdates 😦 Happily, his newest best buddy is the daughter of someone I’m on a committee with, so I already have things to talk about. Whew.

  2. mamamara says:

    Oh yeah, the whole “do I stay?” thing is very confusing! I find the whole thing confusing, in fact.

    And good luck to you and Alexander πŸ™‚

  3. Bonnie Toney says:

    I missed this post the first time ’round – but I’m still not good at arranging playdates, and I have an almost-12-year-old. And for many of the same reasons. Sigh . . . Josh is displaying a lot of my social characteristics, poor guy! Maybe there’s hope for Arianna?

    P.S. – Are you allowed to have Goyim over for Shabbat?

    • mamamara says:

      Arianna didn’t look shy at all, if that helps πŸ™‚

      And yup, we had some goyim over for Shabbat last night, as a matter of fact. If you could make it on a Friday night some time, we’d be thrilled!

  4. SarahB says:

    You nailed it!! Im the life of the party and do tons of out going things. BUT am so socially awkward in unfamiliar settings. school?!? Forget it. My son has tons of after school activities that make me cringe with anxiety. But once Im there its all good. I tend to say yes to last min events then I do pre-planned ones. weddings are the worst…till I get there of course.

    was invited to a local bunco night cause Im “such a fun person”. I was so awkward I never went back

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