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Are you an egg person or an onion person?

A gif of eggs cracked in pain

Introverts are egg people. They’re not hiding anything (per say), they are mostly reserved. And once they start to get comfortable, they are as open and talkative as anybody else. “Don’t think of introversion as something that needs to be cured,” writes Susan Cain in her book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.

Extroverts, on the other hand, are onion people. They contain so many layers of bombast that it’s hard to know when they are being authentic, showy, or just spewing flotsam. Yet, extroverts are most likely to be leaders because they talk loud and carry a big stick.

George Mason economics professor and Oxford humanities associates Robin Hanson sums up the egg and onion divergence:

I’ve sometimes been tempted to classify people as egg people and onion people. Onion people have layer after layer after layer. You peel it back, and there’s still more layers. You don’t really know what’s underneath. Whereas egg people, there’s a shell, and you get through it, and you see what’s on the inside.

Are ambiverts egg or onion people?

Ambiverts are more like salad people, easy to digest and mix in with all types of other folks and scenarios. They’re adaptable like a chameleon depending on whatever social situation they’re in.

We all contain multitudes. But it is the mouth that separates us apart, with different levels of signaling.

Words are the original memes, for which some things are still best unshared and unsaid. Sometimes silence does all the messy talking, reveals all that needs to be conveyed. As Susan Cain puts it: “We have two ears and one mouth and we should use them proportionally.”

art via giphy

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Business Culture

Ambiverts are the most skilled attuners

As some have noted, introverts are “geared to inspect,” while extraverts are “geared to respond.” Selling of any sort—whether traditional sales or non-sales selling—requires a delicate balance of inspecting and responding. Ambiverts can find that balance. They know when to speak up and when to shut up. Their wider repertoires allow them to achieve harmony with a broader range of people and a more varied set of circumstances. Ambiverts are the best movers because they’re the most skilled attuners.

To Sell Is Human by Daniel H. Pink
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Books Productivity & Work Psychology

What introverts do at parties

If you read Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, you’d realize introversion is not a disease nor does it make poor leaders. The opposite is true.

Introverts are often more sociable in intimate settings although they like to “recharge at parties,” with a preference on listening, thinking, and acting dutifully as well rather than squander people’s time with bombast.

What introverts do at parties
Photo: Instagram/LizandMollie

We perceive talkers as smarter than quiet types—even though grade-point averages and SAT and intelligence test scores reveal this perception to be inaccurate.

Susain Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

There’s even no use in separating the introvert versus the extrovert. Most people are ambiverts anyway, toggling between reservation and vocal expression the same way people vacillate between left and right brain hemispheres. The dual characteristics make us whole.

What introverts do at parties

PS. If you’re looking to break free of all the sidedness of what type of behavior is right or wrong, learn how to embrace your emotions at work. This book may show you how.

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An Introvert’s Heart Note: It’s still more pragmatic to be an ambivert.
An Introvert’s Heart Note: It’s still more pragmatic to be an ambivert.

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Ambiverts

There’s no good in being just an introvert or an extrovert. You have to be both in order to be successful.

An ambivert is someone who can think in silence and express themselves when needed. The ability to toggle between two different states of mind is like being able to dribble and shoot with both left and right hands. These skills make you more versatile.

You’re always going to lean one way more than the other. President Obama is an introvert in an extrovert’s position. He’s more inclined to sit and think in silence than talk on stage. But he knows that being social and establishing relationships is why he’s the President.

We’re all born with innate behaviors that lead to common misperceptions. The introvert may be shy but have the strongest will in the room. The extrovert may be loud and expressive but hiding many things inside. Both traits are nonetheless essential.

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Toggling

This isn’t just a computer term. It’s also a way you can interact daily with your surroundings.

It doesn’t matter if you’re an introvert of extrovert; you’ve got to be able to speak when necessary and shut your mouth when it’s unnecessary. Great leaders show both patience and eloquence depending on the moment’s needs. Obama toggles well although he’s more of an introvert.

People generally prefer someone that talks a lot over someone that’s silent. Noise assumes control whereas the resistance to open up assumes passivity.

You can avoid being bucketed altogether if you just play up when one is needed most. So, you can be the blabberer, and be the mute.

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The Introvert

On the misunderstood Introvert:

My own formula is roughly two hours alone for every hour of socializing. This isn’t antisocial. It isn’t a sign of depression. It does not call for medication. For introverts, to be alone with our thoughts is as restorative as sleeping, as nourishing as eating. Our motto: “I’m okay, you’re okay—in small doses.”

Don’t underestimate the quiet thinker for he/she is often bolder.

Two introverts, Ronald Reagan and Rosa Parks, spoke softly and carried a big stick. Big enough to change the world.