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Extroverts, Introverts, and Ambiverts: Our Basic Personalities are Hardwired from Birth

One of the mistakes that people often make is assuming that other people are like themselves and have the same motivations. The truth is very different. People are hardwired at birth with a personality somewhere between extreme extroversion and extreme introversion, and this aspect to their personalities never changes.


At one end of a personality scale are extroverts, who hate solitude, love socializing, and love being the center of attention and in the spotlight. Socializing invigorates extroverts, who make up one-third of the population.

The problem extreme extroverts have is that they may become angry if someone in their vicinity is not paying attention to them. They may also intrude inappropriately into the lives of other people in order to get attention. Some desire a relationship so much that they may even prefer a negative, hostile relationship to none at all.


At the opposite end of the personality scale, introverts love solitude, feel awkward and stressed socializing, and hate being unexpectedly the center of attention or in the spotlight.

Introverts are stressed by socializing, and do not handle surprises well. They can, however, interact with the general public more successfully by flipping into task-oriented mode instead of personal relationship mode. While this reduces their stress, it also makes them appear aloof and impersonal, annoying some extroverts. In task-oriented mode, some introverts can give a well-prepared speech in front of many people, although this will leave them feeling stressed afterward and may take a day or two to recover. Introverts make up another one-third of the population.

The problem extreme introverts have is that they are so effective at compulsively keeping people at arm's length to reduce stress that they have poor social skills and may not be aware of how other people see things. They will instinctively avoid interacting with other people unless they have a compelling need to do so and then will do so in a minimal way. They also handle surprises poorly, only being able to walk away or ignore them. These people are best warned in advance of anything new about to happen, even if they are not adverse to new ideas or change.

Introverts at times may not be in the mood to talk to anyone and will try to avoid everyone. This will anger some extroverts who expect other people to be friendly and interpret this avoidance as rejection and a deliberate snub, leading them to seek revenge.


The people lucky enough to be born in the middle third of the population are ambiverts, people who can handle whatever comes their way. They are not bothered by solitude or surprises in general. Ambiverts are adaptable and have fewer social problems than extroverts or introverts.

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