Major personality traits introversion and extraversion are not decided based on whether one is a morning robin or a night owl; nor over one's level of shyness.
These terms express if one is taking energy from the vast cosmos or drawing the life force of other living creatures. Or perhaps a mutant somewhere in between, having both and needing both.
Rafa Islam is an extroverted girl of 23 years. She is a natural commander who has earned her way to MIT after graduating from the University of New Mexico this year. She works hard in social situations and is a butterfly loved by all.
Her strength is to be able to ‘mesh with anyone and in any environment,’ according to her self-analysis. "I often get this from people about how I make it very easy for others to speak up and become comfortable in a situation where they usually struggle," she says.
Her favourite activity is to bring people out of their bubble and introduce them to something they haven't done before. She adores watching her introverted peers opening up, influenced by her charming presence. Being an extrovert helps her maintain a large network and a little professionalism in relationships.
"I can maintain a strong bond with my peers even without connecting emotionally to them. But of course, I do have several close friends with whom I connect at a deeper level."
She likes spending time with both extroverted and introverted friends as she explains, "I tend to do group activities with extroverted people and individual activities with introverted people."
She also enjoys how naturally a sense of initiative comes to her. Although, this habit sometimes leaves her in awkward situations.
"I call it being unnecessarily extroverted. It's only natural for me to want to participate in a discussion where my opinion might not always be necessary. Once or twice, it turned out I wanted to help someone out of naive intention, but they ended up feeling disrespected." Despite such experience, Rafa is grateful for her personality trait in a world that only hears the loud ones.
On the other hand, a martian with a different language of connection, Anadiny Mogno, stays in her own UFO as she rarely finds a native to stay quiet with. Mogno, a second-year student of art history at Dhaka University, is introverted to the extreme.
"Rather than shy, I believe I'm more selective on spending my hard-earned energy," she says explaining how being introverted gives her a habit of listening more as she continues, "Of course, I say wrong things too, but speaking less gives me more scope to listen to."
She can express her thoughts when needs arise no matter how society perceives introverts to be. But she considers herself to be an uninteresting person. She wishes to be more extroverted so that making friends gets easier for her.
"I do crave for connection now and then; but as I have a hard time making them close, I often feel isolated."
She mentions how people in any new environment often misunderstand her as a moody and unfriendly person. Sometimes this gives her an unwanted image in professional life.
"I can communicate well when needed if not taking initiative. And I give my sincere efforts in my work. But co-workers tend to get close to me through small talk. I think they don't find that opportunity to be friendly enough with me. As a result, a lot of people end up thinking I'm rude, and I often find myself feeling separated."
She wishes the corporate world was a little more understanding towards introverts as they are not any less skilled in their work or necessary communication but only need to be understood that they simply talk less.
People say that ambiverts are either introverts who try hard to adapt to the world or extroverts who try to save up by staying home.
Ibnat Sadia is an ambivert studying in the senior year of architecture at the Military Institute of Science and Technology. "When I was younger, I was often in a conflict about my identity. I thought I was an introvert, but then I craved to be as social as everyone. I thought I was an extrovert but then I craved for time for me alone after getting tired from social encounters."
Now that she understands the concept of ambiversion, she appreciates herself more and makes peace with both her sides. She is more in control of her abilities and limits. "I used to be hard on myself before, but now I credit myself more," she shares her personal achievement.
Ibnat explains how being an ambivert is not all rainbows and unicorns but often comes as a misunderstanding.
"When I meet new people, they assume I'm outgoing. When they become close, they realise that I'm not as dynamic as they thought and sometimes get disappointed from that lack of energy."
She wishes she could be lively without feeling drained as she says, "Ambiversion might seem like winning a lottery, but it takes effort as well. Sometimes it's hard for me to find a balance as my perception of myself does not match with how others perceive me."
But of course, as an ambivert, she has a balance among her close people. She enjoys spending time with all types of personalities and has a similar number of close friends from both personality types. Her work-life balance is as ideal as it could be. Being in the middle of talking too much and taking zero initiative has all the secrets of winning in life.
In Japan, there are restaurants operated only by robots. Orders are taken and delivered by automated AIS. It is like a heaven for introverts where no human interaction is needed.
However, some wonder if the rise in technology would finally make the world more introvert-friendly or less extroverted in general. All the same, ambiverts need not worry as they can adapt to all, both under the sun and the moon.
Mehenaz Sultana Tisha is currently studying English at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology. [email protected]