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My entire life, I have never fully resonated with being either introverted or extroverted. I have always had a unique ability to connect with both introverts and extroverts.
I would argue that Mark Zuckerberg is a great example of someone that is not strictly introverted or strictly extroverted. In fact, he is a master at harnessing the power of both and leveraging that ability to make deeper connections.
I am also not convinced that it is a good idea to label one’s self as a strict introvert or extrovert as it could potentially be self-limiting.
What Is An Omnivert And Why Is Being One Beneficial?
Before covering what an omnivert is, let’s first go over introverts and extroverts.
On the surface, introverts are typically “shy” and extroverts are typically “outgoing.”
On a deeper level, an introvert recharges their batteries by being alone and loses energy with people around too long. Whereas an extrovert typically recharges their batteries through having other people around–and they typically don’t spend as much time alone.
Many people would probably say that Mark Zuckerberg fits into the surface definition of an introvert, but many would also argue that if you dig deeper, he would also fit into the extrovert category. I believe he has characteristics from both ends of the spectrum.
Zuckerberg may be widely known as being a somewhat shy tech geek who built a billion dollar company. However, at this point, he is extremely social and outgoing in his interactions with people on Facebook and elsewhere which fit into the deeper extrovert side as well.
I believe this range of characteristics from both sides of the introvert and extrovert spectrum actually applies to a lot of people. People are quick to place themselves in a category. But I’m not convinced it’s entirely healthy to do that.
Labels Can Be Self-Limiting
In different situations with different people, we naturally act a certain way, which may vary from interaction to interaction and person to person. These are the “masks” we wear in our lives.
Those masks and those ways that we act around certain people are inherently programmed based on a ton of factors. You may notice that you act differently around your parents or kids then your partner or friends.
How you label yourself also affects how you act in general and around specific people.
If you label yourself as shy or introverted and broadcast that to your friends, you likely will end up amplifying that behavior around those groups of people (or everyone.)
When I was a kid, my close friends knew me as extremely extroverted, but my friend’s parents and people that didn’t know me well thought I was shy and introverted. The key here was that neither were necessarily wrong.
But what happened was fascinating. I would amplify those “roles” around those types of people. I would be even shyer around my friend’s parents. And I would be even more outgoing around my close friends.
It turns out that it is very normal, and millions of people do this. In my case, I wasn’t either an introvert or an extrovert; I was an omnivert–which is essentially a little bit of both.
Consider Removing the Limiting Label
If you have labeled yourself in a way that you don’t like, consider relabeling yourself or even removing the label altogether.
As an omnivert, I can connect with a lot of different people. I feel that I understand both introverts and extroverts because I am a little of both. This understanding allows me to empathize and connect with people from both side as well as other omniverts.