What's the Difference Between an Ambivert and an Omnivert?14 April 2022 / By Elizabeth Harris Clinically Reviewed by Steven Melendy, PsyD. on April 14, 2022
You’ve probably heard of Introverts and Extraverts but what about Ambiverts and Omniverts? Both of these personality types sit between the extremes of Introversion and Extraversion – but they can be tricky to figure out. Here’s what each expression means, and how you can tell them apart.
What is an Ambivert?
When it comes to understanding Ambivert vs Omnivert personality types, it’s helpful to look at the labels themselves. The clue to ambiversion lies in the prefix ‘Ambi-.’ This has Latin origins from ‘ambō’ and ‘ambae’ meaning "two of a pair, both." Ambiverts are “both” in the sense that they exist between the extraverted and introverted personality types. They are neither one nor the other but sit firmly in the middle of the two extremes.
Out in the real world, you can spot the Ambivert as they are usually comfortable in social situations but they’re equally happy to spend time on their own. They like to hang out with friends and in crowds while also enjoying quieter, more solitary activities. The key is that their personality has an equal balance – or close to an equal balance – of Extravert and Introvert features.
What is an Omnivert?
Like Ambiverts, Omniverts exhibit signs of both Extraversion and Introversion. And again, it’s helpful to look at the origins of the label to better understand what being an Omnivert means. The prefix ‘Omni-’ also has its roots in Latin, meaning “all, universally.” In other words, these individuals move between both extremes of social personality type depending on the setting and the situation.
Omniverts can be understood as hopping from one social personality to the other. They can be both outgoing and quiet, fearless and shy. These are the people who give you social whiplash – when you meet them in a new setting, you never know exactly how they’re going to be. They act differently depending on the environment they’re in.
Ambivert vs Omnivert comparison in a nutshell
With these definitions for Ambivert vs Omnivert fresh in our minds, it’s easy to see the major difference between the two types: Ambiverts sit in the middle whereas Omniverts oscillate between the two extremes.
An Omnivert’s social personality is completely situational – how they act depends on where they are, who they’re with and what they’re doing. In contrast, Ambiverts have a more even social personality. Ambiverts sit happily between introversion and extraversion wherever they are – they’re not the loudest or the most outgoing but they’re also not the shyest.
3 ways to tell an Ambivert vs Omnivert apart
Still not clear on what makes an Ambivert or an Omnivert? Here are 3 real-life scenarios to help you figure out exactly what it means to be an Ambivert vs Omnivert in different social situations.
1. Partying with an Ambivert vs Omnivert
The Ambivert vs Omnivert traits are clearest in social settings. How a person acts and reacts to different environments will help you to see whether they are an Ambivert or an Omnivert.
When an Omnivert is in their Extraverted headspace, they’re unmistakable as an Extravert. Similarly, if they’re feeling introverted, you will have no doubt that they are an Introvert. An Omnivert might thrive in busy, hectic social situations or they might shrink into themselves. They are classic examples of both personality types – it all depends on the environment. When someone meets an Omnivert for the first time, they’ll probably make assumptions about their personality type but it can just as easily change the next time they see them!
For Ambiverts, socializing is a far more predictable activity. They don’t have introverted or extraverted personalities; they tend to behave the same wherever they are. Sure they can switch up their energy levels and become more outgoing or withdrawn, but with an Ambivert you know how they’ll react when they’re hanging out with other people.
2. Public speaking as an Ambivert vs Omnivert
The difference between the Ambivert vs Omnivert personality types tend to play out very clearly in a work setting. That’s because the two personalities react differently to stressful situations like meetings, pitches and presentations.
Public speaking takes confidence. Extraverts generally feel energized from public speaking, since they enjoy the chance to share their ideas and command the attention of an audience. Introverts tend to be much less enthusiastic!
For Ambiverts, presenting can be challenging but not impossible. They might experience more nerves than a classic Extravert would but they won’t crumble under pressure. They can draw on their introverted features to help them plan effectively and their extraverted features to help them deal with any unexpected questions.
For Omniverts, public speaking can be either a strong suit or an insurmountable challenge. Some Omniverts excel in this kind of setting, showing off the best of their abilities when faced with a crowd. Other Omniverts might avoid presentations at all costs, unable to imagine anything worse or more frightening!
3. Meeting the parents as an Ambivert vs Omnivert
Meeting your partner’s parents for the first time can be a pretty daunting experience. This extreme social situation is a good setting to compare the differences between an Ambivert and an Omnivert individual.
Imagine you sit down in a restaurant with your partner next to you and your parents facing you. An Ambivert might hold your hand under the table and answer questions in a careful, considered way. You might detect some nerves but generally they’ll probably be able to hold their own no matter how intimidating your parents are!
If your partner is an Omnivert, their reaction to this scenario is likely to be very different. An Omnivert might assume the role of extreme Extravert, charming your parents with funny stories and flattery, telling them how happy they are to have met you. Alternatively, they might sit quietly, smiling nervously and trying to hide their shaking hands and sweaty palms and wondering how long they have left before they can escape!
Feeling a little clearer on the difference between an Ambivert vs Omnivert type?
How to tell the difference between an Ambivert and an Omnivert
While the Ambivert and Omnivert personality types can seem similar at first, once you know how to recognize them it’s easy to tell them apart. Ambiverts are more level and predictable, existing in the middle of the spectrum between introversion and extraversion. Omniverts’ personality is situational and harder to predict; you never know what you’re going to get!
Curious to know where you sit on the Introversion/Extraversion spectrum? Get the breakdown by taking our Typefinder test today.
Kerby B. De Borja (not verified) says...