Everyone’s heard of introverts and extroverts, but you may know less about omniverts and ambiverts. Knowing precisely what an omnivert is and how to identify omnivert characteristics is a valuable social skill and communication tool. It’s easy to confuse omniverts with other personalities, so use the tips below to understand who’s an omnivert.
What is an Omnivert?
Extroversion, one of the big-five personality traits, exists on a scale from very introverted to very extroverted. In the center of this scale are introverted extroverts and extroverted introverts, both of which are often called ambiverts.
An omnivert is unique because they don’t belong in any one position on the extroversion scale. Instead, they constantly switch between the two opposing ends.
Omni, from the Latin word “omnes,” means “all” or “both,” so an omnivert is someone who is both extroverted and introverted. Unlike ambiverts, however, omniverts don’t display both personalities simultaneously. Instead, they may be extroverted one day and timid the next.
Why You Need to Know If Someone Is an Omnivert
Knowing a person’s personality type not only gives you more insight into who they are as a person, but more importantly, it will tell you how they are likely to react in different situations.
You wouldn’t want to throw someone with introverted tendencies into a room full of potential clients and expect them to seal some deals. You’d want an extrovert for that.
Knowing someone is an omnivert will signal that this person switches between being introverted and extroverted. Getting a read on which mode they are currently in will give you much more success in social interactions dealing with them.
When socializing in extrovert mode, happily interacting with other people and speaking their minds, it might be the right time to introduce new people or go out to public places. But when they are in “introverted mode,” speaking only when spoken to and avoiding large groups, it might be time to go somewhere quiet or do solo work.
Here are some clues to spot omniverts out in the wild
They’re Sociable but Not with Everyone
You see an outgoing guy across a room effortlessly chatting with a small group and go over to see what’s so interesting. After a few moments, the group of people dissolves, the social situation changes, and the guy in the spotlight suddenly goes mute.
You Do Your Best to Keep the Conversation Going but Quickly Realize You’re Fighting a Losing Battle
Ambiverts are introverted extroverts; they can be friendly with others who fall into a similar category or ‘get them.’ But they’re not natural extroverts and so don’t expect them to hold a conversation well in new circumstances.
They Back Out on Plans They Seemed Pumped for
An omnivert is part extrovert and part introvert and can switch between their two personalities. If you catch them in extrovert mode, they may seem the life of the party and may make plans for the next day.
Once they switch back into introvert mode, they realize they need time alone to recharge their batteries. They regret the plans their ‘alter ego’ made and will either back out of them or attend begrudgingly. Beware, the guy that comes along the next day might not be the party animal you knew the day before.
They Feel Shy with Extroverts and Wild with Introverts
When confronted with a group of true extroverts, an omnivert may turn to their introverted side for comfort and feel that they need time to go and be alone to recharge.
On the other hand, when they are with a group of quiet friends, they thrive and feel the need to be the life of the party. So if you have a friend that seems to switch to be the opposite of the group around them, they might be an omnivert.
They’re Open, Honest, and Good Listeners
A good listener is hard to find, but omniverts are just that. Their introverted side makes them willing to let someone else talk rather than just waiting for their turn to speak.
If someone constantly dominates a conversation, they’re not an omnivert. But omniverts will still let you know what they think. So if you want an honest discussion, you can’t beat an omnivert.
Personality Tests Always Say Something Different
Psychologists have tried to categorize and simplify personality to make it understandable to the layperson with personality tests like the Myers Briggs Type Indicator or the Big Five.
These tests always start with the assumption that the individual’s personality is fixed and unchanging, but these tests can be confusing for an omnivert who flips between personality traits. For example, if someone tests high in extroversion one day and low the next, they are likely an omnivert.
Their Personality Can Change in Different Social Situations
Because the omnivert personality is two personalities fused, sometimes it can seem like they have a dissociative identity disorder. For example, someone you thought was shy might suddenly come out of his shell. In addition, while an omnivert is unlikely to display alpha male qualities, they may be a sigma male.
They Love and Hate Being the Center of Attention
Most people on the introversion scale shy away from the spotlight. They don’t like being center stage. But omniverts love it till they hate it. The extroverted part of their personalities craves attention, but at the same time, it takes a toll on them.
They Need Alone Time to Recharge
Like most introverts, the omnivert gets energy from time alone, unlike the extrovert, who gets it from others.
How Rare Are Omniverts?
There have been no studies to discover just how many of us are omniverts, so it’s hard to determine how many omniverts there are in the population.
One thing is sure, though, omniverts are much rarer than ambiverts. Most people live in the middle of the extroversion scale and have both extroverted and introverted traits. But it’s not often you meet someone who’s never in the middle of the scale and instead bounces from the two extremes.
Omnivert vs Ambiverts
These two personality types can be challenging to separate. Introversion and extroversion exist on a scale, and very few people are at the extremes. Most people live somewhere on either the extroverted or introverted side. But there are about 25% of people that exist close to the center. These are the ambiverts.
Ambiverts are either introverted extroverts or extroverted introverts. They are a mix of both personality types.
Omniverts, on the other hand, aren’t in the center of the scale. Instead, they flip from being on the extroverted side to the introverted side. One day they may be the life of the party, and another, they want time alone.
Ambiverts always feel the same and seem stable to others, whereas omniverts can seem like they have bipolar disease. They don’t. They just bounce between their two personality types frequently.
If you’ve seen Eminem on stage or when he’s hyped up, it would be easy to assume that he is an extrovert, but in many interviews, he’s quiet, reflective, and even a little shy. So, unsurprisingly, he created a rap pseudonym, Slim Shady, to express his extroverted side.
Though she often seems like she loves the spotlight and talking to everyone around, she told the HOLA! USA she wasn’t always so outgoing. “I suffer from stage fright. No one would know it, but I get it really, really bad. If you take the camera away and put me in front of an audience, I just die.”
She told Parade Magazine about her alter ego, Sasha Fierce, “I created my stage persona to protect myself so that when I go home, I don’t have to think about what it is I do. Sasha isn’t me. The people around me know who I really am.”
Omniverts in relationships
If you find yourself dating an omnivert, it might feel like you’re dating two different people. However, the most crucial factor to maintaining a successful relationship with someone with different personality types will be flexibility and managing your expectations.
You’re really in a relationship with two people, one an introvert and one an extrovert, and you never know who they will be today. Their personality changes are not rational and challenging to predict, so although you may have made plans to go out to a busy bar tonight, be flexible enough to change your plans if you sense that your partner is in introverted mode.
Omniverts in the workplace
Check out this list of the worst jobs for introverts. Omniverts should avoid them too. Instead, they should look for jobs that introverts love because their introverted side will excel in them, and they can always get their extrovert fill from their social life instead.