I came across this post on quietrev.com and it pretty much hits the nail on the head.
I know that extroverts don’t truly understand what it’s like on the other side, and that’s OK. They often take our need to be alone as either moodiness, or maybe a personal rejection. I can tell you that that’s not the case. I actually don’t make a lot of plans because, come “show time,” if I’m not in the right frame of mind, then I won’t be fun for either one (or any) of us. Not that I’ll make it a miserable evening, don’t get me wrong — I don’t ever want anyone to be miserable. But if I am feeling withdrawn, I won’t be thoroughly engaged, and people will wonder “what is wrong.”
Nothing is wrong. I’m just introspective, and sometimes I’d rather sit and watch people than engage with them. Sometimes I enjoy being WITH people, but I don’t often want to be the center of attention. If I do find myself the center of attention (due to a story or something), I can handle it for a short time, but then I gotta go…or the main attention needs to be directed elsewhere. (I am usually aware of the moment I realize “all eyes are on me” and it usually gives me a jolt, lol… and I think I might physically shrink a little.) This is why I tend to do well hanging out with people who need to talk more than I do or who like attention from other people, because the pressure is off of me.
I used to work with a great guy (at a coffee shop) who was very much an extrovert. He helped me understand one of the fundamental differences between us: He stated that he needs to surround himself with people to recharge his energy. That is the complete opposite for me — being around people for a length of time completely drains my battery, and I need time to myself to recharge. Even if it’s sitting by myself reading a book in a coffee shop, surrounded by people. Yeah, I know that doesn’t make a lot of sense to you extroverts.
I know we all have differing degrees of introversion/extroversion…and sometimes we might have spurts of the other. What are your thoughts? How do you recharge?