Talking with Cute Shoes recently, she was dreading some upcoming events and saying "I am such an introvert."
Knowing what a charming and successful woman CS is, and having been friends with her now for a few years, I was drawn up short at the assertion she is an introvert; I know few people who can better handle others, and I know too how confident she is in managing them when it is called for. But, thinking about it, I understood what she meant.
It's a bit like me and math. I was good at it as a student (current status - unknown), but good lordy did I hate it.
Social situations can be the same.
And, as much as some people who know me - and don't - will smirk at the idea, I am a default introvert myself.
Put me in a situation with people, I do well; I trained at the knee of my mother, a woman with the most remarkable *memory* for other people's lives I have ever seen, but also open and eager and extremely interested in making connections with others. And yet - at bottom, my mom is not actually confident. She is at times not unlike the nervous little girl I remember being; standing before the door of a friend's house, wanting them to come out and play, yet finding the doorbell suddenly overwhelming.
But take away other people, give me no daily schedule of discipline - office, errands, and so forth - and I'd scarcely ever leave my house.
My default operational status is "Sit. Stay." I quite love people. I even enjoy being sociable.
But, given no specific motivation to be among them? I will not be. I'll be home with Penelope and Gossamer.
Being "on" with others can be strangely physically exhausting. I come home from the Conference most years with a migraine, and a major area of stress for me with The Big Meeting recently was the need to be in the front of the room so much, even if I wasn't a speaker. To work with the hotel, to field questions and issues, to confer with executives on issues and practicalities.
Extroversion is exciting, it's rewarding. It can be fun, it can be surprising.
It's invariably exhausting, for some of us.
I'm not sure whether I can identify where on the spectrum of INTROVERT <---------------------> EXTROVERT I actually lie. Perhaps it varies; a sine wave of energy versus hermit-ly resting.
Are you more one than the other? Are you both, depending upon circumstances? Or are you both, but sometimes circumstances don't quite match your level of social energy as you wish it would ... ?