I've been that shy girl ever since I could remember. Most would call me introverted, and I would too, except, I'm not your typical introvert. As my friends know, I'm very 'extra' and being extra comes with liking attention.
I would say I do like being the center of attention. I like having something meaningful or interesting to say to a group of people. I like when people recognize me or recognize my talents. One of my favorite things to do is sing solos. Which, obviously, means I'm pretty front-and-center, all the attention on me. I'm an extra person and I like when people know that.
Still, though, I regularly like to step into the background and just listen. I love observing people and I really like listening, especially when I don't know much about what they are talking about. I find it interesting how people interact and often, I just don't have much to say about subjects. Not only that, though, but sometimes I get really nervous about interjecting into a conversation. I regularly need very clear clues to let me know that I am welcome in the conversation, even in a group of friends.
Not typical of introverts, I hate being alone for long periods of time. I can't stand it. It makes me sad and lonely rather than energized and refreshed. Even when I know someone's in the room right next door, I can still feel incredibly lonely. I know that if I need to refresh or recharge, most of the time I need to be in public, or at least with someone.
Alone time isn't the worst thing though. I like having personal time or quiet time, I just also like having people around me during that time. It's my favorite thing to be in a room with a ton of people, but not really talking to anyone. In other words, I thrive in libraries. If I'm having alone time, I typically prefer for others to be around. My favorite thing is to be alone with my thoughts, but with others around me, going about their daily lives.
I'm still a shy girl at heart, though. I hate asking others for favors or being in people's personal space. Also, I typically refuse to approach random people to ask for directions. People either think I'm stuck up or too shy to peep a word. (Shy people, I'm sure you understand this.)
So all in all, I would consider myself an introvert. In a world where many things are black and white, I'm definitely not an extrovert, so I must be an introvert. I love being around people but I am much less accustomed to actually interacting with those people. I need others to introduce me to new friends and there's no way I'm just going to walk up to someone and ask them something, no matter the conversation.
I might love to stand out in my comfort zones, but anywhere else, I'm an introvert, through and through.