A lot of people throw around the terms introvert and extrovert without realizing that there is a greater dynamic to a person than simply being introverted or extroverted. An introvert does not necessarily mean someone who does not like being around people or meeting new people compared to an extrovert who likes having lots of friends. In fact, introverts can have lots of friends and enjoy going out. Take it from someone who is extremely introverted.
Growing up, I have always had multiple groups of friends. I made an effort to get to know people in my class, on my sports teams, in my band, and at my youth group. Whenever I noticed someone I had not met before I always tried to at least get to know who they are to be able to have conversations with them when I saw them. I had no problem introducing myself to new people and making friendships with all different personalities.
However, this exhausts me.
Being an introvert, I can tell you that my "me" time is imperative. I rarely ever had friends over to my house because I made my house my place of solitude. I enjoyed going out to hang out and get involved in clubs but I eventually had to return to my house to have some peace after a long day. Sleepovers were never my thing. The idea of having to be with another person all night meant no time alone.
Misconception: Introverts always want to be alone.
Reality: Yes, alone time is necessary but I don't like going more than a day without being with people. Personal time is important because it drains my energy to be with people. I love socializing, but I find it difficult to relax when I am around people at all times. I am at my calmest when I can reflect and be in my own thoughts without distractions. Extroverts feed off the energy of others and desire to be around other people to gain stability and energy but I need to be alone to refocus and gain the energy I need. Therefore, my socializing time and personal time are split and do not mesh. There is still a lot of socializing time but it is separate. This is why I find it impossible to hold a snap-chat streak because I just do not remember to reply while I'm in my independent mojo.
Misconception: Some think introverts do not like having big social events but rather just to hang out with friends at their house.
Reality: I do not prefer to be with my friends to do simple tasks such as running errands or sitting around watching TV. I prefer to have time to go out and do something fun with them or go to a big event. I also enjoy having time to chat and catch up without technology. But then we must go our separate ways. I do find joy in going on walks alone, making a meal and eating it all by myself, or getting wrapped up in an independent project such as artwork or cleaning for a full day.
Misconception: Some think that it is easier for introverts to focus than extroverts.
Reality: It is very easy for me to focus but I have to be completely alone. I find it difficult to multi-task and think around other people. This is because I use a great portion of my energy to focus on other people outside of my own bubble of thoughts. If I'm walking with friends I find myself going the wrong direction because I'm not thinking about where I'm going but only about keeping up a conversation. If I run errands with friends I can not focus on my mental checklist or what exactly I want to do because all my energy is on interacting with them.
Misconception: Some think that introverts can not express themselves as easily or do not talk about their feelings.
Reality: I do not hold anything back. If I am with one or two people I will tell them everything on my mind and I rarely keep secrets about myself or what I am dealing with. I have difficulty expressing myself in bigger groups. I am not assertive and I think about what I would like to say over and over in my head before I actually say it.