I have a confession to make. I am an introvert. I did not always realize I was an introvert, I used to think I was just shy or maybe quiet. But a few years ago, I stumbled across the Caring for Your Introvert by Jonathan Rauch (I highly recommend reading the article in its entirety). The article described me perfectly:
“Do you know someone who needs hours alone every day? Who loves quiet conversations about feelings or ideas, and can give a dynamite presentation to a big audience, but seems awkward in groups and maladroit at small talk?”
According to Rauch:
“Shy people are anxious or frightened or self-excoriating in social settings; introverts generally are not. Introverts are also not misanthropic…rather, introverts are people who find other people tiring.”
I know that sounds bad but it’s nothing personal. I don’t find individual people tiring, social settings are just draining for me. Honestly, sometimes I am as exhausted after a large-scale social situation as I am after a CrossFit workout (hopefully not as sweaty though – unless there was dancing involved). I need at least a couple of nights a week to myself to even consider willingly attending social events and I am one of those people who after 2 or 3 hours at a party really just needs to go home and take a nap. But at the same time, I do not get nervous giving a presentation or teaching a class of 90 students and overall, I think that I am a pretty approachable person and very social in small groups. I do still enjoy large social settings, going to parties, and hanging out with friends, I just need a “rest” day in-between such events.