By Zion Loo:
It is quite the common, and unfortunate, misconception that introverts are just shy people. In reality, shyness is more often unrelated to being an introvert, as an introvert may not be shy, and a socially awkward person can even be extroverted. If your definition of an introvert is “a shy person” or “a person who despises socializing” then take that definition, crumble it up, throw it away. Far, far away, and relearn.
People are like batteries. Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert depends on how you recharge. Imagine after an exhausting day, where would you cool off? If you would be somewhere in solitude, like your room, huddled up in your bed reading a book, or watching youtube, then you are an introvert or harbor introverted qualities. If you are an extrovert, you would probably prefer hanging with your pals to vent and hang out with people for hours on end; yet this is probably the exact scenario that drained the introvert of all their patience and brain cells after too much time.
Introverts are drained by too much social interaction and recharge in solitude. For extroverts, loneliness might seem miserable or boring, while for introverts, some alone time is quite refreshing, and sometimes very much needed.
As an introvert myself, I once described too much social time as constantly doing tiny little math problems in my head, over and over, and even though they were easy problems, the math gets exhausting and I just need a break.
Some introverts, before social interaction becomes too exhausting, are brilliant at seeming like an extrovert. If the most energetic, craziest person you know doesn’t tend to like having two-hour conversations over the phone with you right after getting home even though you are best friends, then surprise, they might secretly be an introvert and may need some time to recharge.
(Not all introverts or extroverts are the same though, and everyone is at various percentages introverted and extroverted, so a 100% introverted or extroverted person is rare.)