I'm an introvert and a very shy person. On top of that I have flares of social anxiety. This last flare-up was combined with depression and was really bad, now that I'm out of the worst of it I would say it was a mini-nervous breakdown. Anyway! The thread on playdates bought of lots of talk about being an introvert and social interaction and stuff. A good point sebsmom made was how people who are not introverts don't understand that it's not a choice, it's simply the way we are naturally wired.
I have this great book on personality development I'll have to look for, it really went into detail on the major differences between extroverts and introverts and it explained something about myself that seemed/seems to baffle most extroverts: Why I like to spend lots of time alone, why I crave peace and quiet, why I tend to prefer low-key socializing over boisterous parties, and stuff like that. It's because introverts are naturally high energy and naturally have nerves set on edge and on the excitement high point, so even just being around other people can be too much and overwhelming for our nerves let alone loud situations. Whereas extroverts tend to be low energy and to have nerves set on the low point, so they naturally tend to seek excitement outside themselves; to like being around other people, loud exciting parties, going vibrant places, being in a large crowd. I thought this was very interesting.
I don't mind being an introvert but I do wish other people didn't take it personally...for example at schools and jobs and stuff, wanting to just sit quietly and read a book or go for a walk alone or even sit in my car (because the lunch/break room was just too noisy) is generally taken as signs of standoffish behavior by extroverts. I suppose it doesn't help that my outside doesn't match my inside; for some reason people tend to expect me to be all loud and outgoing and the life of the party or something. Often folks don't believe I am shy and just keep at me and at me to be this extroverted person they've decided I am. That is very annoying and even quite a bit scary sometimes.
Another good point sebsmom made was that while many introverts have social anxiety it's not always the case nor is the reverse true, that every person with social anxiety is an introvert. but yah I'd like to talk about ways in which we deal with this if you do have social anxiety. In addition to therapy I take St. John's Wort and 5-htp, both OTC supplements you can buy online or at most drug stores in the states.
some things to think on/talk about if you're an introvert:
How do you meet new people?
Is your SO/ex SO an introvert?
Are your kids introverted?
Do you also have social anxiety?
Do you consider yourself to be shy also?
What helps you; how do you deal?
How do you feel when people you don't know talk to you?
How do you behave at parties?
Do you have close friends?
Is meeting/making new friends something you want to do?
How often do you socialize?