Introverts are shy people, right? And extroverts love to socialize? That’s not exactly how it is.
I just recently went for my first train ride in 15 years. I was in a new and exciting environment, surrounded by new people, lacking guidance about exactly how to behave and what to do. And, oh yeah, I was the videographer. My purpose was to record the event.
I spent 5 hours in and around the train, riding, waiting, talking, climbing, finding vantage points. I even got to ride in the cab and record the view from there. It was a fantastic adventure.
When I got home though, I was exhausted. Thoroughly exhausted. It took me a day and a half to really feel back to normal again, and I wondered to myself, How could such a fun experience be this tiring?
My answer: I’m an introvert. I’m also a go-getter, and my actions rarely reflect shyness. Introverts aren’t necessarily shy, or unfriendly, or unable to enjoy socializing. Introverts just need time to recharge.
The difference between introverts and extroverts is this: introverts recharge while they’re alone or in familiar situations, while extroverts recharge by socializing or encountering new situations. Introverts are more sensitive to stimuli than extroverts, and they need to recharge when they’ve been overstimulated. Extroverts need to recharge when they’ve been bored and understimulated.
No wonder it took me so long to “recover” from this wonderful event. 5 hours of new experience—thundering, whistling, action-packed adventure—was a lot for my introvert self. But after a recharge, I’m ready for more excitement!