I've been introverted my whole life: few friends, preferring to stay inside and sit still, very few outward shows of emotion, great difficulty talking to people due to stress.
Stress? I never knew why exactly, only that I had to have a long time to recharge after hanging out with people. In fact, no amount of recharging was fully satisfactory, and it cut into my social life. Still does. I feel like I'm running on a permanent deficit of social evergy and it's very annoying.
I'm not really shy though. Timid maybe, but not shy. At one point in elementary school, I tried to stop it and did fairly well in trying to be more...something. I thought I had no personality, so I worked to make it interesting. I became known for who I was (weird) and that satisfied people. I gave the illusion of being extroverted, but kept everyone at such a distance that I fell quietly through the social cracks.
This kind of stuff was overshadowed by crazy parents, major depression, and a bunch of other mental problems not otherwise specified. Once I got to college, I vowed two things: I would cure the depression and I would become a friendly social person with a nice bunch of friends, the kind of friends that I saw everyone else enjoying.
Everyone else lives in a world where friendships are possible beyond a first introduction. They tell great stories about all the fun they have together and get amazing amounts of homework done without burning out every two seconds. It's a world that fascinates me and saddens me.
There's a difference between being happily alone and craving social activities but not knowing how to make or sustain them.
I am eagerly awaiting a book from the library about introverts so that I can learn how to manage myself. And still, there are several mental problems that need ironing out. I can accept certain parts of my nature, but other parts interfere with my daily life and the goals I want to achieve, especially lately. The introversion and social anxiety is much worse, and I have yet to learn how to manage my time. I used to be a good student, but over the years I have begun to behave more and more like a distracted third grader when it comes to planning my time. It's worrisome.
I have the habit of thinking that everyone else is basically like me (introverted) but have somehow conquered it. It makes me feel like a failure, but I sincerely cannnot imagine what it's like to have a lot of energy and an easy way with people. These people are actually naturals, but I have no way of imagining what that mindset feels like. It's a habit I ought to break, but I'm not totally sure if I am wrong or right.
I hope this community fills up over time. Maybe we can have topics to discuss, like about jobs, caring for others, managing activities, etc.
Anyway, 'nuff rambling. I'll go back to the cave now.