I recall reading this piece when it first came out in 2003, and thinking it was the best description of introverts I’d ever seen. The Atlantic has reprinted it:
Introverts aren’t shy, or withdrawn, or anti-social. We’re just more energized by solitude than we are by the company of other people. One of the observations I most identified with in this article is that extroverts figure out what they think by talking with people. Introverts figure out what we think before we talk. We’re mirror opposites in this regard, even though we may get to the same place — clarity — in the end.
People who have seen me give a presentation, or work a room, are often incredulous that I claim introversion as my basic nature. But they miss the point. I can work a room as well as anyone — but it exhausts me to do so, and I need lots of time after to recuperate and recharge. Extroverts, like Bill Clinton, are flat and bored — even to themselves — until they are surrounded by a crowd. Introverts have some of our best moments when we’re on our own, without another soul on the horizon.
If you are an introvert, or have an introvert in your life, or if you’re an extrovert and can’t understand your more introverted brethren, you’ll find this article interesting. I liked it, because it describes me to a T.