It's a common misconception that introverts want to be left alone all the time.
Sure, we're not as prone as extroverts to becoming lonely and irritable in our own company, but that doesn't mean we avoid social interactions like the plague.
We like to socialize, only in smaller doses than our more extroverted peers.
Here's how to keep us from exhausting our energy reserves:
1. Allow us small breaks to disconnect every now and then. Don't take offense to our wanting to go for a walk or take a nap. Perhaps we're drained after spending the day in drawn-out meetings.
2. A stampede of people? No, thanks. Keep it to a small group of no more than 5 to 10 people, if possible. Introverts feel far more in their element when they can engage in one-on-one conversation. For us, more people usually translates to small talk on steroids. Needless to say, there aren't many things we loathe more than mindless chit-chat.
3. Don't block the exits. Heavy noise and commotion can wear on us immensely. If you invite us to a festive occasion that involves music and dancing -- and it goes on for hours on end -- please don't excoriate us should the need to call it a night strike earlier than expected!
4. Don't take it personally! No, we don't dislike you. No, we don't hate other human beings. We are simply wired in a way that demands we seek solitude to replenish our physical, mental, and emotional resources. Bear in mind that the more you paint us as antisocial and hopelessly lonely (which we are not), the more withdrawn and energy-depleted we become.
So, do introverts want to be left alone all the time? Not at all. Time spent with friends and family means a lot to us. All we ask is for you to respect our need for solitude, which is integral to our well-being.