When I first heard about this, I considered it a revelation. It took me the better part of ten years to come to the realization that I really did not enjoy parties or social gatherings larger than, say, four people (It turns out that making the distinction between “I like” and “I don’t like” is not as easy as it would appear. Another revelation.)
After a long day of work, an extrovert wants to go have dinner. I want to crawl into bed with a book. I don’t want to talk. I want to write. I don’t want to play a team sport. I want to swim. When faced with a dilemma at work, I don’t want to brainstorm. I want to sit behind my computer and close the door. This is, in fact, what I want to do even when not faced with a dilemma at work.
My job (which I love) is intensely social. I meet with people and talk on the phone and present a point of view and give presentations (often breathing through stage fright). When a co-worker comes into my office, my brain is happy to see her but my body spasms (it takes a second for my mouth to follow my brain and smile because its first reaction is to contract.)
What I find interesting is that I’m not alone (despite being attracted to that concept.)
I’ve recently concluded (through empirical observation) that more than half of the people who work in PR are closet introverts (don’t worry. I won’t call you out by name until you’re ready.)
I guess this shouldn’t come as such a surprise. The profession demands that you interact with a certain level of social dexterity, but it requires, at least in equal measure, that you write and think and research. We’re right where we should be.
Besides, everyone should have a job that takes them places they wouldn’t go on their own, that pushes the limits of what they think they can do, and that (as a bonus) saves them from their worst tendencies (I’d be a hermit.)
So if you’re a fellow introvert in a job that demands that you operate outside your comfort zone, I salute you.