Introvert or extrovert- which are you?

I am sure many, if not all of you know of the term introvert and extrovert.  However, I have  given a brief outline below.

An introvert is someone who prefers solidarity to spending time in large groups. They feel more energised after spending time alone.

An extrovert is someone who finds energy by interacting with others. They prefer to be in the company of others than be alone.

Contrary to popular belief, introverts are not necessarily shy or unassertive. If they are it is not a prequisite of this trait. Extroverts too may not be loud or even confident, they just thrive off of spending a lot of their time with others.

I am an introvert and always have been.  As a child it would take me at least an hour or two to settle into a new environment.  I recall my mother urging me to go and play with the other children when we attended parties.  I preferred to stay on the outside observing from afar.  My younger sister on the other hand would jump straight in!

I was content being an introvert as a child but felt it was a major hindrance once I hit my teenage years. I had one main friend in and out of school and did not desire more. I was friendly with a few peers but always avoided large groups. I felt uncomfortable being surrounded by a lot of people – almost as if I could not be myself. I was too self conscious and not at all confident which doubled with my introvert ways was rather crippling. I yearned to be outgoing and the life and soul of the party but it was just not part of my make up.

Looking back to my college and university years, I tended to have one friend and rarely hung out in groups. On occasions when my friend was absent, I would happily spend my break times alone. I did not mind as by this time I enjoyed my own company. Back in the early 1990’s I listened to music on my Walkman – who remembers these?

Even at my place of work, the majority of the time I take lunch breaks alone in an office or go for a walk.  I use this time to recharge and gather my thoughts.  I embrace the introvert in me and accept this is who I am.

Though I enjoy spending time alone, I am sociable when out at events or occasions. However, I can guarantee that I will spend at least an hour unwinding on returning home regardless of how late it is. My husband finds this most baffling!

Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, learn to accept yourself. There are advantages to both traits and in my opinion, one is not better than the other, just different.  There is a need for both introverts and extroverts in friendship groups, families, organisations and businesses.

Are you an introvert or extrovert?
At what stage in life did you realise this?
What do you feel are the advantages?