Leave an extrovert alone for two minutes and he will reach for his cell phone. In contrast, after an hour or two of being socially “on,” we introverts need to turn off and recharge. My own formula is roughly two hours alone for every hour of socializing. This isn’t antisocial. It isn’t a sign of depression. It does not call for medication. For introverts, to be alone with our thoughts is as restorative as sleeping, as nourishing as eating. Our motto: “I’m okay, you’re okay — in small doses” [source].
Being shy is different from being an introvert so all of us who tend to keep to ourselves and not make friends by the dozens (online social networking doesn’t count here) need not feel guilty. Of course, getting out there and expanding your network of acquaintances and contacts helps. But it isn’t all. We like making friends and gabbing but not with everyone in sight. We just tend to be picky that way. That marks us as snobbish at times until of course, people get to know us. Women prefer the introverts because we are great listeners, even when we really aren’t listening. At other times, we just prefer the silence. There is already enough chatter in the world.