"NO! - You are not introvert!" My friend exclaimed. As if I'd been telling her I was ugly og stupid. I tried to explain, as calmly as I could, why I thought I was indeed introvert. But she persisted. I definitely wasn't introvert. I gave up.
I've worked with this woman for many years. She is brilliant at keeping contact to friends and colleagues, she's always up-to-date with peoples carriers and personal lives. She is good humoured and pleasant company. She knew me when I was seeing my ex, W - the aspie. And the subject of introversion came up during our lunch together because she asked me about W, if I knew what he was doing now (I don't). We talked about why I'd been with him in the first place, and the topic of his extreme introversion came up. I explained that him being so introvert had caused me to be more extrovert, despite being introvert myself. And that was when I was interrupted. Because this woman, whom I haven't seen for about a year and never been very close with, obviously know me better than I know myself.
Why am I bothered? Well, it is annoying to be interrupted, and to be contradicted on a topic that I should be an expert on (the topic being myself). But, hey, shit happens. What really bothers me is that introversion apparently is so bad. If I'd said: I am actually a brunette, I just dye my hair; or: I think I am gay; or: I voted for the Social Democrats last time, she would just have said: OK (neither of these things are true though). And to me, being introvert is just as fine as being gay, brunette, or social democrat. It is just different from mainstream.
But we live in a world defined by extroverts, which is why people find the introvert behaviour odd. I think the illustration of introverts as someone being (or preferring to be) inside a hamster ball is wonderful. I saw it on facebook, and also found it here: http://randomtidbitsofthought.wordpress.com/2012/08/30/how-to-live-with-introverts-guide/ Although I should mention that I've seen hamsters in a wheel but never in a ball or a bubble... The key message, about the difference in how people acquire - and lose - energy. I get energy from being on my own, I lose energy when being with others. I lose much more energy when being at a party, in a noisy café, at a reception, and with lots of strangers, compared to being at home with a few close friends. But even if my social life consisted only of few close friends having supper at my house, I would still need the time alone.
From looking at aspies around me, I have developed the hypothesis that not all introverts are aspies, but most aspies are introverts.