Why extroverts can't leave us alone
I'm perfectly happy being by myself, in peace and quiet- why can't you see and understand that?
Introverts understand extroverts a lot better than extroverts understand introverts, just the way the smart understand the stupid a lot better than the stupid understand the smart.
Example 1: An introvert (I) walks into his apartment and is greeted by his extroverted roommate (E). The following conversation is adapted and edited slightly from an actual reader email.
E: "Where were you?" (Grinning & bubbly)
I: (With a smile, in a mild tone) "Nosy, ain't ya? Ha! Out with some friends."
E: (Immediately taking umbrage) "Oh, well, sorry! I was just asking is all. I didn't mean to upset you! I won't again, geez!"
I: (Indifferent) "...OK."
(E huffs away, likely texting a friend about that asshole roommate)
Example 2: A highly introverted couple invites over a highly extroverted couple for dinner at their house. These two couples have known each other for, quite literally, decades; the two husbands used to work together in the same company. The evening starts out pleasantly enough, but very quickly the extroverted wife starts to speak rapidly and at very high volume, and jabbers non-stop from the start of the evening to the end. Worse yet, she and her extroverted husband kibbitz back and forth constantly, arguing over trivial details in irrelevant stories, again at high volume and top speed.
The introverted couple are quickly overwhelmed by the extreme sensory load that they are experiencing, and rapidly retreat from the sources of discomfort by engaging "smile-and-nod mode", or by using any possible excuse to check up on the food.
Net result: the extroverts have a good time, completely oblivious to the pain that they are inflicting upon the introverts, and leave after a delicious meal prepared by the introverted wife, upon extracting a promise that the introverted couple will dine with them to reciprocate the favour sometime soon. The introverts, faced with a very uncomfortable choice between being rude in turning down the invitation, and being overwhelmed once again by a barrage of conversation, are browbeaten into accepting, though they do so with good grace.
Example 3: An introvert walks into a bar with a group of students from his XYZ school. Everyone is there to have a good time, to have a few beers and to loosen up a little bit. Yet, the moment he walks in the door, he is greeted by the physical shock of a wave of chaotic sound in the form of shouted conversations and music played at eardrum-shattering volume. Quickly resolving to put on the "social face" that is so necessary for introverted survival in such an environment, he orders a beer for himself and his friend, shoots the breeze for about 45 minutes, then makes his excuses and leaves as quickly as he can. During this time he notices that there are several attractive, well-dressed women who are not exactly unhappy that he is there- but because of the extreme sensory overload that he is experiencing, he can do nothing about it, and so he says his goodbyes and gets the hell out of there as quickly as he can.