There is this a common misconception that introverts are shy, anti-social or just simply hate people. This, of course is not the case, at least usually. I love my friends. I love my family. I love my co-workers. I genuinely enjoy socializing with them. I even look forward to it.
What extroverts do not understand, is that our energy for socializing is finite, and when it runs out, its ugly. Rarely, do I get a “second wind” for socializing. Once i am done talking and being around people, I am totally done. Yes, that means even if I know you and see you in the hallway, you are getting ignored, hard. It is not because I don’t like you, it’s because I simply can’t muster the energy to get into another conversation.
I understand how annoying and confusing this can be for people. Yesterday, I was an outgoing, cheery, funny guy. Today, I am a straight-faced, anti-social jerk, at least in their eyes. It is something I do not relish, and I wish it was different, but alas I cannot change who I am or how my internal components work. I did not choose this behavior, it is just how it is.
My recent bout of “Okay, I am done talking” was recently at PowerShell Summit last month. By Wednesday afternoon, I was tapped out. I had nothing left. So, during the sessions, I found a seat at the back of the room, alone. For future reference, if you see someone in the back of the room, while most are in the front, this means “Yeah, bro. You can sit here but give me a few seats”. In between sessions, I find the introvert area. This area was a row of seats with barriers in between, making it impossible to gather a group. I sat down, took out my laptop or phone and forgot about the world. It was very pleasant.
So you may be asking “How do you get back that energy once it is lost?”. To be honest, there is no specific thing. Usually its just time. Whether that be a few hours alone or a few days. Perhaps just working on something you are passionate about, for me its writing or coding. At some point that shell breaks and I will be out into the social arena once again, ready to mix it up and give expend more energy. Until then, please try not to take it personal when I make every attempt to not speak to you. It’s not you, its me.