This is for those people who can’t differentiate a shy person from a quiet one.
Here’s an excellent piece by Jonathan Rauch, an introvert.
Some highlights that hit bull’s eye many times over:
Shy people are anxious or frightened or self-excoriating in social settings; introverts generally are not.
In contrast, after an hour or two of being socially “on,” we introverts need to turn off and recharge.
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.
If we introverts ran the world, it would no doubt be a calmer, saner, more peaceful sort of place. (ah hah!)
The worst of it is that extroverts have no idea of the torment they put us through. Sometimes, as we gasp for air amid the fog of their 98-percent-content-free talk, we wonder if extroverts even bother to listen to themselves. Still, we endure stoically, because the etiquette books—written, no doubt, by extroverts—regard declining to banter as rude and gaps in conversation as awkward. We can only dream that someday, when our condition is more widely understood, when perhaps an Introverts’ Rights movement has blossomed and borne fruit, it will not be impolite to say “I’m an introvert. You are a wonderful person and I like you. But now please shush.”
And the classic ending:
When you see an introvert lost in thought, don’t say “What’s the matter?” or “Are you all right?”
Third, don’t say anything else, either.