I am an introvert. There. I’ve admitted it. An introvert is a person who needs time alone to recharge his or her inner strength. I used to think I was just weird because I would rather be alone than with other people. Then I took a personality test and realized I’m not alone—figuratively speaking. I mean we introverts are a united group, separately, of course.

It can be such a struggle having to come up with excuses as to why we don’t want to hang out with other people, other than the obvious, “I just don’t want to.” Boy, how rude does that sound? And, in all honesty, if someone said that to me, I would be insulted, too. It is said that introverts don’t get ready for a party. They gather strength for a party. But the fact is that life often demands certain social obligations that require introverts to attend and appear to have fun. Otherwise, people think we’re shy, snobbish, or impolite. Sometimes, however, the thought runs through our heads the minute we arrive at an event, “How long do I have to stay before I can gracefully leave?”

There is an enigma with us introverts in that while we don’t want to actually attend a function, we don’t want to not be invited. At least we want to be wanted. Our feelings get hurt if we don’t get invited to affairs we didn’t want to go to in the first place. Does that even make sense? I’ve had a hard time wrapping my mind around this issue for a long time. Why should I even care? I don’t have the answer to that, I just know that I do care. And even for the most extreme introverts, there are sometimes things we want to do, so it’s best to simply invite us and not risk offending us.

One problem is that in any social gathering, there will be extroverts. You know, the gregarious, uninhibited social butterflies who are the lives of the party. The ones who never shut up! The ones who invariably loudly interrupt and talk over us poor introverts when we have finally waited for our turn to interject something into the conversation.  And nothing drains us like small talk or pointless conversations, which extroverts are so good at. Do you know how extroverts get their inner strength? They suck the very life out of us introverts, that’s how! Like loud, obnoxious, blood-sucking leeches, they drain us dry. But have you ever noticed how the over-the-top extroverts always seem to live alone?

Although I am now retired, it is probably ironic that I chose a profession in which I had to interact with people all day. Not too many pet owners just send their animals in with the checkbook or credit card. Even if they did, I would still have to talk to the owners to find out why the animal is being seen, as the pets don’t usually speak for themselves.  And, in truth, most of my clients were wonderful people who I enjoyed talking to. But at the end of the day, I was done. I used up my requisite 50,000 words for the day and didn’t have any left. I didn’t even want to talk to my own family at night. And I certainly had no desire to congregate with everyone else from work at the nearest bar, like they always do on television. I have often wondered why these people aren’t tired at the end of a long day in surgery, the courtroom, or being shot at by bad guys. But no, they just move the party to the nearest pub instead of going home to soak in a hot bath, watch an old movie on TV, or read a good book in bed.

Here is a little introvert humor. If you relate, please keep it to yourself:

How to celebrate World Introvert Day: Make plans to go out and celebrate with other introverts. Cancel plans and relieve everybody.

Me looking at Facebook invite: I’d rather stay home and trim my toenails. Clicks on “Maybe Attending.”

The first rule of introvert club: There is no introvert club. Thank goodness.

As an introvert, self-checkout is a gift from Heaven.

How do extroverts always . . . Do Things?? And when they’re not Doing Things they’re making plans to Do Things?? What’s up with that? Please stop!