I have known for a while now that I am an introvert. The thing is, though, there are many different types of introverts and some people don't realize that. I remember talking about books with someone in a library and, for some reason, I mentioned that I'm an introvert. The person said "but you're talking to me," as if being able to talk normally to a complete stranger meant that I am not an introvert. I don't think they really understood that introverts are not all the same. I think they were thinking of the broad description of an introvert: someone who has trouble talking to people or being social, someone who'd rather stay home by themselves, someone who prefers their own company, a very quiet and shy person. This is not the best description of an introvert. There is so much more to introversion!
Yes, I am able to talk to a complete stranger. It's easy for me to start up a conversation. I am actually pretty good with conversations,with keeping them going and keeping a person's interest. However, I am best with this one-on-one or with small groups. Put me in a large group and I will be the most quiet person there. Maybe I know the answer to a question or maybe I have something that I would like to add but I will not say it because it is hard for me to speak with that many people. I get nervous. I remember being called on in class in university to answer a question and panicking. I actually felt like I was shaking, that's how bad it can be for me. Many introverts are like this. Many introverts are able to speak to one person or maybe even a few people but it is in big groups that their introversion starts to show. When talking to a stranger, they would never suspect that I was an introvert unless I actually told them and, as seen in the conversation with that person in the library, they might not even believe me. To them I would seem to be a bubbly and friendly person who has a lot to say.
My introversion shows up in other parts of my life. I do indeed like to have my alone time, just as many introverts do, and a lot of social activity can tire me out. I prefer to spend time with just one friend or maybe a few friends. If I'm with a bigger group of friends, I'm more quiet and I tend to just speak to one or two people anyway in our own conversation. I feel more comfortable with less people. I'd rather have a few good friends than a lot of friends that I don't know so well. Getting to know a friend really well is important to me.
I actually took a personalities quiz online through 16Personalities (it's free unless you want more information in which case you have to pay for premium but the free version actually provides quite a bit of information). My result was INFJ "The Advocate." The "I" is the introvert trait, the "NF" is the diplomat trait, and the "J" is the judging trait. People with INFJ personalities are leaders and they enjoy helping people. They are creative and imaginative. They believe in equality. They are good at making connections with people and can actually be mistaken as quiet extroverts. The list goes on and on and it just sounds more and more like me. My result, along with the large list of personalities, shows that there are many types of introverts, just as there are many types of extroverts. Take the quiz for yourself and then look through the list to see just how many different types of personalities there are. It will definitely help you to better understand people and not to assume that someone is or is not a certain way just because of one little thing that they do.