I am an INTJ (strongly expressed) with developed feeling (for an INTJ), so while I am still quite typical, I have a lot of tools for showing my compassion for others. For instance, while an INTJ mum might teach swimming by throwing a flailing child off a dock and watching for signs of drowning, I would consider the effect of the method I choose on the feelings of the child, and choose according to each child's personality. Anyway, I am 100% introverted (which is how I ended up developing tools for all sorts of things that are counter-intuitive to me) and this has a complete and profound effect on how my whole life works.
I don't enjoy large groups of people (I feel like my chest is going to burst open and everything inside gush out), and absolutely cannot stand anyone knowing my private life except for the few select ones who are close to me (I feel betrayed and angry when others think it's okay to talk about things I shared only with them, but they may not have known it was shared in confidence- *everything* for me is shared in confidence irl).
I need one close friend, and two acquaintance-like friends (for me 'acquaintance' means something very different than for others; most people call the relationship 'friendship' that I call 'acquaintanceship'). My dh is an outgoing introvert who has just finally begun to grasp what I consider private and has finally stopped telling everyone he meets about my personal information (yes, this has been a major source of conflict between us). Being an introvert is very different for him than it is for me. He's INTP, also very strongly expressed. INTPs often appear as extraverts, but are not; they are chameleonic as well, making them very hard to figure out- amongst Es, they act like Es; amongst Is, they act like Is.
For me, I need lots of time to think and work at projects. I have none *at all*, and this is probably going to shorten my life by decades... It has a huge negative effect on my health, too. Imagine putting an extremely expressed extravert in solitary confinement for 24 hrs/day, 7 days/week; this is similar to how I live- an extremely expressed introvert stuck in a crowd of needy people 24/7 for 5.5 yrs so far, with no temporary release or weekend or evening or just-an-hour pass. It is a constant struggle to hold onto a thread of my self-concept. I hope I can organise something to fix this little problem I'm having; thankfully, my one close friend is moving nearby in March, and we plan to sort out our lives with one another's assistance.
I also find the vast majority of people to be energy-suckers, and I don't know why my own energy is so easily drained. Being an introvert, why isn't my energy kept inward and thereby NOT sucked by others? I haven't read anything about this and I've just recently begun to contemplate the idea here and there. It seems that extraverts gain energy while being with others; is that because they *take* it and when amongst other Es just pass it around so that everyone is giving and taking, so everyone is always full?
I have to be with very VERY low key people to not feel drained by being with them. And it's always better to be with just one other person- although not my dh; he drains my energy too. I really don't understand this and I would like to. Since we're discussing introversion, maybe someone could help me (and others) to understand what is at work in this?
I think my post is seeming like a vent. I think it might be one...
Sorry. It is very hard to be an extreme introvert with no time alone, and surrounded by noisy needy people all of the time- that and because I love them, I short-circuit myself to give them all what they need, and to their benefit, being the introvert that I am, they won't have to hear much about it at all.
Sigh. Sorry. *THIS* is what it's like to be *this* introvert.