As a very quiet person, having to talk all day is completely exhausting. For my first few months of working as a teacher, I felt like I always had such a strong desire to just be alone. I was worried that this was a sign that I was on the brink of becoming depressed. But then one night, as I was staying up later than my roommate so that I could have a couple hours of alone time (thankfully she goes to sleep pretty early!), I found some articles on introversion on the internet that explained what might be going on. If you believe what you read on the internet, which I do, then you can read about how extroverts recharge themselves by talking and processing what is going on by sharing it with others. Introverts, on the other hand, process within themselves, and need to spend a certain amount of time alone so that they can recharge their minds and emotions. Perhaps the fact that I don’t have this time is part of what is tiring me out. When I was a student, I slept about an hour less than I do now, exercised a bit more, spent more time working or focused, and was constantly a little bit worried about things like impending finals, my thesis, graduating, and finding a job. However, I did a lot of these things alone. I spent long hours in libraries and coffee shops, with the freedom to occasionally let my mind wander. Of course, there were times when being a student was very lonely, but I never found it to be exhausting. I think that may have been because I had so much more time to process things in my own introverted way.
I also recently came across this TED Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0KYU2j0TM4 This talk summarizes Susan Cain’s argument in her book Quiet, that our society is set up for extroverts to succeed, and often neglects even the most intelligent introverts. Offices and classrooms are set up so that those who talk the most do the best, even if they are not putting thought into their work. She writes that introverts tend to be very thoughtful and observant, but don’t like to share those observations with large groups of people. Her idea is that introverts should be confident in their style of interaction and should play to their strengths by expressing themselves in writing or in small groups instead of pretending to be extroverts, or feeling like there is something wrong with their disposition.