The link I shared above made me laugh so hard - because it's so totally true! I have the hardest time with small talk - because it seems to be so wasteful. It's really not always, because it helps form bonds, make friendships, but it's hard sometimes to convince my introverted self of that.
I find myself picking and choosing what interactions I'll join in, even at church. Which is more important? Which can I do without?
It often means I get left out, frankly, because some people think I just don't want to interact. It's not that I don't want them around - it's that every interaction takes my energy leaving me feeling drained a bit, and those little drains add up over the day. When drained of all that social energy, I wind up feeling anxious and grumpy. My husband says I just get 'done with people' and to some degree that's true.
Of course, my husband is a classic EXtrovert, so the exact opposite of me. Every social interaction energizes him, so that by the end of the day he's usually more ready to talk, while I just want to be left alone for awhile.
While I wish other people understood this about me, I also recognize that I should be willing to do my part, too. It isn't all on others to meet me where I am. I can spare some energy to smile first at another person - to let them know that I recognize them as someone pleasant to be around. I can make sure to have a bit of alone time to recharge each day.
But for those of you who know an introvert (and you all do) - don't think that they're just shy. Don't talk yourself out of smiling and being nice to the introvert - they get lonely, too. Needing some alone time can get out of hand - we can become too used to it, and get sort of stuck in being alone. So we wind up not getting any interaction at all, and then we get real lonely indeed. Feeling left out isn't pleasant for anyone, but I think the introvert is a little more prone to it than most others - simply because they have times when they truly and honestly need to be left alone. Other people can oftentimes interpret this as ALWAYS wanting to be left alone.
To help your introvert, don't be pushy, but be available. Sit next to them, include them in your extroverted conversation simply by glancing at them while talking. Invite them in to your circle with subtlety, but friendly moves. Don't think that just because they aren't saying much, that they aren't enjoying the conversation. They are probably taking it all in to relive later.
So whether you're an intro- or an extro-, we can meet each other where we're at. God likes balance, doesn't He? He's made us so we have so many differences, that in order to have relationships we have to come out of ourselves, figure out who someone else is, and meet them where they are. If everyone does that, then we'll wind up having a bit more balanced world, I think.