For the introvert, words are like currency. There’s a limit to the number you feel you should say every day, and you don’t want to waste any.
Affirmational non-verbals don’t count. In a conversation where you nod and make little agreement grunts while the other person unloads their opinions and stories, the grunts you’re emitting don’t count. Those are carefully placed to let the other person know you care. But they don’t count as words.
But there’s also a limit to the amount an introvert can listen to every day. Introverts are generally very friendly people. The fact that we choose to recharge alone doesn’t make us anti-social, just anti-extraneous noise. Too much noise, too much talking, too many one-on-one conversations, and the introvert will feel completely empty. The tank is drained. We’re done.
And the more hectic our lives become, the more we’re going to want to shut ourselves away and/or stay up late into the night reading or doing other quiet activities to compensate for all the alone time we didn’t get during the day. Sleep doesn’t count as alone time. Although heaven knows we need more of it.
We simply run out of words. We’re done conversing. Introverts have plenty of interesting things to say, but after a certain point, we’re done saying them. And we’re done listening–even though listening is our super power.
We can only write. Or read. Or think.
Until we’re full of words again.