So I’ve found out, after 35 years, that I am probably an introvert.

This (somewhat late in the day) realisation came about after some personality testing that we carried out recently in work using the Myers-Briggs test. If you’ve experienced the test yourself you’ll know that it outputs a four letter personality type, based on the degrees to which you are Extroverted/Introverted, Sensing/Intuitive, Feeling/Thinking and Judging/Perceiving.

My type? Introverted (I), Intuitive (N), Feeling (F) and Judging (J). Or INFJ.

All of which I was aware of really, apart from the piece about being an introvert. It seems a bit crazy that it’s taken me so long to find this out but on reflection it makes an awful lot of sense.

The need for decompression. The all-too-easy-to-reach breaking point. The draining nature of large social groups. The regenerative effect of time alone…

These are things I’ve always known about myself but I’d have never been able to explain until now. And labelling it feels like a release – because it means that my need for time out and introspection – my need to regularly recharge – is not a failing or weakness (as I have been made to feel in times gone by) but a simple fact of my make-up.

So no longer do I feel I have to go and go and go and go until I’m forced to stop suddenly, broken and unable to function. Rather I can take my time and pace myself. Plan in periods of solitude. Where I can simply be, and breathe.

So if I don’t come for that post-work drink, or I turn down an offer of a run, don’t think me rude. I am an introvert. And when I retreat and take time out I’m not being ignorant, aloof, or antisocial. Rather I’m sticking myself on recharge so I can live to fight another day.