I've been very much enjoying Sophia Dembling's 2012 book "The Introvert's Way".
Before reading it, would I have identified myself as an introvert? Probably not.
But: a lot of the time, I do love quite, solitude and deep (rather than what may seem to me to be superficial or chatty or torrential) conversation.
I can be very sociable. Am not a recluse. Have no trouble with public speaking. Interact quite companionably with people all day long, pretty much every day.
And then need time to recharge my batteries. Before my head explodes. So am happy to go home. Don't always welcome phone calls (and often don't answer the phone) at home). Don't always welcome "after hours" social invites, especially to large or loud or raucous parties. Prefer one on one time with just a few people at a time. Or no one at all. Going solo is good too. Enjoy people watching. Seldom want "background noise. If I'm listening to music, I want to listen.
About 50% of people are more introvert than extrovert. But there's a pervasive presumption that extroverts are better leaders, have more fun and are in general more mentally healthy than quieter types. Dembling challenges those presumptions.
Dembling carefully distinguishes loneliness from the deliberate choice to spend time alone. Dembling explains that introverts are often excellent leaders because generally good listeners. An introvert may be well-liked, even popular. Dembling makes it clear that an introvert is not necessarily shy or borderline autistic/Aspergers or cold. Dembling identifies ways in which introverts do experience fun: not necessarily the hyper commercialization of fun that sells best to extroverts. Reading through her book was a process of self-recognition for me!!
In summary: introverts and extroverts have plenty to offer each other and may even be best friends. No question, my DH is significantly more extroverted than I am . . . and over the years, we've learned to negotiate our different needs for different levels of sociability. Extroverts aren't just show-off social butterflies. Introverts aren't just sullen and reclusive. We have different strengths and different shortfalls too: most of us can position ourselves somewhere on the spectrum, and that varies from time to time with other stuff is going on in our lives. Mutual respect, mutual accommodation can create comfortable spaces for all of us.
OK, not earth shattering. But useful information all the same in coming to self-acceptance. And (although in The Introvert's Way Dembling doesn't make the connection, except with respect to alcohol) here at Spark, many of us know that in the absence of self-acceptance we're likely to self-medicate in ways that don't contribute to optimal physical health. Including the health we're seeking through weight maintenance.
(P.S.: Sophia Dembling has in fact written about weight loss at this link: looking at the research which suggests that we need to accept our body shape before it's possible to change it . . .