I spent 48 years of my life not understanding what it meant to be an introvert.
I wasn’t especially shy although I could never be described as a socialite either.
For several years my appraisals at work always referred to my inability to speak up in meetings. Every time. I tried and tried to be more forthcoming. It was hard to get a word in edgeways with all the extroverts in the room. Occasionally, I managed a brief interjection which I had formulated in my head for at least ten minutes before opening my mouth, assuming that there was a gap in the discussion I could jump into. It was a constant source of frustration to me and, whatever I tried, it still got a mention on my appraisal.
It was some time later that I came across an introvert resource website that resonated with me. I had a couple of Skype calls with the coach which were massively eye opening and completely life changing.