I'm new to Personality Cafe, and I've never participated in forums really (haha always been more of a lurker), but I've been getting the push to put something out there and see what happens. So here goes!
I'm an INFJ and I've spent a lot of time learning about my type, the MBTI, and thinking about how it influences my goals, needs, relationships, etc. I'm very aware that I need alone time to recharge, but lately I've been struggling with how to balance this with my more extroverted friends. I'm very busy, involved with a lot, and I'm not a "shy" person at work (sometimes I've been mistaken as an extrovert initially, before people realize that I "disappear" into hermitude when given the chance). But lately, my busy schedule and extroverted friends have kept me from getting back to that peaceful, transcendental, internal state I experience when spending time alone in nature, playing/listening to music, or writing. As I've gotten emotionally closer with people, they want to express friendship through spending more and more time together. They understand that I am introverted and need to escape from time to time (they've seen my irritability first-hand when I don't get this solitude!), and are typically very understanding... but I know it hurts their feelings when I say I want to spend a weekend alone rather than spending time together. We know that some of us are moving away in the next year, which I think makes them want to be more social than even before, but it is beginning to become overwhelming. Recently, I've found myself being social out of guilt and efforts to manage their feelings, and now I'm even finding it difficult to know (just within myself) whether I truly need to be alone or social. Have others had this experience or struggle? How have you recognized your needs, and balanced them with others' demands?