I've always had mixed feelings about Philip Larkin, the late English poet. He's got a nasty streak that at times seems positively misanthropic; at the same time, he has an unsentimental, yet strangely affectionate way of writing about himself and his fellow humans.
On most of the personality tests, I come across as an extrovert. (Myers Briggs: I'm an ENFP, though sometimes an ENFJ depending on my mood when I take it). But that need for others doesn't mean I don't need my "alone time". This is one of my favorite poems about that need.
When I was a child, I thought,
Casually, that solitude
Never needed to be sought.
Something everybody had,
Like nakedness, it lay at hand,
Not specially right or specially wrong,
A plentiful and obvious thing
Not at all hard to understand.
Then, after twenty, it became
At once more difficult to get
And more desired - though all the same
More undesirable; for what
You are alone has, to achieve
The rank of fact, to be expressed
In terms of others, or it's just
A compensating make-believe.
Much better stay in company!
To love you must have someone else,
Giving requires a legatee,
Good neighbours need whole parishfuls
Of folk to do it on - in short,
Our virtues are all social; if,
Deprived of solitude, you chafe,
It's clear you're not the virtuous sort.
Viciously, then, I lock my door.
The gas-fire breathes. The wind outside
Ushers in evening rain. Once more
Supports me on its giant palm;
And like a sea-anemone
Or simple snail, there cautiously
Unfolds, emerges, what I am.
Sometimes, even this extrovert needs to lock his door and unfold.