Recently, my coworkers and I watched a TED Talk by Susan Cain around the power of introverts. After the talk, we all took a quiz to determine where we fell on the introvert - extrovert spectrum. It was fun to see who was a full-blown introvert and who was more of an extrovert.
One thing that we did discuss after sharing our results is that whether you are an introvert or an extrovert you will need some people around you throughout your life. Recent research suggests that social butterflies may have a leg up in retirement over people who prefer their own company. Surrounding yourself with other people doesn't just promote longevity, but helps with better quality of life overall.
This research actually expounds on earlier findings that solitude and loneliness in retirement can have detrimental effects on health - even in previously healthy people.
So, yes, it is important to learn the limits of your own introverted and extroverted self when you are younger, because you are going to need to take those results and apply them to the rest of your life. Whether that means you end up with a large group of people to hang out with in retirement or just one or two close friends is up to you. The goal is to not go through life alone.
Do you consider yourself a social butterfly? Tell me in the comments.