"I really want to hang out with people and keep relationships strong, but I also really need some time to recharge after even a few hours of socializing. What should I do?"
This is the dreaded dilemma that every introvert faces on at least a somewhat regular basis. We don't want to hurt people by turning down invitations, but we also can not keep functioning without time to ourselves to recharge.
What to do, what to do?
We could accept every possible invitation to be social that we ever get. But then, we would get burned out quickly and everything from schoolwork to relationships would suffer. So that option's out.
We could deny every invitation that we don't feel like accepting and just keep to ourselves. But this brings to light a whole new aspect of the problem. What if we deny too many social gatherings and people think we don't want to hang out with them so they stop inviting us? This is a secret fear that can creep its way into any human being's mind, introvert or extrovert. Because humans are social animals. Some more than others, but it is still true of those of us content to spend long hours alone in our room with a good book.
We don't want to stop being invited places, but we also don't want to accept all the invitations. So what should we do?!
Well, I have an amazingly simple answer to that complicated question, and it is: I have no idea. None whatsoever.
So since I can't come up with any good solution to this problem, I have decided to beg, on the behalf of all the introverts who feel the same way, that you don't stop asking! We love spending time with people and we are not trying to avoid you. So don't be offended when we turn you down. We just need some recharge time before going out into the world again.
So please don't stop asking us to hang out with you!