I can fully sympathise with kids who are constantly picked on by teachers to answer
questions because they don't raise their hand. I was one of those kids! Every single report card always said "Kristie is a quiet student ... she needs to contribute more in class discussions."
For a while there, I really did try to be more outgoing. But it only lasted for a few minutes at a time because nine times out of ten I would end up saying something stupid and the other kids would laugh at me.
Even now, as an adult, I often feel intimidated by "big" personalities - those who are extroverts. What I find is a lot of them think they can talk over the top of you and you won't bat an eyelid. Many of these people can also be extremely rude and obnoxious.
Introverted people like me also need time out to recharge their batteries. Large crowds and big groups of people exhaust me. I have a lovely group of Irish friends who come to Australia regularly. They are loud and boisterous and just gorgeous, gorgeous people ... but if I spend too long around them I get really tired. Since they are entertainers they're often out late at night and my Aussie friends and I often join them for drinks and a chat - but since they know the type of person I am, they completely understand when I want to opt out and have a little "me" time.
The advantage of being an introvert is that most of us think before we open our mouth. I have found that a lot of introverted people I've met are also very thoughtful of other people's feelings. My sister is one of those people.
This isn't to say that extroverts don't think of other people too. It's just that introverts tend to do a lot more thinking than talking!
This is why I find that the best way for me to communicate with others effectively is to do what I'm doing right now - writing! I can express myself a whole lot better because you don't stammer and get tongue tied when you write.
In saying that though, when I am among my family and close friends, you can't shut me up. I am also pretty talkative at work too. The amusing thing about my job is that while I'm an introvert ... I'm also a receptionist!