It's nearly impossible to identify for sure who is and who isn't an introvert. Even an extreme introvert is hard to spot at times. Take myself as an example. Every social activity that I partake in makes it more difficult for people to peg me. Even venturing out into the world helps create a blurry image of the type of person I am. My own claims to be one of the more extreme introverts you'll ever meet mean nothing. And I can't blame anyone for not believing me. After all, I don't believe others who make similar claims!
I hear it all of the time. A friend once told me that he considers himself to be introverted. If my facial expression didn't convey my disbelief, I think I said something like, "You?" He's one of the most outgoing and social guys that I've befriended. He's nearly always talking and joking with someone, and often he's either the life of a party or its clown.
As another example, I've heard many celebrities make the same claim, actors who are apparently creating a ruckus in public every day and who seem to crave attention from news and media -- not for work or to garner publicity for a film, as far as I can tell. Although I don't know them personally and could never say for certain, their claims seem to defy believability.
I realize a wide spectrum may exist for introversion, but sometimes I'm forced to wonder if anyone truly understands what it means. Other times, I begin to think that claiming to be an introvert has become fashionable, that everyone wants to "join the club". I should probably be reluctant to call myself one.
Though it sounds very elitist, perhaps I should come up with some guidelines on spotting real introverts. Or the extreme ones, at least.