coronavirus lockdown extroverts and introverts

Introverts and Extroverts -How they cope with the lockdown

Fern Gorin Articles, Dealing with difficulties Leave a Comment

People have different kinds of personalities.  Extroverts get their energy from being around other people while introverts get their energy from being alone.  The world is mostly extroverts (over 60% by most estimates) although in this time of the Coronavirus we are all being forced to be more introverted.

This creates a unique set of challenges as people stay home, and especially if extroverts and introverts live together. 

Here are 4 of the common situations that  are occurring during the Coronavirus lockdown:

  1. A husband and wife are both on lockdown at home, they have never been together 24 hours a day on a regular basis.  The husband is an introvert and the wife is an extrovert (or vice versa).  The introverted one gets tired of the extrovert talking all the time and wanting more connection.  The introvert wants to withdraw and have more space alone.
  2. Children are at home.  One is introverted and is actually enjoying this time at home, he is texting friends, playing computer games, watching YouTube or doing things alone.  One is extroverted, she misses spending time with her friends, going out to do fun activities, going to school and is feeling stir crazy at home.
  3. A person lives alone, they are extroverted.  They feel isolated, alone and depressed.
  4. An introvert is working from home, given no other distractions, they are even more productive, focused and maybe working harder at home.

All these situations require a new way of thinking to cope with these most challenging of times. 

Here are some tips for getting along and functioning more optimally right now.

  • Assess your personality style- are you extroverted, introverted, or a balance of both, some of us are a combination.  Ask yourself where do I derive my energy, from people or being alone? In what balance do I need both? 
  • Figure out if you need time alone or more time with others, figure out what that looks like for you.  If you need more time alone, does that mean going to a separate bedroom for 3 hours a day, going on a walk or going to the store? It’s crazy right now-some people make a daily trip to the grocery store just to get away from the other people who live at home. 

If you are an extrovert and need more interaction with people, figure out how often or how much interaction you need. 

Are there certain people or groups you can reach out and connect with more frequently?  Can you say hello to people you walk by or at the grocery store that are 6 feet apart?

Introverts, you may enjoy this time at home, you may thrive best at a time like this and finally get some quiet time.

You may be highly productive right now but you should make sure you do not work too hard given work can take a lot of your focus and attention. You should also make a point to interact with people and not completely isolate yourself so that you maintain balance.

Here are some ways for both extroverts and introverts to have balance right now:

  • Design your life to meet your needs.  If you are extroverted spend more time online with people you care about.   Many people have either created or attend a group online.  In areas where it is allowed, some people have weekly block parties where everyone gets out in their yard to do a sing-a-long or dance together, of course, people still stay 6 feet apart.  
  • If you are introverted, communicate more about your personality style and needs to those around you, the more specific you state your needs the more likely people are to meet those needs. An example of this is someone realizing they need at least 4 hours along each day and getting their family to leave them along during that time.
  • Respect and be sensitive to what people around you need.  If someone communicates what they need, listen to it, and believe it. Try to honor their needs as much as possible, compromise, and work it out.  It’s a time we all need to get along and make the best of it.
  • Enjoy this downtime to rest, be introspective, and do a re-set on your life.

While this an unfortunate set of circumstances, this time gives us the opportunity to slow down, many of us have been going way to fast and doing too much for a long time.  Although it may be uncomfortable to be introspective it’s a good time to reflect on your life, what you have been avoiding, and what needs your attention.  It’s also a time to reflect on where you are going, and whether there is a career or new direction you could take in your life.

As all of us are forced to be more introverted at home there are some positive things that can come from being inward and slowing down.

Try to have some fun. Are there family games you can play?  Can you dance in your living room?  Can you get a joke book and tell each other jokes?  Introverts, what interest or topic can you explore that you haven’t had time for up until now?  Finding something fun to do will lighten your mood, help you experience more happiness, and will help you cope more effectively right now.

To cope right now, assess whether you are an extrovert or introvert and in what balance. 

Figure out if you need more time alone or more interaction with people, design your life to live more that way, show respect and be sensitive to other people’s needs. Introverts and extroverts enjoy the quiet time you have finally gotten, it’s a time to be introspective and re-set your life.  Lastly have some fun, it will lighten your mood and keep you moving through this time with more happiness and ease.

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