Social distancing measures have turned our lives upside down within just a couple of months. Many countries of the world required their citizens to stay at home as much as possible, aiming to reduce the spreading of the novel virus COVID-19.
Plenty of time to spend at home, limited social interaction, empty streets – sounds like an introvert’s definition of paradise, doesn’t it? Yes, the truth is that in comparison with their extroverted peers, the quiet ones have much more sound coping skills when it comes to dealing with isolation.
After all, an introvert doesn’t need to go out or to meet other people to have fun. We can entertain ourselves with our favorite quiet activities and hobbies such as reading or painting without even leaving the house.
Still, regardless of this powerful asset introverts finally reveal to the world during this pandemic, we struggle too. And there are a few good reasons why.
1. Introverts enjoy social activities too
Despite the prevailing stereotypes that often make introverts look cold and antisocial, we do enjoy social interaction. We just like to have measured doses of it. We also prefer more intimate social activities over large gatherings, so when you are an introvert, having coffee with your best friend is much more rewarding than going to a party.
This means that we miss these activities too, just like extroverts are looking forward to going to their favorite sporting events and clubs. After all, staying on your own for too long can leave you lonely and isolated, whether you are an introvert or an extrovert.
After two months of quarantine, even the most reclusive loner would miss the company of other people. A healthy amount of social contact is necessary for any human being, including the most introverted of us.
2. Introverts miss their dear ones
If you were planning to visit your parents or friends who live in another city or country, the quarantine has ruined your plans for good. But even if you live in the same city, you are still not free to see your dear ones due to social distancing measures.
Family and close friends are very important for introverts. They are our vital support system that helps us make sense of this busy extroverted world. When you are forced to stay away from them, you may begin to feel alone and helpless against the uncertainty of what’s happening in the world today.
3. … or the opposite – sometimes, we are stuck at home with our family 24/7
The opposite situation is also true and probably even more difficult to handle as an introvert. The quarantine has left many of us stuck in our homes with our spouse/kids/parents. Yes, we do love our family, but we crave personal space too. When your family members are around 24/7, you have to forget about your most basic and sacred psychological need as an introvert – your alone time. And if you have to do without it for too long, you don’t get the chance to recharge your batteries, which inevitably leads to emotional exhaustion.
4. We love going out too… or at least having the option to
Introverts are weird creatures – we may not show up at social gatherings very often, but we still like to be invited. We are not fans of going out, but we like to at least have the option to.
The truth is that introverts hate to be forced – whether we are talking about communication or isolation. We value freedom very highly and love to have the choice to do things our way. So I guess the best way to put it is that introverts miss the option to go out.
In all, we are living in unprecedented times, full of limitations and uncertainty. Handling the new reality created by the coronavirus pandemic and the quarantine measures is a tough task for everyone. And introverts are no exception. So if you are an introvert struggling with isolation right now, be sure that you are not alone.