It’s commonly known that introverts regain their energy by being alone after a social activity. They need quiet time to recharge. Being with lots of people, in lots of noise, for long periods of time, makes them exhausted. It’s not about being ‘unsociable’ – they are very sociable people – they just prefer it to be on a one-to-one basis!
Extraverts, on the other hand, can’t get enough company and activity. They need to be with a variety of groups regularly. Being on their own too much makes their mood sink low.
This is why lockdown is a challenge in different ways for different people. For introverts it’s more or less business as usual, or life as they think they would like it to be; except it might be too much isolation which is not good ultimately. We all need the company of other humans, whether it’s in groups or on a one-to-one basis.
For extraverts, lockdown is a whole other challenge. They are sitting in their homes exhausted, deprived of the social connections and activities that feed their happiness. For introverts to understand this, imagine being forced by government policy to socialise in noisy nightclubs every day.
If you are an introvert living your best life in front of the fire, happy to be there until Spring, spare a thought for the extraverts in your family who are wondering how they will get through the winter. It’s thought that this is one of the groups that will be most likely to suffer from depression as a result of the forced hibernation of the pandemic.
Tips to help them (or you if this resonates with you):
- Encourage and facilitate them to have fancy-dress Zoom parties, quizzes and energetic live interactions online (music sharing, watch parties, etc)
- Suggest they have a virtual coffee break with a co-worker – yes, over Zoom, but synchronised and in a different room than where they are working.
- Connect them with other extraverts – a mutually needed lively conversation with like-minded people will replenish their energy.
- Sport and home gym activities should be high energy ones. Yoga is probably not for them. Dancing is. High intensity workouts are.
- Encourage them to walk in places where they will at least see other people, not lonely nature trails, but on streets.
- TV quizzes, programmes and comedies where there is a lot of action – especially when accompanied by lively debate in the living room! – will invigorate their energy and spark the release of happy hormones.
- Reassure them that this is temporary – at some point in the future they will be back out, at college, travelling, socialising, going to live gigs and able to congregate and interact properly with their wide circle of friends.
As always, compassion for others who are not like us is not always easy but it’s where world (and kitchen!) peace is nurtured.
Until next week, take care,