Most people know what extroverts and introverts are. For those that don’t, here’s a quick summary: Extroverts are people who get energy from other people. They are more outgoing and enjoy being around other people. Introverts are those who thrive on their own or in small groups. They may experience exhaustion after interacting with large groups of people.
As we all know, quarantine has been hard for everyone; not seeing people in school has made socializing incredibly difficult. Good thing there’s technology. But the question is: Have some people struggled more than others?
By their definition, extroverts like to be around people. Social distancing wasn’t made to benefit them. Their physical health? Yes. Their mental health? Not so much. On weekends, extroverts were probably the ones throwing parties or the ones spending hours with their friends traipsing through New York City. Now, they can’t do any of that. The best thing they can do is go on a group facetime call. Definitely not the same.
Extroverts lost a large part of their social lives. Introverts certainly lost some socialization, but not as much. Small facetime calls maybe once a week or even once every few weeks might cut it. Extroverts are going insane missing their friends. Introverts are missing their friends, but also do not mind the break. Slightly sad, but very true.
Introverts are kind of the opposite of extroverts (no way), but not just energy-wise during the quarantine. Towards the beginning, they might have embraced quarantine, and the break from people. Jenn Granneman made a shirt that reads “I was social distancing before it was cool.” It might not be the case for all introverts, but it’s relatable on some level. (This refers to the stereotype that introverts hole up by themselves and don’t like to be around other people.)
All humans need other human interactions, even introverts, but maybe not the same family members for months on end though. Being stuck in a house is somehow more tiresome than being able to go out. Especially if everyone’s working and silence is not optional. For introverts, being stuck in the house with people around at all times is not the best considering that alone-time is necessary. Even by yourself, you’re never truly alone. A parent or sibling can just look over your shoulder, interrupt your schoolwork at lunch, or even just creak the floor.
Extroverts, on the other hand, might have enjoyed having their family there for a while. But then as quarantine dragged on, they probably wanted to replace their families with their friends. (No offense to parents and siblings!) They probably encountered social burnout faster. They were the ones having car circles, participating in drive-bys, FaceTiming every night (morning) at 1:00 am. But after about three weeks of talking to the same people, there was nothing to talk about.
“What’s up?” doesn’t mean anything anymore. No one is doing anything new. It’s the same old answers: watching TV, doing schoolwork, sleeping, playing video games. No one does anything new or interesting simply because they can’t. They can’t go out for lunch with their friends, they can’t go play soccer on Cougar Field, they can’t go over to their friends’ houses and hang out (well, they could but that’s breaking social distancing and putting people at risk).
Is there a happy medium?
Extroverts, maybe embrace an introverted lifestyle for a week or two. Reflect on yourself. Take a break from talking to people for a while. You’ll find that you can learn a lot about yourself during the quarantine. Read a book. Meditate. Write. Introverts, make sure to stay a little social. Call or text a friend you haven’t talked to all year. Get outside (bring a mask!). Play some board games with your family. Just make sure to stay sane and safe!