Ever since this global pandemic started, staying at home has been the new normal for many people. It’s been a period of change and adaptation: having to wear masks in public, working from home, going to school virtually, and social distancing from people. Having different backgrounds and personalities, every individual is going to be affected by the pandemic differently, including those who are extroverts and introverts. Compared to extroverts, social interactions are very energy-consuming for introverts and periods of solitude are very important for them. Because of this, people often assume that this pandemic has been easy for introverts, but this is not always the case.
As an introvert my entire life, I have always been a homebody who values my alone time. During the beginning of the pandemic, I really enjoyed doing everything from the comfort of my own home; I had all the time to read, bake, and watch Netflix without being stressed or anxious about interacting with others. Replacing in-person interactions with online platforms made it easier for me to reach out and communicate with family and friends, as it reduces any awkwardness that talking face-to-face might bring. This also increases my confidence and participation when attending virtual classes. During in-person classes, I rarely participate or speak up voluntarily in front of my professors and classmates; in contrast, I feel more comfortable and confident speaking up during virtual classes since I am not actually among a crowd of people.
However, for introverts like me who are motivated by people and social interactions, staying at home is not as easy as it seems. As this pandemic continues, it has been increasingly difficult for me to stay at home and social distance with others. Feeling physically and emotionally drained from the lockdown, I find myself exhausted when constantly joining zoom meetings and messaging family and friends online every day. Slowly, I stopped interacting with people online and only watched recordings of my lectures. Having created my own little bubble at home, I have never felt so disconnected from the rest of the world and everyone else. This goes to show that although introverts like me might sometimes prefer to be alone, it is still necessary for us to have that human interaction to survive.
Humans are not meant to live alone and being able to socialize is an essential for us. Introverts often struggle with interacting in the company of other people, and it is even more difficult to do so during this pandemic. Sometimes we might come off as rude or inconsiderate, but please know that it is often unintentional and try to understand from our perspective. We are still trying to find the best way for us to communicate and adapt to this new, unusual way of living. Please also reach out to your introverted friends, as they might be struggling in private and need help. This pandemic has affected everyone in many different ways, which is why it’s important to reach out to each other and be supportive. The only way to get through these hard times is to stick together and help one another.