Alyssa is an event organizer by day and a writer by night. You can most often find her writing or with her nose stuck in a book.
It’s been some time since many countries imposed a lockdown across their respective nations. All of a sudden, flights are grounded, mass transportation has come to a halt, events are canceled, and most people are working from home.
They say that a life like this is an introvert’s dream come true, and perhaps that notion isn’t too far from the truth. We like our quiet days and our pajamas. We like cozying in bed and reading a book instead of having to get up and get to some functions that are required of us. We like long periods of rest with lots of time for reflection in between. Less traffic. Less noise. Less clutter and complicated things messing up our lives.
But for others, this period of social-distancing is proving to be a great challenge. For the past weeks, I’ve received a number of messages from friends, especially the extroverted ones. Either they’re bored out of their minds or they don’t think they can last a week longer without hanging out. Most of them ask for tips on how to deal with staying at home all the time while some are just looking for something to do or someone to talk to. As introverts, we may be having the time of our lives, but our extroverted friends might be having a harder time adjusting to the current situation. This is the time when we can help them adapt and also do what we can to keep them sane.
Here are some ways you can help your extroverted friends during social-distancing.
1. Check Up on Them
As an introvert, you may not be used to reaching out and being the first to message people, but I’m sure your extroverted friends would appreciate it if you shoot them a quick message to ask them how they’re doing. They may not be saying much because they don’t want to sound like they’re complaining, but this social distancing is probably taking a toll on them. Spend some time to type out a quick message or even (gasp!) make a quick phone call to them. They will definitely appreciate your kindness and concern.
2. Do An Activity or Lesson with Them
To help one of my extrovert friends cope, we’re learning a language together, one hour a day. If you don’t like to talk too much over video calls and share so much about your personal life, this is a great idea because you’ll both be focused on learning the language. When grammar is on the table, there’s little time for anything else. Grab a grammar book or download a language app that you can both do together (you can even place a bet to see who will be able to accomplish more lessons in a week and the winner can treat the other one out when this period of social distancing is over).
Another group of people I know come together to solve math problems, word problems, you name it! There are a lot of quizzes, challenges, and activities floating around the internet together. You might even want to try a coding course or a beginner’s design class at the same time.
3. Suggest a Few Books for Them to Read
If you’ve ever despaired of your extrovert friend ever picking up a book to read, now is the time to introduce a book or series that you’ve always wanted them to try. Chances are, they aren’t doing much these days, so it could be a good time for them to start reading something. If they’re the kind that doesn’t like sitting still with their nose in a book for several hours in a day, tell them to read a page or two. Who knows, they might get completely engrossed in the book you’ve recommended, especially if it’s a thriller or mystery and might start becoming bookworms.
4. Go Through a TV Series Together
Introverts love deep-diving into plots and characters, be it book, movie, or TV series. If you have an extrovert friend who knows that nerdy side of you and loves you anyway, why not take this time to watch a series together albeit in your separate homes? You can challenge them to a discussion after each episode to debunk a plot that doesn’t seem to make sense or even debate on your characters. You, as the nerdy introvert will enjoy the mind-stimulating exercise (plus it will give you the opportunity to geek out a bit!) and your extrovert friend will enjoy getting the chance to talk to someone other than their pet.
5. Challenge Them to a Workout/Exercise Goal
If you have extrovert friends who are physically active, they won’t pass up this challenge to shed a few pounds during the lockdown. Thankfully, there are apps that can keep track of the number of minutes you exercise or jog. Some of them don’t even require the use of gym equipment! You and your friend can download any one of those apps and keep each other accountable to stay fit and healthy during this lockdown period. Challenge each other to a two- or three-times-a-week workout session and get healthy even while you’re social-distancing. There are quite a number of fitness instructors who are releasing exercise videos or doing Facebook or Instagram Live workout sessions. You and your extrovert friend can join and try them out!
6. Exchange Those Delicious Recipes
Now is your time to unleash your inner Gordon Ramsey or Jamie Oliver. I’ve traded several recipes with friends over the past weeks. It’s not a competition, but it does keep all of us (our extroverted friends included) pretty much occupied. We’ve tried different recipes of pasta and different dishes (some even spanning various countries’ cuisines)! It’s not a competition but simply an exchange of ideas and good food.
7. Engage in a Worthy Cause
Just because you’re not a frontliner or an essential worker doesn’t mean you can’t support those who are. Now is the time to help others even while you are just at home. You and your extroverted friend can take part in campaigns to help frontliners or you can volunteer virtually with your local government as they work to keep everyone safe. I know groups that allow you to do volunteer research work for medical organizations that are trying to find out more about the COVID-19. There are also groups that are scouring the news for any possible violations of human rights as countries are imposing lockdowns. Whatever interests you and your friend, go for it! Don’t be limited by the fact that you can’t step outside because there will always be ways to help.
Whether you do one of these or all or even come up with something of your own to do, your extroverted friend will surely appreciate it. Just because you can’t meet up doesn’t mean you can’t talk or do things together. It’s important to assure your extroverted friends that you want to help them in any way you can. A little kindness goes a long way and in times like this, we need all the kindness, help, and care we can get as we go through social distancing together.
© 2020 Alyssa