What can extroverts who are stuck in an introverted world learn from their polar opposites?
Introverts have learnt to adapt and fit into an extrovert world, but now, in pandemic times and LOCKDOWN, we can learn from the introverts way of negotiating the world, keeping in mind that there are many degrees of introversion.
Both introversion and extroversion are at the heart of human nature, but extroversion is the favoured one. We have built our societies on extroversion and let the introverted adapt.
How we cope in lockdown has a lot to do with our temperament and personality.
Do you feel bored and lonely? You’re likely more extroverted.
Do you feel relief and perhaps even thrive in creative ways? You’re likely an introvert.
Introverts are often labelled as weird and judged as arrogant. They are wrongly thought of as antisocial, shy and even boring. Many even think introverts are suffering from social phobia or that they have an avoidant personality disorder.
Introverts do not fear nor do they dislike people. Introverts are not shy. They are self-aware with intense and rich inner lives.
Introverts are re-energised by exploring their inner life and by doing this they can function and even thrive in an extrovert world
Introverts choose aloneness, not loneliness.
We live in an extrovert world, but now in a pandemic world and under lockdown, we’re in an introverts’ world, so what can extroverts learn from this time?
11 things we all do/experience more of now and introverts do differently
It’s not just good, but necessary to be silent. Every day. This is also when we begin to hear the voice within. The voice within is our saviour, the first one who will either listen to understand or interrupt to judge, make sure it’s on your side.
Silence is a self-control substitute. Practice silence when hearing or seeing something that sparks a strong reaction in you while under lockdown and when released try to create instead of reacting.
In a desperate situation, you’re the first person you talk to, make sure you are best friends with yourself, but also in conversations with others as it’s important to listen. Introverts are great listeners. Introverts observe quietly while thinking deeply. Introverts are nice, but they can also be radically honest. If you want to have a kinky chat, say so, don’t do a romantic dance, ask and the introvert will respond positively. Authentic requests are always favoured over drivel and false niceties.
Introverts don’t like the gym, they prefer exercising outdoors or at home, and now everyone must try the same. Thanks to the internet, it’s easy to try new exercises, and it doesn’t have to be back bending, yin yoga, for example, is like meditation for people who don’t like to meditate, it melts away stress, it allows an intimacy with self, it increases flexibility, the breath reaches the inner core and sweeps it clean giving you a fab afterglow, it releases stored emotions, restores energy and promotes longevity and it’s naturally pro ageing.
Try watching something you know you’re not going to like and see what you can learn from opening your mind.
Try slow movies that speak to the emotions and the intellect, films that show life as beautiful and that we should love each other more. Make love, not war movies. Slow movies are action-packed in conversations.
Reading is necessary, not just for fun or for learning, but to explore, experiment and remain curious, the more you learn the more you want to understand and the more you learn the less you know.
Introverts know how to eat healthily. Eating is first and foremost for nourishment, and introverts have mindful eating down to an art. Food is an art and how you eat it too. Sit down and eat with yourself, no distractions, don’t read, don’t watch, just eat and talk to yourself, out loud if you want, in your head works too. Many introverts are highly sensitive and have learnt to listen to their bodies and therefore feed their bodies to get the best energy. Now is a good time to start. Instead of stuffing our faces, we can hone into our bodies to listen and learn.
Sex can be joyous on one’s own too. A rich fantasy can aid in reaching different heights. Introverts feel fiercely and love deeply. They feel with every molecule in their body and therefore self-sex with deep fantasy can sustain an introvert during an extended lockdown.
If you have a partner/lover you can’t see during the lockdown, sexting is an area where introverts thrive, their dirty talking skills are erotically off the chart thanks to their rich fantasy.
Writing is not just for writers, it’s for everyone, it’s mental health care - writing to find out what’s important, what you know, what you don’t know, what you want to get rid of are all important self-care prompts.
Introverts tend to deplete energy on social media as it’s hard to have deep conversations on most of the social media sites. Small talk is harder for introverts, and every word is well thought out and thoroughly considered before posting.
When in groups, introverts break their own ice and if they don’t, it’s because they have nothing to add. Introverts can listen without making it about them; they ask questions to learn how you’re going to help yourself.
Yes, death is definite, but it’s not a punishment to die, it’s a natural part of life.
We’re not in charge, but we can get to know death with our intellect to prepare for the day when we too will make the unknown journey to the other side. Introverts know this innately and make their own decision how to honour and grieve a loved departed. Introverts aren’t influenced by culture. Introverts create culture.
Introverts are always dreaming up new and wonderful ways of living and most people think they are crazy, but they don’t care. In these uncertain times we all need to tune into our introverted side to pull out those weird and wonderful ideas percolating in the depths of our minds, and the good thing is we don’t have to do it in groups to come up with great ideas. Teams often fall into the trap of group thinking, but creativity is linked to introversion.
If we problematize our concerns about the human family and the planet, to come up with new ideas for how all of us can live in relative peace, who knows what crazy shit we’d come up with? This is an opportunity for all of us to think deeply about our future. The goal of design thinking isn’t being right, it’s to come up with as many ideas as possible.
Ambiverts have the best of both temperaments
Some people don’t fit neatly into either extroversion or introversion, ambiverts have the best of both worlds, but whoever you are, your traits are fine, you’re fine and we’re in this together, we’ll get through it by acknowledging that it takes all types to make a world.
This is also a time for introverts to learn that being productive doesn’t mean constant creative output. It’s also a time to take stock of our self-worth, self-love and self-respect.
In the end, what matters is not if others think you have a rich life, it’s the self who decides. Introverts have lots of interesting, intense and rich experiences in life and most introverts’ lives would make a good movie.
If this pandemic extends, even introverts might have to go a little extroverted to cope, maybe share a video of your isolation strategies, it could save lives.
This experience is after all not chosen, it’s been forced upon us and we might respond by shifting our personality, extroverts might finally see the positives of introversion and introverts might find joy in finally sharing some of their superpowers. We must stop battling our own true nature. We must honour our temperament. In these extraordinary times, we must make peace with ourselves.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Tina Brescanu