Staying Away from People: An Introverts Guide for Extroverts

The world is gripped it in a pandemic fueled frenzy. If you’re experience is anything like mine, I’m sure you are all experiencing events being canceled, gatherings being rescheduled, and hand soap and toilet paper almost impossible to find in grocery stores.

It’s a bit scary, I’ll admit. The people I feel the worst for are all you extroverts out there. Being around other people is what gives you energy and fulfillment and your opportunities to do so have now been greatly reduced, if not completely eliminated.

Never fear. We introverts have been preparing for this moment for literally our entire lives.

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

I have some pointers

Find things to do

Boredom is everyone’s enemy. Introverts tend to handle boredom a bit better because our favorite activities can easily be done at home. Should you be quarantined, this is a perfect time to finally tackle some of those projects you’ve been wanting to work on. Pull out a board game to play with the family, dust off that old gaming console, or pick up one of those books you always been meaning to read.

Take time to introspect

When was the last time you took a walk with nothing but the silence to keep you company? Being under quarantine doesn’t mean you have to lock yourself inside. Find somewhere beautiful and take a walk. Allow your mind to wander. If you get ideas or insights, jot them down so you don’t forget. If you tend to be a tactile person, you can do the same thing by a writing down your thoughts long hand and letting what ever your brain wants to tell you to flow out. You might find things that surprise you.

Celebrate what you have

It’s really easy to fixate on the things you want but don’t have. Why not use this time to cultivate a new respect and gratitude for the things you do have? An abundance of stress lowers the immune system’s ability to to fight off illness. However, gratitude and a positive outlook have been proven to reduce stress. Take a few minutes as often as you can to consider something you are grateful for.

Honor your body’s needs

It’s really easy to let a huge change in schedule throw everything off, especially if you are trying to work from home for the first time. Pay attention to what your body needs. Get enough sleep. Drink lots of water. Balance work and play. Don’t binge on junk food. Set clear boundaries between when you need to work verses when you get to relax.

When all else fails, there’s always social media and online games

If you end up in quarantine, what a good age to have it in. We have everything we need to stay in contact with loved ones. There’s Skype and Facetime, there’s the full pantheon of social media outlets, there are masses of online gaming communities. For every itch, there are lots of scratches if you are feeling lonely. Try something new.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Regardless of what happens

Please observe common sense cautions. No, really. Doing the easy things is often forgotten. Wash your hands, cover your coughs and sneezes, and use common sense. We’ll get through this, I promise.


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The Introvert’s Survival Guide to the Holidays

Image courtesy of cescassawin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of cescassawin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Dear introverts of the world (you know who you are),

This time of year with its festive atmosphere and required attendance to social events, brings its own set of challenges. Holiday events almost always include crowds, noise, late hours, and interacting with strangers.  For an introvert these extra demands are a source of anxiety and stress.  Even for those who consider themselves people people can find the demands placed on them this season exhausting.

Here’s a few tips and pointers to help introverts, and those who love them, survive the season.

  1. Don’t overbook – There are parties and events that you will be required to attend, such as work and family parties.   Then there are all of the other events – concerts, shopping, caroling, and you name it.  Make sure that for every night out on the town there are at least one or two quiet evenings at home to recharge.
  2. Plan “me” time into each day – It is important for you as an introvert to feel like you’ve had time to enjoy your favorite activities.  This doesn’t have to be long, even a half an hour a day where you know you won’t be interrupted can be enough to feel more centered.
  3. Make the best of situations – Chances are you will have to be somewhere that you might not want to go.  Before you begin, take a few moments to find three positive things about the event.  This will force your brain to find what you like about the event and then you will have a focus.  Your positives might be, free food, good music, and spending time with friends.  During the event then you need to make sure to enjoy those three things.
  4. Become a conversation guru – At social events you will be surrounded by people, many of which will not know how to hold a conversation. Don’t be one of them. One of the greatest myths about introverts is that we don’t like talking to strangers.  This isn’t true.  We just don’t like making inane small talk.  Get us talking about something we are interested in and we won’t shut up. On the same note, one of the easiest ways to get a good conversation going is to make someone else talk about something they are passionate about.  Ask questions.  Find things that you have in common.  
  5. Prioritize what’s really important – There are different events that hold special significance to everyone.  It is important that these things take precedence above other events. If it’s important to sing carols around the tree with cocoa and family, make sure it happens.  If you can’t feel the holiday spirit without making a drive out to Grandma’s, put it on the calendar.  
  6. Enlist backup – Whatever you do, if you are going to any social event, try not to go alone.  Having a significant other or dear friend along for the ride will ease some of the anxiety of being in uncomfortable places. If anything, they will give you someone to laugh with and talk to that understands.

While the holiday season can be full of uncomfortable moments for an introvert, there are also plenty of opportunities to make great memories and build traditions that will last for years to come.

Here’s wishing all of you a Very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a fabulous New Year!