When extroverts enter the introverts’ world
We’re now a little over a week into the COVID-19 induced isolation, and undoubtedly by now you extroverts are climbing the walls. You’ve missed out on family gatherings, parties, concerts and festivals, sporting events, hanging out with friends, shopping at the mall, dinner with your besties and more. Perhaps you even miss the water cooler conversations at the office.
And though it’s only been a short while, it feels like an eternity. How are you supposed to be socially distant when your life is all about socially connecting?
You’re just not hard wired to live an isolated life in a world created for and dominated by extroverts. There’s a good possibility you’re already planning your post-isolation liberation party with dozens of your friends, and you fully intend to hug each and every one of them. Some of them, twice. Heck, at this point, you’d even hug strangers just to get your extrovert “fix.”
We introverts want you to know that we feel your pain.
We know all too well what it’s like to live in a world that is not real accommodating for people like us. We’re the quiet ones, the thinkers, the fixers, the observers. We’re the listeners, the healers, the ones who are very proactive of our space and of whom we let into it—as well as from whom we keep at a distance far greater than six feet. Many of us don’t hug strangers or casual acquaintances because it’s just not what we do. And truth be told, tragic circumstances aside, we are loving this isolation. Because it’s who we are and what we do, naturally.
So here’s the deal: we acknowledge your discomfort and are really trying to ensure you are okay with this temporary seclusion. Hopefully it won’t be long before the world returns to “normal”—at least “normal” by your social standards.
But we also ask the same of you in return. We’re hoping that after spending a little time in our world, you recognize that we are different, and that this is okay. We hope you come to understand that when we opt to leave a crowded event a bit early, or that we pass on certain social gatherings because it’s outside of our comfort zone, that when we painstakingly avoid being in the spotlight or the center of attention, we’re not being difficult. We’re being our own kind of “normal.” So we’d be grateful if others try to be a little more understanding and a little less frustrated by and judgmental of our actions (or lack thereof.)
Sure, many of us have mastered the art of putting on our extrovert hats and doing what needs to be done, both in business and in life. But truth be told, in some situations, it’s our introvert traits that give us an almost unfair advantage—our superpowers, as it were. And for that, we are humbly grateful.
So all you extroverts, we want to say this: Hang in there.
For you, your time in the discomfort zone is just a short time longer. For the introverts, operating outside of our comfort zones will continue for a lifetime. (And many of us wouldn’t have it any other way!)