Are there some benefits of being an introvert in these tough times of the COVID-19 pandemic? See most of the people have had to work from home. There are those who are adjusting well to all this and have discovered the perfect work home life balance. Then there are those who are feeling the social effects of having to be alone during this time and are caving under the pressure. Depending on whether you are living the extrovert or introvert life, both types of people might be dealing with all this lockdown business differently.
Read on as I give you my experience about the perks of being an introvert… as I am one…
Advantages of being an introvert
Seeing as I am an introvert, what really makes me sane is being alone. I usually perform optimally when I am alone. So what used to happen when things were normal, that is before the pandemic, I used to like working in quiet places because that is what energized me. So I would go into work very early and then leave after everyone was out. See, when I was alone, that is when I would do my work perfectly well. Mostly, during the day, you would find me in an empty conference room working there since I didn’t have my own office place. Being around people all day used to exhaust me.
Working at home has been a relief
For me, the COVID-19 has been like a blessing in disguise. I have enjoyed so many introvert benefits. Can you imagine how ecstatic I was when a directive was given that we all work from home? The introverted advantage is that people like me are not caving under the pressure of being alone. Working at home during the pandemic has been such a relief. Now, at least I can keep off the constant interactions of my normal workplace. You have no idea how my introvert life used to be affected by having to work in an open-plan office. That is why I used to look for conference rooms to work from there.
Are there some challenges that I am facing?
Much as I have enjoyed the benefits of being an introvert during COVID-19, I have had to face some challenges working from home. Much as I have enjoyed the advantages of being an introvert, there is some intrusiveness that has come with the lockdown. For instance, one thing that I have been having trouble with is video calls. That is quite intrusive. I feel like much as I have left the office, people are still following me into my private space.
I am glad that I live alone. At least I am enjoying the introverted advantage of spending most of my time alone at home without the usual interruptions of the scheduled video calls and all. Now I cannot imagine what is happening to introverts who have to be locked out with others at home.
When I was living at home before I moved out, can you believe that the office space used to be my to-go place to feel sane? All the noise and people fighting over what to watch used to get to me. So at work, at least I would put on my headphones and just tune out people as I worked.
Can you imagine what it can be like having to share some small space at home with others? I cannot begin to imagine how tight that space can feel. No more commuting to have some alone time… No more conference room to lock yourself in. That can really interfere with the perks of being an introvert.
I am thriving because of the limited interactions
Now, as I have mentioned earlier, we introverts are energized by limited social interactions. So sometimes whenever possible, I usually tell people from the workplace to call or email if a video call is not totally necessary. I just wasn’t to fully soak the introvert advantage of working from home.
Now that said, it doesn’t really mean that I hate being around people. I still miss the occasional banters in the office. But what really happens is that at talk to my family and friends whenever I can. Plus in order to feel a little less suffocated in the house, I run and take walks around the block.
So how are extroverts coping?
The extrovert dilemma
Extroverts love being around people. That is what energizes them. They are always trying to look for moments where they can interact and engage with people. They are at their optimal performance when they are working with others… well, at least they thrive way better than introverts do. They don’t like being alone for long. Some feel a bit uncomfortable.
So this is where the extrovert dilemma comes in during the COVID-19 pandemic. These equal opposites of mine are being deprived of the physical presence of their colleagues now that they have to work from home. No open space where they can work as they informally chat with others. They miss the conference meetings where they could get loud and laugh. They are missing the coffee breaks and all.
Well, this extrovert disadvantage is definitely happening to those who aren’t staying at home with other people. This extrovert dilemma is happening to those who have to stay at home alone. They miss the simple interactions they were used to when they were going to work. This staying at home isn’t working for them. My friend was even telling me how he is having difficulty working from home. It is like he has become slower and he feels like there is no motivation to get up in the morning. There is no motivation to even leave the bed and work.
How extroverts are coping
Let me tell you the story of my friend Bob. What he missed most is the socializing with colleagues after work. For me not having to socialize was one of the benefits of being an introvert and working from home. For him, having to stay at home alone was a disaster. So he tried scheduling a zoom drinking gig with me. But all he did was complaining about how having a drink in front of the computer was not the same. He did not want to imagine how he was going to cope especially seeing as the lockdown was somewhat indefinite.
The lack of personal contact was his biggest issue. Video chats are really not doing it for them either. While I am enjoying the introvert benefits of being home alone, he is more scared of catching cabin fever than he is of coronavirus. Every time I used to talk to him, he would make me feel guilty of enjoying the introvert advantage. Anyway eventually, he had to adjust to the zoom meetings and video calls. Plus jogging around the block and going to the supermarket used to be the highlight of his days.
At least most of us are somewhere in between.
The good thing is that most of us tend to lie in between. Much as I am enjoying the benefits of being an introvert during the lockdown, from time to time, I do miss the human interaction at work. I must admit though that I am less motivated to have video calls with my colleagues. I may be alone at home but to be honest, I don’t really feel lonely. If anything my boss is really hailing my work right now.
For more articles about how to cope with the lockdown, visit Love is All Colors.