Isolation has presented us all with some pretty unique challenges. Extroverts in particular…
I’m sure there are a lot of people who had never given it a second thought whether they’re an introvert or extrovert, but isolation has brought a lot of new self-discoveries to the surface. I see this as a good thing. My philosophy is that when you’re aware of something it’s empowering because that means you can influence it.
Some are struggling with isolation, others are thriving. Your introversion and extroversion isn’t a definitive reason why you would struggle or thrive, but it does play a huge role, so being aware and playing to your needs right now can be a saving grace.
The quick and dirty overview of introverts and extroverts is that introverts are energised by alone time and extroverts are energised by the company of others. It’s not a case of all or nothing, we all have a unique balance of how much time with others we need versus solo time. But it’s fair to say that some of us need more of one than the other.
If quarantine has got you feeling particularly flat, sad or low then chances are you’re an extrovert wired for time with others and your batteries are running low because you can’t recharge in the way that you need to.
Take me for example, according to the 16 personalities online quiz I’m 95% extrovert, which I absolutely agree with. There’s no denying it that I’m an extrovert through and through. After facilitating a workshop, being at a social event or even playing a team sport – I’m absolutely buzzing! My energy tank is full, dare I say it can easily overflow into hyper if I’m really having a great time. I’d say I’m an extreme case of extroversion. I have so many beautiful friends who are much the other way inclined (huge introverts) who would be absolutely drained after the social experience that I thrive on.
Personally I’ve felt flatter than ever before during this isolation period and a huge reason for that is the fact that as an extrovert I get a great deal of energy from others and being around others is exactly what we’re not allowed to do right now. Introverts still have the potential to steal away for some time alone if they need it, but us extroverts can’t throw ourselves into the bustling social environments that energise us so much. So what can we do?
In all honesty writing this blog has been really challenging because as an extrovert I honestly feel like there’s nothing that can stand in the place of that ‘real life’ group social interaction. But alas, this is the hand we’ve been dealt at the moment and we have to try our best – so for the sake of my mental health and yours, here are some tips for extroverts in isolation. I hope this helps you (or an extrovert you care about) to get through this isolation stage of life with as much energy as possible.
Tips for extroverts
during covid-19 isolation:
Opt for Facetime. While video is a poor substitute for a real person it’s better than nothing, so if you’re making a call opt for facetime so you can get some extra energy from being in the ‘company’ of another person.
Meet over a conversation catalyst. Bring groups together over common things to bring a new zest to your conversations. You could try wine tasting, book clubs, charades or even have an online mums’ group.
Bounce ideas and brainstorm. This would normally happen naturally in the office because we love a chin wag, but it’s not going to happen organically when you’re working from home so you’re going to need to reach out to colleagues and friends.
Hit up live sessions. Go out of your way to (and maybe out of your comfort zone) to jump on some live and interactive experiences like live online group exercise classes (I highly recommend Alex Dysons hilarious ‘Zoom-ba’ sessions on Instagram live), or you could do an online workshop together (of course I highly recommend the short sharp 30min sessions I’m running at the moment via zoom to help people control what they can during COVID-19. You can check out the upcoming topics and session times here on my website). There’s something about being in the moment with a group of people that can really give us extroverts a boost!
Give back. Let the thought of helping someone else energise and refresh you (for me I’m giving back through my free weekly mini workshops)
Be extra mindful of self-care right now. If you know what you need – do what you can to make it happen
Schedule things in that help you to connect. We’re not all about shallow, big group experiences as extroverts, we need deep, quality conversations just like anyone else too, so make sure you schedule in that zoom with your mum, your best friend or you mentor. Give yourself a quality connection to look forward to.
Exercise with a friend. It’s not a group but it’s a REAL PERSON! Get out of the house, meet up with a friend (from a safe distance of course) and go for a walk together.
Be around activity without being in it. By that I mean go for a walk where others are likely to be walking, keep your distance but enjoy the smiles, nods and waves to fellow walkers. Even seeing strangers from afar can be the boost an extrovert needs right now.
Visit from the car. Why not do a drive by and wave to a friend in ‘real life’ while keeping your distance. I’m shocked by how effective this simple little interaction can be!
Change up your environment. If you’re not ready or able to throw yourself into interactive experiences, the least you can do is give your brain something new to work with. Try working from and spending time in different parts of your home. Pack up your laptop and follow the sun around the house and into the garden. A change is as good as a holiday right?
So there you have it, if you’re an extrovert and you’re feeling low then check back in on this list and see what you can do to simulate some of those ‘real life’ experiences with others so you can get that energy boost you need. And if you have an extroverted friend who’s a bit flat… maybe you could be that stellar comrade who helps them reenergise by encouraging them to join you in some of these things.