I’m an introvert which, contrary to popular belief, doesn’t mean I hate people. Sure, sometimes I can feel that way but doesn’t everyone?
When lockdown round one began in March there were a lot of remarks about how introverts were now in their element which was true for me and many others for about the first month or two. See although it’s commonly known that introverts like to be alone the misconception is that they like to be alone all the time. Just like everyone else we do get lonely and need and enjoy social interaction, but we just don’t thrive on it in the same way an extrovert would. It’s far more exhausting for an introvert to constantly interact and engage with people all the time – they need time to unwind.
I often refer to it as being like a battery. Being introverted is like having fast charge on your phone and a long-lasting battery whilst being extroverted is like having normal charge on your phone and a battery that doesn’t last as long so needs to be charged more often.
Pre COVID, I worked between two offices plus lived with my three siblings and both my parents. Because I was interacting with a lot of different people each week, I tended to spend my evenings and weekends on my own which did get me the reputation that I only left my house for work. Which in some cases was true. It just depended on how the week went. If I was too exhausted or overwhelmed from the week then I’d stay in my room but if I wasn’t then I’d do things with my family and friends.
Now, however, I find myself seeking more connections and human interaction because I’m spending far more time alone. And the interactions I do have are different. I used to hate talking to people on the phone, so much so that the people around me knew that I wouldn’t pick up if they called, however now it’s a little different. You may even get a call from me. Which will most likely be a video call so I can see your face and it feels more like a normal connection than texting.
I don’t know about you but lockdown round two has been harder for me than the first time. I think this is for a number of different reasons. One being that we were spoiled in the summer. Having the freedom to physically hang out with my friends for my birthday and throughout the summer was great but doing a 180 back into lockdown was a lot tougher. Another would be that my friends have finished Uni and have now moved back to Cornwall so whereas before we’d only be able to meet within their Uni breaks, now I would have the opportunity to meet whenever, but due to restrictions am unable.
Technology has definitely helped through providing ways to connect with people who live near or far; allowing me to continue college and work; enabling access to entertainment and an escape from what’s going on in the world. However, it’s not the same as face to face interaction.
Going forward I think it’s a matter of continuing what I’m already doing. Making and having those important connections and human interactions online but also face to face where possible. One positive about this second lockdown (and now the new tier system) is that it isn’t as strict. I can still go get my Christmas hot chocolate from Costa (the terry’s chocolate orange one is amazing by the way) and whilst I’m there can have an actual face to face (although we’re wearing facemasks and have a glass shield between us) conversation with someone outside of my house. Christmas is also a great distraction for me. I get far too into making and buying presents for people. It’s not even December yet and I’m almost done Christmas shopping. In fact I only have one more present to make and I’ll be done.