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COVID-19 and the Lives of Introverts and Extroverts

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, an introverted person's interests tend to be “directed inwards toward his/her own feelings and thoughts.” On the other hand, an extrovert is someone whose attention is directed “towards other people and the outside world.” To say extroverts gain energy from others while introverts gain energy on their own can be considered a simpler way to identify the two personalities or groups.

As many have discovered over the course of the pandemic, keeping a healthy mentality and mindset posed difficulties and its simplicities. Back in April, I was truly curious about how my friends were handling quarantine and isolation in general. After receiving different views and opinions on the subject, I concluded that there was a pattern. The majority of people who classify themselves as introverts tended to respond to me with “It was much more relaxing.” or even “I haven’t felt this calm and self aware in a long time.” However extroverts would come back to me with “It’s as if I'm not in touch with the world.” or “At least I can say everyone’s in the same boat as me.” “In March, it was almost exhilarating and unbelievable to me that we were all able to have everyday classes from home,” admitted one of my extroverted friends, “However, by the start of May, my tolerance and engagement for school had plummeted. My grades didn’t drop or anything; I was just simply mentally exhausted.” It is not only evident that COVID-19 has shown an even wider separation between the two groups, but that it practically functioned in the favor of the well-being of introverts.

It truly isn’t shocking that myself, an introvert, feels that the days of quarantine felt like a sort of relaxing holiday/work thing. I found that over these past few years I have been running a marathon and never really got any “me time.” However, with quarantine that completely changed. I believe that even extroverts can relate to the fact that everyone has found new obsessions and even learned new things about themselves through these past eight months.

Maintaining a positive mindset without falling into deep terrifying thoughts has been a struggle for both extroverts and introverts. I also find it very intriguing that human beings are able to find commonality (whether it's missing friends or finding ways to distract themselves) in appalling times.

I am not intending to stereotype or categorize anyone. Some people may identify themselves as ambiverts, those who are who are neither introverts or extroverts, but who stand in the middle of the spectrum. I guess we can all agree, whether an introvert, extrovert or ambivert, that every single human being on this planet is currently living through odd and scary times that history will forever view as perhaps exceptional. Now, it’s our mental challenge to search for different ways to live our life with joy and hopefully relaxation.


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