The most recent studies suggest that personality dispositions play a crucial role in the ways of coping with social isolation. Obviously, different types of people respond to COVID-19 in different ways, and sometimes quite unpredictable.

According to the study published in Frontiers in Psychology, the psychological effects of lockdown are hitting introverts harder than extroverts. Isn’t it surprising?

Although introverted people were thriving at first, they started experiencing some lows after a few months. Unfortunately, staying at home all the time isn’t the nirvana they expected. The study revealed that introverted people had more depressive symptoms and anxiety levels during their social isolation compared to extroverted individuals. Also, higher introversion can significantly increase loneliness.

Even though introverts need to crave some space and be alone, the quarantine has proved that even they have some limits with “me time”. Probably, the reason is that introverts typically experience emotions more intensely, so they need someone to share their feelings with.

Since extroverts need socialization to charge their batteries, they are also suffering because even a short conversation comes with complications during the pandemic. So both personality types are facing unique challenges and are forced to live outside their comfort zones.

The lockdown gives extroverted people a chance to tap into their inner introvert. During the quarantine, they have an opportunity to think more deeply, embrace silence, and be more present with their family and friends.

But at the same time, extroverts struggle with solitude because society tends to emphasize developed social skills but fails to encourage similar solitude skills. Some research shows that while introverted people can act like extroverts to adapt to social situations, it’s much harder for extroverted individuals to act introverted.

How extroverts and introverts can peacefully coexist during the pandemic? Consider the tips given below.

Don't take things personally

If the socialization needs of extroverts or introverts in your life differ from yours, you shouldn’t feel rejected and hurt.

Extroverts need to communicate with more people and it doesn’t say anything about the quality of their relationship with an introvert or the strength of their bond. Hence, introverts shouldn’t think that they are not enough when their partner is socializing with anybody else.

Also, extroverted individuals shouldn’t persuade introverts to participate in Zoom calls as it may be very emotionally and mentally draining for them.

Ask about needs

Try to be transparent with others. Ask your introverted friend if they are in the mood for a talk or just want to be silent. In case you sense that an extrovert is itching to talk, inquire with them, ask if they want to hash something out with you. During the lockdown, it’s very important to be accommodating and explicit in voicing your needs.

Be adaptable

All people have different needs for mental and emotional nourishment, hence communication is vital. Keep sharing with your partner what’s working best for you and what is not effective. Find the best ways to connect with your close people by adapting to the needs of each other.

Anton Kurapov

Anton Kurapov

PhD, a professor assistant at Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Fascinated by the role of psychology in lives of people and simply astonished by the complexity of the brain and its functions.

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