Where are all my introverts at? (I’m waving my hand wildly in the air over here!)
Do you recharge best by having a steady stream of alone time? If so, how has the last year been for you? If you were anything like me (introverted to the core), you honestly thought you were going to THRIVE during this past year with Covid lockdowns! I remember thinking, “Yes! My time has finally come! A built-in excuse to hibernate and be one with my thoughts every day!”
Turns out though, that us introverts didn’t fare so hot.
Consider the following facts:
– Half of introverts surveyed report increased levels of loneliness during the pandemic, as compared to only one-third of extraverts
– 31% of introverts report higher instances of unhappiness, compared to only 12% of extraverts
– Nearly 7 in 10 introverts cannot think of a fun/unique way they’ve kept in touch with loved ones during the pandemic; 47% of extraverts say the same
Even as an introvert myself, I thought those statistics were a bit surprising. But, after thinking about it and reflecting on my own feelings the past few months, I can now see the reasoning.
This is going to sound way harsh and maybe even not very “friend-like”, but I’ll be honest. While I love the girlfriends that I have in my life, initially I was not sad at all to have to take a break from the guilt I felt for not meeting up for get-togethers or replying to messages (built-in “covid” excuse). I cringe at the very idea of posting this thought, by the way. Friends, I love you dearly….but apparently I love myself more! Ha!
But seriously, what I realized at some point over the past year is that friends truly do play such an important part in our lives. Forcing myself to get out and interact with them was a positive and necessary thing for me to be my best self. And it took a forced quarantine to help me figure this out.
So it turns out that extroverts were the real winners of Covid lockdowns.
They had all-around better coping mechanisms when it came to communication and reaching out to friends and family. Whether it was reaching out via zoom, holding wine nights online with friends to check-in, they figured out how to keep the positivity and faith going.
Conversely, introverts, generally speaking, were much less likely than extraverts to keep in touch via other methods aside from face-to-face interaction (phone calls, video calls, messages, etc.)
Let’s ‘fess up, fellow introverts, and concede that we may not have been at our peek creativity during Covid restrictions when it came to our communication. I know that I personally didn’t take much initiative to interact with family and friends in new ways when I definitely could have. I’m not sure what causes that disconnect in me to just coast along and let things “play out”, but I do know that acknowledging the behavior is the first step to change.
So, that’s what I plan to do from here on out. Time to get out of my own way and get back into the social scene again…what ever that looks like during this weird time in our history.
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In the end though, what I want to say to all of our wonderful and loving extrovert friends on behalf of all the introverts is “Thank You.” Thank you for understanding your introverted friends’ deep need to have more solo time than you can probably even fathom any human ever needing and managing to not take it personally. You truly are gifts in our lives and bring out the best in us.
I think back over my life at the friends I’ve had over the years, and the way I’ve unintentionally pulled away for periods at a time and how confusing, and maybe even hurtful, that might have felt to them. Let me just say….it wasn’t you. It was me. And while I’m happy and content at being the introvert that I am by nature, I’m also working on seeing it from a different perspective. I want to grow and nurture both myself AND our friendship during those seasons of my life from now on.
So, now that we are starting to get back to “normal life” again, a first step I wanted to take was to get together with just one friend…to stick my toe back in the proverbial water, so to speak.
So, rather than thinking “I really should message <fill in the blank> and have us get together” and then never doing it, I’m proud to say that I went a different route this time. The VERY second I thought of it this time around, I picked up my phone and immediately messaged my sweet blogger friend Keki (before I could talk myself out of it!) to hang out for a little boho picnic and do what we enjoy doing most…..making pretty setups, eating fancy charcuterie and capturing it all in photos.
ps….if you don’t follow along with me over on Instagram, I’d love it if you would! It’s a fun place to be able to chat, interact and get to know one another. Also, with the algorithm doing crazy things these days, one thing you can do to be sure to catch my posts is click on the three little dots at the top of any of my posts and a drop down menu with “turn on post notifications” will appear. Click on that and you’ll always be in the know! I so appreciate hearing from you guys on social, so thank you in advance!
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Also, can we talk about how fabulous this charcuterie spread is from Natalie of Brie + Herb Charcuterie?! You can also find her on Facebook here. She is a local Baton Rouge girl, who found a passion for putting together these boards for all kinds of events and began her small business journey. More than anything, I LOVE connecting with small women-owned businesses and sharing their talents and offerings.
So when you’re looking to make a great impression at the next event you’re invited to (OR you decide to initiate a friend get-together! *hint, hint), get in touch with her and tell her I sent you for $5 off your order! She takes all kinds of special requests and will work to make the perfect set up for you!
So, I want to know how YOU personally fared with your friendships the past year? Did you grow even closer to some? Did other friendships kind of fall by the wayside? I’d love to hear about your experience with it during Covid.