The Truth About Introverts & Why the Quarantine is Hard on Us, Too

introverts, introverts in quarantine, mental health of introverts in quarantine, introverts and COVID19, Kristen Lamb, social distancing and introverts

Introverts tend to get a bad rap. No, we are not ALL serial killers. Okay…known serial killers.

They have to catch you first 😀 .

Wait, where was I?

Oh, yeah. So, first of all, far too many people equate introversion with social anxiety, when those are two totally different topics. One can actually be an extrovert and suffer extreme social anxiety.

Really. Not kidding. He’s usually the sweet quiet guy in the corner of a dance club with an umbrella in his drink. Maybe no umbrella…but probably at least a flamingo swizzle stick. #TrueScienceIJustMadeUp

….I digress.

So this myth that introverts are all hermits huddled in caves eschewing any human contact, relishing in the day that they’re the only person left on the planet? Pure myth.

We only THOUGHT we wanted that until recently.

This myth goes along with the idea that we are freaks who live in our mom’s basement making lampshades out of Kirby Vacuum salespeople.

For the record, my mom didn’t have a basement. Basements freak me out, and I am not crafty enough to make lampshades out of…lampshades.

#EdGeinHumanFurnitureFail

Other myths? That we can’t be the life of the party. Or that introverts are—by immediate definition—shy, reclusive, or anti-social. We aren’t, though we can be.

My parents actually spent most of my childhood stopping me from trying to go home with strangers and re-home myself.

Defining Introverts & Extroverts

introverts, introverts in quarantine, mental health of introverts in quarantine, introverts and COVID19, Kristen Lamb, social distancing and introverts

First of all, the whole concept of extroverts and introverts has been around for over a hundred years. We can thank psychologist Carl Jung for popularizing the concept.

This, Kiddies, is where I want y’all to pay close attention. In 1921, Jung suggested the principal distinction between personalities had to do with the primary source and direction of an individual’s expression of energy. In lay terms?

How does yo’ battery work?

Large crowds and groups of people energizes the extrovert. Extroverts process externally. Left too long alone, the extrovert’s battery runs low. They require doses of people time to recharge.

Conversely, introverts require alone time. Crowds and groups of people deplete our batteries. I LOVE people. I’m the life of the party. But when I come home from conferences? I generally need to slip into something more comfortable…like a COMA.

Meet the Ambivert

Not related, but funny…

Very few people are pure introverts or pure extroverts, and—to be blunt—you don’t really want to be. A pure introvert or extrovert probably has a psychological disorder or phobia.

For instance a pure introvert that doesn’t want to be around ANY people probably DOES have some severe phobia that prevents socializing (agoraphobia, severe social anxiety, OCD, etc)

I mean, even the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski tried to have romance and even put out ads for a wife. And, in fairness, hard to outdo Ted on the hermit-introvert-hating-people spectrum.

Same for the other side of that bell curve. A pure extrovert would be intolerable. They could never be left alone, which after the age of three gets its own section in the DSM-V.

Introvert & Extrovert Different for All

introverts, introverts in quarantine, mental health of introverts in quarantine, introverts and COVID19, Kristen Lamb, social distancing and introverts

Yes, when it comes to how much of an introvert or extrovert we are and how this might manifest? We really ARE all special unique snowflakes. It’s all a reflection of nature and nurture, life experiences, strengths and weaknesses.

For instance, I loathe large crowds with the power of a thousand suns…unless I am presenting. You can put me on a stage in front of ten people or ten thousand or ten million and my wattage would just climb higher.

***I’d need more time to recover depending on the crowd.

But get me OFF that stage and IN that crowd and I promise you could literally watch me wilt in front of your eyes if it was a group larger than ten. Large groups drain me to the point of being physically ill if I can’t get away and alone to recharge.

This is why I don’t do concerts, hate bars, don’t do amusement parks on busy days and don’t shop at malls unless it’s during the week.

This is ALSO why I LOVE social media. As an introvert, it allows me to pace myself and what emotional energy I have to give…or not give.

Extroverts are the same. Just because they might need to be around people, the size of the group that recharges them or shorts them out might be different. And don’t assume that, just because they are quiet, they are an introvert.

Or, simply because someone is talkative and never met a stranger they’re an extrovert.

Not how this works.

Social Distancing Sucks for Introverts

introverts, introverts in quarantine, mental health of introverts in quarantine, introverts and COVID19, Kristen Lamb, social distancing and introverts

As an author, my life hasn’t changed all THAT much since the quarantining began. This said, that doesn’t mean it hasn’t taken a serious toll. Remember, just because I need alone time to recharge doesn’t mean I don’t need people time as well.

I’m actually having a really hard time and imagine I am not alone. Why is that? Let’s return to my battery analogy. Introverts recharge with alone time. We’ve had a LOT of ALONE TIME, meaning we’ve pretty much been left on the charger all spring.

What happens to batteries that you leave on a charger all the time? They break down and eventually don’t function as well. Why is that?

Because of how batteries charge, discharge and recharge. We have to use the device so as to discharge some if the electrons because of the nature of the chemical reactions happening at the anode and cathode.

If you’ve ever owned a laptop or a smartphone and noticed the battery life dropping? The likely culprit is an atomic buildup that’s negatively impacting the electrode’s effectiveness.

With the strict quarantine and almost no social time, we’re like batteries breaking down because we have none of our usual outlets to discharge that energy we’ve built up while being alone.

Introverts are Never ALWAYS Alone

introverts, introverts in quarantine, mental health of introverts in quarantine, introverts and COVID19, Kristen Lamb, social distancing and introverts

I’ll confess. Before the world went topsy-turvy, we introverts were probably the first to gripe about needing time alone. In fact, irony of ironies, my last blog post before the COVID19 pandemic hit was Quiet: Have We Forgotten to Be Still In a World That Never Stops?

I think that falls under the ‘Careful What You Wish for Category.’ #Oops

But the point was that my routine hasn’t changed a lot…but it’s been enough to really put a mental strain on me. And yes I AM SORRY. I guess I am never happy. Can we just find somewhere NOT in the extremes? Somewhere between lockdown and drinking from a friggin’ firehose?

Too much to ask? Just putting this out there for when we crawl out of the caves,.

Before this, I worked from home. Hubby works from home and I homeschool. But, I also could go to the gym, the park, Six Flags with Spawn and church on the weekends to visit family and friends.

I had ways of ‘discharging’ my battery that tired me out in good ways…then home to rest and recharge.

Now? I’ve had a really hard time even getting out of bed and couldn’t figure out why. I’m normally the Pollyanna.

Usually I’d be the one writing funny blogs or making videos to cheer everyone up and yet, lately, it’s been all I could do to wash my hair.

I Wanted to Know WHY

Which is why I shifted from writing about writing today and to blogging about introversion. As an introvert whose life hasn’t changed ALL THAT MUCH…why am I caving in?

***Aside from being drugged to the gills on allergy medicine.

For the first time in almost fourteen years of blogging I’m apathetic. I don’t want to write or talk to anyone or call anyone. I’ve lost interest in my garden. My crochet sits in a tangled mess. I’m SCANDINAVIAN and have lost my will to clean.

What was going ON?

At heart I am a creative person. But a lot of creative people are also fixers (engineers/tinkerers) deep down as well. So, I went to a rock quarry today.

Had thoughts of teaching myself how to mortar stone since someone ran over our mailbox (and I DID build a French well on my own last year). At the quarry I could be in the sun and think. And I could be FAR away from people unless I wanted to be squished by a backhoe.

There were enough people milling about that I perked up and this is when it hit me.

I’ve been an introvert battery sitting on the charger too long, and no I was NOT fine. Talking on-line or on Zoom or on a phone for whatever reason doesn’t replace being in proximity (even 6, or 10, or 15 feet) from other humans.

Knowledge Brings Peace

But, I guess figuring that little piece out helped me. When you’re fighting something you don’t understand—at least for me—it makes it worse. I was an introvert and should have been fine.

Why was I anything but?

I needed to discharge some energy. And maybe y’all can suggest some safe ways of doing that. It really isn’t about activity because I could do dishes or the wash and still just want to cry.

It’s about the social wiring inside of us that we are having to do something very unnatural in order to keep everyone healthy as we can.

Anyway, I think that me just knowing WHY I am going bonkers seemed to alleviate my anxiety a lot. Often being able to simply name a thing can take away its power and give you the strength to endure.

And maybe this post will help some of you know you are not alone. If you are an introvert also going bananas, I am right there with you. The extroverts aren’t the only ones chewing the wallpaper. Extroverts? Check on your introvert friends, too.

Lots of love. Stay safe and more on writing next week!

I LOVE Hearing From You!

Until we can all hang out, it will have to be here. I really would love to hear your thoughts. I’m bonkers enough to try and build a MAILBOX for god sakes. Hubby will take pictures when I mortar myself into the damned thing and look like Jabba the Hut has me in holding for a bounty.

Sigh.

Am I the only introvert going batty?

Is it wrong that I don’t WANT to use all this ‘freed up time’ to be MORE productive? I was ALREADY pretty frigging productive, thank you very much *ponytail swish*.

And YES I need cheese with my wine.

Note: Pick up more wine.

I mean I have been a good little worker bee. I’ve been editing and writing—though the fugue state of allergy meds—and organized the master closet (somewhat), cleaned out the flower beds, planted two trees, listened to at least ten audiobooks, and plotted how to murder all the TP hoarders and not get caught….

Just a message to the TP hoarders? When you switch to leaves, remember Leaves of three the best TP.

Anyway, what are your thoughts on this? I can’t be the ONLY introvert developing a (more pronounced) eye twitch. And, if I am, entertain yourselves mocking me. Hey, I’m game and a writer so have no pride :P.

I’ll pick a commenter for a free class just to sweeten the deal 😀 .

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    • Cynthia Huscroft on April 10, 2020 at 6:55 pm
    • Reply

    What a hoot! From one introvert to another, I so enjoyed reading this! It totally made me laugh out loud:) & I love the advice re:leaves and TP hoarders – *nods knowingly*. Thanks!

    1. Spread the word 😉

  1. Enjoyed the read.

    .

  2. Great article as ever, Kristen. The bit that resonated with me was the fact that my writing life is completely untouched… I swing from feeling happy and relieved that I can still do what I enjoy doing, to feeling horrible and guilty because I can still do what I enjoy doing…

    1. A true!

    • Sharra Schwartz on April 10, 2020 at 7:15 pm
    • Reply

    I was really loving it. Turned out, I seriously needed a break from work. A long vacation. And since my vacations always involve flying to see family, I needed a vacation from kind of vacation, too. Then, two days ago, I noticed something…my phone began to ring and I got really excited. I cried out with a smile, to no one in particular, “Oh! Who’s calling me?!” It was my birthday, and I received several calls that day, each eliciting the same reaction. At some point yesterday, I felt the slide, and today I’m annoyed at anyone trying to contact me. I’ve even questioned being present on Facebook AT ALL, because it might lead to comment threads. It has taken four weeks to reach this point. Or maybe not. Motivation has been in the toilet, everything neglected. Maybe I’m noticing it just now, because it has reached a new level of intensity. And here I sit, procrastinating about needing to go out….

    • Charlayne Elizabeth Denney on April 10, 2020 at 7:33 pm
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    Oh yeah, both of us are there. I’m one of the extroverts, put me with people and the battery goes like crazy. I do conventions and, like you, if I’m on a panel or doing a talk, I’m feeding on the room’s energy. But what happens afterward? I have fibromyalgia, the physical, and mental stress of being “ON” for that convention puts me into bed for a couple of weeks. During the time between events, I’m home. All the time. Phones and social media are my ‘crowds’ regularly.

    My hubby is an introvert. Opposites attract. He is a clown around people but he’s happiest when it’s just us. He’s working from home until at least May 1, probably longer. It’s not hard, he was doing it for 3 days a week before this whole Covid-mess. We were used to the rhythm, he’s working and on conference calls, I’m writing or researching. Now he’s here all the time and the routine has flown away.

    And we’re BOTH going nuts. There’s nothing like having to stay in the house to make you want to go out, anywhere, doing anything, an overwhelming urge. I’m going crazy. I want to get in the van and just drive. Go down to Galveston, ride the ferry (in the car, not walk-on) and drive the seawall some. I need to see move than the walls here.

    My husband just told me he is going nuts, he wants to go shooting and he can’t. None of the ranges are open. He’s all for the driving trip, and he is the one who goes out to grab food and meds. He’s nuts right now.

    So I can’t wait for the whole thing to blow over. All my conventions for the year have cancelled with the exception of one in late September. I’m hoping it stays on schedule because a long drive to Dallas for it would be just awesome right now.

    • Jan on April 10, 2020 at 7:40 pm
    • Reply

    Hi Kristen.. This much alone time has taught me that I really am NOT a hermit, nor do I want TO BE a hermit. You are so right.. Too much of me and not enough of others. There is a limit..

    So, I’ve learned to use ZOOM. Take walks in the neighborhood and in the parks, which by the way I find very entertaining given the social distancing ballet we are all dancing these days.

    To recharge, as you’ve suggested, you must have some way to accumulate the energy that needs replenishment. I’m checking on friends, extra or intra.. and spending time being grateful to all those folks keeping the infrastructure going while some of us have time to worry about being along too much.

    Take care and stay strong.. Jan K.

  3. Thanks Kristin! A wonderful point about introverts. I’m also an introvert and feeling the strain of not enough people time. When I try to work on my work in progress, I feel like a cat chasing its tail and can’t focus, but hoping that will level off soon. I am grateful though, to still work as a counselor, but tele mental health doesn’t feel as satisfying as face to face. Today I went to give blood and was in a room of about 20 people, all socially distanced and with masks, and it felt good. So, there’s an option to be with some folks:) Thanks for your inspiration and insights!

  4. Great post! You make me laugh every time. But this was more than laughter, it was something deeper. I do better in small groups, but I can speak in front of thousands also. I love it and the energy really gives me a boost. Funny, I have a stammering problem and I have learned to leverage that in public speaking.
    I learned about three leaves in Boy Scouts.
    Thanks for the post, I feel better for all the laughing. I hope you do also.

  5. I really like that battery analogy. Recharge and discharge. I’m normal, after all!

    • Seraphim Press on April 10, 2020 at 8:07 pm
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    I used to think I was an extrovert, but social media has gotten so nasty lately, and everything so political, that coronavirus idiocy (both left and right) was the last straw … I cut everything off, went cold-turkey, and am focusing on managing quarantine with my husband working from home and 3 kids to homeschool. Turns out, I don’t miss all that much. Not the social media. Not the going out to places where other people are. I’ve even dusted off an old novel that I abandoned 6 years ago because it needed a crap-ton of research and an reworking the plot into a mystery/thriller. Thankfully we live near little-used conservation land, so I can walk as much as I like, plant a garden, but it turns out I’m doing quite well without other people. It’s only been 3 weeks here, however … we’ll see if I still feel that way in another 3 weeks 🙂

  6. Yes! Have been thinking about this too! As an introvert writer who works at home, I relish the stretches of current quiet time. But I’m having trouble focusing and getting things done, and trying to figure out what my problem is. Thank you for sharing your revelation with us. ?

  7. I’m pushing to finish a whole hose remodel while living in a hotel with a horrible, slow as molasses, internet connection. A hotel room, where they have discontinued housekeeping and coffee service, due to the virus while we are under stay at home orders. It is making me looney, and I only wish we could be at home.

    Yes, this introvert is becoming cranky and there have been days when getting out of bed has seemed like too much work. Besides, I can’t see the tv from the only other chair in the room. I tried moving the tv but it is bolted to the credenza. We are allowed to go on walks, but the street crews are patching the road and I might feel the urge to throw myself under the steamroller. Thanks for the laughs, Kristen. You are not alone. ?

    • BK Jackson on April 10, 2020 at 8:28 pm
    • Reply

    I’m an introvert and love to be a hermit. I like a limited amount of people contact every day. HOWEVER, there’s another factor in the mix that is driving me crazy. Before I was forced to work from home, I conducted SOME meetings by Zoom, now EVERYTHING is video conferencing and that’s worse then dealing with people, because I hate the over-reliance on technology.

    But that also leads to the second problem that is driving me even crazier. As an introvert, when I finally clock out of the day job, I love to spend time immersing myself in various forms of education—watching videos on a writing topic, physical therapy, you name it. Only problem is: I’m so exhausted after being video-conferenced to death at work, the last thing I want to watch is another video, educational or otherwise.

    And before all the hysteria, it was a struggle for me on weekends–every once in a while I’d get a rare weekend when I could literally hole up and hibernate all by myself until Monday. But come Monday it was a hard adjustment to get used to people-ing again.

    All these years that I’ve dreamed of being a hermit, I was thinking more along the lines of Grizzly Adams, not Zoom Adams. 😎

  8. Another suffering introvert here! And glad that I’m not the only one to have realized this paradox. I wrote a (much briefer and far less entertaining) blog post saying much the same thing last week when I found I was suffering from too much alone time.

    Curious also to hear what you think of all the advice to call/Skype/videoconference friends and colleagues to help overcome social isolation. Virtual coffee chats, virtual dinner parties … I’ve found it doesn’t help much. There’s no substitute for being physically in the same room as other people, especially people who aren’t actively avoiding me like I’m a radioactive plague carrier with BO fit to stun a horse at twenty paces.

  9. i am totally making a meme out of this: ‘ But when I come home from conferences? I generally need to slip into something more comfortable…like a COMA.’

    • RG H on April 10, 2020 at 10:02 pm
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    I don’t understand. There are other people in this world? Besides me that is; and who are those people who don’t keep plastic sheeting, rope, and Clorox in their trunk? Tell me where they live. (I can’t remember if you included the Clorox, so you’re welcome. Someone just whispered in my head that Sodium Hydroxide is good also — and a 50 gallon drum. It’s getting kind of crowded in here with all these voices, and they won’t mind their own business anymore: talking over each other like that, pushing and shoving, until it gets hard to focus. SHUTTT UUUPPP….thank you. Now, as I was saying, hand sanitizer in the trunk. No sense taking chances that anyone brings Coronavirus to the party…maybe some Listerine-it can be lonely work, and a person gets hungry.) I thank you for your insights. It is important that we all look inward from time to time.

  10. The image below “Social Distancing Sucks for Introverts” IS ME. I am right there with you, wondering why this quarantine has my emotions on a roller-coaster. I’m used to being *able* to go do something, pick something up, whatever. Knowing I can’t just go grab a replacement for the glassware I broke last night, can’t go browse my local bookstore or Goodwill…. Yeah, twitchy is a good word for it.

    On the other hand, this enforced at-home time has been good for my writing AND my gaming. *grin* The novel is really coming together in my head, one stage at a time. When I’m not working, my video game of choice is Factorio or for smaller breaks, I’ll play Merge Dragons on my tablet.

    My writer’s group has kept up communication using our Discord server. Whether we’re sharing books to read, articles for our writing, mask making resources, or freebies, it’s helped me keep my spirits up. Fortunately, I have access to my public library’s digital library offerings, plus my Kindle Unlimited and my Audible Escape.

    My biggest change is because hubby is home 24/7 now. I’m used to switching up my tasks as the mood strikes — vacuum, dishes, writing, reading. But now, I’m having to think about when I do the noisier chores, since hubby’s office is at the end of the great room, rather than in a room with a door. I’m half deaf already, so I don’t always think about the noise involved. Especially if I’m playing my trance/EDM playlist. 😀

    I’d better get back to work. This novel won’t write itself. Thanks for another humorous, uplifting post!

  11. My MIL usually has her ol’ lady friends over for coffee every week. Now they bring their commuter mugs and lawn chairs, and sit in her front yard. All neatly 6 feet apart.
    The hard-of-hearing ones can catch up by text if they miss something. Gotta love technology!

  12. I think I’m what they call an ambivert: I process externally (need to bounce ideas off someone to get things clear in my mind) but being around people drains me.
    I was doing just dandy for the first couple of days of the lockdown – just me and my husband aka Someone To Bounce Things Off – so unexpectedly restful, despite having all our usual work to do still as we both work at home. And then I was buried under a tidal wave of emails and online meetings and technology stuff. (Tidal waves come back again tomorrow, unlike tsunamis). To my surprise, talking to people on screen is even more stressful than, say, face to face chatting after church.
    It’s like being a hermit without the perks 🙁

  13. I’m an introvert (but also an entertainer–music) from a family of folks with severe mood disorders. As such, my doctor has told me that if I ever needed happy pills, let her know. But I never did.

    Until recently. The pills help me cope, surprisingly, and they don’t seem to have affected my creativity. I’m doing Camp NaNoWriMo and writing up a storm. I’m lucky to have my wife’s company. (Sex helps — trust me on that.)

    I shudder to think how many people will come out of this with psychological scars.

  14. “Is it wrong that I don’t WANT to use all this ‘freed up time’ to be MORE productive? I was ALREADY pretty frigging productive, thank you very much *ponytail swish*.”

    OMG, Kristen, thank you for this. I WAS being quite productive, with a nice, hard-fought-for balance in my life between writing, running my book business, and socializing/having fun. Now the later has gone down the tubes and every day seems to be the same as the last. Yes, I LIKE alone time, but not ALL THE TIME!!!

    I too am an ambivert. I need alone time, but not this much. I like your analogy to batteries. We need to discharge some energy and then build it back up again. We need that balance, and that is gone!

    • Mandy Ward on April 11, 2020 at 8:00 am
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    I had a sudden rush of realisation as I read through… This is exactly how I feel.

    I have 4 kids (2 under 10), 2 of them are teenagers and 3 of them are on the Autistic Spectrum with a side order of ADHD /Dyspraxia /Dyslexia.

    The constant presence is driving me completely Batty. I feel like a flat battery by the end of the day and not even an hour on my own while the older kids entertain the younger helps. Not enough time to recharge….

    But when we weren’t in lockdown and I was on my own (or with just the youngest) I was like an overcharged battery. I had so many projects on the go (writing or otherwise) – I was even contemplating a MA…

    If I am sane by the time we come out the other side of this, I will count that as a win.

  15. LOL! Thank you for the laughs. I am pretty sure your writer in “Social Distancing Sucks” is asleep with his eyes open. The same page and no ink in the pen. Just sayin’.
    I wondered where my energy went since I am usually an early bird and have to have quiet time in the early morning. Now I have it all day long with just hubby working from home in the other room. I can barely force myself to open story I am working on. Now I know “when you are fighting something you don’t understand” if helps to name it. I just need to take the dog for a long walk on the trails by us first.

  16. It’s a sad commentary when going to the grocery store is your social activity. But an interesting analogy about being on the charger all the time. It’s more of we need balance of social activity but also quiet time. All this made me realize how toxic the news is. As soon as the news ramped into, “Panic! Panic! Panic!” I started unsubscriibing to everything to cut back on the overwhelm I was getting. That’s still hard because everywhere I go, I’m reminded of it.

    My writing went bye-bye with the media overwhelm. But I’ve been refreshing my covers and doing much needed interior refreshes…something I never could get to because it’s so tedious. But it’s kind of what I need now.

  17. Hahahaha!!! Thank you, Kristen! I understand myself SO MUCH BETTER NOW!!!! I was wondering why “living the writer’s dream” wasn’t all it panned out to be!!!

  18. The day job is crazy busy right now, and I am trying to do it from home.

    And I am locked in a house with two spider monkeys on amphetamines. Also known as my kids. One of whom is an extrovert that is really, really suffering. I know this as she flops across my lap while I am trying to work and announces, “You need attention.”

    Um, yeah. Not a true test of being introverted.

    And the current of fear running through daily life doesn’t help either as we stare down the double barrel of pandemic and worst recession since the Great Depression.

    A month ago 20% unemployment had everyone screaming about how unrealistic everything was. Then we hit 20% unemployment.

    Other than that, I have always picked up my groceries rather than gone in and shopped on line. I miss the parks being open for the kids, and there are too many people going on walks in my neighborhood that don’t know how to social distance.

  19. Loved reading everyone’s posts. We truly are all in this together. Because of writing, this introvert has friends all over the world and while over the years we’ve had our individual but similar battles — floods, fires, political farces — this zombie apocalypse test run is pretty much the same all over the planet. Whew. But for me, not that much has changed. Other than I can’t go shopping at the market whenever I want. I’ve always lived for those days when I’m not dragged off to do whatever is on someone else’s agenda so I can finish my novella or whatever. I’ve had all the time in the world in front of this computer and I haven’t finished. So what does that tell me? That my writing time has always been under my control and if anyone is to blame for not finishing or working a project to schedule, it’s me. The zombies may be at the door, but they only get inside when I let them. Notice I say WHEN, because, admittedly, some of them, like Hunky boy and his dog, Remi ,are pretty cute. Now instead of texting me, my close friends want to actually TALK on the phone and I miss their voices, so yeah. I answer.

  20. LOL! Great post, Kristen! I loved it. I really need to thank you, because I was feeling so guilty about the pandemic, believing it was totally my fault. Just before all this started, I wished for more time at home. I thought, I love my house so much, and I have so little time to stay home and enjoy it. It was like the universe said, “Here you go.” Or, “Hold my beer.” I’m not sure which. However, now I know you are also at least partly at fault, so I feel much less responsible. Actually, I imagine many other introverts reading this are also wiping their brows and sighing in relief. But seriously, I love your charging analogy. Somehow we introverts need to share our overfull batteries with our depleted family and friends. I live with an extrovert, and this has been much harder on him. Two or three times a day, at least, I take pity on him and talk to him.

  21. Yes, yes, yes. Overcharged introvert battery here too. No real fix but I did have a happy hour with my neighbors where we sat in our respective driveways and chatted. Fortunately we only have about 10 feet between us. Close enough to talk while stil observing recommended social distance. My problem is that my day job has gone remote so I am still expected to be productive 40 hours a week and I just want to stare out the window. Extra time? Not feeling it.
    Stay well, stay sane. We’ll get through this somehow.

    • Laura on April 11, 2020 at 12:02 pm
    • Reply

    Thanks for writing this. Truly brightened my darkening day! ?

  22. Great post, Kristen. I’m a writer, and like you, my life hasn’t changed that much. But I’ve been really concerned about how unmotivated I’ve been and the depression I’ve felt. Your post really opened my eyes. Thank you!

  23. Will it be “The Tell-Tale Mail” thoguh?

  24. Thanks for being so authentic in this post, Kristen. Being an introvert and already working from home does make all of this easier, but I think in some manner we are all struggling to stay positive and productive during this really crazy time of isolation, especially if finances are also a problem. In my experience, worry and fear will stop creativity dead in its tracks. I can’t create if I’m worried.
    Change is never comfortable, but even when this crisis has past, and it will, I think we are all looking at a new normal going forward. Now is the time to look outside the box so that when we re-emerge, we can see a benefit from a new normal.
    My first book will be out this summer, an endeavor that has been 20 years in the making. So I’m taking this time to learn everything I can about social media marketing, dust off your copy of Rise of the Machines, and go to work. Gotta find the positives, stay focused on the goal, and keep working through the suck. You taught me that. Hang in there, girl.

    • Cheril on April 13, 2020 at 7:22 am
    • Reply

    Thanks for this great blog! You’re describing me to a ‘T’. The rare times I tell someone I’m an introvert, they always laugh, but it’s true and it’s hard to describe the recharging process and how long it takes. It’s always been the blend of social and solitary that works for me – except it seems I’m happy being quarantined. We’ll see how long it lasts. Virus-related terror aside, it’s been pretty good. I finished and published the Book From Hell to a good response. (There’s a book on the book in there somewhere. If I hadn’t managed to actually publish the damn thing, I’d know for sure it caused the virus.) Anyway – we now have the grandchildren every afternoon so their parents stay sane, I mean work from home. That’s it – the four of us and the dog are it, and two of us are 6 years old. It’s so good right now, I’m trying not to ‘what if’ it and just be grateful.
    Don’t wall yourself into a mailbox – We need you!
    hugs.

    • Roger L Nay on April 13, 2020 at 10:02 am
    • Reply

    I always enjoy your posts. It’s difficult to place you as an introvert. Your humorous, free-flowing blogging style screams extrovert. Not to mention your dual career that includes travel and public speaking. And the Hagar the Horrible head gear? Odd choice for an introvert to use as a profile photo. But, I can relate as an introvert capable of masquerading as an extrovert until my brain shuts down after a few hours. I’m beginning to go bonkers as a full time shut-in. The North Texas weather looked great for golf last week, except all the courses in my county are closed until further notice. It’s cool and breezy this morning, not at all good for golf. Sooo, I’ll try to stay out of my wife’s hair and write a couple hundred words.

  25. Both my husband and I are introverts, but we found ourselves going bonkers! Add to that the fact that I do still GET to go into work 2 days a week, my work has me interacting with at most 5-6 people on a regular basis, and when everyone is working from home that’s down to about 2, on a good day.
    So, keeping in mind that we should still be socially distant, it didn’t mean we are locked in our houses (thanks to our governor who realizes that social interaction is good, as long as it’s not close). We decided to do some socially distant visiting. We DROVE to visit our friends and family, and stayed in the car while they stayed on their porch, and shouted greetings. We spent about 20-30 minutes chatting at each place, catching up, making sure all was healthy and well, then moved on. I was able to see my brother, a couple of my children, and a few sets of friends. It was an awesome couple hours, and our extrovert son (the surprise baby) relished being able to see his friends.
    So I recommend visiting responsibly (kind of like drinking responsibly!). Just don’t be physically close. Sometimes just seeing those we love, in the flesh, can really make a difference.

  26. Just flat out enjoyed reading this. thanks

  27. I feel so understood. ? I’m a definite introvert but have been so unmotivated and down. It’s good to know I’m not alone!!

    • Denice on April 14, 2020 at 12:34 pm
    • Reply

    HEEEEE!!!

    • Sandra D on April 14, 2020 at 10:17 pm
    • Reply

    I think I must be up the high end of the introvert scale because I’m actually quite enjoying my self isolation so far! I like the added freedom of being able to contact people when I’m up to it and look forward to receiving their responses. I’ve always preferred written messages to the phone. In fact, I think I have a phone phobia 😉 Seriously, I like that with written messages there is no pressure to think of an answer. It gives me time to think through things thoroughly and capture the truth of what I want to say.

    I’m lucky to be able to work from home and quite like the online meetings. I actually find them more to the point and productive. Plus there’s a mute function and I can hide my face 😉 I can actually groan with annoyance or do as many frustrated eye rolls as I like and no one knows! Yeay! My Purrsonal Assistants help keep me sane too. Love my little purr boys! Kitty cuddle time is the best!

    What I’m finding I miss most is the freedom to get out of the house and do something for fun like go for a drive in the bush or by the coast. Okay, and I do miss not catching up with some people in person. But overall, I’m good so far. I think part of it is perception. I have chosen to focus my state of mind and energy not on what I’ve lost and my lack of freedom but the overall safety of the community, my safety, my family’s safety, my clients’ safety. And if you look at the facts, without treatment or a successful vaccine, the only way to stop this virus spreading is self isolation. So my aim is to consider up-to-date info and facts eg. this might still last a few months, so I can psychologically prepare and look at he positives – saving lives.

  28. I’m just hoping my husband will get out of the house and go back to work in the office again soon!

  29. I haven’t read this blog until now because I’ve been in the hospital with a fractured leg. I’m not able to put any weight on the leg, so I was transferred to a Rehab hospital. The time in the two hospitals totaled 14 days. Now after reading your reading your blog, I really have to thank you. Your assessment of an extrovert and an introvert has let me know that I am neither odd, or alone, an introvert I am. I do enjoy my alone time, which is almost all the time, except for occasional visits with my few friends and relatives. But 14 days in the hospital during this pandemic had me in tears much of the time. I wasn’t allowed any visitors, not even my husband. Thank God, I’m now home again, and thank-you again for letting me know that I’m not going crazy, and it’s OK to be an introvert.

    1. You are very welcome and fabulous to meet you! I hope you get better soon. Yes, we are introverts, but that doesn’t mean we don’t psychologically suffer from isolation.

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