Have Introverts Found Silver Lining in COVID-19 w/ More Time Alone?

To go out or not, that was the question.

At least, for many of us, it used to be something we all asked ourselves in the pre-COVID-19 era, as the weekend approached, with possibilities for dining, socializing and other activities that took us out and about in our respective cities.

But the coronavirus has prompted nations across the world to respond with stay-at-home orders and lockdowns, dispensing with the wrangling over where to head for the weekend. Cue the internet memes with “travel plans” involving a floor plan of one’s apartment or home.

However, as socializing and going out gets put on hold, some of us, such as myself, have quietly breathed a sigh of relief. And I was reminded of this by recently by a message from a friend of mine in the US.

She’s a few weeks into her stay at home and noted that, in spite of the other pressures that the coronavirus has swept into her life, it had cleared away one notable item – the stress of socializing. She had often spent much time debating over whether or not to take her kid out to see others, and pushed herself to go out even when it was probably the last thing she wanted to do.

But calls for people to remain at home, apart from essential errands such as grocery shopping or picking up medicine, proved liberating for her – because she’s an introvert.

And believe me, I can totally understand, because I am too.

Like her, I know all too well the anxiety that comes along with socializing. It’s not that we don’t enjoy spending time with people – but rather that being around others can become draining. And every introvert no doubt has their stories of that dinner party or outing that left them feeling exhausted or worse, often with the thought, “I should have stayed at home.”

And now, the coronavirus crisis, in mandating that we stay indoors, has lifted the strain of whether or not to socialize from our shoulders.

No more worrying about whether you should attend this or that, see their person or that one, or if you’ve stayed in too long.

No more being judged either for spending an entire weekend curled up on the couch with a good book, or a movie, or a writing project.

I wonder, how many more introverts out there have secretly rejoiced over orders to stay indoors?

Maybe it’s no wonder that, as China begins to resume normal life once again, I still find myself largely indulging in weekends at home – and loving every minute of it.

What do you think? If you’re an introvert, have you found a silver lining in the COVID-19 pandemic because you’re freed from social obligations and can spend more time alone?

Jocelyn Eikenburg
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  1. I’m not an introvert but I’ve been enjoying my time indoors. I self-quarantined for three weeks because I was showing Covid-19 symptoms. Nothing severe. Spent the whole time doing lots of zen meditation, watching documentaries online and taking walks on the streets around my house. I did lots of worrying, though, due to the jump in hate crimes against Asians here in U.S. Aside from that, my time at home was spent like a monk.

    The last two weeks I’ve been back to work. After I return home, it’s the same routine – zen meditation and documentaries. I’m very happy, except when I see the news of another hate crime.

    Be safe.

    1. Thanks for the comment George. So sorry to hear you were experiencing some COVID-19 symptoms for several weeks — I’m glad you’re feeling better and also found positive ways to cope and pass the time. I can understand your concerns about hate crimes, given the spike in the US. I’ve been rather alarmed by the reports myself. Please do stay safe, George.

  2. Hahaha…..lockdown or not,, I have always been able to enjoy being alone. Doing or not doing anything, I am always alright with whatever! I can be very busy or very not, it makes no difference. I guess I am just a lucky guy. Or weird by the average guy’s standard. Here in Malaysia, we are about a month under what the government calls MCO (Movement Control Order) – big words for plain old lockdown hahaha….. Time goes by just like everyday . Only that people now stay home and things seem eerily quiet, especially when you need to go out for necessary errands and the streets look like so deserted but what a relief for a change when you don’t have to struggle with other kamikaze motorists hehehe……All the best to all those who find it tough to stay home by fiat. Enjoy the change!

  3. The towns and streets in Malaysia are eerily quiet because of the month long lockdown. Only essential services like banks are open. And because of the financial hit brought on by the Covid 19 monster, even cows are queueing up a bank for their share of the financial aid to tie them over. HAHAHA…….MOO, MOO, MOOOO………watch the video enclosed in the report in below! https://www.malaymail.com/news/life/2020/04/17/herd-of-cows-spotted-queueing-outside-bank-islam-in-klang-video/1857673

  4. Although an introvert, i recognise the necessity of socialising, so i pushed myself into ‘stressful; situations to strengthen myself and become more at ease in social situations – and this includes making presentations to large groups and not being afraid to ask questions in a meeting. While time alone is necessary I think it is important for introverts to challenge their ‘fear’. Once you are used to doing something that was initially stressful, it becomes easier to deal with.

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