Have you checked on your introverts lately?
Everyone is finding lockdowns to be strange experiences. Introverts, on the whole, have handled it better than extroverts because we have a lower social threshold – we feel satisfied with only a small amount of socialisation. While illness and loss has been all around us, there had been a lot of discussion in the media, in workplaces, and among friends about the mental health impacts we have all experienced.
Introverts who are thriving
Many introverts have found that lockdown was the first opportunity they have had to truly be themselves, able to maintain their energy levels well and focus on their passions and socialising only with their closest friends and family. These happy hermits will be looking at ways to take this lifestyle into the future, perhaps by requesting to continue working from home. Check with these friends to find out what their plans are and how you might continue to support them to thrive!
Introverts who have learned more about themselves
As above, some introverts have found themselves feeling a little isolated and are ready to socialise. They havne’t magically become extraverts, instead they have just realised at what point they do need to socialise again. They may be glad to not socialise every day, but now wish that they could have a get-together with friends every few weeks. Having learned more about socialising and managing energy levels, they will be going forward with a little more confidence about how to be both social and energised. Check with these friends to find out what they are focusing on in life these days, you might learn something new!
Introverts who are apprehensive about socialising again
Now that there has been so much quiet to enjoy, some introverts are worried about the world reopening. As much as they may want to see friends and family, they are concerned about an “over-correction” – will they be expected to attend social events every night to catch up with everyone? Will they be pressured to be more social now because “Haven’t you had enough alone time?” or face other misunderstandings? A car filled with fuel and then driven around the country will need to be refilled, even if it was refilled the week before. Some introverts will be concerned that they will be expected that their full tank will now last forever. Check with these friends to see what their concerns are. Perhaps book an in-person catch-up with them a few weeks or months after the end of lockdown, rather than at the beginning!
Introverts who feel they missed out
Some introverts haven’t had a chance to be introverts at all! If they live with children or extraverts, or have been working throughout with a lot of video calls, or have continued to attend their workplace, they may not have experienced the energising period the way that other introverts have. Check with these friends to find out how they are coping. They are probably looking forward to catching up with you, but might be a bit exhausted for a while yet, even after lockdown ends!
Lockdown hasn’t been magical for anyone, and although someone people have had a more manageable time than others, there could be other issues going on, e.g. grief, mental health issues, unemployment, family issues. Being there as a friend starts with just being touch – send an introvert a meme and you’ve lifted them up in an instant!
Gift ideas for introverts
The Bullet Journal Method: This is an amazing book for anyone who is feeling a bit overwhlemed and in need of organising your thoughts. After I began to start Bullet Journalling (and I’m very new to it) I very quickly noticed a reduction in my anxiety and felt more empowered to be able to handle the hundres of things I want to do each day!
Pilot Frixion Erasable Pens: Have you every tried a product and it just BLEW your MIND? I genuinely felt like that about these pens! They write as dark as a regular gel pen, but you can actually erase your writing – without much effot and without damaging the paper! I gave one to a friend to try and she said “What sorcery if this?!?” – they really are that amazing
Adults Paint-By-Numbers Kits: Colouring books for adults have been a thing for a while now, but some people don’t adapt to it. Painting by numbers might feel a little more calming and results in something you can easily display in your home, particularly satisfying if you get one in a large size!
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