Introverts and Extroverts: A Glance at how They’re Coping with Social Distancing
By Jessica Gearey
Let’s be honest; we all enjoy travel, hanging out with friends or family and enjoying nature. Now that we are all confined to our homes, how will we live without these small pleasures that we often take for granted? We identify as either an introvert or an extrovert, or maybe a little bit of both. Introverts tend to seclude themselves and enjoy personal space, whereas extroverts tend to be the center of attention and fuel themselves with social interaction. However, the introvert and extrovert personality types have all kinds of loopholes. The environment and the people you are with can cause you to take on a different persona, but when you’re stuck in one place for a long period of time your true self might just come out!
Over the course of the month of April, I took it upon myself to investigate people’s personalities and how the quarantine has affected them. When asked whether she identifies as an introvert or an extrovert, Ryleigh Gumbley, a first year Psychology student says, “I’m a very outgoing person. I love to interact with people.” On the other hand, Sarah Jacobs, a student at Champlain College explains, “I still like to socialize with people, but at the end of the day I like to go home and be by myself.” Nonetheless, the results to my question were not always so clear cut; when interviewing Nathalie Lachance, a Languages teacher at Dawson, I was surprised to find out that the enthusiastic and engaging person that I knew was actually more reserved outside of school. “I set foot in school, and then I am an extrovert,” she said. Lachance feels social distancing hasn’t really impacted her well-being, but this isn’t always the case for everyone.
Isabella Wilkinson, an extroverted secondary five student, is starting to lose it. Living with her parents and two younger sisters, she’s starting to feel some cabin fever. Patricia Dawes, a psychologist at Dawson, thinks that personality could be a factor for these feelings, but they might also depend on how she has learned to cope with the situation and what kind of support she receives from her social networks. Dawes explains that you can apply strategies to your life in order to better yourself in confinement, whether it be exercising or working on art.
Patricia Dawes, a psychologist at Dawson, thinks that personality could be a factor for these feelings, but they might also depend on how she has learned to cope with the situation and what kind of support she receives from her social networks.
With the extra time on everyone’s hands, some can’t help but think about what life will be like after social distancing is over. “There are so many things I took for granted,” says Gumbley. “I am going to jump at every opportunity to go and do something that I took for granted because now it’s not even an option.” On the other hand, Luke Reid, an English professor at Dawson who shares the same dual personality as Lachance, says he will be more vigilant with his interactions. He finds it unusual that now he feels that he can’t have a quick conversation with his neighbours in his apartment complex or even hold the door open for someone at the grocery store. Reid feels as though “there’s a kind of loss of community and connection,” but he understands that this is what needs to be done in order to protect and take care of each other.
What will the future hold for social interaction? When asked who will suffer the most, Jacobs says that “extroverts want to be with their friends, so being inside is not something they’re used to. It might drive them a little nuts.” However, even introverts like herself are starting to resent the lack of social interaction. In the long run, only time will tell what will happen. With everything still up in the air, Dawes says that the possible consequences of persistent social distancing are hard to predict. For now, all we can do is just sit in our homes looking out our windows and watching the day go by.