I think I will declare May the month of the introvert. Our time has arrived. B V – before virus – was the time of the extrovert and went on forever, it seems. Extroverts liked parties and crowded events so much that they sought them out. They knew nothing better than when they could get up close and personal with a few thousand fellow extroverts. Even when they were at work or just out for a walk, they wanted to talk and talk some more. An hour without some touch time made them anxious. Back then, extroversion was not only the norm, it was seen as the way to be.
Well those days are gone and maybe gone for a very long time. I know that there are extraordinarily serious issues we need to think about and deal with; but for a little while, let’s give three cheers for the month of the introvert. We are mostly fine with staying at home and not going out where people want to talk and be close to each other, unlike the extroverts who feel deprived and seek out human contact at every tiny opportunity.
I know this because a simple quick trip to the grocery store seems to require actually interacting with random strangers. I could tell that keeping their distance is a real struggle for them and of course, not talking is nearly impossible. I do have some sympathy for them but do wish they were more comfortable with me when I prefer doing my shopping in glorious silence.
Let me add the social distancing thing to the list of terrific inventions directly resulting from the virus. Although more than six feet would be preferred by us introverts, six feet is a great start in the right direction. As a devoted introvert, my personal space is more like twenty feet but six feet is much better than in my face or bumping shoulders. At six feet, a simple nod or small wave is usually all the social interaction that is required.
“Hello, good to see you,” usually works okay for people I know but don’t know very well. The point is that social distancing makes being an introvert much easier since it seems that most of the world is full of extraverts who need to crowd in and talk, and talk, and talk.
Now let me turn our attention to working from home. Talk about great news, working from home is the best. Just think about it. No leaving the house. No driving through bumper to bumper traffic. No being late due to not finding a place to park. No rushing into my work area where people expect me to talk and interact. I just stay home where I can mostly avoid being close to or talking with anyone except a person or so who I actually like to hang around with. And they know about me being an introvert and seldom push. Sure, that’s probably because they too are introverts. Opposites may attract but similar types do better when living together.
B V and before I retired, a psychologist on my staff frequently advised me that spending some time walking around, talking with my coworkers would enhance morale and lead to me being more successful. You got it. Her idea was that I should transform into an extrovert. Sorry, even had that been a good idea – which it definitely was not – There was no way that was going to happen – not in my lifetime or her lifetime either. The point here is that the psychologist thought that being extroverted was much better than being an introvert like me. Unfortunately, most people probably would have agreed with her. Just as it isn’t true today nor was it ever true, being an extrovert is not better. Being an introvert is just fine, thank you.
Now you know why I think its being Introvert Month is totally terrific, neigh stellar. It’s fine to feel a bit confused and anxious about the world and your life today; but there is good news, especially for some of us. It’s the month of the introvert. Our time has come and being like us is, at least for now, the new norm.