Who’s dealing with lockdown better? Or is everyone struggling?
Raise your hand if you’re an introvert.
Raise your hand if you’re an extrovert.
Raise your hand if you’re both.
Imagine yourself on a normal day as an introvert, extrovert or both. Now imagine yourself in quarantine as an introvert, extrovert or both. By quarantine, I mean the current pandemic that has taken over. COVID-19 and social distancing is taking a toll on many people. People are suffering mentally, emotionally, physically and financially. But how is this quarantine affecting people depending on their personality type?
What is an Extrovert or Introvert?
Extroverts thrive on being outside and socialising. They are more open to people and have a bigger group of friends. Not that introverts aren’t welcoming, they're just not as open to interacting with people as extroverts are. Extroverts are people who like taking initiative in everything, and are likelier to assume a leadership role. Some traits of an extrovert typically include being outgoing, having a large social group, positivity , and like being the center of attention. Whereas, introverts enjoy their alone-time and don’t mind staying home. Introverts are generally more careful in whom they trust. However, introverts aren’t necessarily loners, they simply have a smaller circle of friends because they prefer quality over quantity. Some people think that introverts are shy. According to Robin Edelstein, PhD from University of Michigan, shyness is associated with anxiety and negativity. Some traits of an introvert include being quieter, preferring to work alone, and finding themselves lost in their own thoughts. However, can both these personality traits maintain their usual lifestyle while in quarantine? Social media has certainly attempted to answer this question.
I would classify myself as an introvert. I like my alone time. When my friends make plans, I often look for ways to get out of it. I like being home. It’s just I prefer to be by myself at times and not have to talk unnecessarily.
Here is the catch, though.
As an introvert, when someone tells me to do something, I sometimes get aggravated. Feelings like this are associated with something known as High Sensitivity Introversion. For example, before quarantine I didn’t go outside much, but I knew that I could whenever I wanted. However, now that I’m quarantined, the fact that I can’t go outside bothers me . It feels restrictive to my freedom, even though that was my lifestyle before the lockdown. I’m sure my fellow introverts understand this conundrum far too well.
As I struggled to come to terms with the shift in my attitude during the lockdown, I was curious to see how others were coping? Did fellow introverts relate to what I was going through? How were the people-loving extroverts handling not going outside?
To find answers I conducted a mini survey of 15 people. The result was very mixed and matched.
Firstly, out of all the people I surveyed, 20 percent turned out to be introverts. I wanted to find out how much of an introvert each individual was on a scale of 1-10. 10 being very reserved and quiet as an introvert. They rated themselves a 6,7, and 8. Extroverts compromised 26 percent of my survey. On a scale of 1-10, they rated themselves a 5, 7, 8, and 10. What surprised me the most, was the in-between category. This category is called ambiverts. They took the lead with 53 percent of people identifying themselves as both introverts and extroverts. They rated themselves a 5, 6, and 8. I thought extroverts would take the lead. Although ambiverts taking up most of my survey makes sense. According to Psychology Today, there are a lot more people in the world who are balanced and composed compared to introverts and extroverts-hence ambiverts.
When asked the question about their daily routine before lockdown all of them answered that they were occupied. There were 26 percent who were busy with school, 60 percent with work and 13 per cent with both school and work. The percentage I got for each activity makes sense because most of the people that I surveyed were in the 20-30 age group. However, many people’s routine didn’t change because of quarantine. There’s about 60 per cent who still have the same routine, while 40 per cent said that it has changed, but not dramatically. The reason why any of these people's routines changed is because many things are cancelled by the government due to Covid-19. For example, school is online now and many jobs are cancelled for the safety of everyone.
The one question I was looking forward to the most was, if anyone tried anything new while in quarantine. On social media I see people doing a lot of crazy things. TikTok has definitely been everyone’s favourite social media app in lockdown. Everyone is showing their weird and creative self. Sixty percent of the people I surveyed said yes to trying new things. Some are learning how to cook, some are indulging their creative side with art and writing, while others are taking an interest in sports. For example, one person whom I surveyed said he played basketball with his brother at a basketball court. He mentioned this was when the Covid-19 situation started to calm down a little. I myself have been doing a lot of writing and cooking. I think I may be the next Masterchef. The other 33 per cent said they haven’t tried anything new.
We have come down to the last question. What is your thought on being quarantined? There were about 3 different answers. 26 per cent said that quarantine has been tough, but also reflecting. “It put things in perspective and helped me grow. It made me face challenges I don’t bother with and helped me learn more about myself,” said one of the survey participants. On the other hand, 53 per cent have said that quarantine is a good idea, but it’s getting tiring now. One participant said “it was fine in the beginning, but now it’s starting to take a toll with anxiety. The not knowing is hard for when all of this will be over and when things can go back to normal.” While 20 per cent blatantly said that quarantine is frustrating.
This survey has helped me understand that in the end, everyone is struggling. Whether it is introverts or extroverts. Being home was fine with everyone for about 2-3 weeks for the safety of everyone. There are those who wish that this lockdown would be over. You would think that introverts are fine with being inside since that’s how their personality trait it is. However, they are also sinking. No one wished any of this upon them. Everyone is taking it one day at time and dealing with quarantine in their own ways. No way is the right way. The purpose of writing this article and conducting a survey is to show that we are all dealing with the same issue. We are all in this together.