For someone who is an extrovert and loves interacting with people, this lockdown has been hard. Even if it is something as trivial as missing physical interactions, hugs, the sound of a room buzzing with conversations and laughter. If lockdowns just sound like one hell of a restless wait before you can get out of your shell and actually socialise – this blogpost is for you. As extroverts, we prefer having to see the whole person, their quirks, how they react and respond, rather than just their face on a laptop. Non-verbal cues matter to us. Even if that’s just a high-five after a good laugh or a friends’ smile when they enter a room. We liked going out, liked talking and liked listening. With muted mics, cameras off, audio calls and Whatsapp messages, our mode of communication has completely changed. And extroverts seem to be left in the dark. Online, we might not be able to have the same small talks or coffee breaks where we get to take a breather and just chill together. Online, even if it is just game night, we cannot whisper funny things to the person next to us. None of these things particularly add value to a conversation in a call, so maybe we’d not do it on Zoom call anyway. But personally, it adds a lot of value to my communication and it matters to us. So now, we find ourselves feeling stressed or even anxious in the new-age era of Zoom calls. Social situations online (whether that’s a team meet or a Netflix Party night) is not our thing, but that’s the new normal, and something we have to deal with. It only gets worse when people around you, knowing you are an extrovert, try to add you to as many groups or invite you to many different online events. You might find it hard to even say no, because you want to still be the person who gets along with everyone and loves events and you want to talk to and get to know more people. But doing this online overwhelms you. And not doing it also overwhelms you. Sounds like a cycle of just feeling stressed, right? With no seeming end to new lockdowns, and the virus. Here are a few ways you can cope with how you are feeling: Scheduling meetings to just interact: Missing lunch with your work-best friend, or coffee breaks with all your colleagues on one table? Don’t hesitate to ask them to join you online. If not that, talk to someone or watch something when you have your evening snack to feel more engaged.
Start your day like you used to: This means waking up with the mindset that you are going for work. Try to keep your workspace separate from where you sleep. Follow your morning routine as usual – go ahead and even dress up, wear your shoes and carry your bag – straight to your workspace. Work is a cafe (with social distancing): One place can get boring, I understand. Try going to a cafe to work. Having a few people around you might help you feel more relaxed and comfortable, even if the work is on your laptop. Go out once in a day (and wear your mask): Go for a walk, a trip to a grocery or just to exercise, make sure you get some fresh air and see a few people around. If you can, call your friend to exercise and do so with social distancing. Any kind of physical communication might help you feel better! Engage more: If you are craving more connection and bored of the already existing ones – engage! Even if that’s downloading apps that will help you socialise, joining online clubs, or group discussions, do it! Take advantage of the alone time: Being an extrovert might also mean always being in the limelight, here’s your chance to get some time for yourself. Journal, bake, or just sit with your thoughts. It might be difficult in the beginning, but if there’s one thing this lockdown has taught us, it’s to explore within ourselves. There might be many people around you who were extroverts but have become more reserved through the course of the pandemic. They might also find it really hard to seek help and communicate. If you don’t understand why your outgoing friends are suddenly closing up, not talking much, this might be it. The lockdown and screen fatigue is real. Don’t hesitate to reach out to them, or ask someone they live with to check up on them, sometimes just being there can help!