Why Both Introverts & Extroverts Find Social Interaction Tiring After Lockdown

Photo: Getty
smiling woman outside

With isolation finally ending, what is social interaction going to be like again for both an introvert and extrovert?

Introversion and extroversion may sound vastly different from each other. But, did you know that an extrovert has an inner introvert and an introvert has an inner extrovert?

A simplistic definition of an introvert is a person who needs alone time to recharge. Meanwhile, an extrovert recharges when connecting with others.

The lockdowns from the pandemic caused most of social life to halt altogether.

RELATED: How To Know If You Have An Introvert, Extrovert, Or Ambivert Personality

Being an introvert myself, I rejoiced at the gift of alone time during the lockdown.

As I interacted with people, mostly my clients, and listened to their stories, I can say with conviction that extroverts have struggled more since spring of 2020 than introverts.

For over a year, you might have been homebound for the most part. Even if you had to go to work, you went out for work and other necessities and then kept very much to yourself and those living with you.

You might have gotten proficient with online apps like Facetime, Zoom, WhatsApp, and other direct messengers to connect with your loved ones who do not live with you and to keep up with your professional life.

So, now that the isolation is over, why are extroverts finding social interaction tiring?

You're a creature of habit.

If you're an introvert, you may have settled into your introvert nature and thrived over the past year. Now that restrictions are lifted, the occasional outing is like a treat that you welcome, eagerly.

On the other hand, if you're an extrovert, you feel ready to rush out and engage in whatever was "normal" for you before.

So, at the end of the day, when you find yourself needing a long period of alone time to unwind, you might be very surprised by this.

Next time the phone rings or you get invited to a tête-à-tête with close friends, you postpone it for a bit until you feel ready, or even indefinitely. Your inner introvert got stronger and now needs more downtime to recharge.

Simply speaking, you got used to the lockdown lifestyle.

Rest is best.

If you're an introvert, your friends and family are familiar with your ways and may not impose anything out of the ordinary on you.

For the extrovert, it’s a different story.

You might want to play the way you played before, but find yourself forced to pause and ask yourself, "What’s up with me?"

You're surprising yourself with the new you and might ask yourself questions like "Am I being lazy?" or "Am I feeling unmotivated?" or "Am I seriously stuck?"

No, my dear, you're neither lazy, unmotivated, nor stuck. After a year or more of living in survival mode, with a non-stop bombardment of fear-based news, social media, and staring at device screens, you simply feel exhausted.

There’s a difference!

RELATED: How To Release The Social Stress & Anxiety Of Getting Back To Normal, Post-Vaccine

The inner you got used to a lifestyle that's different from what you were used to prior to this lockdown.

Now is the time to start a "new normal" for yourself on your terms. You decide how you want to step into the world post quarantine and you can only do it when you deliberate on it.

This is why you need to rest.

Rest is more than sleeping. Rest means resting the body, rest means resting your mind and your heart too. You do it by not thinking. You do it by taking a break from your emotions.

When a thought arises, say to yourself, or out loud, "Not now!" 

When they arise, you gently say to yourself, "Let’s rest for now!" and your heart listens.

Your thoughts become things.

Did you know that each of your emotions arises out of thoughts you think? It could be a conscious thought or something subconscious.

Subconscious thoughts are those thoughts that, when they show up, you wonder "Where did that come from?"

So, when you say to your thought "Not now," you give your mind a break and your heart a respite — you permit yourself to rest.

As an extrovert, you might receive many invitations. But, the things you loved to experience — a late night with your girlfriends or bosom buddies, talking about nothing — maybe you need to space them out and instead pace yourself more.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Join now for YourTango's trending articles, top expert advice and personal horoscopes delivered straight to your inbox each morning.

Remember, you're stepping into a new world, a world after global solitude. And, too much, too fast, could and will shock your system — your body, mind, and heart.

Instead, start a new habit of noticing things. Learning to rest from the goings and comings during the day and in life.

Here’s another thing you could take a break from — the need to get things done.

Confessions

I have my organizer friends who love everything being in its respective place. I am not like that.

As a Buddhist, I go for the middle path and say to myself, "If I pick up my blouse a little bit later from the bed, neither does the bed mind nor does the blouse."

Sticking to a schedule is not my forte. I will show up for my appointments with others, but appointments with myself usually have to wait.

I know that many nice things come out of the discipline of sticking to a timetable. But, for now, if you feel like the dishes can wait and the bed doesn’t need to be made right after you jump out of it, indulge in the extended pause from life.

Things can wait. Your breath and your life can’t.

Lastly, remember that your heart is your perfect guide. Follow your inner voice. Listen to that child within you and ask her or him what they want to do now.

If it’s work, then work. If it’s rest, then rest. And if it wants to play, then play.

During the pandemic, you had no one else but you, your thoughts, and maybe your journal to truly converse with.

Now that you're being released from this solitude in which you were constrained, take your time to step outside on your new terms.

RELATED: 3 Ways Clear Communication Diffuses Post-Pandemic Social Anxiety

Keya Murthy, M.S., is an author, an accredited clinical hypnotherapist, and a spiritual life coach. Her mission, promise, and blessing to each of her students are to help them heal their hearts to live a successful life, confidently. You may find her books on Amazon or visit her website.