Social Distancing: Introverts, we’re up!

Almost overnight, social distancing has become a household term. If you haven’t heard yet, it’s a bona fide method of slowing down the spread of disease, namely the Coronavirus (COVID-19). And it has an entire Wikipedia page devoted to it! (If you look at nothing else on the page while you’re there, don’t miss the terrific Flatten The Curve GIF.) Social distancing helps flatten the epidemic curve, so that even if many people fall ill they won’t do it all at once, and won’t overwhelm our medical facilities and resources.

[click_to_tweet tweet=”Team Introvert, we’re up! Time to help extraverts adjust to Social Distancing during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.” quote=”Team Introvert, we’re up! Time to help extraverts adjust to Social Distancing during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.”]

Most of the introverts I know, upon first hearing the term social distancing, shouted in unison (to themselves): I’ve been training for this moment all my life!

And most of the extraverts groaned: Ugh, I’m doomed!

So, Team Introvert, we’re up!

This is our chance to help our poor extraverted loved ones adjust to their newly-imposed exile.

It won’t be easy — there are as many drawbacks as there are benefits of social distancing — but I think we’re up to it, don’t you?

Benefits of social distancing:

  • More time at home doing whatever we already love doing — reading, writing, making art, cuddling with our cats (you know, all the stereotypical introvert stuff)
  • Free pass to avoid social gatherings — no questions asked!
  • Slows the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and other communicable diseases

Drawbacks of social distancing:

  • More time at home than we may want. Even introverts need to socialize sometimes! (Have you found your socializing sweet spot?)
  • The extraverts we live with may be bouncing off the walls. (Maybe some of these houseguest tips will help everyone get along.)
  • The extraverts we care about (whether or not we live with them) may need help adjusting to their new lifestyle.

Help your extraverted friends out

  • Suggest ways they can entertain themselves if they get bored.
  • Share informative resources that you have been quietly researching all along.
  • Show them how to download an e-book or audiobook from the library.
  • Tell them about your favorite shopping and food delivery apps that they may not know about yet.
  • Remind them they can still go outside for exercise, or gather in small, well-ventilated groups for social relief.
  • Show them how to network and be productive while working at home, if you (and they) have that luxury.

Take care of one another

  • Reach out to friends and family via email, social media, or — gasp! — telephone. I know, I know….hear me out….if this period of social distancing is prolonged, you might even consider scheduling a regular call or — double gasp! — a video chat. Weekly…daily….it depends on the situation. It may make them less anxious to know how often they can expect to hear from you, and it gives everyone something to look forward to. You can catch up, reassure one another you’re OK, and check to see what either of you might need.
  • Look in on your elderly neighbors. Wherever they fall on the introvert-extravert spectrum they may need help and be reluctant to ask for it.

We’ve got this!

We’ve got skills, and it’s time to support our less introverted friends and family during this health crisis.

What other ways — serious and also just for fun — can you think of that introverts can come to the rescue?

Please share them with us in the comments below.

Rememer: Keep calm….and wash your hands!

Hazel Thornton is a professional organizer and genealogist based in Albuquerque, New Mexico; creator of The Clutter Flow Chart Collection; and author of Go with the Flow! The Clutter-Clearing Tool Kit for an Organized Life. Visit her online at

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