For the Extroverts

If you’re an extrovert, I understand that this particular time and situation may be difficult for you. You’ve been cooped up for a couple of weeks, cut off from people you normally interact with. You are confined to a home, and are being told – daily – you need to wait for this crisis to settle. Patience, inaction, solitude are key right now and these are not your forte.

You may be restless, agitated, angry. You may be depressed and fatigued. You may mutter, “For God’s sake, I just want to talk to SOMEone, see another human being!”

frustration

from Forbes.com

I get it.

Please know that you have my heartfelt sympathy and compassion.

Why?

I’m an introvert. What extroverts are feeling right now, I usually feel every single day. That frustration, anxiety? That feeling being forced to adapt to a situation that the world has created, but that is most definitely NOT suited to me? I feel that every day. And have felt for an entire lifetime.

In fact, if you are an extroverted heterosexual white male, this is likely not a good time for you. Our current world is built to honour and reward extroversion (open concept offices, anyone?), and is – for the most part – built on patriarchy and the normality of being male, white, and heterosexual. We are seeing the rise of feminism and female power, the outspokenness and openness of non-binary and fluid genders and sexes, the blurring of ancestry, and the recognition that true creativity requires ‘deep work’ and intuition. The normality of a societal structure built on the heterosexual extroverted white male isn’t so normal any more. Which is good because this ‘normal’ isn’t good for everyone. It may, instead, be quite harmful for some of us. It’s time to recognize our differences and celebrate them.

For the first time since I was kid in the country, I feel at ease. I can work at home and can interact with people on my own terms. My personal space is being enforced by governmental standards. I can revel in my solitude and no longer be called ‘weird’. Instead, I am ‘safe’, ‘proactive’ and ‘smart’. While this pandemic may be torture for you, it is a boon for me.

So, please know, Dear Extroverts, I understand. This is a difficult time for you. I feel your pain. I understand your frustration and discomfort. You are not alone.

I send you my deepest sympathy and empathy. I hope you may find peace and comfort in your own way. I also hope that, through this experience, we may find a way to appreciate and honour everyone, each of us, for who we are.

Further Reading

Andy Mort – Connected

World Economic Forum – Gender is Where the Feminist and LGBTI movements meet. Here’s Why.

Lakeland Today – Extroverts (and Introverts, too) Face Quarantine Challenges

Introvert, Dear – For Introverts, The Open Office Concept is Hell on Earth

The Conversation – The Trouble with Making LGBTIAQ People Live on Heterosexuals’ Terms

Royal et al – Inferring Genetic Ancestry: Opportunities, Challenges, and Implications

The Guardian – “You’re talked to as if you are a junior” – employees on workplace racism

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