Do Introverts Fare Better In The Pandemic? Signs Point to No | The Full Frontal

Do Introverts Fare Better In The Pandemic? Signs Point to No

As I lounge on the couch, channel surfing for the tenth time in the past hour, I get a text from my friend asking if I wanted to join her for an evening walk around the neighbourhood. Without thinking, I immediately said yes. It’s been such a long time since I went out and I was kind of excited. 

Since the lockdown and MCO, I haven’t had any human interaction besides with my family members. Usually, I would shy away from talking to people because on normal days, the old normal, I would always come up with excuses to avoid them. I would just limit myself to texts and voice notes. 

But now that I’m not allowed to go out, I want to very much. It’s funny, but I can’t be the only one, no?

Introverts Thrive in the Pandemic…. Right?

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Some introverts welcome the pandemic with open arms. Source from

During the first lockdown, when you asked someone what their MCO was like, or how MCO was treating them, you would get answers in the form of deep sighs and rolled eyes. Not to me though. Staying home and working from home doesn’t bother me. On the contrary, I sort of enjoy it. 

Being the introvert that I am, I welcome any and all advances if it involves not associating with people. I would assume that it would be the same for other introverts as well but, when I asked a few, their answers surprisingly vary. 

It made me realise I have to also keep in mind that there are different types of introverts, and we’re all experiencing the pandemic very differently. Some of us thrive in it, while others are slowly starting to lose their minds.

I’ve had similar introverted friends complain to me about how much they miss the sounds of other people. Granted, some of them live alone and I first thought they would enjoy having to not come up with excuses to go out, but it was quite the opposite.

It got me thinking: at what point is being stuck at home with limited human interaction starting to feel suffocating? Do you wake up one morning and think “I feel like ringing up some people and asking them how they’ve been.”?

On my part, I started to notice that I crave human contact when my hands itch to call up the people I know and have a small chat. It doesn’t really matter that it gets awkward, I could worry about that later. What was important to me was that I talked to someone other than family.

I’ve talked to so many people during the MCO period that I’d come out of this lockdown being an extrovert at this point, wouldn’t I? 

It’s funny to me that it started off as a good thing that we remained at home. But after a few weeks of no human contact other than family, I started to hear a voice constantly whispering at me to take a stroll at a nearby park, or smile at some people in the hopes of making new friends. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love my family. I’m lucky enough to say that we get along fairly well together. But there’s only so much family interaction a person can take before the smiles and conversations become strained and paves way to something much darker. 

I’m never really angry at my family because I understand that with the lockdown, we’re all supposed to be staying and working at home together. 

All in one house. Together

But sometimes it gets a little overwhelming how they would  loudly have conversations when you’re just trying to get work done and there’s nowhere quiet you can go to. Should I invest in noise-cancelling earphones? Or one of those foam things that you attach to your door to shut off the noise from the outside? 

I know I said I wanted to talk to people and that I miss the noise of people but not like this. Dear God, not like this. 

Malaysia has been in and out of lockdowns for two years now. Now that we’re well into the first few days of the latest lockdown, I am anticipating some tension building up already.

If you’ve read my Raya, you would remember that I live in a house of 10 people. In some cases, it is enjoyable because I’d always have someone to talk to. But on the other hand, it’s never quiet during the day because everyone’s at home either working, cooking or screaming at each other. 

And I am slowly losing my mind. 

Being stuck at home wasn’t as fun as I thought it would be. 

Side Effects of the Pandemic

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The lockdown brought on more underlying effects than welcomed. Source from freepik

We’ve often been reminded by the government that we should stay at home and only go out when it’s completely necessary. By that, it means that we go out to the supermarket to stock up on groceries for the week, or to the doctors for a check up. It does not, however, mean that we can go out to visit family and friends or for a bite to eat. 

The first lockdown went fairly well in lowering down the numbers of COVID-19 cases. But while the cases of the virus went down, different cases started to arise. Being stuck at home for a long period of time did not agree with everyone. There were multiple cases of how negatively people were dealing with it.

One that’s not talked about but very much present was how introverts were faring during these times and how everyone thought we would be all fine and dandy. But are we really?

Let me rephrase that: have introverts really fared better in the pandemic? Some do, yes. But I am living proof that there are introverts that feel that dealing with the silence and lack of human contact has started to creep up on them. 

Sometimes, I’m in my room and I have these bursts of thoughts that urge me to call people or wave at the neighbours. The lack of human interaction is slowly making me feral. 

I used to be fine with just sitting at home by myself in my room either reading books or binge watching movies. My phone would constantly be on vibrate and I always hope that I won’t get a call from one of my friends asking me to go out. 

I have never wanted human interaction so bad before, so why has it changed now? 

You see, according to research, introverts are found to be more predictive of more severe loneliness, anxiety and depression after the circumstantial changes brought about by the pandemic.

Although there haven’t been any studies done about Malaysian introverts as of yet, a longitudinal study on American college students states that as the pandemic progressed, introverts experienced increases in stress, while more extrovert students reported slight decreases in stress.

My friends who are extroverts have started to express how the pandemic has slowed down their activities. The lockdown has made them take things easy and get in tune with their feelings, made them realise that it’s okay to not talk all the time and just be content with silence once in a while. 

My parents have their own issues with working from home as well, and due to them being extroverts, they have expressed their disdain of not being able to meet people in the flesh because “it’s much easier when you get to work face to face!” 

Do you know how many times I had to teach my parents how to use Google-related things before I had to just do it for them? At this point, I’m working a triple shift in three different working fields. 

People would have thought the pandemic would have been easier for introverts. But oh, how we were mistaken! While this may be true for the first few months, I guess there is a limit to how much we can take before we voluntarily seek out human interaction. 

At least the nights aren’t as bad. Because then you already know to expect the quiet. Or to some, at least there will be some quiet. 

How To Temporarily Not Go Insane

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Sometimes, finding your thing to do in lockdown is the only way to keep sane. Source from wifflegif

I guess we were too stuck on “stay inside” that we forgot what it actually entails. To some, it’s crippling silence, to others it could be that they’re stuck at home with their family members only to find that it’s not as easy or fun as they expected. Also, being stuck at home, living the same way day after day can get a little suffocating. 

So to relieve some pent up frustrations or stress, here are some things introverts can do to avoid going crazy:

Try out yoga 

It’s easier to tell someone to pick up a hobby than to actually do it. But for the sake of your sanity, give this a try. Beginner’s yoga is easy to pick up and there are multiple videos to help you get started. 

Video call 

There comes a time when you will crave human interaction. But since we can’t leave the house, the best and easiest way to talk to friends and family is through video call. I know it’s not the same but for now, it’s going to have to be enough.


Writing down what you feel is a sure way to make yourself feel better and to ensure that you don’t bottle anything up. If you’re not a fan of writing, voice notes also work great! 

Video games/Games

To some introverts and extroverts, online gaming has been a release from the real world. To go to another portal where they can go to be with people who share the same passion as them. 

If you aren’t a fan of video games, there are other indoor games you can try out to fill your time!

Binge watch a show/movie

Another way to let out your emotions is by living vicariously through a character you see on screen. What better way to dream about what life was and what it’ll be like than watching a few episodes of a new TV show? 

If you want recommendations, my favourites are Shameless and The Nanny. Or if you want something somewhat relatable, you could give Groundhog Day a watch?

Talk to someone

If you feel suffocated or stressed out and doing all the other activities aren’t helping, you could always reach out to someone and talk about how you’re feeling. Be it your parents, your siblings, your friends or even strangers you meet online. It might be difficult to start but you have to remember, you aren’t alone. 

Suffer Now, Enjoy Later

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When can we go back to being introverts in public? Source from choices.scholastic

The pandemic has been hard on all of us, so why don’t we just take it easy and lend each other a hand. Think of all the things we could do after all this is over. We could go on a hike again, or balik kampung after so many months or better yet, travel abroad! 

We can all do this by doing our part — staying at home! 

Although the phrase has been repeated so many times it’s ingrained in our minds already, some still need the gentle reminder. Enjoy your time indoors for a change. Let our frontliners do their jobs in keeping our country safe and if we all comply with it, we’ll be out of this pandemic in no time!

So please, be the better person. That’s the least we can do.