In 2019 Oxford’s word of the year was ‘climate emergency’. I’m willing to wager now, by the time the sun sets on our top to bottom beyond cray cray 2020, everyone’s presently favourite-not-favourite term ‘social distancing’ will rank high up the list for this year.
Yet for a particular parcel of the population known to be crowd-averse at the best of times, social distancing equals nothing short of a raving good time. You heard that right. The current virus-flavoured cataclysm unraveling a million threads from a million different blanket corners from the fabric of society does have a silver lining.
For the world’s introverts – known by such not-especially-complimentary colloquial terms as ‘homebodies’, ‘shut-ins’, ‘wallflowers’, ‘loners’ and ‘solitaires’ – what’s happening at present as far as the curtailing of social contact and the ban on large groups of people – is frankly nothing short of a form of heaven on Earth. And it’s one this quietly spoken and inward-looking army of tens of millions were sure they’d never be so lucky to witness in their lifetime.
Wasn’t there an ancient tongue saying doing the rounds at some point long, long ago about the meek inheriting the earth? Well…welcome to it!
What the grey-bearded ones conveniently failed to mention however was the fact that by the time the ‘inheritance’ was left to be claimed, whatever was left after the devastation to be quietly, politely and considerately stood in line for, would, undoubtedly, be in such a shambolic state, no one – be they meek or shouty – would be the least bit motivated to covert these leftover society’s ashes.
Collapse and carnage aside, point is seeing whole nations come around to what you’ve been doing your entire life – albeit not willingly but rather something that’s been forced on them much like a pair of police-issue handcuffs (or a sloppy kiss from great grandma – choose your own analogy) – is nonetheless personal validation on a grand scale for Earth’s social moths, shyologists and keep-to-them-selfers.
Throughout my life I’ve alternated between believing myself to be an introvert as well as the more outward-focused extrovert. These days my pet go-to description is the very new-millenium-sounding ‘ambivert’.
For those who haven’t heard the term before – of which, until very recently, I counted myself as one – it’s a description of people who embrace traits from both ends of the introvert /extrovert spectrum, continuum or whatever you want to call the genetic personality lottery that makes us us.
And before we go any further now seems as good a time as any to map out exactly what is meant when we describe someone as being ‘introverted.’ Most descriptions I’ve encountered over the past day or so appear to cite a similar batch of re-occurring traits.
For those playing at home (where else would you be?) try asking yourself, on a scale of 1 – 10, how true the following statements are for you. Ready? Steady? Go…
- I hate small talk but I enjoy deep conversations.
- I get tired if I stay at a party or social gathering too long.
- I feel like everything I say should be meaningful and often refrain from talking for this reason.
- I prefer one-on-one or small group conversations over talking in large groups.
- I need to spend time alone to recharge my battery.
- I think before I speak.
- I have difficulty thinking in a group. I think best when I’m on my own.
- I usually listen more than I talk.
- I dislike interruptions.
- I hate conflict.
Adding to that checklist, here’s a few of my own. You know you’re a social vegan who avoids meet when –
Your idea of happiness is when the elevator door successfully closes before anyone else can get in.
You’d rather forgo the chance of winning $200 000 in Channel 9’s ‘I wake up with Today’ phone promotion because there’s a chance you might be interviewed on television.
You regularly enjoy watching your phone ring until you miss the call.
You know and understand that the collective noun for a group of introverts is a ‘no thanks’.
Your personal motto reads “I may on occasion ‘visit’ the world of people but my true home will always be solitude and the world of thought”.
The idea of sleeping in a coffin with a sealed lid holds genuine appeal.
Equally the thought of climbing into a packing box and staying there (just like you did as a kid only now you’re adulting) is… attractive.
And if after all that checking you’re still unsure whether you’re a bona-fide ‘intro’ or merely just a victim at present of ‘Corona circumstance’ one thing is for certain – there’s plenty of books on the subject-
Ps. Got some great bonuses for you this week. Try THIS ONE on for size for starters. It’s advice on how to last 42 days alone in your own room – you know… just in case?
Pss. Two of the three cartoons used in this post have been lifted, with permission, from an amazing little site called INTROVERT DOODLES. Owner Maureen ‘Marzi’ Wilson – U.S author of four books – says she created the site as a way for her to better understand her own introversion.
Psss. In a world gone stupid, what we need now more than ever is love. How’s that for a 1970’s-radio-DJ-style sedgeway into presenting the latest Lady Gaga song video STUPID LOVE? This clip maybe Michelin star quality gourmet eye candy but what’s it doing here, at the end of this post you ask?
If nothing else it’s exhibit A for the case why this world, beholden and calmed as it may be by the introverts, is most definitely, and undeniably, created and choreographed by extroverts.
Pssss. Just quietly – the introverts aren’t the only stock holding up better than most during this time of…of… disarray? The OCD‘ers who’ve been known to compulsively wash their hands a dozen or more times a day are also fairing quite well I hear.
Psssss. I could leave you with a Coronavirus joke but you probably wouldn’t get it. Hopefully not anyway. And before anyone thinks about voicing their concern at the standard of purported humour on this site, it’s best to keep in mind one thing: protesting will get both you AND I precisely… nowhere.