Nurturing an Isolated Extrovert
Even the most outgoing among us are dealing with the emotional exhaustion that comes with increasingly rare social visits
By Amanda VanRookhuyzen, Business Analyst
As I grow older, my eccentric tendencies seem to be intensifying, along with a growing lack of shame. It’s not uncommon for my colleagues to witness me boomboxing down the hallway on a Friday afternoon, blasting “Another One Bites the Dust” from the cellphone resting on my shoulder. Entertaining and spending time with others has always energized me—a tried and true definition of an extrovert—so silly things like workplace parades have become part of my persona.
Working from home due to COVID-19 has brought this extrovert some surprisingly introverted experiences. The roller coaster of excitement and pandemic-related caution leading up to rare social occasions has been followed by an unexpected side effect: utter emotional exhaustion the day following a visit. It’s shocking! It’s consistent. And it’s real.
Those who often feel the weight of social hangovers—both before and during the pandemic—are hopefully seeing an increase in empathy and awareness from others. Social endurance is hampered by fewer opportunities to spend time with others. Even loud and proud extroverts like myself are prone to suffering from withered social stamina during these unprecedented times.
The good news? When processing these temporary new lows, I find opportunities to practice self care, a critical aspect of healthy adulting. Calling a friend, drawing a bath, or journaling are some of my personal go-tos for survival.
On the work front, I take advantage of the time I spend waiting for others to join video conferences by shooting the breeze with those already in the meeting. Like a little stretch to nurture those aching social muscles, we all need lighthearted banter right now—or at least I certainly do!
One thing’s for sure: the more I encounter this uncomfortable emotional phenomenon, the more I seek comfort in the age-old adage “This too shall pass.” With this in mind, I’ll be ready to welcome back some appropriate workplace shenanigans when we find ourselves on the other side of this crisis.