Social Distancing: An Introvert's Paradise?

Introvert is defined by Oxford Dictionary as a “shy, reticent person,” but Dr. Yuma Tomes, Chair of the Psychology and Philosophy Departments at Sam Houston State University, defines an introvert as someone who tends to seek opportunities to be with themselves and find strength in their internal concept of who they are, putting strength in their intra-personal relationship.

As America dives under the covers during the social distancing of Stay at Home Work Safe orders you might think it’s an introvert’s time to enjoy. Not really, says Dr. Tomes.

“I think it’s something of a misnomer to think that introverts are feeling great during this time period,” he tells KTRH News. “It doesn’t eliminate them from the aspect of human connection and human contact.”

We are social animals who need each other, he suggests, even if some outwardly seem to need others more than some. Introverts are just better at introspection and how to be secluded. He says we aren’t experiencing this so much as social distancing as we are what he calls “physical distancing,” and that is impacting everyone alike.

He suggests everyone can find relief from physical distancing through the virtual relationships technology makes available.Introverts who enjoy reading might find special pleasure in joining a virtual book club with fellow introverts, he says. They don’t have to be in the same space, but can have human contact centered around something they love.

Dr. Tomes says the challenge is for everyone to find ways to keep their social networks alive, even with limits on contact.

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