The increase in psychological distress is an inescapable reality in the context of the pandemic. In various media and scientific journals, it has been questioned whether introverts cope better with confinement and isolation than extroverts.
• Read also: Psychological distress: the other pandemic
We all know extroverted people who do not go unnoticed, are ready to express themselves, discuss and ask questions, participate in a host of activities, make jokes, etc.
At the start of the pandemic, one could be inclined to believe that extroverts would be the most affected by the lockdown and face a greater shock.
After all, these generally have a greater need for social contact, and this interaction is not only significantly limited, but also unintentionally during confinement.
As for introverts, as they have less need for social interactions in general and appreciate calm and solitude more often, one might be tempted to think that they could tolerate confinement better, being already accustomed to spending more time. alone time. Scientists wanted to put these hypotheses to the test.
Amazing results … to put in perspective
Contrary to what one might have thought intuitively, the results of a study published last September rather revealed that the more introverts suffered more from loneliness in the context of current social isolation and reported more anxiety problems. and depression than the most outgoing.
Extroverts generally express their concerns more to adapt to the current situation, including asking their friends and verbalizing their concerns. This would therefore allow them to approach and better manage their psychological issues, despite the confinement.
It is therefore the extroverts who would be best equipped to cope with isolation and who would present fewer mental health problems in this context of social isolation.
As for introverts, if the withdrawal they may favor allows them to manage emotions, stress, the vagaries of daily life and negative emotions, these introspective moments can also make them more prone to ruminations and anxious concerns.
In addition, introverts may be spontaneously less likely to seek help when struggling with negative emotions.
Introverts could somehow become prisoners of their suffering, with no way out to the outside world. These ruminations in the presence of persistent negative emotions in the pandemic context can increase anxiety and depression.
Despite the results of this study, however, we should avoid jumping to conclusions too quickly and think that an introverted person will experience confinement more difficult than an extrovert.
Containment and psychological distress
It is not possible to resolve the matter so quickly, as there are many other factors to consider and understand what can lead to psychological distress in each.
Beyond the introversion or extraversion traits of each person, we must consider several other elements, including the prolonged context of confinement, the way in which each asserts their social needs and the ability to adapt to this unprecedented situation. .
Also, it is crucial to distinguish the isolation imposed by health guidelines from the feeling of loneliness experienced by each individual.
These different factors will also have an impact on the management and extent of anxiety and depressive thoughts.
What to do ?
We must therefore avoid the trap of taking for granted that a loved one, a friend or an acquaintance is doing well or not because of his personality traits.
We are all facing an unprecedented period that requires us to redefine and rebalance our social needs, day in and day out.
We all want and need to feel supported and surrounded, more than ever before, but with restrictions imposed that require us to be creative.
It is essential to listen to yourself and recognize the state of our social needs. From the slightest boredom or worry, do not hesitate, under any circumstances, to extend a pole (or receive one!) To a friend so that both of you can take your “social pulse” . Leaving our ruminations in favor of social ties – even at a distance – will be fundamental for the months to come.