Am I Really an Introvert?
Enneagram type 5. INFP. Introvert
There’s are some of the labels that I used to define parts of my identity. And I may still use these labels to some extent moving forward. However, my experience during quarantine shows me that these labels might be fuzzier than I think.
Going into quarantine, I felt fine. In fact, I felt in my element. I could dive deep into my interests and there really wasn’t anything to stop me. Q1 and Q2 went really well. I made progress on projects, reflected, did courses, etc. Then August came along and I wasn’t feeling too well. Something felt like it was missing. Obviously from the beginning of quarantine, I consciously knew that I didn’t have the same day-to-day social interactions that I had in a pre-COVID world; however, now I felt this sentiment in a more intangible way. It felt like an innate desire I just didn’t understand.
Whether I wanted to acknowledge it or not, I was missing social interaction. I noticed that after an interesting 2 hr discussion with a friend or a brain pod on protein engineering, the desire would be quelled.
That made me ask the question – am I really an introvert? I may be more ambivert than I thought and may have never realized it due to the ubiquitous presence of social interaction during pre-COVID times.
Some discussions I had with friends were purely intellectual and others were to check in on mental health and our general well-being. Surprisingly, I noticed that it wasn’t the actual content of the discussion that quelled my desire (as my introverted self may have thought), but rather just seeing other human faces. This realization happened right as I was reading Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations, which continuously emphasizes that we’re all part of the same whole. Detaching myself from the Whole was the best way to realize that I’m part of something much larger than myself.