Podcast – Episode 0325 – Surviving Quarantine As An Introvert or Extravert

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In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about how introverts and extraverts deal with the COVID-19 quarantine brought on by the 2020 coronavirus.

In this podcast you’ll find:

  • Quarantine is tough on everyone.
  • Judgers may be having struggles because the quarantine is throwing them out of their routines.
  • Extraverted judging functions aren’t getting the nutrients they need from the external world.
  • FJs need regular connection with people
  • TJs can usually find projects to do around the house
  • FJs can try a virtual happy hour with friends.
  • IPs like freedom in the outer world so they can test out ideas and emotions.
  • Some Perceivers may feel like they are living Groundhog’s Day
  • Leverage point for Introverts quarantined by self:
    • Get out of the house and go for walks
    • Forest bathing
    • Qigong
    • Chakra meditation
    • Energy platforms
  • We don’t know when this quarantine is going to lift.
  • EPs need variety, novelty, and freedom of movement
  • Get to work on projects that have been languishing
  • We are being forced to slow down
  • When we don’t have distractions, we have to sit with the life we have made for ourselves.
  • If you are quarantined by yourself, you may have emotions coming up that you have managed to distract yourself from until now.
  • Old trauma
  • Unprocessed emotions
  • This quarantine is like an enforced vipassana retreat
  • If stuff is coming up for you, this may be a gift
  • Look at your life
  • What are the leverage points of change?
  • Get your priorities in line
  • Why do I have this job?
  • Why do I hang out with these people?
  • This may require some of us to re-evaluate our finances
  • How self-indulgent have you been?
  • Extraverts trapped with people – the same people – no variety
  • Earbuds are important
  • Get up early or stay up late to get your alone time.
  • Great time to reconnect with your family through group activities
  • Someone on Twitter said divorces would likely go up after this
  • Try to differentiate between the stress of a relationship that is complete and the stress of the situation.
  • What is the source code of the explosion?
  • Is it yours? Or are you overwhelmed by the emotions of others?
  • Introverts trapped with people may already have coping mechanisms in place
  • Isolated with kids can cause problems because a lot of parent’s systems are unavailable
  • A lot of introverts may get their alone time on their commute or while their partner is working
  • Grace goes a long way
  • Apologize when needed
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself or others.
  • Grace allows us to let things go, and it is healthy for us.
  • One of the ways we find connection is through social media
  • There’s a lot of negativity in the news and on social media
  • Curse: May you live in interesting times
  • What are you feeding your mind?
  • If you feel overly negative, check what you are feeding yourself.
  • The news can dump toxins in us.
  • Challenge: Micro gratitude expression
  • Post on social media something that you are grateful for
  • It will train you to start looking for things you can be thankful for
  • It will change the trajectory of online messaging
  • Caught in the Act: At dinner, everyone says something good about every member of the family
  • One person can offset millions in terms of positive, energetic output
  • Be a force for good in the world
  • Make it your responsibility to counteract the negative energy around us.
  • That means you can’t stay in a bad place.
  • What is going on for you?
  • What leverage points have you discovered in this experience?

 In this episode Joel and Antonia talk about how introverts and extraverts deal with the COVID-19 quarantine brought on by the 2020 #coronavirus. #COVID-19 #introvert #extravert

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Showing 38 comments
  • Erin Z

    I’m an INFJ at home with my husband (ENFJ) and two sons (1 and 4). And I felt so validated by the sympathy in this episode, I almost cried while walking my dog. I have really been struggling with this silent expectation that I should be able to do as much childcare as my husband does (we’re both trying to maintain our full-time jobs remotely), and I just can’t. I get overwhelmed and need to be alone. I have needed for some time to work on listening to my signals and taking a few minutes before I feel like imploding, so I have the opportunity to do that work. And lots of other work. The dog walks and early-morning alone time are saving all our bacon right now! It’s a difficult time for my husband too, in different ways, but knowing that it’s OK for me to be having a hard time, that I’m not a bad mother for having a short fuse right now, feels so incredible. I’m so grateful. Thank you.

  • Jen

    Is it wierd that I am enjoying the challenge of quarantine and social isolation? I have discovered that I can in fact cook all my meals and not eat out. Money saved and healthier food being consumed. Also I have discovered that I only need to go to town once every 2 to 3 weeks for errands. How much time have I wasted in the past driving to and from town to pick up this or that? Not to mention the environmental impact. I am calling my mother more (she lives alone) which is better for both of us. I’m not shopping at all except for necessities and I am now planting a veggie garden! I am loving this slow living life:). I am an ixfp living with her husband and dog. I have discovered that I do in fact miss socializing but I feel an odd sense of relief that no one expects me to go out visiting. While I am stressed about what is going on out there in the world I actually feel lighter having had my daily to do list reduced and social expectations lifted. I have learned that less is in fact more and that I will go looking for social contact after a certain threshold of alone time is reached. I feel that I have developed a better understanding of what kind of a lifestyle makes me happiest and that I can balance social interaction in such a way as to make it something I genuinely crave. Stay safe out there!

  • David

    Thank you for the great content!
    I’m relatively new to MBTI, but your website and podcast gave it a lot more depth than my first encounter with MBTI (16personalities.com).

    I’m an INFP, living with my INFJ wife and 2 kids, in lockdown in Belgium (week 7). Lockdown in Belgium is rather a mild version of lockdown in other parts of the world I think.
    We can still go out for a walk, but you shouldn’t go somewhere when it’s not necessary.
    Visits to other people are not allowed. Most of the shops are closed. Remote working is the standard.

    You mention that introverts living with other people can have a difficult time (second hardest, after extraverts living alone).
    Although the situation in general is bad of course, I really enjoy being at home with the people I love.
    I’m very happy with the choices I made leading to the live I currently have (referring to “When we don’t have distractions, we have to sit with the life we have made for ourselves”). So far, this situation has no negative impact on me or my family. Staying inside is not a burden.
    I have my desk at the attic, third floor, far away from noise. I guess the introvert in myself is getting its energy from spending some hours alone (or with virtual colleagues) on the attic. It feels like I have a lot more (mental) energy.

    I started a small project in my home town, which taps into my “Exploration” co-pilot function (if I understand it correctly), called “door snapshots”. In this project, I photograph people and families in front of their front door, as a way to document where and with whom they get through this period. (“deurkiekjes” on Instagram)
    It is a way for me to get out, explore the neighbourhood and get to know the wonderful people who live in my vicinity.

  • Sandra

    Love that you did an episode on this! I just started a podcast called Family Personalities where we look at Personality Type specifically in the parenting/family setting and this was the first topic we went into. Being an introvert parent is so difficult right now. It makes sense what you guys said about Introverts probably already having things in place to get themselves alone time and so they can lean on those skills now, whereas Extraverts might not have the tools yet to get what they need in this kind of scenario. However, for me, the main thing I had in place to get my alone time was to SEND MY KIDS TO SCHOOL. Sigh.

  • Brock

    ENTP “stuck” with my awesome INTJ wife.

    When this all struck, my wife and I had just transplanted from west coast to east coast 13 months prior. We were both already living on novelty, especially me, learning the culture, driving around, being fascinated by the rich history here compared to the ever changing structures (metaphoric and concrete) of the West. We still were in that mode.

    We also were in new jobs and a new community. My wife didn’t care so much about this, she was more about reestablishing her “hive” her retreat from the the bombardment of new people. I, on the other hand, was excited pushing buttons with the new people and “social calibrating”.

    Both of our jobs were very team heavy and collaborative. I had many roles that involved teaching, establishing systems, team coordination, etc. Very busy. Very extroverted.

    When this hit, we both were excited for different reasons. My wife was happy she had extra introversion. I was excited by the new challenges and was already coming up with theories about cultural shifts, economic, relationship, etc etc. my mind was buzzing.

    After a week, I got BORED! When this happened I was eating. Where did that come from? I often skip eating now I was overeating. The podcast about decisions helped me realize, I was eating with Fe and Si. I grew up in a culture of comfort food and eating for pleasure. My mom and stepdad often ate to fill the time between meals. Here I was reverting to that programming to nurse my boredom and fact I was picking up on other people’s stress, or was it my stress? Maybe.

    So I decided I need to really sit with Ti and Si. I have been real busy taking in new experiences, new people, new culture, and a new way of living and I have not sat down with any of it to post-process.
    Si has now been going a little haywire with some pretty ugly things that I had buried (add being an Enneagram 7 tendency to reframe past in a positive) things about past relationships where I was quite the jerk. Crazy that my mind was willing to allow Si to get in there before Ti. My resistance to Ti was real.

    Now it’s been amazing. Applying Ti to the new life we have and I have been really evaluating my core beliefs and seeing if anything has been altered without my permission by Fe lending out to others in order to fit in the new environment.

    I have learned to give my wife plenty of space. I get out and go for a walk with a podcast or book which appeases both our need for alone time and my need to get out of the confinement.

    INTJ wife has been engaging her Te and Se with cooking projects. She is making meal plans and getting creative with them to make them real tasty with a variety while using the same limited supplies.

    In regards to feeling that collective. Man, I feel it and see it. Mostly I see Ti being used and wielded terribly especially in people trying to apply logic in their own way of surviving this and in blaming others or systems. There must be a collective Fe that will emerge from this. We see it in the positive stories out there, but I think this makes sense especially when everyone is done trying to survive and they have re-evaluated their beliefs and the relationships they had before and during all of this. I think a new global relationship will emerge? Seems to make sense when I think of Maslow and apply it globally.

    I think I agree about Fe having the hardest time but I am finding my Se friends having a harder time than me. That could just be my experience, but I think Se might even be up there with Fe because of their need to be doing something. They seem to have a harder time sitting still or having movement restricted than Ne.

    • Brock

      Forgot to add for my wife’s process of adjusting also involved not only her “hive” but also what are the tools and resources in this new life so she can start effectively planning how life will work here and how it fits in her life goals.

  • Gina

    Hello all,

    I am an INFJ isolating alone (with my lovely cat), furloughed off of work in England.

    I have only come across the Personality Hacker website in the last couple of days, as I have been using what I am choosing to consider as a “gift of time” that is lockdown/quarantine/isolation/whatever you call it in your region of the world to deep clean – both my home and my life. It has been fascinating to read about my characteristics as an INFJ during quarantine and feel empowered in how I work as a person, at a time when I have been feeling supremely guilty for mostly enjoying my experience of lockdown; true, I’ve had my moments of upset and I’m trying to make the best of a bad situation, and I appreciate the stress and strain a lot of others are under at this time, but I’m doing quite well considering the disaster going on outside my four walls. Other INFJs have mentioned the connection that we can still have with technology, which I wouldn’t want to be without in this situation, but I’m focusing on the ways I can use this time productively, especially internally.

    I was prompted by questions from journalists to the UK government about when the lockdown will end, and what life will look like as restrictions are eased, to turn the focus to my own life. I have been asking myself some fairly straightforward questions based on the theme “What does coming out of lockdown mean to me?” which have thrown up some surprisingly deep and profound responses which in some instances I am hoping will be life-changing for me. For example:

    Q: When restrictions are eased, what am I looking forward to getting back to?
    A: Spending time with my loved ones and being able to walk freely around the town I live in, whether to work or just for fun.

    Q: When restrictions are eased, are there any things that I don’t usually do that I want to do more of or try for the first time because I have been interested but never got around to it?
    A: I really want to go out to eat at a restaurant and go for a drink in a pub, whenever those are reopened – even if I do it alone, which usually makes me very uncomfortable. It would be great to support a local business which has struggled in the crisis, as well as eat a delicious and nutritious meal which I have not had to prepare for myself!

    Q: When I am able/requested to return to work, how do I feel about that?
    A: I am feeling very anxious and negative about going back to my job. I feel really guilty to admit it but for me the lockdown could last a long time just so I can delay the return.

    My answer to the last question about work didn’t really surprise me but I was shocked to realize that I would prefer for the lockdown to last a long time so I don’t have to go back. That made me ask some deeper questions, mainly is there anything at all I’m looking forward to going back to (mainly just to make sure everyone is okay), and why do I feel so strongly about it? I have had affirmed through my INJF personality profile that the reason I feel desperately unfulfilled working in the private sector doing adminstrative work is because I am not doing work where I feel I am truly making a difference in my community/wider society! I have decided to get out of that professional path that clearly leads nowhere for me personally and retrain to be a secondary school English teacher. This is something I have considered several times in the past few years, but didn’t have the time to really get into it (or the inspiration, as my personality profile has helped frame what motivates me in words which I haven’t been able to express myself).

    In terms of keeping out the negativity that could quite easily leak into my consciousness and take me underwater with it, I have been watching news no more than twice a day at the beginning, and now I’m really just watching the live government briefing and turning it off as soon as the journalists start in with their dramatic questions laying blame and finding fault. I do belive that every single country, and the world as a whole, has lessons to learn from this pandemic, but as you guys were discussing in the podcast, now is not the time to be spreading vitriol – we need to be focusing positive attention on solving the most immediate problems that will get us safely through the pandemic, and then when deaths and infections are down and we’ve got lots of testing going on to ensure public safety (and hopefully a vaccine to really seal the deal), we need to have a global effort to share all of the honest data and resources and allow constructive conversations to take place to asses where things went wrong and what needs to be done to ensure no future generations have to endure the devastation that this disaster has wreaked upon the world’s people and economy.

    Everyone stay well, stay safe, and keep doing your best to support yourself and the ones you love through this incredibly challenging time.

  • Hanne Jensen

    Really good podcast. I am a ISTJ from Denmark, living alone. Luckily we don’t have to quarantine fully, so I have a friend that I meet with about weekly and go for a walk to try to stay sane.
    I have never been so happy not to have kids, or be an extrovert.
    But a downside is that I normally don’t have a lot of energy left after work, so now I don’t have anyone to do video chats with or even call beside my parents.
    I have also mostly quite the news. I just follow the updates from the danish authoritys. I was actually starting to panic slightly over all the bad news from the whole world, after listening to the radio all day for the first two days working from home, and that is so not me. So I decided that I can’t do anything about it and therefore it doesn’t make sense to stress my self out.🙂

    Stay safe and sane

  • Clara

    I‘m 18 and an INFP quarantined with my (really) extroverted family. But I m used to this in normal life bc I live with them and I usually don t go out. But what is making me more stressed all the time is social media and people texting or calling me even more than normally bc they are in need of social contact. People don’t understand when I tell them that I have been more overwhelmed with socializing recently. I have been offline for a few days now, because I just need some alone time. But I still have online classes and a lot of virtual group projects. And I am procrastinating all day to text people back, because I don‘t want them to get mad at me.

    • Stasia

      Hi Clara, I’m also an INFP and also had to go offline and not reply to people for a while! Quite ironic during social isolation. I also live with a bunch of extroverts. So what I’m saying is.. I relate :p

    • Elise Allan

      I’ve felt the same way, (I’m also an INFP) Being sent so many funny and unfunny videos daily has felt like a lot of social pressure. As I’m now doing a lot of working from home, I’ve discretely let people know that I’m only checking my phone from time to time, and don’t have time to watch everything.

  • Kit

    I’m an INFJ and my husband is an ENFJ. In the first few minutes Joel expressed his empathy for NFJs in this time and I nearly just burst into tears because I felt so validated and understood. This has been a rough time and I’ve wondered a few times if I’m overreacting, because almost everyone else I know it much less impacted by it. Thank you for giving me that moment 🙂

  • Erik Bland

    I’m an introvert and am currently living with one other person in the house (significant other). Socially I’m doing pretty well – I do have occasional contact with other friends or family (remotely only, of course). I feel very comfortable with my current levels of social interaction, and I don’t anticipate any change in my outlook on this, atleast in the short term.

    I do still get frustrated being stuck in the house all the time. A lot of the outdoor areas where I could go to get out of the house (e.g. parks) have closed, but some a few are still open, so I am still able to go out a bit. However, if I were completely stuck in the house (e.g. the house arrest case that Joel described), I don’t think I would handle that too well.

    I appreciate Joel’s and Antonia’s description of an extrovert in their life appearing visibly drained during the current circumstances. Ever since hearing that introverts feel drained when hanging out with people for too long (which is certainly something I experience), I had wondered if the opposite were true for extroverts.
    Unfortunately there’s not much I can do to ease the suffering of any extrovert (or introvert for that matter) that’s struggling in this situation, but at the very least, I can recognize the struggle, and encourage you not to blame yourself, as Joel and Antonia mention in this talk.

    I certainly agree with the advice given here, that this is a great (if forced) opportunity to slow down, introspect, meditate, etc. That said, I’m an INTJ, so I’m very, very biased in this regard.

    In any case, good advice in this podcast, thank you for sharing!

  • Elise Allan

    Loved this podcast. I’m INFP, living with husband and 20 year old daughter, neither of whom have been profiled, but I suspect my daughter is INFP too. I acknowledge that this is a terrible time for many, and that there’s worry about future survival as economies hit recession, but on a personal level I’m very, very contented.

    While it took time for me to get used to having both of them in the house all of the time as I do like some time completely alone, I’m getting used to my solitude boundary ending at the door of my attic studio (I’m an artist). And although I know can easily enjoy three days of complete solitude, I miss touch after longer than that. So I’m very happy to be in lockdown with the people I love. We have enough food, a comfortable house and a garden – we’re very fortunate.

    My husband is fairly solitary but isn’t introspective – he’s happy taking things apart and fixing them (Se?); and normally conversation would be sparked by joint home projects or trips to new places. But we’re trying to vary our daily exercise walks/cycle rides, and there’s a contentment in quiet togetherness. I’ve had one really satisfying Zoom conversation with a friend who shares my love of introspection.

    As I’ve been feeling more and more that I’m settling into retreat mode, there’s definitely an intensification of emotion, with old stuff surfacing, and the desire to completely retreat from the outside world and all its expectations has intensified. That’s the essence of this experience for me.
    Most stress comes from external pressures – picking up the atmosphere in the supermarket, and people trying to keep things going digitally. I can’t take too much digital information! Too many WhatsApp messages – digital small talk! I feel bombarded!

    A lot of digital information coming to me from an organisation I’m involved with, and from my job, fills me with overwhelm. I find myself fantasising about becoming an ‘outsider artist’ and forgetting about all the (Te?) art world stuff. I. I prefer real faces to an anonymous digital Them. And so my biggest surprise as an introvert, is that I never ever dreamt I would relish small talk over the garden hedge!

    I could get too used to this quiet life. But I’d love a trip to the seaside. That, I miss.

  • Trey

    30 year old ENFJ here (and 3w2). Isolating at my ENFJ dad’s place since I’m immuno-compromised and my girlfriend (ENFP who I live with) is a nurse currently working the front lines.

    I really resonated with the “slowing down and evaluating how you’re living your life” portion of the episode. I had a major health incident in late 2018 (acute injury to a transplanted kidney), and one of the consequences that came out of that situation was the loss of my job. Another consequence was that my kidney was permanently damaged, and over time my condition has become worse. I’ll likely need another transplant in a few years.

    The shame of losing my job combined with the anxiety of potentially starting a new job only for my health to get in the way again put me in rough place, and my coping mechanisms only really served to put a band-aid on wound that needed stitches. I moved into a rental house with my girlfriend, busied myself with projects for/maintenance of the house, adopted a cat, spent as many days and nights as I could hanging with friends, playing games, and just having fun. Basically, I was hitting that Fe/Se loop button as much as I could to stave off the growing phantom of anxiety and low self esteem that was my stressed Ni/Ti. Of course, overall there was much more dead time for me to sit with my thoughts than there was time for me to have fun (I mean my friends had to work), so it’s not like I completely avoided my Ni/Ti. I just felt like I was in a constant state of analysis paralysis (watching paint dry) when I was alone with my thoughts. Just spinning.

    When the pandemic hit and I temporarily moved in with my dad, suddenly access to most of these coping mechanisms were denied to me. The low hanging fruit of obligations I had built up (mowing lawn, feeding animals, running errands, cooking, cleaning, etc.) also disappeared. So, like most people, I binged lots of shows and played tons of video games the first few weeks. But, I hit those diminishing returns QUICK. I decided to say screw it and look for a job. I’m a programmer (I know, odd for an ENFJ), so I’m very grateful that there are plenty of places still hiring in tech. I landed a gig very quickly, and I know I was only able to finally make the jump because of the constraints and routine the current situation has placed on me.

  • Gaurang

    Great podcast as always! ENTJ here. I’m working from home for the last 3 weeks or so and having a much better time than I thought previously. Biggest realization was how many events and activities I was participating in just for the fear of missing out. As a result, I’m saving money. I’m a small group person so actually it’s great being able to have virtual Happy Hours anywhere in the country and also being able to get a lot more things done having saved all the commute!
    Keep up the good work and stay healthy and safe.

  • Tania Eilers

    Hi guys. INFJ here. Please don’t feel sorry for us in these times of isolation. I have been in my total element. Nothing but Ni goodness to wallow in via books, podcasts, journelling, wandering in the forest, connecting with my dogs, doing all the crafty things that I otherwise would feel too guilty to indulge in. I made a decision early on not to indulge in the negative energy of media and hysterical, dramatic people and turned the TV off. Am loving that I can dodge superficial social interaction AND NOW ITS ENCOURAGED!! Happy days. Have not had a bored or lonely moment yet. I was worried about lack of structure (bad) but have just created my own structure around exercise, cooking, studying, meditation, etc. This time has provided me with an excuse to do the inner work I would otherwise avoid.


    • Eleanor

      Ditto. INFJ isolating alone and in my element! It would be more difficult without a phone but phond/text contact with family and friends is enough for me.

  • LN

    Hi Antonia!

    I’ve never commented here before but thought I would weigh in as I really liked this episode.

    Thanks for putting out a less-than-evergreen podcast.. I am enjoying the peek into your current situation and I would encourage you to chat more about your family and life in future episodes!
    I find these type of episodes to be more relevant because the world has changed and likely will change so much. It’s almost grating right now to listen to any podcasts that don’t acknowledge the current situation.

    INTP female here, physical distancing alone. I am grateful for my situation and feel for the SJs especially out there and anyone in a difficult situation. Introverts alone is definitely correct at #4. We have an ability to retreat inside ourselves and require very little from the outside.
    The extroverts I know all said the same thing at the outset — this is going to be fine. A couple of weeks in, they are really struggling. I really want to help them but my encouragement feels somehow inadequate.

    For the 7 day question.. I have accidentally gone 7 days without seeing or talking to anyone before. Just didn’t cross my mind as I was into activities in the home.
    My INTP father once went 2 months without leaving the house and didn’t realize it until his kids pointed it out. We still joke with him about it.
    I think I could intentionally go 7 days again without talking with anyone, but would much prefer the freedom to choose not to if I want. I also find being told to avoid people makes me want to see people more than usual (possibly makes me want to rebel a little, although I won’t 🙂 )

  • Stasia

    I’m an INFP. There are many things that I’m grateful for, such as the positive impact quarantine is having on the environment, the mass slowing down of modern societies that can give people a break from modern life which we probably all need for our health, the potential for huge perspective shifts both for individuals and collectively, and, the opportunity to process some stuff that’s coming up for me and shine a light on the fact that i’m not completely happy where I am right now.

    I live with 2 ESTP’s males, an ESFP male, an ISFP male and an INTJ female. None of whom I share similar values with. When I moved into the house, this excited me because it’s important to me to be around people who have different values and opinions to me. It worked well because my work hours mean that i’m generally at work when others are at home, and i get to have the house all to myself for long periods while everyone else is at work. So at the moment it’s overwhelming. The Se around me is overwhelming. So much noise and movement. And i’m noticing every little thing that happens which goes against my values and feeling super (irrationally) irritated and hurt by it all.

    I can tell my overwhelmed mood is impact on the 10yo Fe in the house 🙁 who are doubling down in trying to connect with me because they can sense that I’m struggling but can’t pick up that i need space. This is easily fixable with a conversation 🙂 Just an interesting dynamic to point out.

    I am definitely the odd one out in the house because they connect with video games, war hammer and banter. I’m not getting enough deep and meaningful’s, and feeling drained by all of the banter. I realise that I have created a similar situation to the one i grew up in.. being the outsider and having different values. So that’s a positive thing, to have this realisation 🙂

    Also excited to be working through some of my enneagram 4 issues. I (irrationally) feel abandoned my close female friends who all have partners who they are quarantining with. And so i’m working through the 4 wounding of never feeling like i’ll get my emotional needs met.

    I hope this hasn’t been too bleak! It’s very helpful to share 🙂 The podcast episode was so great. I’m sure many people felt seen, heard and understood. Thank you!

  • Sara


    As an INFP my current silver linings are: having complete autonomy over my work and getting to spend lots of time with my young child.

    The hardest things have been restricted access to nature (I cried all day when my only accessible park shut down and I also want to rebel against that rule), lack of physical contact and adult conversation (as I recently became single), and possibly too much free reign to prioritise processing feelings over attending to tasks. My intense focus on working through demons in closets is even intenserer 😆

    Perhaps partly due to a recent break up, my antenna are up for sadness, loss and rejection so although rationally I know why I am not seeing people socially right now, deep down I keep feeling abandoned by life. It is depleting for me to be the one that initiates social contact so I’m setting up a couple of weekly video calls. I also tend to imagine everyone else is doing fine and that it’s just me who sometimes struggles. I can be acutely aware of how pain I feel is even more unseen by others at the moment. The isolation, which I find much more difficult than I would imagine given that I am an INFP, live with a lovely ?NFJ child and ISTP housemate, accentuates my pre-existing feeling of difference and separation.

    Listening to the podcast helped me get a better understanding of how others are affected and made me understand my isolation is part of a collective isolation and just hearing cheerful, emotionally connected voices was great for me and counterbalanced my own inner voice which had gone off track recently.

    If you either of you dear personality hackers do read this, it would mean a lot to me at this EXACT point in time with all the disconnection etc if you could drop a quick word to say you have received my comment. Thank you!

    • Stasia

      Hi Sara, What you said about your pre-existing feelings of separation and difference being accentuated… I really resonate with. I found it comforting reading your post and knowing there is someone going through quite similar times as myself. Thanks for sharing 🙂

      • Sara

        Thanks Stasia. That’s nice to hear. Take care of yourself x

    • Antonia Dodge

      “If you either of you dear personality hackers do read this, it would mean a lot to me at this EXACT point in time with all the disconnection etc if you could drop a quick word to say you have received my comment. Thank you!”

      I’m unsure when that exact point in time was, but I fully read and appreciate your comment. Take extra care to defend yourself against darkness in the collective unconscious.


      • Sara

        Hi Antonia,

        Thank you so much for your reply. I think I was being a bit dramatic with the capitalisation of ‘exact’ in the hopes you would be more likely to read it 😁 It means a lot to get your reply and wise words re defending myself against the collective darkness – I definitely do personalise the feelings and situations I encounter so it is good to be reminded that it’s ok not to take it all on and it’s ok to protect myself. Best wishes x

  • Amy

    INFP living with INTJ both primarily work out of the home – business as usual. Having INTJ’s 2 daughters: ESFP-15, IXXX-10, full time right now, as opposed to every other week, is interesting. The ESFP teen is loud, has too much energy and just wants to go drive around, or maybe ride skateboard, or maybe go hiking, or maybe lay out in the 50°F sun to tan, or maybe redecorate her room, or maybe talk about herself to no one in particular for about 30 minutes straight. She’s super sweet and I love her but it’s too much even for my Ne. Three of us decided that each day 3 people in the house had to leave even if just for a hike, a drive (we’re not in complete lockdown), etc, so one person could have some alone time. Three of us fought over who got to be first to stay alone; I’ll let you guess which ones. Thankfully (I think) my ESFP college son will be staying with us soon and he and the other ESFP can get out and adventure together (we’re on the edge of a forest so it’s isolated) and in general just get out of my space for awhile. Plus, the weather will be warming up so we can get out into nature more which is an absolute must for me.

  • Adam

    I am an INFJ, male quarantained alone. I want to be grateful for the podcast, because it helped me putting together the many thoughts I literally just got stuck with yesterday.

    Generally speaking the whole outside situation really interests me on an economic and social level, yet I am only able to read some article titles each day. No more. I think the anxiety you mentioned is quite real for me. My everyday routine consists of hobby, learning and work activities, all done by myself. I start social contact when I am on an upswing regarding my everydays.

    What yesterday happened was a sudden downswing, when most of my activities stopped being interesting for me and my duties got done. Huge emptiness and facing the fact that all I do is just distraction. As if my clothes disappear in a crowd.

    What you helped me with was understanding that distraction is not essentially wrong for hiding faults, but rather a necessity. And yesterday all my clothes got ripped down and I faced all my faults at once. And now I think that it is too much I try to hide with distractions and I need to start uncovering them one by one.

  • Chelsie Sorensen

    I’m an ENFP quarantined with my ISTJ husband and our just turned 3 year old and soon to be 2 year old!!! Not a whole lot has changed for me since I am typically a stay at home mom during the day; however, I am a singer/songwriter who does shows at least twice a week this time of year, so it feels so heavy to me even if it isn’t super different during the daytime. I related to using this time to do things we haven’t gotten around to, because I have finally utilized some time to go live with some solo shows playing guitar for myself rather than always relying on my duo partner at our live shows. My husband has been helpful to keep the girls entertained when I am able to schedule this as often as possible without my feeling too guilty for disappearing in the house. This is an issue as I have devoted and continue to devote so much of my life to my girls, it is hard for me to feel like I can use this time to spend on myself. Especially when I feel like I am always surrounded.

    My family though is having the most fun on days we get to spend the more time outside whether it is in our yard or going for walks. It is definitely as helpful as you say it is! My husband is working from home though, so he is getting all sorts of alone time in his office and then does an insanity call with co-workers where they play a game and hang out for a bit. I am trying to figure out a way to be more organized and proactive with schedules and such but typically my expectations for these things gets knocked right out of the window by the toddlers…Lol So projects and priorities feel really tough to handle when my girls need so much of my attention. It is rough not getting the break during play dates or dropping them off with good friends so that I can focus on some me time. And FaceTime chats with family almost always involve the girls fighting over who will hit the end button or hold the ipad so it is almost more stressful for me to include that in our day to day life. But sometimes I buckle my youngest at least and set it far enough away and propped so they can see Nanny and she talks with them while I try to get something done…Lol and of course when my youngest is asleep, my 3 year old does quiet time and sometimes continues to interrupt what I am trying to accomplish..so it’s just all a lot…

    This is all weighing on my internal thought process of where my husband and I are at also but my goodness he is so sweet and tries to understand how complicated I am with all of my feelings and need for change, but he just doesn’t get it. I am so thankful though that I can continue my therapy sessions through video chat and that it encourages me to stay consistent with meditation and journal entries because it truly helps me process things in a better light. But goodness I struggle with consistency if I weren’t held accountable. I am also thankful that I get to start most of my days with Camp Gladiator doing community workouts with a trainer through Zoom!! It has been a saving grace for sure. I am curious though, since I am an ENFP like you Joel, what would you suggest I focus on working on the most if through my life, I have always felt insecure or shot down like my ideas or thoughts don’t make any sense? Because of this, I find the part of me that is supposed to be good at coming up with ideas is completely terrified and suppressed into thinking that I don’t have any anymore. I often feel inferior to my husband or like he is going to think I’m outlandish if I offer up any ideas. I feel like this is a crucial time for me to be working through these things and find a way to improve my personal development and how he and I understand and love each other for who we are. Because as you can see by our types, we are super different! Like how many times I used the word “feel” there? Lol

    I love my family so much and we do have some really special moments with all of this time together, but I will be so thankful when my husband and I can have a date night out or I can take the girls to friends just so I can go walk around the mall or something…anything! Lol

    Thank you guys for what you do! I enjoy and appreciate your podcast so very much! 🙂 Sorry for the book!

  • BK Jackson

    INTJ here. If we were living your starter question, 7 days of complete isolation, I would be beside myself with joy. Total focus and concentration time—time to plot stories and do research. That would be awesome.

    Current situation doesn’t apply. For one thing, even if I had time to work on writing projects, the stress of the current hysteria removes ability to focus on fun projects. For the first time in my life, I am working from home (no others). Problem is, it wasn’t ME selecting to work from home, it was me being ORDERED to work from home. Very big difference. And having to video conference all day wears me out and I’m too tired to do anything when off shift. And of course there is no known end date.

    The danger for me is I’ve always wanted to be a hermit. I’d be perfectly fine never leaving my home again and never entering the outside world. On the rare occasions under normal circumstances where I can hibernate all weekend, it is a big readjustment to go back to work the following Monday. So as much as I love hermiting, I know it isn’t best for me in the long run.

  • Danielle

    ENFP in quarantine with ESFJ mother and ISTP father. Though my dad is an essential worker, so he’s gone quite a bit.

    As an ISTP, my dad will be fine as long as he can still go outside in nature. ESFJ mom is very anxious and a bit too attached to the news, but I think she’s handling it well by spending time sorting through family photos and working on genealogy. So, it’s turned into quality Si time.

    As for me, I am fine as long as I don’t think about how long this will last. I’m working on my senior thesis now, so there’s a lot to keep me busy. I tend to isolate when doing schoolwork anyway. Plus, I love reading. I’m an extrovert, but I’ve always been great at entertaining myself. We’ll see how long this lasts. I’m not really sure where the breaking point is.

    I’ve also been honoring my Si a lot more by revisiting old photographs, watching tv shows and movies I’ve loved for years, etc.

    I think before this, I would have probably said I could do 7 days in complete isolation. But now, no, I’m way too extroverted for that. I would go nuts so quickly. I’d probably end the week angry at everyone, but I’d go with the constant social interaction for a week.

    My main strategy is spending time just tuning everything out. I’ve limited my news intake to an hour a day at most (some in the morning and some in the evening). The negative anxiety from the world is really palpable, but I find that I can keep a measure of distance to keep myself sane.

    One of my best friends is quarantined with her boyfriend and his parents. She’s an ESFJ, and she’s taking this extremely hard. I sent her a message reminding her to take care of herself since I suspected she has not been. I get a response, “I’m not good at that.” Yes, I know, that’s why I’m telling you. For her, the problem is that she just has lost interest in most things that kept her occupied and doesn’t want to even take a nap. On top of that, she feels physically ill (which clued me into the fact that she probably isn’t drinking enough water, eating well, sleeping enough, or a mixture).

    We’re all dealing differently. Since this whole thing has started, another friend told me that she has only had one good night’s sleep. That would be torture. So, I think I’m handling it fairly well. Though if I entertain how long this could last, I want to just start screaming and never stop.

    • Antonia Dodge

      “As for me, I am fine as long as I don’t think about how long this will last.”



  • Izzy


    I think I would have found the isolation easier if I didn’t have a toddler at home. Although he is far to young to accurately type, he currently looks a little something like this
    I’m pretty sure he was a gift from the universe telling me to get out of my damn head.

    Days are usually spent going out for walks/picnics, crafts, baking and generally trying to keep a lid on the never ending mess that he whips up. It’s safe to say that by the time he goes to bed, I’m pretty tired.

    We do zoom video calls with friends and family which are welcomed and offer enough interaction to keep me seemingly sane.

    It has been years since I have been able to sit and really watch a film. I usually zone out and come to when the credits are rolling, but I have been trying to watch films and remain present to them which has been enjoyable and relaxing.

    By far the best Fe hit I have had in I don’t know how long though was the both of you laughing at the end of the podcast!

    Best wishes and good vibes to you both🙂

  • Lotte


    ESTJ here 🙂 really enjoyed listening to your podcast from The Netherlands :). We have a lockdown similar to other countries the US I think.

    I really liked the podcast as it explained so much abput the different experiences that I hear from friends and colleagues so thank you for that!

    Of course, this is a horrible crisis.. people getting sick, and dying.. seeing horrible reports on whats going on all over the world.. I really hope we can fight corona effectively..!

    For me personally though, I do really see an opportunity! I work in data so my work is pretty much the same. Before is crisis
    I’ve been working on a project for which is was very hard for me to find the time. Also meditating just 15 minutes was hard to schedule as I also do a lot with friends, going to the gym etc. But now, I have a lot more time and it feels like I can timebox everything so so well! Taking a walk, work, home workout, project, friend call and mealplanning… everything fits in my daily life now. So thats something that I really enjoy now that I actually can benefit from timeboxing.

    There is also a flip side, because I also notice that it pulls me to the extreme of control. So in the supermarket I can get very aggetated when people are getting to close or don’t follow “the rules”. So I do also practise a lot with small sentences in my head that pull be out of the frustration. Also I practise the loving-kindness meditation daily, it really helps me to act from a place of kindness 🙂

    Thanks so much for your podcast, I really enjoy listening and learn so much from it again and again.

    Stay healthy & stay safe


    • Karin Voogd

      Thanks for your podcasts!
      As an INFP I miss being able to go outside and explore. Makes me feel rebellious and not wanting to follow the instructions. I tend to feel a lot for people in other countries and cultures and feeling irritated with my own. All those sweet messages about how we are all in this together. …I don’t want that or I don’t feel that. I want to be the only one instead of together in a challenging situation. I feel more estranged from others than I usually do.
      Living in a city where I use to move around by bike or train, it is not easy to find a space alone with nature/ the universe. Signs along the railway tracks asking me’ is your journey really neccessary?’ , bother me. No, for the good of the whole, not necessary, for me as an individual , yes, very necessary. And I feel that this is never going to end. The others will not go back to normal, and being somewhat of an ousider that used to like the extraordinary I feel that my space has been invaded by very practical people who know much better what to do or say about that. It is difficult to find a new space to do my solo exploration now.

  • Madison Hamilton

    INFJ here.
    The aspects of quarantine that have been challenging for me have revolved around productivity, social comparison, and personal growth.

    I have much more time on my hands, and I use that time to better myself through learning and achieving new things, and developing my co-pilot (Fe: healthy boundaries, working on the martyr/guilting complex, reframing victim talk into creator talk). I’m finding that I’m putting the value of my self-worth on achieving my goals instead of honoring the process. While I have very few responsibilities right now, I feel as though I need to conquer the world at this time, and anything short of that is unacceptable.

    While others appear to be telling me what they’re doing for pure conversation, I can’t help but think that when I do it I’m trying to prove myself or validate my self-worth.

    I’ve been taking time to step back into my heart, and be less defensive. However, it’s challenging when I don’t feel as though I have much to offer.

    I find that social connection grounds me, and now that I’m lacking it I’ve been finding ways to take responsibility for my own emotions and feelings. While it’s a difficult lesson to learn, it’s an important one.

    While I’m not thankful for the mass tragedy that’s occuring around the world, I feel as though COVID-19 represents this wise old sage teaching us what we need to learn the most at this time…and I’m thankful for that.

    • Madison Hamilton

      I realized that I didn’t provide concrete examples on how to manage emotions as an Fe user who may be going through something similar.

      Step one: Find out what you’re feeling. You can gain access to your emotions by listening to music that you think matches what you could be feeling (or consuming some other artistic medium, ex: tv or visual art).

      Step two: Verify that the emotions you’re feeling are true to you. If you’re experiencing some sort of catharsis, chances are you’ve tapped into it.

      Step three: Find the source. Figure out where these emotions came from. Were they caused by something that happened 5 seconds ago or 5 years ago? Take incremental steps to transition from understanding an event that occured and relating it to an underlying belief.

      Step four: Address that underlying belief. Write down on a physical piece of paper what steps you can take to be proactive about these emotions, beliefs, etc. that led to the experience you’re working through.

      Step five: Be kind to yourself and others through the process. Realize that hurt people hurt, and to check yourself before you wreck yourself or others.

      Another method that works for me as an INFJ is to get into my Sensation (Se) and out of my head (Ni/Ti). Going for a walk or run outside with some variety can help!

  • Karen

    This is quite a time, isn’t it? I’m an ESFP quarantined alone in an apartment in Chicago. Oddly, this hasn’t been bad for me.

    I work from home, and my job is helping small businesses, so I’ve been really busy and communicating with people via phone or videoconference (or email) constantly. I also have volunteer leadership responsibilities that require attention. At the end of the day, I’m generally pretty exhausted. I’ve been maintaining exercise by walking a few times per week, and doing pilates at home. My family of origin does a weekly Zoom chat that I organized. Of course there are virtual happy hours. And after all that, binging on Netflix or other shows is a nice mind balm.

    Your comment that we are all sort of living with the results of the lives we’ve created hit home for me. I truly love my life and my home and my job. So being stuck in it isn’t bad at all. I realize that I am very fortunate.

    At the same time, I’ve realized that I’m not yet over a recent hurt from a relationship ending, so am continuing to feel my way through that during this period of fewer distractions.

    The anxiety over all this is real. I don’t dwell in it and am glad to be busy enough that I can avoid sinking into it (ESP Loop #2 is a helpful tool right now!)

    The thing I don’t understand about my response is that I don’t seem to be missing the physical contact I normally have with people. I don’t get have an explanation for that. Seeing friends and family on Zoom has proven to be an adequate substitute, at least for now.

    Stay safe.

    • Antonia Dodge

      “Your comment that we are all sort of living with the results of the lives we’ve created hit home for me. I truly love my life and my home and my job. So being stuck in it isn’t bad at all. I realize that I am very fortunate.”

      I feel similarly, though this has been a great time to address some old family wounding. I’m also taking this time to set up some rituals I’d been avoiding. This morning the kids and I did a 20 minute yoga routine followed by a 10 minute meditation. I think if we weren’t ‘stuck in quarantine’ they would be more resistant for…whatever reason… but right now feels like a different enough time that they’re open to it. Fingers crossed we can make it stick. 🙂

      Thanks for the comment, and congrats on setting up such a mindful life!


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