Even Introverts Struggle With Isolation of Pandemic


Willy Verhulst/flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Each Thursday on The 21st, we discuss a different aspect of mental health, and this week, we discuss loneliness. Whether you identify as an introvert who enjoys spending time alone, or are more extroverted and feel energized being around others -- the coronavirus has magnified the pandemic of loneliness across the personality spectrum. 

Jennifer Kahnweiler is the author of several books on introverts and is a self-described champion for introverts. She shares some of the ways even the most introverted among us might be struggling right now, and also some skills that extroverts might use to cope during a time when in-person social gatherings are limited.

Louise Hawkley, a research scientist at NORC at the University of Chicago, studies the role of psychosocial factors, particularly loneliness and social isolation, in explaining individual differences in health and well-being in older adulthood. She currently works on the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project (NSHAP) funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA). Hawkley explains the difference between loneliness and isolation, and the ways that it can affect our health. 


Jennifer Kahnweiler, Ph.D., author and leadership speaker on introverts 

Louise Hawkley, Ph.D., senior research scientist at NORC, University of Chicago, National Social Life, Health and Aging Project (National Institute on Aging)