Sectional Healing 4/3: So You've Been Forced To Become an Introvert...

This email is wondering what will break first; your spirit or your body.


Guys. What even is the world right now. The surreality of the moment is so cliche that to comment upon is akin to commenting on the weather.


ME: Crazy weather, right? It’s so (insert descriptor).

YOU: Yeah.



But yet, the surreality is all there is to talk about.

And to not talk about it can feel so willfully tone deaf that there’s no sustainably reasonable conversation to be had that doesn’t eventually divert back to the pandemic.


ME: Crazy weather, right? It’s so (insert descriptor).

YOU: Yeah.

ME: (Sneezes into arm because of seasonal allergies)

YOU: (Sprints away in fear).



But at the same time, there’s such a fatigue attached to being so mindful of the everythingedness attached to the coronavirus that it’s overwhelming. And all the while, we’re having to maintain the immediacy of the moment in one hand while also holding the remoteness of a once and future normalcy that we know will eventually come. I think? Maybe?

Talk about a reconsideration. Of all the things I wrote about in All Things Reconsidered, the idea of normalcy never even made it to my whiteboard because normalcy is so entrenched. Upending normalcy is like upending God, oxygen, or white people and their Allbirds shoes. I guess maybe you could, but it’s not really likely unless a pandemic is involved.

SO HERE WE ARE. Collectively upended with no return date in sight.

Accordingly and as a product of this collective upending, I wanted to contribute some expertise I have in this brave new world of forced introversion and subsequent isolation. I realize that this is not everyone’s normal, but this new landscape is a language I’m immensely fluent in. (Extreme Bane voice) I was born in it. Molded by it.

So below, I am underlining a few things you may find yourself experiencing as a way to say, it’s okay! You’re not becoming an introvert, you’re just adapting to this brave new world that has put a premium on introversion-adjace behavior.

  1. The weirdly silent and abbreviated “Hello” smile.

This is a huge part of any middle-age white guy’s social repertoire. We’re not quite eager enough to articulate a greeting with our words, but we’re also not gigantic douchebags. Ergo, we offer a deadlipped smirk as a sort of tacit acknowledgement of some kind of interaction needing to happen.

The reason this kind of smile is so helpful is because it conveys a greeting but one complete with some inferred distance. Essentially, you’ve done the bare minimum of social interaction without suggesting you want to socialize more, which is CLUTCH in the time of a pandemic.

  1. Going out of your way to avoid closely encountering someone.

This is very en vogue right now but let me tell you I’ve been practicing this on the reg FOR YEARS. One time, I hid in a Target changing stall for 25 minutes to avoid speaking to the parent of someone I used to be in youth group with. Twenty five minutes may seem like a long time. to you, but let me tell you I would have done 25 HOURS to avoid that convo.

Time might be precious and it might be money, but even more preciously money is not having to talk with people you don’t want to talk to.

You are probably experiencing your own version of this because of physical distancing and this is great! You aren’t becoming an avoidant weirdo like me, you’re just looking out for your fellow human. Good job you!

  1. Your voice changing.

You’re probably experiencing this, not because you are going through puberty or anything (I mean maybe you are, I don’t know your life) but because you are talking so much less now that you aren’t in your routine of life or job.

When you talk less than normal, your voice doesn’t get a chance to warm up, ergo you end up sounding like a less erudite Jabba the Hut.

Don’t worry! You aren’t becoming the patriarch of a desertland organized crime enterprise OR an introvert. It’s just your new reality for a bit.

  1. Creating a public appearance that discourages interaction

Traditionally, this load has been carried by airpods or headphones as they are the international symbol for, “Do not attempt to converse with me” which is anathema for extroverts, I know.

So this must be a very confusing time for extroverts given that repelling both potential conversation and contact is the new black.

But rest assured! This doesn’t mean you are becoming an introvert. Again, you’re just doing a great job. Me? I’m taking this opportunity to DOUBLE DOWN on the unapproachability anytime I go anywhere in public.


Hoodie sweatshirt with the hoodie up. CHECK!

Gloves, CHECK!

Sunglasses on inside, CHECK!

Facemask / Survivor buff as though I’m an old-timey locomotive bandit, CHECK!

In summation, just because you are acting and presenting like an introvert, that doesn’t mean you are! You’re just being thoughtful and mindful.

And even more, you’re actively developing a new skill set with which you can talk to people about at length once the quarantines and shelter-in-place orders are over. Someday.



This week, I gave the BFOTBs the introduction of the audiobook, COMPLETE with super secretive secrets about the behind the scenes process, things that were cut, and I reveal the name of a very famous writer-someone who messaged me when I didn’t know what to write.

All you gotta do is preorder the book, fill out this form and you will get that as well as a new episode every single week.

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