The ENFP and Loneliness During Coronavirus
Find a way to meet the needs that were being met before, ideally in an even better way.
The number one topic I keep getting emailed about in the last couple of months is loneliness and feeling disconnected as an ENFP.
I’m going to share some more advice about feeling distant and disconnected and being stuck at home during these times in or post coronavirus lockdown, depending on where you are in the world.
Someone emailed me and mentioned being furloughed, which I guess is sort of “laid-off but not your fault” situation, you can’t work and you may feel really lonely and disconnected, especially as an ENFP. As the ENFP personality type, we love people and connecting, so this can be really bad.
What to do about it?
Context Matters: Remote Working vs Office Working
One of the things I realized is, having worked for myself for a decade or so now, you learn to manage yourself and all these needs a lot better, I think, than employees.
That doesn’t mean life is always good or easy, but this is very common among entrepreneurs.
You’re really aware of and you can identify your needs for social contact, your needs for connection, for excitement, for all this because you don’t have the same external pressure and you don’t have any structure really created for you.
And since you don’t have any structure created for you, you really have to think ahead and look at your week and say:
Okay, can I schedule lunches with friends or some dinners out? Do I schedule Sunday where we do a trip together somewhere nice?
You really have to be thinking about this stuff.
There is a huge difference in remote working vs office working.
A lot of people with day-to-day regular jobs at the end of their workday don’t want to talk to anyone. They want to go home and have some quiet, disconnect, and watch a show.
For people working for themselves and especially if you’re working remotely, working from home, you’re probably alone on your laptop most of the day. At the end of work day the last thing you want to do is sit there with no people and just kind of disconnect and watch a TV show.
Figure Out Your Unmet Needs
So what should you do to counter these feelings and to feel better while you’re at home, especially if you’re living alone during COVID-19?
Think about all the needs that were being met by your job.
And this is actually good advice just in general to keep your sanity when living alone – coronavirus or not.
If you’re thinking about quitting a job, think about the needs you get from that job. Maybe a sense of security, it forces you to get out of the house, which might not be easy to do now, but in theory, you connect with different people.
One interesting thing with connecting with people is you have a few levels of contact.
Yes, you have a close friend and it’s great to have deep conversations.
But one of the things we all need as well, especially the ENFP type, is sort of those other contacts, those acquaintances. It’s nice to have a feeling of a greater larger community around us where you just chat a bit, you don’t just want to have a few really good friends.
So think of these different contacts you might be getting from work, maybe even things like a ritual you had that you might not even know of.
When you drive to work, you listen to an audiobook, and then you get a great coffee, and that makes you feel really good.
You’re starting your day with some education and some caffeine and now because you’re at home and you’re not commuting, you’re not listening to an audiobook or, even better, The Dreams Around The World Podcast.
And because you’re not doing that, you’re feeling different and you can’t quite place your finger on it.
So really go through that like a detective.
- What could I have been doing when I was at my job?
- What were the different habits I had?
- What was my routine like?
Then find ways to replace them and manage your needs while you’re at home.
Now, maybe you do lunch meetings with another friend who’s at home or a co-worker who’s also at home and you guys have lunch together over a Zoom call.
Maybe you just pace around your apartment in circles, listening to an audiobook, or something like that.
Find a way to identify and meet the needs that were being met before, ideally in an even better way.
That’s a way to upgrade your experience, not just get back to your baseline, but actually take it to the next level.
I’ve been doing quite well with this and I think it’s because the years of travelling and working for myself have taught me a lot about how to keep your sanity when you’re living alone, and maybe when you’re feeling isolated, so I’m happy to share more of what I’ve learned and figured out.
If you have specific questions, let me know in the comments and that will help me put together another post on the topic.