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Love for Extroverts in the Age of Corona

Love for Extroverts in the Age of Corona

I really don’t want anyone’s pity out there, but this Corona Virus is tough on us extroverts, especially us extroverts whose love language is physical touch.

Social distancing is torture! If you don’t understand, you’re not one of us. Last week, I was hanging out with a true blue P.T.E. (Physical Touch Extrovert). It was time to say good-bye and we stared at each other, frozen, unable to leave. Finally, we looked around to make sure the coast was clear, took in a deep inhale of breath, and hugged.

I know. So bad.

I’ve only broken the rules five times.

But for the sake of the cause, I’m washing my hands (for twenty seconds with soap and water) of my P.T.E. ways for the time being.

I did the butt bump with a friend earlier today. I’ve done the elbow, the forearm. My go to has actually become the Namaste bow. It ain’t easy I tell you, but it’s kind of fun. But it ain’t easy.

So for those of you who are feeling my pain, here are a few things you can do to help you survive this most terrible public health directive.

  1. Keep virtual contact. Every day, write three really heartfelt texts to people you love. It will give you the feels and ease your pain. Phone calls as far as I can tell are also virus free.
  2. Nature is your friend. You can commune with as many birds, bugs, and bunnies as you want. And if you need to hug something, hug a tree!
  3. Prayer is also your friend. Even if no one else is allowed to get near you, God can. Not only can He – He already is! He is with you right now. This is the perfect time to practice feeling His presence.
  4. You still can meet with people – but stay outside and move while you do it. Social distancing doesn’t feel as weird when you are running or walking, and if you are sweaty enough when you are done then you won’t want to hug each other good-bye.
  5. Finally, keep in mind that we are all in this together. For P.T.E.’s like you and me, it is easier to sacrifice when we know that we are not alone in it. Think of this temporary moment of isolation as a way to give a big bear hug to the world.
  6. Finally, finally, these moments are also great moments to practice things that we know are good for us but that we find to not be easy – things like solitude, silence, meditation, and mindfulness. It’s like eating vegetables, and when vegetables is all you got, sooner or later they are going to taste good.
  7. Finally, finally, finally, don’t be afraid. This is not the new normal. We will be back to high-fiving and hugging in no time.

For now – keep calm and keep your distance.

Pray for me and I’ll pray for you!

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Ned Erickson

Ned is the Founder and Executive Director of the Winston-Salem Fellows, a non-profit dedicated to equipping people to live seamless lives as they grow into the men and women they were created to be. He is the author of four books, including the critically acclaimed novel Clay. He, his wife, two children, dogs, rabbit, guinea pig, turtle, and chickens live in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

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