This morning my very dearest friend sent me a quick Whatsapp message.
“Hey, I’m free. Do you want to talk?”
“Do I want to talk??” I thought.
IS THE POPE CATHOLIC?!
DO BEARS DO THEIR BUSINESS IN THE WOODS?!?!
Yes. Absolutely. Yes I want to talk.
Her Spider Senses
My friend has a sixth sense for these kinds of things. She just seems to know instinctively when she’s needed.
Something must have told her that a little chat wouldn’t go amiss, and despite being in the office and having plenty of work to do, she gave me a call on her lunch break.
She’s a doctor. She’s done a residency in psychiatry. Psychology is a large part of her job. She has an idea of how different kinds of people are handling the pandemic.
She also knows me very well, and knows that I’m an incorrigible extrovert.
A Breath of Fresh Air
Hearing her voice was a breath of fresh air for me.
I’m very much a people person. If I cannot get social contact, if I cannot meet with other people, whether they be dear friends or even other parents on the playground, I wilt.
Seriously. I wilt.
I feel a hollowing out inside me, I feel a crushing loneliness, and I retreat to a gloomy place in my head.
That’s not to say that I can’t be alone. I very much enjoy my alone time. But I need it balanced with social time.
So when I got on the phone with my friend, though I had so many questions to ask her, and so much I wanted to catch up on with her, I proceeded to talk her ear off.
It was, necessarily, a quick call. My friend had to get back to work and I had to get my day started.
When we rang off, I stopped and thought, “Gah! I wanted to ask her about _____. I didn’t ask how _____ went!”
I had been so busy gabbing like a goose that I forgot to listen. It happens sometimes.
I regretted instantly how I had squandered our short call on seemingly unimportant blather. I ached to get her back on the phone and say, “Your turn!”
Sadly, it will have to wait until the next time we have a free moment.
Check On Your Extroverts
What my friend did today was a good deed.
That’s not to say that I was the only one who derived any pleasure from our talk. We enjoy chatting and listening to each other in equal measure. I know that it’s a pleasure for me to sit and listen to her when she needs it, and I have no doubt she feels the same way.
But she thought to herself, “I know an extremely extroverted person who is in social isolation right now. She probably needs a call.” And that was a Very Nice Thing.
A friend on Facebook posted this the other day:
I invite you all to do as my friend did this morning and check in on someone you think might need it.
I call my Dad daily. If I’m seriously extroverted, I get it from somewhere. That somewhere is most definitely my Dad.
He and I alternate chatting and listening, and while we can drive each other nuts, we also get a lot of joy out of our talks.
Even if you’re handling this situation just fine, and you don’t feel the need to reach out, do it.
Think of that friend, that relative you know to be struggling with the isolation. It could be an irrepressibly bubbly friend, or it could be an elderly relation who misses contact with family.
Extroverts tend to have the highest highs and the lowest lows. It happens to anyone who is slightly off an even keel.
A call from you may just be the high the extrovert in your life needs.