Surviving Social Isolation for Your Personality Type

Monica’s avatar

These days, having to deal with social isolation is something we are all facing. There are various reasons why we might be in a situation where we are socially isolated for an extended period of time, whether it is due to the current coronavirus crisis, an extended illness or injury, the weather, or a work situation. It is helpful to have some ideas for the best ways to deal with extended time to yourself that suit your personality traits.

At first, you might be thinking that all the Introverts are celebrating and all the Extraverts are crying as they envision the possibility of weeks at home by themselves. And indeed, some Introverts won’t even bat an eye at the need to hunker down for weeks on end, and some Extraverts may be climbing the walls on day one.

The truth is, we are all social animals, and we all need human contact. Extended time at home will challenge most people. Here are some ideas that any personality type can leverage to stay active and keep their spirits up.

Living the Virtual High Life

With large gatherings canceled and theaters, bars, and other social venues shuttered, many Extraverted personalities will feel a desperate need to get out and do things. At the same time, some Introverted personalities will miss exposure to new ideas and culture. Now is the time to explore the virtual world.

Did you know that some of the greatest museums around the world have online tours? Why not travel to France with a virtual tour of some of the Louvre’s most popular exhibits. You can visit the Vatican Museums, the Smithsonian, and many, many more museums throughout the world. Check your local museums as well, as many of them may have online offerings.

Some folks may want to pass the time on Netflix, but for something more special, you can try a virtual night out at the theater or take in a concert. Broadway HD will let you watch a variety of Broadway shows and musicals. Many independent performers are livestreaming performances – it is a great time to check in on your favorite bands or local performers and see what they are up to.

Being with People

But let’s face it: while most of the Extraverts out there can entertain themselves for a while with online outings, they ultimately really need social interaction. Even most Introverts need social contact of some sort to feel balanced in their lives.

Yes, getting on the phone or Skype to talk are still options, but with applications like Zoom, you can enjoy online video calls with multiple people. This may be a great way to get a few people together to chat, share a meal, or plan some projects you can work on together during your free time.

Another way to share time with friends is to watch movies and videos with them virtually. For example, Google Chrome offers an extension called Netflix Party, which allows people to watch movies or TV shows simultaneously and remotely. A chat feature enables viewers to share their comments in real time. There are other applications out there that allow all levels of sharing virtual spaces, personal videos, and even music with friends, and this might be a good time to explore some of them.

Online chats are also always available in many, many different varieties. Take a moment to think about what specific area you’d like to chat with people about. There are forums and chat rooms for all sorts of interests. Often, the more focused you can get, the more value you will get out of online discussions.

We have also recently launched a Connections section, designed to help you find people who share your personality traits, personal values, or professional goals. It’s free and already buzzing with hundreds of members. Check out the profiles and bios of your closest matches, and consider messaging those you’d like to learn more about.

Finally, you can join our 16Personalities online forum, chat more about your personality type, and share what ideas you have for keeping connected during times of social distancing or isolation.

Something More Practical

Intuitive (N) and Prospecting (P) personality types may enjoy exploring new things and diving deeper into topics they have an interest in, while Observant (S) and Judging (J) types may enjoy some more practical online exploration.

Well, this is a great time for online classes! The world of online education has taken off over the last decade. Some of these are paid courses, but there are many free or low-cost offerings out there as well.

You can explore continuing education courses for your chosen career or perhaps for a new career you are interested in. You can pick up a new skill – maybe web editing, maybe typing, maybe learning the basics of a new language. This could be a great time to work on very practical skills, such as learning how to fix something around the house.

If you want to explore some online course offerings, browsing sites like Coursera, The Great Courses, or MasterClass or streaming some TED talks are good options to start with. For serious academics, you can check out free Ivy League courses in a variety of fields. If your personality type is something you would like to dive into more deeply, consider exploring our online Academy.

This is also a great opportunity to check out resources like NASA’s website, which offers libraries of space exploration photos, presentations, and videos.

Also, consider taking an online tour of an aquarium or zoo – many of them have great webcams, programs, and virtual tours online.

Getting Real

For many Observant personality types, the virtual world might be okay for a while, but they need to have something more tangible to get their hands on. The good news is that there is plenty to keep busy with – and everyone will benefit from getting away from the TV and computer!

Get handy with things that need to be fixed around the house, do a thorough spring-cleaning, or work on your car. If you have a yard or garden and weather permits, this is a great opportunity to do some gardening work or prepare to plant something new.

If you need some ideas or just want to try something completely new, Instructables is a great do-it-yourself website with tons of craft ideas and how-tos. They may even have some creative ideas for using all those cardboard tubes from your empty toilet paper rolls.

If you are into food, this is a great time to spend more time preparing something special for dinner. You can try some new recipes, learn a new cooking style, or prepare some awesome baked goods. It’s also a great time to get some use out of one of those cooking appliances you bought but may have never used – like that bread maker sitting in the closet.

No matter your personality type, you’ll benefit from some exercise. If your area allows it, you can get out of the house for a while and go for a walk or hike, while maintaining social distancing. If you can’t get out of the house, try some home exercise – there are endless videos and apps that can guide you through basic workouts during this time.

Achieving Something

With extended lockdowns, many Judging personality types will get very restless if they don’t feel like they are accomplishing anything. Prospecting types will also benefit from having a few goals for their downtime. Try this:

  • Spend a little time thinking through what you might want to achieve with some extra time on your hands at home. This could be anything from cleaning out a closet, getting your taxes done, learning to cook a curry, or setting fitness goals. Pick one or two of your top goals. Then, identify the first few steps to achieving those goals and get started.
  • Now is a great time to make a start on one of those personal projects you’ve always wanted to do.

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to accomplish big things, though. Remember, this is an exceptional time, and the biggest achievement may be to get through it with your health and well-being intact.

The 16 Personalities with Families

If you are lucky enough to be spending time at home with family, it is a great opportunity to spend quality time working on fun things.

Besides the go-to board games and videos, consider some creative activities, such as family arts and crafts projects or doing a big puzzle together.

This might also be a good time to teach the kids some new skills – cooking and baking, doing handy projects around the house, learning how the car works, or learning and practicing a sport.

Any of the previous suggestions work too. Just do them together as a family – take an online course; go online and visit a zoo, museum, or aquarium; or go for a walk together (just keep compliant with local mandates, social distancing, and guidelines like avoiding playgrounds during coronavirus lockdowns).


No matter your situation, we at 16Personalities wish you and your family well during this time.

To keep your spirits and health up, get creative and find something new to do! We’re here for you. Come visit our forum and share your strategies for keeping busy and energized during these challenging times!

Further Reading