There is an evolutionary reason for introverts: We help groups survive.
Introverts are generally more risk averse and more highly compassionate. That means we spot problems earlier, act cautiously sooner and care far more deeply about the wellbeing of others.
With coronavirus sweeping across the globe, these all sound like pretty useful traits right now.
Remember this is an evolutionary advantage for survival.
In her book ‘The Highly Sensitive Person’, psychologist and author Elaine Aron argues that animal groups depend for their lives on their sensitive ones. Think nervous antelopes looking for lions.
Introvert advocate Susan Cain says in her book ‘Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking’, that extroverts are great at doing battle, being adventurous and seeking rewards.
But, as she adds, “if our entire population consisted of warriors, there would be no one to notice, let alone battle, potentially deadly but far quieter threats like viral disease or climate change.”
Viral disease. Climate change. 2020 anyone?
We need to listen to the introverts in Australia during this time.
If your introverted friends are cancelling their travel plans, copy them. If your introverted scientists are saying close schools and enforce social distancing measures, do it.
Listen to your introverts. Your introverts will save you all.