As a neuroscientist, I am passionate about all aspects of biology and adore dispelling nutrition and health-related myths.
1. Be Careful About Indulging Your Primitive Emotions
Both ENFPs and ENTPs are highly spontaneous and passionate individuals who loathe any reduction in their perceived level of freedom. Seeing their life as a movie in which they play the central role, people of these archetypes thoroughly believe that a life that is not wild and authentic is one wasted. This does not come from attention-seeking or histrionic tendencies, but rather from a point of great emotional intelligence and liberation. Realizing that life is too short to live disingenuously, ENFPs and ENTPs typically prioritize a). their mental stimulation and b). their ability to express themselves and be seen by others.
These affinities render situations like the current Coronavirus quarantine very difficult for them, as they additionally tend to question rules and authority. If you fit into one of these Myers Brigg's archetypes, you may be frustrated, restless and depressive, reminiscing on your former freedom and pining for conversations with fascinating people.
Your emotions should never be suppressed and are valid, as you have been forced into an unexpected period of isolation. However, you must steer your brain away from falling into neural loops of rumination and negativity. You will have the entire rest of your life for romance, chaos, socializing and exploring. Until we know when the Coronavirus quarantine will end, err on the side of caution and avoid reading particularly evocative diary entries or fantasizing about that crazy Halloween party.
2. Be Cerebral (Engage With Your Inner INFP)
Though it might seem unfitting to mention an introverted archetype in a Coronavirus survival guide for extroverts, hear me out; ENFPs, ENTPs, INFPs and INTPs all have a significant degree of overlap in their neural dispositions and mentalities.
As a neuroscientist, I enjoy delving into psychology and then evaluating what neural correlates actually give rise to and underpin such psychological phenomena. The truth is that everyone who sits in the 'N' and 'P' overlap (i.e. the four aforementioned types) is curious, intelligent and inclined to immerse themselves in tasks that interest them for hours.
You see, many extroverts are impulsive and easily entertained by the external world, choosing to fill any gap of their free time with coffee dates and long phonecalls. The same cannot be said of ENFPs and ENTPs, hence why they are often grouped together in a pair. Their Intuitive and Perceptive qualities mean that they thrive in their own world just as much as they thrive when they are bouncing off others and delivering charismatic anecdotes.
Many tropes centre around INFPs and INTPs being the 'quiet geniuses', reliably found in their rooms writing novels and composing elegant mathematical models. This is not to say, however, that their state of introversion pushes them towards these cerebral pursuits. Instead, their inquisitive and analytical nature results in enhanced dopamine release upon the completion of tasks that interest them.
As an ENTP or ENFP, you will also possess this keen ability to create and most likely do a great deal of it already. Now that you are going to be isolated for a few weeks, dive into your pastime of choice and give it your all. Here are some examples:
- build that website.
- start tutoring a foreign language or skill online to earn money.
- read two books that are challenging and outside of your scope of knowledge.
- perfect a skill that you are already adept at.
3. Only Relax In Ways That Stimulate You
Of course, the Coronavirus shutdown can also be treated as a temporary period of rest and play; we do not need to constantly be productive or entrepreneurial! However, while sitting snug in front of reality TV may be what heals and stabilizes some people during a time like this, ENFPs and ENTPs require much more mental stimulation to avoid spiraling into dysphoria and unease.
Does this mean that you should only consider the most academically-challenging and sophisticated books and documentaries? No, not at all; rather, you should only relax and engage with media that means something to you.
This is because intrinsic motivation, authenticity and purposefulness are deeply engraved into the mentalities of ENFP and ENTP type individuals. Spending too much of our time on things that a). are not 'productive' in the sense that they take us closer to our goal and life purpose and b). are also objectively 'low-quality' leaves us regretful and wishing we had not wasted our hours.
Here are some examples of ways to indulge your inner child while also fuelling your creative flair and mental fluidity:
- if you speak another language, watch a Netflix series in that language to rapidly expand your knowledge of colloquial vocabulary.
- do some research and find movies and series that pertain to your interests. Pay great attention while watching them, and note down some profound life lessons you can take away from them.
- play a game that you really love that immerses you in a beautiful, expansive virtual world. I absolutely adore Skyrim and The Sims 4 (more than I would ever like to express) - in my mind, no game could ever top these two if you are someone who loves complex character development and gorgeous graphics.
4. Exercise Twice A Day
Sorry, you lot - you all knew this one was coming, but I will at least keep it short! While it may sound like generic advice, engaging in daily cardiovascular exercise could not be more important during this COVID-19 quarantine. Go out running, or even for a long and brisk walk. You will notice the difference in your mood, energy levels and ability to fall asleep at night.
Us ENFPs and ENTPs just cannot afford to let ourselves sit at home without moving our muscles. With very active minds and the propensity to spiral into boredom and frustration, we require the mental health benefits of exercise more than people with more 'stable' mentalities. In addition to upregulating endorphins, serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, exercise releases BDNF, the neurotrophic factor that generates new neurons and keeps us optimistic, relaxed and objective during compromized times.
5. Initiate Ingenious And Refreshing Conversations
Whether you are quarantined with your parents and siblings or with the love of your life, the mood can quickly turn sour and shift towards resentment. Though you consciously know that everyone is in the same position and desiring more freedom, you may find yourself slipping into a low-vibrational state of passive-aggressiveness.
This is easy to turn around. ENTPs and ENFPs are quirky and highly emotionally-intelligent, meaning they are naturals at picking the brains of others and asking thought-provoking questions. Look a little more deeply at whoever you are currently confined with, because everyone's mind is a universe waiting to be explored.
However skilled at sparking up new friendships we are, we are all prone to putting the people closest to us in limiting boxes. How long has it been since you had a really deep and energizing conversation with your mother, which lit her up and allowed you to see facets of hers beyond those that relate to her being your parent?
If you're currently quarantined with your girlfriend, think back to the honeymoon phase of your relationship when it was shrouded with mystique and she seemed like a fascinating goddess. What conversational topics kept you two staying up on weekdays and missing alarms for work?
If you want a set of truly deep and intriguing questions, have a look at this pack by School of Life.
There's a reason why the person who brings sets like this one to parties is always so popular: everyone desires to open up and be asked questions about their personal belief systems, but sometimes a little prompting is required to lower people's guards. Here's a cheaper and spicier version for couples, and there's also a self-reflection pack to catalyze introspection.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Lucy
Kyler J Falk from California on March 20, 2020:
If it weren't raining, cloudy, and cold I would be outside practicing social distancing on a hike or at the lake while barbecuing. Working out inside is really all that and a bag of chips, though.