Social distancing is more or less an Analyzers M.O. In a way, it’s a central part of their lifestyle. Assuming that their job allows them to go remote, Analyzers prefer to work in solitude. They revel in being able to truly take their time ensuring every aspect of a project and its contingencies are considered, without interruptions from others. While they may enjoy not having to go out as much, that also means they miss the rush of canceling plans to go out. What a relief it is for them to be able to not only work from home but to feel no guilt about choosing to stay in with a couple good books or to catch up on all those historical documentaries they’ve been wanting to watch.
This isn’t to say Analyzers don’t love their people; many are mostly just thrilled to have large blocks of time to themselves where they don’t have to navigate what is, for them, the relational dynamics of their more socially-oriented (“below midline”) friends and coworkers.
That being said, there are some strategies for the struggles particular to Analyzers that will help them to better thrive during this nearly global lockdown.
[Read “Surviving Remote Work as a Persuader”]
Establish New Systems and Processes
In addition to the tragic societal impacts many experience from a mass mandate to #stayathome, Analyzers are very systematic, and if their fine-tuned processes for accomplishing their tasks are suddenly jarred, they become quite frustrated. Seeing the excellence in their work decline because they or their team haven’t been able to quickly adapt to remote work becomes a rather painful experience.
Analyzers struggle with rapid change, and these are absolutely uncertain, dynamic times. Many small businesses are closing down (at least temporarily) and being forced to layoff or furlough their employees. Institutions and social systems are being pushed to their limits trying to aid those most in need. The precariousness of it all can be especially troubling for Analyzers, the types of people who thrive on well-established systems and logical processes. Even observing the erratic or irrational behavior of others (people panic-buying loads of toilet paper comes to mind) just adds more to the frustrations. Focus on little rituals that you can do at home. Get up at the same time. Get dressed and ready as you normally would. Do an at-home workout routine. Make a habit of reading or meditating for a set length daily.
Agree on New Expectations
Analyzers don’t like not knowing the rules. If you’re quarantined at home with others, come to an agreement on new expectations. Identify potential points of irritation or conflict—such as who gets to use which room when and for what—and preempt them with clear cut norms. Create protocols for “working hours” regarding noise levels and how others can interact with you.
Analyzers avoid confrontation. There is likely to be more conflict in these tense times. Have an escape strategy. Be prescient of your own emotional state and know when you need to go for a walk or take a short hike to get the space you need before resolving the pressing tension. Or, identify a room you can go to for some privacy. Noise-cancelling headphones with calming music can also provide a nice break from the tension.
Schedule Social Interactions
In this unique time of extreme social distancing, it is easy for Analyzers to retreat into social isolation. To guard against this, intentionally schedule times when you will socially engage with others (besides those you may live with). By doing this you will communicate your concern for the welfare of your friends and colleagues (especially helpful for below-midliners), and yet be able to do so in a way that aligns with your more intentional and structured preferences.
Also, utilizing one of the many socially interactive mediums that include visual contact will help you stay more closely connected to the important facial expressions and nuances involved in interpersonal communication. This is something many Analyzers don’t feel a strong need to pursue, but it is an important way to make a more personal bond with others.
When Solitude Means Social Solidarity
The key: you will establish new processes and, eventually, your work will return to your usual high standard of excellence. For now, if you don’t have any housemates, enjoy the silver lining that is seclusion with plenty of time for deep reflection and learning. Maybe you’ll finally have time to tackle Ulysses or Anna Karenina. For the rest who have housemates, try to be flexible, focus on forging new structures for yourself, and be sure you’re challenging your mind. Put together a complex puzzle. Do some reading or writing. Get into a new hobby. Write letters to loved ones (or to your state representatives). Spend some time in nature (if possible).
Just remember that we’re all in this together (even in our solitude). And fortunately for Analyzers, this type of social solidarity leans into many of their strengths.
Jeffrey serves as Communications and Marketing Director at Effectiveness Institute. He is also Editor in Chief of Erraticus, an online publication focused on human flourishing.
He is a former mental health professional and educator living in Cascadia.