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Old 02-19-2012, 03:47 PM   #21
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I have actually been to a few meetups with a local group (lunch at a local hole in the wall oriental restaurant yesterday). As an open voluntary setting, these aren't too bad.

I don't know how to be 'friendly', I don't pick up on all the facial/verbal cues that everyone else seems to. I do strive to be polite/civil.

I don't dislike other women, but I seem to have less in common with women than I do with men.

Then factor in that most of the people I do converse with are 15 to 20 years younger and scattered all over the country/world.

Where would I be without the 'net?
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Old 02-19-2012, 04:01 PM   #22
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Why not stop by an assisted living or nursing home? Many folks there would appreciate a Osborn visit anjd leaving someone to talk with and it wouldn't have to be a real or lasting friendship.
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Old 02-19-2012, 04:42 PM   #23
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As Brewer12345 implied, groups of hobbyists seem to work best in this regard.

I have a number of hobbies, and I'm just very slightly active in groups of similar minded folks in all of them. Beer brewing, cheesemaking, amateur radio, recreational running, and target shooting are the main ones for me, but I think most hobbies have this sort of group activity.

Much to my surprise and delight, I found a kindred spirit at one of these club meetings and we have become extremely close friends over the years. Without the club membership in common (although neither of us still goes to those club meetings), we would never have met.
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Old 02-19-2012, 07:52 PM   #24
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As an introvert with a touch of social anxiety I find it very difficult to reach out to make friends. I have found that, as many suggest getting to know people through activities works best.

The one thing that can be hard is moving from acquaintances to close friend where you do something with outside the activity. I confess that I usually rely on someone else to suggest to me doing things outside the activity (i.e. going to dinner rather than playing bridge, etc).

Once I got married and had kids I lost a lot of the outside the family social activities. But in the modern world I've done a lot of things online where I got to know people. Back in the day I was a forum administrator on a Compuserve forum and owned a couple very active mailing lists (a couple of hundred messages a day) and was a forum administrator/moderator at a couple of forums dealing with my then areas of interest. At the time that was really a major social outlet for me but as my kids got older I had to cut back on a lot of those activities. When I had to do that I found that I really missed the ongoing contact. One of the nice things about ESR is that I have more time to spend on online forums such as this which I really enjoy. And, truthfully, I find that I often find it easier to do things online rather than going to physical gatherings with people. That is, I'm probably more likely to read and take part in a dog-related mailing list than actually go to the dog club meeting....
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:30 PM   #25
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A few months ago, I would have said that my husband was my best and only true friend and that everyone else in my life was probably more acquaintances. Since finding out about his affair and going through the divorce process, those acquaintances have stepped up and moved into friend territory. I have really come to value them (as well as my forum friends here and elsewhere) to help me through this difficult time and I have vowed to never let such friendships lapse again.

I agree that it can be difficult to cultivate friendships, but I don't even want to think about where I'd be right now without them. The trick is finding good people who share your interests and values. I have been extremely lucky in that regard!
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:34 PM   #26
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Sorry to hear that, Marathoner.
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:26 PM   #27
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" 'Blessed are the cheesemakers.' Wot's so special about the cheesemakers?"
(Life of Brian)

A.

Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
, cheesemaking, .
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Old 02-29-2012, 11:02 PM   #28
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Khan, I just wanted to say that I too am an extreme introvert and what you've written here makes a lot of sense to me. I have to deal with colleagues at work, my parents, and my kids, but when I have a choice, I'm also by myself 99% of the time.

Most people, being more extroverted than you and I, will try to explain to you why making the effort with friends is worth it, and how you can solve that. Several examples of that on this thread. My mother, being an extreme extrovert, tries to explain to me the value of friendship and how I can meet more people.

Yes, friends are a good thing to have and there are advantages, especially when one hits really rough times. That being said, I think it should be left up to each person (including you and me) to decide how much they value friendship and make their own decisions about how much social interaction they want. It is unusual to be extremely introverted, but it is not necessarily unhealthy or lead to Kazinski-like behavior.

I also find, like you, that the people I seem to get along with better aren't what society considers typical. As a single 42 year old guy, for example, forming friendships with 25-35 year old women is tricky -- if they're married or in a relationship, the guy usually isn't secure enough to deal with that. If they're not in a relationship, they're almost always wanting one or suspicious that I want one.

So I say consider the possible advantages and disadvantages of friends (either net or IRL) to *you*, make your decision about what level of social interaction you want, then be yourself and tell the rest of the world to mind their own business.

HTH,

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Old 03-01-2012, 06:32 PM   #29
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I also find, like you, that the people I seem to get along with better aren't what society considers typical. As a single 42 year old guy, for example, forming friendships with 25-35 year old women is tricky
2Cor521
Yeah, it works the other way 'round too. I am finally old enough that young men can be friends with me just because we share interests, and nobody else gets embarrassed, suspicious, or jealous.

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Old 03-01-2012, 10:46 PM   #30
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As a single 42 year old guy, for example, forming friendships with 25-35 year old women is tricky -- if they're married or in a relationship, the guy usually isn't secure enough to deal with that.
Fixed it for all of us guys.
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