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Old 05-22-2011, 03:06 PM   #21
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But what is it that makes us tired? I've always felt that it's the added tension or thinking things like "Am I talking too much?" "Am I not talking enough?" "Am I going to say something embarrassing?"
That's it in a nutshell Al. We extroverts instinctively know none of that could possibly be true
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Old 05-22-2011, 03:31 PM   #22
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We've been talking about how us introverts get tired when socializing, and need recharge their batteries with some alone time.

But what is it that makes us tired? I've always felt that it's the added tension or thinking things like "Am I talking too much?" "Am I not talking enough?"
My EX accused me of both. He never did tell me how I was supposed to know what was appropriate.

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"Am I going to say something embarrassing?"
A large part of stress came from listening to and censoring myself on the fly.

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But yesterday I did a lot of socializing with some good friends, and wasn't too concerned with those things, but I still found it very tiring.

What is it about socializing that tires us out?
Personally, a large part of it seems to be not being able to 'read' facial/body language.

And also not having any interest or knowledge in what most people chat about: sports fashion jewelry pregnancy children...
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Old 05-22-2011, 04:00 PM   #23
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Can I answer that? It's because there are more "in-betweens" than people at the other extremes and, sooner or later, you're going to have to hear all about Timmy's sandwich. What we need are courses in how to indulge in mindless drivel for hours on end while pasting vacuous expressions on our faces and, at the same time, trying not to go stark raving mad!
I had a boss that summarized the situation perfectly for me. He could see that I was horrid at small talk. He decided to show me how. We walked up to a pair of strangers and struck up a conversation. After the conversation he looked at me and said "Keim, sometimes you just have to pretend like you give a f#ck."
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Old 05-22-2011, 04:25 PM   #24
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I'm comfortable being outgoing in situations where I'm with close friends and folks I know well enough to socially engage.
This also describes me. In most social settings it's small talk and that's boring and we don't care but have to be polite. That is tiring. Now I can socialize with the people I was close with for all day and I was not worn out because I genuinely was comfortable with them and enjoyed the time spent. That said, I still enjoyed being able to get alone time when it was over to recharge the batteries. I just need alone time and with all my close friend dead I have nothing but alone time. I know this would kill the majority of people but I deal with it well even tho at times I think there is something wrong with me that I am like this. These threads have helped me see that this is normal for me and others share this need too.
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Old 05-22-2011, 04:44 PM   #25
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I'm such an extravert that I will make jokes in a line full of strangers, just to see other people smile. Strangers find me approachable. Unfortunately, my speech-frequency hearing loss (not correctible) means that a roomful of talking people becomes a painful mish-mash, where I cannot make out what anybody else is saying. I have to get away.

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That's my problem too. It can be very stressful and I'm always glad to come home.
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Old 05-22-2011, 05:14 PM   #26
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It's just hard holding in a sense of superiority for that long.

Seriously though, I test far on the introvert side, but I have no trouble being outgoing and social in groups... including becoming best friends with total strangers or entertaining a group of people. It's just not where I draw my energy from. I recharge from reading, thinking, etc. I don't get drained from the social interaction, but it doesn't fire me up.
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Old 05-22-2011, 05:40 PM   #27
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It is the mindless chatter ad infinitum about drivel.

+ The endless discussion of baseball and what passes for football (they only kick that oblong giiizmo that euphemistically is referred to as the ball, on special occasions) or baseball plays and players. At least in Rugby and Australian rules football they keep moving. Along with the endless recitation of player's and various team's statistics.
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Old 05-22-2011, 05:43 PM   #28
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What we need are courses in how to indulge in mindless drivel for hours on end while pasting vacuous expressions on our faces and, at the same time, trying not to go stark raving mad!
I never could master this. That's one reason I hated meetings at work.

All groups of people drain me. I don't shop on weekends. I only workout during 9am-2pm. At parties I often sneak out to the backyard after a while and lay down on the concrete or grass to regroup. One or two close friends is fine, but above that my energy drains away.
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Old 05-22-2011, 06:04 PM   #29
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All I can say is I'm more comfortable alone. One of the numerous factors that attracted me to ER. Even so, I need my social time. Otherwise I'd feel disconnected and lost. It's a balance.
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Old 05-22-2011, 06:11 PM   #30
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It is the mindless chatter ad infinitum about drivel.

+ The endless discussion of baseball and what passes for football (they only kick that oblong giiizmo that euphemistically is referred to as the ball, on special occasions) or baseball plays and players. At least in Rugby and Australian rules football they keep moving. Along with the endless recitation of player's and various team's statistics.
Perhaps one of the reasons I prefer to talk with women, rather than other men.
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Old 05-22-2011, 06:39 PM   #31
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Very interesting discussion. I don't often get to talk with other introverts about what it feels like or why. I think there's a little truth in all of this. For me, I become too focused on the other person's needs or thoughts and loose my own thoughts if I don't get a break from social situations. I can train myself to do this less with coginitive techniques but it never becomes totally natural.

I have no anxiety that my husband will think I'm behaving inappropriately or that I'll say something wrong to him but still I need a break just to think my own thoughts. He's heading off on a bike trip that I can't join him on (I'm still working). I'll start to miss him in 3 or 4 days but the first couple of days alone will be great!
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Old 05-22-2011, 07:38 PM   #32
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My wife picked up some Psychology Today magazines at the library recently, as she enjoys reading about the stuff (psych major in college) and continuing to learn. One of the magazines she picked up was all about introverts and had a feature article that she asked me to read.

I found it interesting about why certain things are exhausting for introverts, not something I like doing (though I have introverted traits as well).

Anyway, the whole article is here, enjoy! Revenge of the Introvert | Psychology Today

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Scientists now know that, while introverts have no special advantage in intelligence, they do seem to process more information than others in any given situation. To digest it, they do best in quiet environments, interacting one on one. Further, their brains are less dependent on external stimuli and rewards to feel good.


As a result, introverts are not driven to seek big hits of positive emotional arousal—they'd rather find meaning than bliss—making them relatively immune to the search for happiness that permeates contemporary American culture. In fact, the cultural emphasis on happiness may actually threaten their mental health. As American life becomes increasingly competitive and aggressive, to say nothing of blindingly fast, the pressures to produce on demand, be a team player, and make snap decisions cut introverts off from their inner power source, leaving them stressed and depleted. Introverts today face one overarching challenge—not to feel like misfits in their own culture.
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Old 05-22-2011, 07:44 PM   #33
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Small talk is vital when people are new to one another, and no one is quite sure how to get the ball rolling. After that - how can people just keep prattling on about "then he said...then I said...then Timmy came in and got a sandwich..."? How come the other people don't get bored, and leave?
Amethyst
I missed the memo that "makes" me stick around to talk to that person! "oh, I need to grab another drink/head to ladies room, check with the host, etc." - yes sometimes I'll fib like that! Move on - that is what makes the evening interesting for me (yes, an extrovert) However, after a long day/week of recruiting or a convention...I want nothing to do with "people" - and I wonder if that is the same feeling the self-proclaimed introverts have (I claim I am just tired of talking!)

To all who mentioned small talk pain, talk about rocket science, physics, mathmetics, engineering, gardening or whatever interests you - I think you will be suprised how interested and relieved others are! (I can identify with the young officers sharing geeky stories about LaPlace transforms and adventures of my old engineering club...) But you'd never guess it upon first impression!
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Old 05-22-2011, 07:45 PM   #34
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My wife picked up some Psychology Today magazines at the library recently, as she enjoys reading about the stuff (psych major in college) and continuing to learn. One of the magazines she picked up was all about introverts and had a feature article that she asked me to read.

I found it interesting about why certain things are exhausting for introverts, not something I like doing (though I have introverted traits as well).

Anyway, the whole article is here, enjoy! Revenge of the Introvert | Psychology Today

Snippet:
Quote:
Scientists now know that, while introverts have no special advantage in intelligence, they do seem to process more information than others in any given situation. To digest it, they do best in quiet environments, interacting one on one. Further, their brains are less dependent on external stimuli and rewards to feel good.


As a result, introverts are not driven to seek big hits of positive emotional arousal—they'd rather find meaning than bliss—making them relatively immune to the search for happiness that permeates contemporary American culture. In fact, the cultural emphasis on happiness may actually threaten their mental health. As American life becomes increasingly competitive and aggressive, to say nothing of blindingly fast, the pressures to produce on demand, be a team player, and make snap decisions cut introverts off from their inner power source, leaving them stressed and depleted. Introverts today face one overarching challenge—not to feel like misfits in their own culture.
Wow! What a great quote. That explains a LOT... food for thought.
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Old 05-22-2011, 07:52 PM   #35
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This may sound odd and I'm sure it doesn't apply to everyone who describes themselves as an Introvert but I have felt for a long time that I am very sensitive to what others are thinking and feeling. I'm not talking about being psychic! I mean that I have an overdeveloped sense of awareness. If someone in a group rolls their eyes or makes even a subtle gesture, I am aware of it instantly. Being aware of all the unspoken reactions/emotions in a group is very tiring and can make one very self conscious.

I have talked about this with friends who are socially very comfortable and they do not experience this sensitivity to others reactions. I suppose this trait/ability could be considered a blessing but I experience it more often as a curse. I wish I were one of those people who go through life being rather oblivious.

Thanks for posting that article, Stud. I just read it after I posted the above.
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Old 05-22-2011, 08:06 PM   #36
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In social situations I am between an introvert & an extrovert . I enjoy them on a limited basis . Dinner with friends every few weeks , an occasional party, lunch with my gym pals and even hosting parties is fine occasionally . Most of my friends are extroverts and their social calendars exhaust me.
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Old 05-22-2011, 08:37 PM   #37
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I am very strongly extroverted, but Mr B can make me look like a wall flower.
One of the most complimentary things Mr B ever said to me was "You can really w*rk a room", i.e. I am not intimidated by strangers or new surroundings. He is very happy not to have to "babysit" when we attend Legion functions.
I often make more social connections with perfect strangers than he does.
When I enter a completely new situation or group, I do a rapid visual surveillance of the assembled group to see who the power players are, so I can keep a safe distance from the loudest and proudest. Then I do some listening.
It is my habit to see who is the quietest in the room, or may seem a bit lost, and gently migrate in their direction. I have the ability to say "hello, what is your name, and who do you know here?" without being forceful. Next thing you know, I have an "accomplice" who is usually willing to hang out with me and make the rounds. I love to meet new people.
Mr B will glance over occasionally, see me fitting in very easily, and usually comes my way to meet my recruit(s). He tells me I am clearly a people magnet.
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Old 05-22-2011, 08:51 PM   #38
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I enjoy going out to lunch with my retired friends. I like being with my family also. I don't really care to be with a lot of people that I don't know very well. I am not a great conversationalist.

I just received the invitation to my 40th high school reunion and thought that it would be fun to see some of the people and then I started worrying about how I have a hard time recognizing people sometimes and what would I say to them. Now, I am starting to second guess whether or not I should even go. I wish that I had a little of the gift of gab.
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Old 05-22-2011, 09:20 PM   #39
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Don't think I am an introvert - not really an extrovert too - something in between. It's the frequency of socialising that makes me tired. I can handle social events like once in 3 months and the socialising time during the event should preferably be like not more than 2 hours (eating time not considered - I like good food and drinks). Anything more is tiring.
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Old 05-22-2011, 10:33 PM   #40
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What is it about pain that makes it hurt? It just does.

While it may be relatively easy to come up with examples of the introversion/extroversion phenomenon, I believe it is difficult to know exactly "why" introverts become exhausted in social situations. Evolution? Genetics? Social upbringing? They just do.

An "ahhhh" moment for me was when I understood the difference between shyness and introversion. I used to think that I was shy. But I am not. I am introverted.

I can speak in front of large audiences. No problem. I have been interviewed live on radio and television. No problem. I can speak one-on-one with people in well-defined situations when specific information is being exchanged. I like to people watch. I do not mind being around people at stores or public events as long as I do not have to interact with them. But the most agonizing thing for me is sitting around a table for lunch or dinner with a group of casual friends or co-workers. I would rather chew on aluminum foil.

The one area where my introversion does not seem to come out is in sports or physical activities. It could be that I do not pay much attention to the interaction when I am focused on the activity, although it equally could be that the physical activity itself helps counteract exhaustion due to the interaction. On club bicycling rides, for example, I do not mind stopping and regrouping at the top of a climb (people are tired, small talk may be less exhausting), but I hate rides that involve more formal lunch or longer breaks.
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