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Old 05-22-2011, 10:39 PM   #41
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Over the past week, I have had to attend 3 events with large crowds full of strangers. I am exhausted. I may need a couple of weeks in isolation to recover.

It's hard to pinpoint why socializing is so tiresome for me but I have to put a lot of effort into it: try to make small talk and keep the conversation going, try to remember people's name when I know full well I won't see them again, pretend to be interested in what others have to say even when they talk about subjects that are (IMO) either completely inappropriate or uninteresting, answer questions from strangers about my life (what do you do?, where do you live?, what kind of accent is that?), listen to people who are full of opinions no matter how ridiculous, outrageous or uninformed (my manners forbid me to tell them to shut their pie hole)... I find that a bit of alcohol helps.
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Old 05-22-2011, 10:49 PM   #42
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Over the past week, I have had to attend 3 events with large crowds full of strangers. I am exhausted. I may need a couple of weeks in isolation to recover.

It's hard to pinpoint why socializing is so tiresome for me but I have to put a lot of effort into it: try to make small talk and keep the conversation going, try to remember people's name when I know full well I won't see them again, pretend to be interested in what others have to say even when they talk about subjects that are (IMO) either completely inappropriate or uninteresting, answer questions from strangers about my life (what do you do?, where do you live?, what kind of accent is that?), listen to people who are full of opinions no matter how ridiculous, outrageous or uninformed (my manners forbid me to tell them to shut their pie hole)... I find that a bit of alcohol helps.
3 events in a week - that's exhausting and reminds me of times when I was working - yuks! Well, at least they ask you "what kind of accent is that" - over here, some just laugh at my accent - and english is not their first language too!
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Old 05-22-2011, 11:14 PM   #43
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This article helped so much! I'm an introvert in a work role that forces a ton of communication. I like my job but I must have downtime at the end of the day and the weekend.

I finally understand why I don't seek out friends...I just have nothing left.

Wonder if retirement will change my feelings toward socializing since I won't be drained by constant conference calls. Guess I'll know in 2016.
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Old 05-23-2011, 12:56 AM   #44
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Perhaps one of the reasons I prefer to talk with women, rather than other men.
What are some of the other reasons?

Ha
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Old 05-23-2011, 01:22 AM   #45
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What are some of the other reasons?

Ha
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Old 05-23-2011, 01:47 AM   #46
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What are some of the other reasons?

Ha
Because we are so intelligent and fascinating!
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Old 05-23-2011, 05:09 AM   #47
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It takes work. People want to be accepted. You are not yourself in many social situations. That creates a certain level of discomfort and stress.

Some learn how to deal with it better than others.

This is not the best article.... but it gets the point across.

Social Masks


While this is evident in many social situations...

IMO - This is often the most evident in work situations. Because working is one's financial livelihood... their work persona is often quite different than in their personal life. For many when one first begins to work (very young) the guard is not up as much... especially in certain social situations with co-workers. But as people age that seems to change. I think it is because there is a lot to lose by not conforming (career wise).
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Old 05-23-2011, 05:44 AM   #48
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Because we are so intelligent and fascinating!
Precisely so.
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Old 05-23-2011, 07:18 AM   #49
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Interesting article. I tend to think of myself as extroverted because I like to join new people at the dinner table and such. But I do not like cocktail party type settings and could never work a room. And I am fine being alone. I guess I am mid way on the scale. What I didn't realize until reading this thread is how much stress I may be putting a couple of highly introverted friends under when I invite them to our weekend house with other guests. Those chatty dinners make me feel a bit guilty now
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:59 AM   #50
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For me, the problem is that I will over-analyze and dwell on anything stupid I said. Some people seem to be able to say anything and forget about it. If I make myself look like a fool or offend someone, I'll replay the conversation forever, thinking about how I could've done it differently. I think that's why I do better on online forums, because I can type in a post and reread it and take things back before I commit to it. I don't always make the best choices there either, but often what comes out is a lot better than what I first type!

When I w*rked, I always found I did better if I had a bit of time to process information. I always tried to tell people not to call or IM me with a question, but to email it instead. That way they'd have to think about getting me the right information, and I wouldn't be rushed to come up with a snap answer, but instead could think it through and come up with the right answer.
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:01 AM   #51
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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.
Well, I know exactly why pain hurts (inflammation, pain receptors, evolutionary need to treat/avoid painful things, blah, blah), and that understanding helps me treat it (aspirin, rest, etc.). A better understanding of exactly what is tiring in social situations, could possibly make the situation better.

For example, how many of you feel a responsibility to keep the conversation going? I often have to tell myself that it's not my job to fill in the lulls; that's a tiring responsibility. I'm actually pretty good at it, but that doesn't make it fun.

Also, I don't think that, for me at least, it's an inability to read subtle social cues. I think I'm too good at that. I notice when someone moves their feet unconsciously, showing a desire to go, or looks at something else when they're bored. I notice if someone doesn't know what to do with his/her hands, or is self-conscious about looking me in the eye. Perhaps it's a burden to process so much info.

And how about the gradual "end of party" ritual? Someone says, "well, I guess we should be going now" but the conversations have to gradually wind down over the course of another 40 minutes or so. I've often thought that I wouldn't mind going to a party if, when I'm done, I could say "Thanks, that was fun" and walk out the door.
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:14 AM   #52
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I think that's why I do better on online forums, because I can type in a post and reread it and take things back before I commit to it. I don't always make the best choices there either, but often what comes out is a lot better than what I first type!
Same here. I would like to take back my question about the prenup in the TheFed thread, but it's too late.
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:17 AM   #53
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I've often thought that I wouldn't mind going to a party if, when I'm done, I could say "Thanks, that was fun" and walk out the door.
I think you can, really! Most of us have long left highly structured social environments where there is only one way to do something.

Just try it. I think as long as you don't look or act pissed, it will go well. Anyway, there will always be people looking for something to get offended or feel slighted by.

Why disappoint them?

Ha
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:19 AM   #54
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And how about the gradual "end of party" ritual? Someone says, "well, I guess we should be going now" but the conversations have to gradually wind down over the course of another 40 minutes or so. I've often thought that I wouldn't mind going to a party if, when I'm done, I could say "Thanks, that was fun" and walk out the door.
Ugh--and the re-visitation to say goodbye to everyone (or key people) before leaving. I remember once DW left her coat behind by mistake, realized it before we got to the car, and I prevailed on her to just keep going--better to get it later, or abandon it entirely, than go back in after completing the "goodbye ritual."

For office parties and other "mandatory fun" (not real friends), we need a non-dating version of speed dating. Chat, buzzer goes off, move to the next couple, chat. At one hour you've visited with 12 sets of people, fulfilled your obligation, and had the chance to exchange email addresses with anyone you'd really like to keep in touch with. Then you go home and relax.
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:27 AM   #55
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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?" "Am I going to say something embarrassing?"

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?
Well, you're an athlete, Al--you know you can't just jump into an activity, you have to get in condition and train and work your way up to "a lot of socializing." You should have started out with a few minutes a day and built up your endurance. Now you're going to need to ICE your psyche for a few days before trying socializing again.
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:45 AM   #56
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And how about the gradual "end of party" ritual? Someone says, "well, I guess we should be going now" but the conversations have to gradually wind down over the course of another 40 minutes or so. I've often thought that I wouldn't mind going to a party if, when I'm done, I could say "Thanks, that was fun" and walk out the door.
I just disappear. It is well-known in my circle of friends that I hate being hugged or having to hug others. I generally get close to the door and then shout "bye!" before leaping for the exit. If anyone is offended, I haven't noticed.
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:55 AM   #57
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I just disappear. It is well-known in my circle of friends that I hate being hugged or having to hug others.
Me too. Because sometimes I barely know people and they want to hug me just to say hello or goodbye. It creeps me out. I'm quite affectionate with people I love, but I like my space with mere acquaintances.
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:03 AM   #58
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The quote thingy didn't work. Obviously.
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:11 AM   #59
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The quote thingy didn't work. Obviously.
(I fixed it--the ending tag has to be [/quote] and often when I delete the end of a post I'm quoting, I also delete part of the ending tag (usually the [/ part of it, as happened here), and then the quote won't format as a quote.)
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Old 05-23-2011, 11:16 AM   #60
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Well, I know exactly why pain hurts (inflammation, pain receptors, evolutionary need to treat/avoid painful things, blah, blah), and that understanding helps me treat it (aspirin, rest, etc.). A better understanding of exactly what is tiring in social situations, could possibly make the situation better.

For example, how many of you feel a responsibility to keep the conversation going? I often have to tell myself that it's not my job to fill in the lulls; that's a tiring responsibility. I'm actually pretty good at it, but that doesn't make it fun.

...
I guess my point about pain is that it is perfectly natural. I once told my dentist that my teeth hurt if I eat a lot of popsicles. He (mostly) jokingly replied, "then don't eat a lot of popsicles." Likewise, introversion is perfectly natural. Many extroverts think there is a problem with introverts and try to fix them ... "I'm trying to get you to come out of your shell", "coming to the party will help you relax", "have you tried counseling." Yes, you can take aspirin for pain. But for the most part, that just masks the underlying cause. That may be a good thing, but it does not make the cause go away. There may be some things you can do to mitigate or lower the exhaustion from introversion, but these feelings are likely to remain. Probably the biggest "breakthrough" I had was realizing that it is perfectly normal to be the way I am.

Like you, I am fairly good at keeping conversations going (I simply ask questions). But that does not make it easy. If I am in a car with a single (one) co-worker, for example, it is stressful to engage the person in chit-chat conversation. While I can do it, I do not like it. If there are not specific issues to discuss, I would rather enjoy the scenery than feel *obligated* to come up with things to say or questions to ask. I am also fairly good at reading subtle social cues. I believe this is true with most introverts since they are more likely to watch than actively participate.

You know. I am often the last person to leave a party. While I probably want to be the first one to get out of there, there always seems to be someone or a small group that continues to engage me in conversation. This may be because I can listen, when other people want to talk. I have found that leaving a party when it is still relatively active is an effective strategy. For me, at least, that seems to avoid those long drawn-out good-byes ... "Sorry. Have to run. It was nice seeing everybody. Thank you."
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