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Old 05-24-2011, 03:15 PM   #101
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Where did all this hugging come from? I don't remember it being so prevalent a decade or two ago but recently it seems all women expect to be hugged. Guy to guy it is still hand shakes - I guess we are all afraid to seem gay despite advances in attitude
I visited eastern Turkey several years ago. As a predominately Muslim country with a somewhat "macho" attitude, I am guessing that homosexuality is not in high favor. One thing that stood out to me was that all the men kissed each other as a form of greeting/goodbye in both casual and business settings. This is true in many countries.

Fear of coming across as gay has nothing to do with the reluctance of men to hug in the United States. Men do not typically hug because it is not a cultural norm. Simple as that.
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Old 05-24-2011, 04:04 PM   #102
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My brother has good advice for avoiding co-workers AND making yourself look good in case the bosses are looking: always carry a pad of paper in your hands, look straight ahead and walk fast.

My other brother also had good advice for those time when things don't go well: Act surprised.... look concerned.... deny, deny, deny.
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Old 05-24-2011, 04:12 PM   #103
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I visited eastern Turkey several years ago. As a predominately Muslim country with a somewhat "macho" attitude, I am guessing that homosexuality is not in high favor. One thing that stood out to me was that all the men kissed each other as a form of greeting/goodbye in both casual and business settings. This is true in many countries.

Fear of coming across as gay has nothing to do with the reluctance of men to hug in the United States. Men do not typically hug because it is not a cultural norm. Simple as that.
In Saudi Arabia and elsewhere on the Arabian Peninsula, it is common for men to hold hands as they walk together. I never got used to seeing it. And it was especially unnerving to have my hand grabbed as I was talking with a counterpart. There was certainly nothing carnal or lascivious about it, but it just seemed so out of step with everything else there. Anyway, my reaction was more reflective of my cultural baggage than anything untoward about the practice or their culture. At least in that regard. There's plenty of other stuff about life, attitudes, and culture there to which I take strong exception. I used to be among the enlightened, non judgmental sort ("who are we to say that this or that cultural practice is wrong, to inflict our standards on others?"), but I don't believe that anymore. But, that's outside the scope of this thread.
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Old 05-24-2011, 05:02 PM   #104
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You sound like the person I need to find in those social settings!

While I'd seldom approach anyone if you speak to me 1st I can open up and enjoy talking to you. However, if that person is the kind of person I don't like, and I can sense that quickly, then conversation would be strained and I'd want out.
Well thank you.

Notice my emphasis on "gently approach". I am never too forward with the quieter people. If they seem like they are happier alone, I pick up on that immediately through their body language and facial expression. If I see negatives, I simply say something like "It was nice to meet you. I'm going to go mingle a bit. You are more than welcome to join me if you like. No pressure."

Like Mr B tells me, I am a people magnet. I enjoy social situations immensely.
I always learn something.
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Old 05-24-2011, 08:03 PM   #105
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I'm very introverted, at least according to the tests I've taken that tell me I am

But, I'm not shy or reserved. I'll talk to total strangers about anything... just this week I talked to a Comcast tech for a while about programming jobs and the outlook for employment in the US and just some chitchat with a guy that came to mark the buried utilities in the yard. We have a monthly group that meets to play Euchre and I'm always getting to know people there.... and I've even been known to strike up half hour conversations with strangers while waiting for a play to start.

In my case, though, I don't have a large group of friends and I don't work to cultivate a loose network of acquaintances. And, outside of a social gathering, I don't feel a strong need to call these people up, even if I enjoy seeing them. I'd be sure to invite them over if I were throwing a bbq, but that's about it.

I have a few deep friendships instead... like one friend that I talk on the phone with for several hours a week (DW calls him my other wife). We cover everything from Chomsky to Fed policy to farming and gardening tips and techniques.

So, I'm not shy, but I'm introverted. I get my energy from being alone not being around people.
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Old 05-24-2011, 09:10 PM   #106
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Have you ever lived or worked abroad? Or been part of social groups other than uptight waspy Anglos or even more uptight nothern europeans?

Men don't start effing one another because they hug. And since you are obviously very uncomfortable, you are in no danger of getting hugged even if you might stray into a Cuban salsa club. It is an affectionate and affiliative gesture, not an agressive one.


Also, when you hug a woman, it is also supposed to represent affection and solidarity, not a backdoor way to cop feels. So no hugging only "attractive women", whatever they are supposed to be.


Ha
And you are from San Francisco, right?

I never read anything by you that I liked and I'm pleased to say you have not let me down again.
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Old 05-24-2011, 09:16 PM   #107
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And you are from San Francisco, right?

I never read anything by you that I liked and I'm pleased to say you have not let me down again.
Now that is just downright mean!
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:03 PM   #108
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What a great thread. It's inspiring to hear from others who feel the same way.

I used to force myself to attend social events because it felt like what I was supposed to do. As I have gotten older, I am more likely to bow out simply because I need time to recharge. Reading this thread is inspiring me to do this more often in future... unapologetically, and without the feelings of guilt!

Also, I'm going to try being more upfront about my needs in this regard. Good friends will understand if you say "Thanks for the invite, but I just need some downtime tonight."
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Old 05-27-2011, 03:44 PM   #109
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That makes you a "coyote introvert."
What's a "coyote introvert"? Is that someone who would rather chew his own leg off than go back into a social gathering?
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Old 05-28-2011, 11:10 AM   #110
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(snip)My former boss (arrogant, extrovert) told me that I was not a "team player" since I was an introvert.(snip)
Several years ago I took the MBTI in connection with some job-related counseling. I was so unhappy in my job I planned to retire the minute I was eligible, but realized I would not have enough of a pension to live on, so I used our Employee Assistance Program to investigate possible part time work I could do to make ends meet without making myself as miserable again as I was at the time. One thing I found out through doing some related reading is that we INTJs don't have the "team concept".

I eventually was able to make a lateral transfer with my same employer, so I haven't retired yet, but the job I have now is one where I work by myself and usually don't have to coordinate much with anyone else. It's a much better fit for me than the job I had before, and now I know why.

I don't know when being a "team player" gained its current importance. It's almost as if a "non-team" person has some sort of moral failing or something. It used to be considered praiseworthy if one was a "self starter" or "able to work independently" but lately, not so much, it's all about the team. >>sigh<< The workplace is full of "square peg in round hole" experiences for INTJs. No wonder so many of us are interested in early retirement!
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Old 05-28-2011, 12:09 PM   #111
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And you are from San Francisco, right?

I never read anything by you that I liked and I'm pleased to say you have not let me down again.
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Now that is just downright mean!
Group hug everyone

Oh, and I'm from the SF Bay Area too, but I'm not gay, I'm English (there is a difference).
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Old 05-28-2011, 03:33 PM   #112
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At the risk of hijacking the thread.

I recall a time when the word gay was used to express a state of happiness. Somewhere in the late late seventies the word was hijacked.

In Manhattan, on 2nd avenue about 5 blocks south of Harlem, there was a restaurant called Gay Vienna. A few years after the hijacking of the word it closed IIRC.

PS. I have met many happy English.
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Old 05-28-2011, 03:37 PM   #113
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And you are from San Francisco, right?

I never read anything by you that I liked and I'm pleased to say you have not let me down again.

Yowza, seems like a significant unfamiliarity with a large segment of the world's cultures.
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Old 05-29-2011, 02:24 PM   #114
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I'm very introverted, at least according to the tests I've taken that tell me I am

But, I'm not shy or reserved. I'll talk to total strangers about anything... just this week I talked to a Comcast tech for a while about programming jobs and the outlook for employment in the US and just some chitchat with a guy that came to mark the buried utilities in the yard. We have a monthly group that meets to play Euchre and I'm always getting to know people there.... and I've even been known to strike up half hour conversations with strangers while waiting for a play to start.

In my case, though, I don't have a large group of friends and I don't work to cultivate a loose network of acquaintances. And, outside of a social gathering, I don't feel a strong need to call these people up, even if I enjoy seeing them. I'd be sure to invite them over if I were throwing a bbq, but that's about it.

I have a few deep friendships instead... like one friend that I talk on the phone with for several hours a week (DW calls him my other wife). We cover everything from Chomsky to Fed policy to farming and gardening tips and techniques.

So, I'm not shy, but I'm introverted. I get my energy from being alone not being around people.
Ditto - I may seem like an extrovert when out and about and am comfortable around people in general, however, it's about the energy; I give off a lot of energy to people and need to recharge alone. Contrast with my husband who needs to get out and about or gets grouchy - he needs to be around people to recharge.

Just his last week I was in Manhattan and met and talked with quite a few strangers, however, I only have a few deep friendships, not a huge crowd of acquaintances. Too much work for the emotional bonding and ability to keep up in a caring manner with their lives - better a few close friends for me.

As for the happiness aspect - well, to me one decides to be happy. Of course there are levels based on different situations. It's important to know yourself and be true to yourself - otherwise, you are spending lots of energy trying to be something you are not....tends towards a state of unhappiness.
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Old 05-29-2011, 02:58 PM   #115
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This expresses perfectly my No. 1 problem with Work: the seamless, false face I must keep up all day long, since the real me isn't wanted there.

Ironically, I do enjoy being part of a functional work team; it's fun when everyone pitches in to get something accomplished; but so many work teams are so determinedly dysfunctional.

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It's important to know yourself and be true to yourself - otherwise, you are spending lots of energy trying to be something you are not....tends towards a state of unhappiness.
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Old 05-29-2011, 11:23 PM   #116
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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.
I was invited to my 40th HS reunion last year and had the same problem deciding whether to go. I ended up emailing one of the people on the committee and she encouraged me to come and I had a blast. I did not recognize everyone, but they had name tags with pictures of us from our yearbook which helped.
I would just go and have fun. Reunions are no fun unless many people show up. Everyone then seems to appreciate the efforts that people made to attend the event.
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Old 05-30-2011, 12:02 AM   #117
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...
I don't know when being a "team player" gained its current importance. It's almost as if a "non-team" person has some sort of moral failing or something. It used to be considered praiseworthy if one was a "self starter" or "able to work independently" but lately, not so much, it's all about the team. >>sigh<< The workplace is full of "square peg in round hole" experiences for INTJs. No wonder so many of us are interested in early retirement!
Agree with the "Team Player" concept being taken to extremes. I was told more than once that I was not a solid team player. My response was in what way has my performance negatively affected the department or its' goals? There was no response. Being a team player was an excuse for "herd mentality" and letting the boss have her way. I have always questioned blind obedience and inexperienced authority figures. I worked at some pretty crummy jobs to work my way up the ladder and learned a ton of practical knowledge along the way. Having to be on a "team" with grossly inexperienced "@ss kissers" who took credit where none was due simply because they lack the experience to create a viable solution to a problem drove me nuts. Teams have their place but teams for the sake of shared ignorance and the sake of having a team to meet someone's misguided concept of "management" is not responsible management.
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Old 05-30-2011, 12:29 PM   #118
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Last megacorp, they decided to send everyone (and I mean everyone) through some team-building exercise off-site for a week retreat thingy. They sent people in batches.

HR sent out notices that anyone who didn't go through the training might not be properly equipped to move up in the company.

My boss came around to chat with me one day...

Him: "You need to sign up for [this training]"
Me: "I'm not going to; so what do we do now?"
Him: "But you need to"
Me: "We both know this program won't last and I highly doubt they're going to keep sending every new hire through a week of offsite team building. I'm going to have to decline"
Him: "But you need to"
Me: "Well, but I've already established that I'm not. Where do we go from here? Do you need to terminate me? Do you need to take me to HR? Do I just lose my bonus and raise for the year? Do you want my letter of resignation? What are the consequences?"
Him: "There aren't any consequences. I don't know why people think they have to go, it's not mandatory or anything"

Note, boss and I had a good relationship, even after that Oh, and they cancelled that training about a week later and never spoke of it again.
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Old 05-30-2011, 05:35 PM   #119
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Me too and I don't like to shake people's hands either, in a business setting I was ok with it but not otherwise. But the hugging nonsense that seems to permeate our society today really really annoys me. I would make an exception for a hot woman but when does that ever happen?

I liked to hug my mother and grandmother but that is it.
I don't like hugging or hand-shaking.
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Old 05-30-2011, 05:41 PM   #120
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This expresses perfectly my No. 1 problem with Work: the seamless, false face I must keep up all day long, since the real me isn't wanted there.

Ironically, I do enjoy being part of a functional work team; it's fun when everyone pitches in to get something accomplished; but so many work teams are so determinedly dysfunctional.

Amethyst
Pretending to be female normal was a strain. Probably why my health improved so much after retiring.
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