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Old 05-30-2011, 10:35 PM   #121
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I am an introvert in a job where I have to be a team player, go to meetings, do PR, etc. I do some work alone, which helps. At home, I want to read, be alone, etc to recharge. I never ever want to go to a party. Sometimes I go and have a good time, but have anxiety any time I have to go to one.
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Old 06-17-2011, 01:18 PM   #122
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Another INTJ here. I also despise cocktail parties because of the small talk issue. I once met an admiral's wife who said she had to go through charm school when the husband became an admiral. She said they had an excellent course on how to engage in small talk without getting into no-no areas like politics. I don't know all the details, but there were 4 major topics of discussion she had to memorize, each with several sub-topics. Afterward, she felt like she could spend hours in a one-on-one setting with the wife of a Bulgarian admiral and never run out of things to talk about or make the rounds at a cocktail party go through a couple of sub-topics with the wife of each captain without missing a beat. I would really love to take that course.
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Old 06-17-2011, 01:41 PM   #123
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We had a long post on that a couple of weeks ago. Turns out, a lot of us are in the same boat. As for cocktail party chatter, it is painful but sometimes necessary. I stick to:

- weather
- children (theirs - I don't have any)
- pets
- local events (like the riot in Vancouver)
- hobbies (theirs - sometimes mine)
- favorite recipes

The problem is that half the time I can't remember if I've ever talked to that person before. It's so embarrassing to come up to someone and go through the chit-chat checklist and then have them remind me that they are, in fact, directly related.
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Old 06-17-2011, 03:12 PM   #124
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How interesting! I took a similar course in the late 80's, based on Dale Carnegie's courses for salespeople. The main point was that most people err by talking about their own personal interests. Everyone has to work to overcome this tendency. To be considered interesting, you need to figure out what interests the other person, and avoid talking about what interests you (unless it's mutual). The list of topics that interest most people was something like this:
1. Their family, home, kids
2. Health
3. Job
4. Advancement
5. Personal growth [maybe "financial independence" falls in this lane?]
6. Clothes (for women), sports (for men)
7. Recreation
8. Travel
9. The opposite sex

If my experience is any guide, I would put sports, and cars, much higher on the list for men [I have never met a man who doesn't like cars], and "the personal life of public figures" higher on the list for everybody (suspect the latter wasn't such a big deal in the 80's). Also, people seem to love to talk about food.

Looking back on what I just wrote, it's clear what an awful darn lot of work socializing can be! No wonder some of us would rather stay home with a book.

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Another INTJ here. I also despise cocktail parties because of the small talk issue. I once met an admiral's wife who said she had to go through charm school when the husband became an admiral. She said they had an excellent course on how to engage in small talk without getting into no-no areas like politics. I don't know all the details, but there were 4 major topics of discussion she had to memorize, each with several sub-topics. Afterward, she felt like she could spend hours in a one-on-one setting with the wife of a Bulgarian admiral and never run out of things to talk about or make the rounds at a cocktail party go through a couple of sub-topics with the wife of each captain without missing a beat. I would really love to take that course.
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Old 06-17-2011, 03:45 PM   #125
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If my experience is any guide, I would put sports, and cars, much higher on the list for men
And then delete the rest of the list.

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Looking back on what I just wrote, it's clear what an awful darn lot of work socializing can be! No wonder some of us would rather stay home with a book.
Friends of ours refer to a mandatory, work-related meet'n'greet as a "grip'n'grin"...
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Old 06-18-2011, 05:30 PM   #126
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Also dead on. Why do we INTJ's have such a hard time with chit chat? It's not like it's rocket science (which, btw, would be easier to talk about)
INTJ here as well. I really think that part of my decision to retire early was related to my desire to be away from a lot of the social interaction required for my job.
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Old 06-18-2011, 06:13 PM   #127
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...The list of topics that interest most people was something like this:
1. Their family, home, kids
2. Health
3. Job
4. Advancement
5. Personal growth [maybe "financial independence" falls in this lane?]
6. Clothes (for women), sports (for men)
7. Recreation
8. Travel
9. The opposite sex
10. Beer
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Old 06-18-2011, 07:41 PM   #128
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One thing I do is ask tons of questions that require a complex answer, which keeps them talking and relieves me from thinking of personal things to reveal. Sometimes I learn something really interesting about them, or an interest we have in common, and then I suddenly feel comfortable talking to them.
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Old 06-18-2011, 08:05 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
How interesting! I took a similar course in the late 80's, based on Dale Carnegie's courses for salespeople. The main point was that most people err by talking about their own personal interests. Everyone has to work to overcome this tendency. To be considered interesting, you need to figure out what interests the other person, and avoid talking about what interests you (unless it's mutual). The list of topics that interest most people was something like this:
1. Their family, home, kids
2. Health
3. Job
4. Advancement
5. Personal growth [maybe "financial independence" falls in this lane?]
6. Clothes (for women), sports (for men)
7. Recreation
8. Travel
9. The opposite sex

If my experience is any guide, I would put sports, and cars, much higher on the list for men [I have never met a man who doesn't like cars], and "the personal life of public figures" higher on the list for everybody (suspect the latter wasn't such a big deal in the 80's). Also, people seem to love to talk about food.

Looking back on what I just wrote, it's clear what an awful darn lot of work socializing can be! No wonder some of us would rather stay home with a book.

Amethyst
None of the above.
Why I am a hermit.
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Old 06-18-2011, 10:57 PM   #130
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It looks like if we all got together, we would soon be making excuses as to why we had to get home.
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Old 06-19-2011, 08:42 AM   #131
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It looks like if we all got together, we would soon be making excuses as to why we had to get home.
I think a ER gathering would be fun to do. But then I'd want to go home and take a nap for three days.
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Old 06-19-2011, 08:54 AM   #132
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If my experience is any guide, I would put sports, and cars, much higher on the list for men [Amethyst
Spot on. Ran into some friends at a gathering last night. Talk was:

1. Cars, trucks, and motorcycles
2. Sports
3. Beer
4. Retirement
5. Buddy's dog and his upcoming vacation that he doesn't want to take
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Old 06-19-2011, 02:34 PM   #133
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It looks like if we all got together, we would soon be making excuses as to why we had to get home.
If only there were some way we could post messages about different topics when we feel like it, like online with a computer. Oh, wait a second...
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:28 PM   #134
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It looks like if we all got together, we would soon be making excuses as to why we had to get home.
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I think a ER gathering would be fun to do. But then I'd want to go home and take a nap for three days.
Yeah both of those comments are funny. Now speaking for me, since I'd be with people like me and I think (?) who think like me as far as social insecurity and the dislike for social gatherings, I think that I might really have a good time talking to everyone. There's a shared camaraderie about LBYM, early retirement, frugality, the dislike of being in crowds, making small talk, so perhaps it'd be a great time. And I'd seek out freebird5825 cuz she's going to make me comfortable based upon a comment she made in the past about talking with people!

Either that or we'd all get disgusted and leave within 30 minutes!
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:57 PM   #135
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Are there any extroverts here? Or is there a relation between LBYM, early retirement and being an introvert?
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Old 06-20-2011, 01:22 AM   #136
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Are there any extroverts here? Or is there a relation between LBYM, early retirement and being an introvert?
I hear occasional rumors of extraverted E-R members, but there does appear to be a strong correlation between introversion and early retirement. Try Is there a "Retire Early" Personality Type?, Retirement Personality Type or check out the early-retirement.org Personality Poll.

There is a much higher percentage of INTJs here at E-R than in the general population, where IIRC we make up less than 5% of the total. Also, because of the unusually high numbers of INTJs, ISTJs and INTPs, there are more introverts here than extraverts, whereas in the population as a whole I think the extraverts outnumber the introverts about three to one.
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Old 06-20-2011, 01:24 AM   #137
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It looks like if we all got together, we would soon be making excuses as to why we had to get home.
Some of us would just make an excuse not to attend the meeting in the first place.
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:43 AM   #138
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Are there any extroverts here? Or is there a relation between LBYM, early retirement and being an introvert?


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Old 06-20-2011, 09:21 AM   #139
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Are there any extroverts here? Or is there a relation between LBYM, early retirement and being an introvert?
It seems there might be since an introvert by nature is not one to go out spending a lot of time (and money) in crowded places.

Example: When DW and I got close to paying off the house we were paying a lot in income taxes. Went to see the tax guy who said that since we both worked for government the only ways to reduce the tax bite were to buy a second home, an RV, a boat with a head and galley, or start dumping money into deferred compensation and thrift savings. Since we didn't want any of the other stuff the last choice is what we did. After the house was paid off we were putting 47% of income into tax-deferred accounts.

A lot of people would find that behavior incomprehensible.
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Old 06-20-2011, 03:24 PM   #140
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Example: When DW and I got close to paying off the house we were paying a lot in income taxes. Went to see the tax guy who said that since we both worked for government the only ways to reduce the tax bite were to buy a second home, an RV, a boat with a head and galley, or start dumping money into deferred compensation and thrift savings. Since we didn't want any of the other stuff the last choice is what we did. After the house was paid off we were putting 47% of income into tax-deferred accounts.

A lot of people would find that behavior incomprehensible.
Just reading that paragraph, and thinking about buying those big ticket items and having to go out and deal with salespeople, stresses me out.

Freebird, if we all ever get together, you're going to have to do alot of talking.
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