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Old 04-27-2015, 09:14 AM   #21
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Another introvert chiming in here. And while I don't want or need a lot of social contact, I recognize that left to my own devices I might end up with almost none, which is probably less than ideal. I just started working from home 2 days a week. It's been fantastic, but I do find that I look forward to going in to the office on the days I go in, which almost never happened before!

One thing I started to do a few months ago is keep a retirement "idea book". It's just a small spiral notebook. On each page, I've written one thing I like to do (cooking, travel, learning, reading), or know that I should do (physical activity, social activity). Then below that, I list things that might be ways to express that in retirement (for cooking: healthy cooking for myself, informal catering for other people, volunteer cooking for church/charity group, making candies to sell, etc.). Some of those things will naturally put me in contact with others on as frequent or as limited a basis as I would like.

I carry the notebook around with me, and whenever an idea strikes me or I run across a web site that might be interesting, I write it down on the appropriate page. Helps me feel more comfortable that in retirement (3-4 years away) I won't totally isolate myself.
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Old 04-27-2015, 11:02 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Meadbh View Post
I am an introvert and I did worry about this before ER. However, as Mulligan has pointed out, we work to earn money and social interaction is secondary. In ER I have absolutely no desire to hang out with former work colleagues and talk shop. I have been fortunate to join a social group largely composed of ERs, which encompasses many different activities. I have also become involved in volunteering in areas of interest to me. As a result, I have plenty social interaction and have several new circles of friends. Building friendships requires investment of time, and would not have happened if I were still working. My advice would be not to worry about it and to start regular involvement with activities that you enjoy once you have the time. But you must get out there and do it!
This is me exactly! In the last couple years of my career, my ER friends were out having fun during the day, and I was stuck in the office interacting with a bunch of people with whom my relationship didn't go any deeper than the work we shared. Also, being an introvert (like the vast majority of people on this board), I felt over-stimulated by too many interactions and often needed to escape and decompress. In retirement, it's much easier to control how much (or little) interaction I have with others. I am always aware of the possibility of becoming too isolated, but as Meadbh indicates, all it takes is a little effort to make sure you stay sufficiently engaged. All that being said, I can understand how things would be much different for an extrovert.
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Old 04-27-2015, 03:07 PM   #23
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People are overrated.
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Old 04-27-2015, 03:19 PM   #24
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Eileen:

You are smart to understand the social aspects of retirement while you are still working. You can take action to get to know more people outside of work now, so the transition into retirement will be easier.

I will say one fear I had when I retired was that I would sincerely miss the people I worked with. I not laugh at how naive I was - to say that I don't miss most of them is a huge understatement. I did have 2-3 close friends there who I still get with. When you retire, it becomes apparent who your "real" friends are at work.
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Old 04-27-2015, 07:59 PM   #25
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This is me exactly! In the last couple years of my career, my ER friends were out having fun during the day, and I was stuck in the office interacting with a bunch of people with whom my relationship didn't go any deeper than the work we shared. Also, being an introvert (like the vast majority of people on this board), I felt over-stimulated by too many interactions and often needed to escape and decompress. In retirement, it's much easier to control how much (or little) interaction I have with others. I am always aware of the possibility of becoming too isolated, but as Meadbh indicates, all it takes is a little effort to make sure you stay sufficiently engaged. All that being said, I can understand how things would be much different for an extrovert.
That's me to a tee!
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Old 04-27-2015, 08:40 PM   #26
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Not me. However, sometimes I would pray that some of them would disappear.
This was more my thinking. I worked with some great people but there were enough that I found toxic that I was happy to get out. Now I can pick my friends and am all the happier for it.
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Old 04-27-2015, 08:57 PM   #27
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It is interesting how things have involved. When I started my career the Megacorp location I worked at hired about 30 folks out of college over a 4 year span, and we did a lot of socializing after work (various corporate sports leagues, skiing trips, local community work, etc.). Most us lived within 20 minutes of each other, and since most were knew to the area, making friends through work (directly with co-workers or friends of the co-workers) seemed normal.

As folks got older, marriages, family, and moves started to break things up. With kids we tended to spend more time in community activities for them, so over the years, along with a few moves, our social circle migrated from work to more community friends.

Now, in our "older" age, we have been getting back in touch with folks from our childhood and college, rekindling some of those friendships. These are more "scattered" as they are all over the place, but it is nice to go to an area for business/vacation and spending some of the time socializing with them. Or, if they come visit our area they will spend some time with us. More and more of the folks I knew at work have left and gotten out of touch, or sadly, died. In addition, now that I'm working from home more, work socializing rarely happens. I think, when I do go into the office, I've gone out to lunch with folks maybe 4 times this year. Forget about anything after work.

So I'm not too concerned about losing work social contact, but have worked to replace it with my current interests and hobbies. And as long as DW and I stay best friends, that will also help.
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Old 04-27-2015, 10:50 PM   #28
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When I was 30, and started to get minimally career-serious, I resolved never to date, or even "crush-on", a colleague. Not that I was the "office fox", always getting hit on. I just figured, those energies come up. Some women play with them, and do okay. I just had a huge dread of it blowing up in my face, and being labelled the "office floozy". I think my conservatism was wise, given that (1) I am not, as a rule, conservative; and (2) my job required travel with both opposite-sex and same-sex colleagues.

What does this have to do with the thread? Well, although I am an introvert, having a few select platonic friendships has been hugely meaningful in my life. In hindsight it is kind of sad that I never reached a great level of friendship with a co-worker over the course of my career. Hence, there is not too much too miss, now that I am retired.

I don't do "casual" friendship too well. Once, I shared information about what I was going through emotionally in my private life with a co-worker who seemed cool, and supportive. Then, I had suspicions that it got back to management.

So much for that!

Workplaces are all different. But, as WTR pointed out, it's never a "party". More like, an episode of "survivor" . . . .Sometimes, you have to put up a bit of a firewall, for both platonic and non-platonic connections.

Ironically, at my current age (58) and looking forward, I think I will relish "casual" friendship more, particularly with women, who are almost always fun. Maybe I should join a quilting bee!
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