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Old 10-23-2015, 02:42 PM   #21
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I've been finding new friends via meetup groups. To avoid the "clique" problem I've been joining only groups that are just starting so we are all strangers. I've also chosen meetups that meet during the day so I'm more likely to find friends that either have flexible schedules or not working and thus I have more of a chance to find someone to hang out with during working hours.

Maybe one advantage I have is that I live in the triangle in NC, where there is always new people moving into the area so many many people looking for new friends.
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Old 10-23-2015, 02:50 PM   #22
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Recently I've found myself feeling like I should have thought through the "social isolation" aspects of RE a bit more carefully before pulling the trigger. As a pretty young (mid/late 40s), unmarried guy with no kids, I don't have any sort of "built in" group of people to socialize with at home, and now that I no longer go into an office, that ready-made social outlet is also gone. This is especially a problem for someone like myself who is naturally pretty introverted and doesn't seek people out to spend time with. The friends I do have are all very busy with their own lives, typically very work-centered (and family-centered), so I can't rely on them much at all during the week for any sort of socializing. And even as an introvert, I am finding myself craving more human contact with each passing week.

Having read through some other threads where this was part of the discussion, I know that a number of us here have struggled with this to some degree over the years. I also know there are things I could do to help myself deal with this, such as join some meetup groups or get involved with volunteer work or sports/recreation clubs, etc. I have been giving a lot of thought to these types of activities, and more. But I just wonder if there is something I'm missing, something that maybe others in a similar situation have stumbled upon that really was like an epiphany, that would give me some inspiration to go out and tackle this problem head on and with confidence. Any personal anecdotes or recommendations along those lines would be really nice to hear.
Don't you have significant other? Partner in crime? Soulmate? Seems like the obvious remedy but that may be just me.
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Old 10-23-2015, 02:53 PM   #23
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I'm a classic INTJ. Most social interactions just make me uncomfortable, especially groups of people with an agenda. I detest small talk, gossip, and other forms of shallow conversation. I rarely meet someone who wants to have a lengthy, intelligent conversation about a serious topic.

I greatly enjoy the solitude that retirement has enabled. But I also need some level of social interaction beyond immediate family. I have a few friends from Megacorp that I stay in contact with via email. They're all still working. I meet with one of them for lunch maybe twice per month. We have great conversations and it's nice to catch up. That's really all I need although I sometimes miss the more frequent intellectual interactions from the Megacorp days.

DW and I enjoy our time together in the evenings and on weekends. But I worry about how things will change once she retires. Are we going to annoy each other all day? Both kids and their families live close by, so we see them quite a bit. And we have near-daily interaction with the in-laws who are increasingly dependent on us.

So, no worries of becoming a hermit. But I also have no intention of joining some community group or taking a tennis class just to meet people. Quick email to one of my INTJ ex-coworkers and an hour later we're talking about the future of the human race over a chicken caesar salad. Then I go home and make sawdust in the workshop with some Dumpstaphunk in the earbuds. Life is good.
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Old 10-23-2015, 03:00 PM   #24
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I love animals. When I was single for a time (about your age) I volunteered regularly at the local SPCA. After about a year volunteering, the staff asked me to join their Board of Directors, which I did while continuing to volunteer. It was a great experience and it felt really good being able to help.

I currently volunteer at our local library, and am loving it. Able to meet lots of people who enjoy reading as I do.

There was some trial and error in finding places and people I wanted to spend time with, but I am grateful I made the effort.
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Old 10-23-2015, 03:06 PM   #25
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One idea is to join a gym, pick a specific time between 9-3, and go at that particular time every day. Soon you will know lots of people who aren't working.
This is a great way to meet people and keep yourself healthy at the same time. I've been an avid gym goer for several years now, and although not a social animal, I have meet many great folks that I look forward to seeing on a regular basis. Other than that, don't you have any hobbies? Those can often lead to interactions with others.
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Old 10-23-2015, 03:17 PM   #26
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I'm an introvert, too. I appreciate the thread.

I read one of these books, probably the first one: Amazon.com: introvert: Books

It reminded me that there is nothing inherently "wrong" with spending most of your time alone.
We have a culture that says "You've spent the last __ Saturday nights at home, time to get out!".
But, we never hear "You've spent the last __ Saturday nights out, time to stay in!"
That doesn't mean the culture is right.

I tried one of the service clubs (Lions/Optimists/Kiwanis) after retirement. I enjoyed meeting the members, the regular meetings, and the service projects. I wasn't big on "social" events. I did recognize after a while that many of the members were close friends outside the club, but they weren't clique-ish in the events I enjoyed. I dropped out due to family commitments, not because I was disappointed in the club.
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Old 10-23-2015, 03:23 PM   #27
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Very interesting thread - thank you Sojourner for starting it. I have to nip down the road to get a back x-ray, feed the neighborhood cat, and buy some fish, but I will be returning to read every post here in detail.

No matter how introverted anyone in this thread says they are, I bet I have you all beat
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Old 10-23-2015, 03:38 PM   #28
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Another introvert here, and a thumbs up on the gym as a social outlet. I'm still working, and go to the gym before work. Most of the people I talk to there are retired or homemakers, and socializing seems to be on par with exercising as a reason to come.

Occasionally, I hit the gym on a weekend morning, and it's great to visit with my gym buds without having to watch the clock. These "workouts" can go 2-1/2+ hours! It's a fine way to spend a rainy Saturday morning, and I look forward to doing it during the week.
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Old 10-23-2015, 03:45 PM   #29
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I looked back at your first thread, it appears you have a decent sum of money to spend, although not extravagant.

Hitting the gym is a great suggestion by others. If you do not have a significant other, join a dating club.

There are also bars you can go to, but that might lead to a different issue. Some bars are more fun than others, you just have to figure out which type of excitement you want. As long as you can cope in a bar, that is a great way to mingle too.

Be a volunteer at the VA Hospital, zoo, animal shelter, etc. You will get to know people there.

It really depends on your goals. Some people are happy to read a book and watch TV by themselves. Others need more social interaction.

You can also get a bunch of online friends, but they are not as good as the real thing.
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Old 10-23-2015, 03:50 PM   #30
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Sounds a bit like an oxymoron. That is, being introverted, but yet craving the human contact. I'm more on the introverted side and treasure my solitude, especially at my own place. There are times I really enjoy the company when out, but at the end of the day, I like the quiet time for some introspection.
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Old 10-23-2015, 03:51 PM   #31
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................It really depends on your goals. Some people are happy to read a book and watch TV by themselves. Others need more social interaction.

You can also get a bunch of online friends, but they are not as good as the real thing.
I'm constantly reminded of the ad on tv of the girl sitting by herself explaining its so sad her parents do nothing (as they are outside biking) while she has hundreds of "friends" online.
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Old 10-23-2015, 03:54 PM   #32
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Sounds a bit like an oxymoron. That is, being introverted, but yet craving the human contact. I'm more on the introverted side and treasure my solitude, especially at my own place. There are times I really enjoy the company when out, but at the end of the day, I like the quiet time for some introspection.
Its really probably a continuum like light wavelengths and we just arbitrarily declare a point as the difference between things.
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Old 10-23-2015, 04:06 PM   #33
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Is it a problem?

My 'epiphany', if you can call it that, is that I have very limited social energy, but that that's perfectly ok. I realized that my biggest problem wasn't or isn't going out and having a more active social life, but more on accepting those limits and working with them. Fighting those limits is not productive. Don't be at war with yourself. Read the manual, stick to the specs of your system.
Seconded. That was my epiphany too. I was never good at that "social" thing because I never really wanted it in the first place. I just thought I did. And not even that. I just thought it would be a good maneuver and that's why I wanted it.
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Old 10-23-2015, 04:34 PM   #34
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I am by nature an introvert. I fondly called myself a" mountain lion". However when I retired I read about changing my ways a little bit in order to take the place of social interaction that I had from work. I also have to change my attitude. I'm used to being the boss, telling people, commanding and ordering folks to do their job, and getting a quick response almost all the time. I have to learn how to do small talks, fine greetings, and praise, thanks, and be more vocal. It took some time. I go to the gym every morning. I go to the public library in the afternoons to do financial readings, and I joined a camera club. I e-mailed and visited family. I read about lonely men or women who too often die alone in an apartment in NY. Although my situation is different, it convinced me to be more social.
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Old 10-23-2015, 05:01 PM   #35
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Church would be an exceedingly difficult way for me to "find quality friends", because (a) I no longer believe the tenets of the church I was raised in and (b) I thrive on having diversity among my friends.
A slightly different viewpoint here. DW and I have sung in church choirs for almost 30 years even though I am a fervent NONbeliever and she is, at best, extremely doubtful on the whole organized religion thing. We do enjoy the musical history of the church and I have a bit of an "anthropological" interest in the cultural continuity provided by the church. I don't take communion and I don't recite the various communal prayers. My fellow tenors have dubbed my place in the choir loft "atheist corner". By going to church I have increased the diversity of my circle of friends, outside of church my closest friends are also non-believers.
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Old 10-23-2015, 05:03 PM   #36
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FWIW the ball is in your court, if you want to have a social life you have to put yourself out there in some form or the other. In this day and age with the internet there is no excuse for not finding those with similar interests. I'm not a social animal by any means but I retired at 54 and moved 500 miles south where I only knew my son and DIL. Through the last ten years I have made many friends by doing part time work, volunteer work, playing golf, photography and riding my motorcycle. The world is your onion my friend, slice and dice it as you see fit.
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Old 10-23-2015, 05:36 PM   #37
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FWIW the ball is in your court, if you want to have a social life you have to put yourself out there in some form or the other. In this day and age with the internet there is no excuse for not finding those with similar interests. I'm not a social animal by any means but I retired at 54 and moved 500 miles south where I only knew my son and DIL. Through the last ten years I have made many friends by doing part time work, volunteer work, playing golf, photography and riding my motorcycle. The world is your onion my friend, slice and dice it as you see fit.
HA! You sound like the type who settles quicker than a castor oil addict takes a dump. I cannot say for sure but just because you call them friends doesn't mean they are friends. Not everybody has that low a threshold. That's what this thread is about. Interests? Well, that's part of it but the deal killer is always the person behind the interest. I have interests and have belonged to groups but I didn't magically love and be loved by all those people because we all had a similar interest. Like hard work in any other endeavor. You can certainly try but it doesn't have to pay off.

Work. Volunteering. Golf. Motorcycling. Plumbing. Bee keeping. Running marathons. Archery. Fencing. Just to meet a kindred spirit or two? Anything that requires that much g/d work isn't worth having.
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Old 10-23-2015, 05:52 PM   #38
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HA! You sound like the type who settles quicker than a castor oil addict takes a dump. I cannot say for sure but just because you call them friends doesn't mean they are friends. Not everybody has that low a threshold. That's what this thread is about. Interests? Well, that's part of it but the deal killer is always the person behind the interest. I have interests and have belonged to groups but I didn't magically love and be loved by all those people because we all had a similar interest. Like hard work in any other endeavor. You can certainly try but it doesn't have to pay off.

Work. Volunteering. Golf. Motorcycling. Plumbing. Bee keeping. Running marathons. Archery. Fencing. Just to meet a kindred spirit or two? Anything that requires that much g/d work isn't worth having.
Different strokes for different folks, I have only a few close friends, probably less than six that I would trust to have my back if I needed it. Any friendship is only as good as what you put in it. It's not a question of threshold, it is a question of trust and integrity. So sorry if you haven't experienced either in your life. Again your life is what you make it, sorry about yours. Not here to pass judgement just stating my life experience and two cents.
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Old 10-23-2015, 06:22 PM   #39
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I don't have the problem, but, my BIL in his mid 50s started going to his local Starbucks in the morning.Soon he was involved with others, slightly older, doing the morning coffee and paper thing. Not sure but I think it takes up two or three hours some mornings. He also got involved with several groups like HOA and doing some volunteer work. Works for him.
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Old 10-23-2015, 06:37 PM   #40
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OP here, just wanting to say thanks for all the really insightful comments and suggestions and anecdotes. To clarify the whole "introvert" thing, I am definitely more on the introverted side of the spectrum, but I do have some need for human contact on a semi-regular basis. What I don't really want or enjoy is regular contact with large groups of "strangers". I much prefer hanging out with close friends, maybe just once or twice a week even. My fundamental dilemma is figuring out how to make more of these kinds of friends (need to get out and meet more people, obviously) so that I have options whenever the urge strikes me to be social.

Anyway, a lot of food for thought thanks to all the insightful posts.
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