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Old 10-24-2015, 09:24 AM   #61
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I find meaningless socializing very draining, and try to listen to my energy levels as people have suggest.
Pretty much my thoughts, exactly. I need relatively small amounts of meaningful social interactions with people I genuinely like and enjoy being with. Just talking to random people who happen to work in the same office doesn't really count towards that... although it is something. It is kind of interesting, however, that I met all of my close friends in office environments over the years. I suppose that's just a function of how many 10s of thousands of hours I spent in offices over the past 20 years and how many hundreds of people I met and worked with over that time span.

In terms of listening to my energy levels, I think that's exactly what I'm doing. I've come to the stark realization that I genuinely crave more human contact, and I am "listening" to that rather than just dismiss it as something external, like what society at large might think I should be doing. My comfort zone is clearly staying here at home and not going out in the world injecting myself into new and unfamiliar social settings. But I've realized that is a recipe for continued loneliness, thus the motivation for starting this thread. In other words, what's a classic introvert such as myself to do when he realizes he really does want more human contact?
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Old 10-24-2015, 09:32 AM   #62
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Well, I'm in the same boat. Mid 40's, single, guy, introverted, mostly retired... I've been at it for a few years now, and I can't say I have the solution. It's work to get involved with things.

Most of my friends are well older or well younger. No one my age is around in the middle of the day.

Activity groups were my go to earlier, but I got injured. (running, biking, hiking, etc)

I've gone to bars and made friends with a bunch of drunks.. But risked becoming one myself.

I've joked about getting a j*b, just to meet people...

But, for introverts, it's all about having a few close friends. That needs work and
attention, and hopefully some shared activities. Having low key dinner parties for
friends is one of my goals...
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Old 10-24-2015, 09:41 AM   #63
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If castor oil comes from castor beans, what does baby oil come from?
baby beans?
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Old 10-24-2015, 09:42 AM   #64
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Though not nearly as much fun...

I enjoy hanging with my few friends, and going to the occasional concert or sporting event. But I've also noticed that I have about a two-hour window, after which I get fidgety to return to the nest.

Being relatively non-consumerist, non-religious, and non-political in a red state, well-to-do suburb in the Bible Belt makes finding like-minded friends somewhat challenging...

As I have slowly stepped out of my tight social circle, I have learned something I never really paid attention to before as it was never an issue. That being piping down my off the cuff remarks. I have had to adapt to "When in Rome do as....".


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Coping with excessive solitude
Old 10-24-2015, 09:43 AM   #65
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Though not nearly as much fun...

I enjoy hanging with my few friends, and going to the occasional concert or sporting event. But I've also noticed that I have about a two-hour window, after which I get fidgety to return to the nest.

Being relatively non-consumerist, non-religious, and non-political in a red state, well-to-do suburb in the Bible Belt makes finding like-minded friends somewhat challenging...

I would add that my previous post was meant to be descriptive, and not necessarily critical. But many around these parts do tend to be very vocal, and very adamant, about their belief system, and are often unwilling to listen to others' points-of-view, or, at the very least, shut the hell up about theirs...
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Old 10-24-2015, 09:49 AM   #66
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When I was looking for new friends I got a listing of all the clubs that were available and tried out a few .After a few meetings you know if this is something you want to stay with . I settled on a book club and have a whole new group of casual friends . I also met a nice group of women at water aerobics . We meet weekly for lunch and occasionally do other things together. That is plenty of contact for me . I do have an SO but I also like having a few other friends .
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Old 10-24-2015, 09:51 AM   #67
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Most of my friends are well older or well younger. No one my age is around in the middle of the day.

Activity groups were my go to earlier, but I got injured. (running, biking, hiking, etc)

I've gone to bars and made friends with a bunch of drunks.. But risked becoming one myself.

I've joked about getting a j*b, just to meet people...

But, for introverts, it's all about having a few close friends. That needs work and attention, and hopefully some shared activities. Having low key dinner parties for friends is one of my goals...
Good to know that I'm not alone in the world, jetpack! I'm thinking about getting involved in some activities or sports groups (like tennis or golf or hiking), but yeah... I'm definitely staying away from the bars. As for dinner parties, that's a good idea if you already have a sizable group of close friends, but for me it doesn't work so well because a) I only have a handful of good friends and b) they are so busy with their own lives that it's hard to schedule time with them. And, like I mentioned in a previous post, continuing to spend time just with them won't really help me broaden my social horizons. It's pretty obvious that I'm going to have to take some initiative to get out there and meet new people, but as an introvert... that's a heavy lift.
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Old 10-24-2015, 09:55 AM   #68
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I never had a dog until ~10 years ago, and no doubt the lab and golden I now have bring a huge joy in my life.
I got a golden retriever many years ago, mainly to get me off the sofa and do some walking. Amazing how many people you meet on a trail or in the neighborhood with your dog. They are a great conversation starter that I wouldn't have otherwise if just walking by myself. Great company too. After she died I got a lab. I have met so many people at my vacation condo as a result of having him. Most people just like animals.

Animals are a lot of responsibility and can be costly, but the benefits outweigh the cons imo. And I agree with others, join a gym or golf club. A good way to put some structure in your life and another way to meet people.
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Old 10-24-2015, 10:04 AM   #69
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Though not nearly as much fun...

I enjoy hanging with my few friends, and going to the occasional concert or sporting event. But I've also noticed that I have about a two-hour window, after which I get fidgety to return to the nest.

Being relatively non-consumerist, non-religious, and non-political in a red state, well-to-do suburb in the Bible Belt makes finding like-minded friends somewhat challenging...

I have a feeling there are a lot of like minded people just like you out there. They just don't converse about religion or politics because they aren't religious or political.


If the OP has any interests or hobbies that lend themselves to getting together, it helps. I'm in 3 community music groups and have gradually made friends that way. There's not much need to talk--we are too busy playing at rehearsals. In fact, too much talking is a problem! And most of use are obviously introverts.

One specific suggestion I have is check out helping out at a local community theater. They need more people building and painting sets, running lights and sound, handing out programs, etc. than they do performers. Work on a project that's fun and creative with strangers for a day and you won't be strangers anymore after a day or two. These theaters have a new play or musical every couple of months so there is always a new set to build and yet there is a great deal of down time. And you can help as much or as little as you wish. And talk as much or as little as you wish.

Our area has four little theaters and the same folks rotate around some of them, so you see people just enough to feel social and connected, and not so much that you are stressed. The same is true with my music groups. And there are a lot of non-religious and non-political folks in these groups.

Many music and theater group folks are early retirees, and all ages are represented in these groups. DS joined one of my bands when he was 12 and we had a trombonist celebrate their 80th birthday that year.

Ditto with square and contra dancing, which are fun and easy to learn. Most square dance groups regularly have beginners classes. BTW single females often outnumber single males in these groups. In high school I met three of my boyfriends through square dancing. The last one stuck and became DH 31 years ago.

All these suggestions beat going to bars!


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Old 10-24-2015, 10:35 AM   #70
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Ditto with square and contra dancing, which are fun and easy to learn. Most square dance groups regularly have beginners classes. BTW single females often outnumber single males in these groups. In high school I met three of my boyfriends through square dancing. The last one stuck and became DH 31 years ago.

All these suggestions beat going to bars!
Great suggestion. I have been thinking of looking into what kinds of dancing clubs or groups I could join nearby, because I had heard from a few friends and coworkers years ago how great these were for meeting people and socializing. I remember about 15 years ago this guy at my office told me about how he was into ballroom dancing and how many women he'd met that way. He urged me to go with him one evening, but I (stupidly) didn't do it. Definitely something I need to look into now.
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Old 10-24-2015, 11:32 AM   #71
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Great thread! INTJ here, so I can relate to much of the discussion.

A number of years ago, I used some outplacement services and worked with a career counselor. Networking is such a staple of j*b hunting. I hate networking!! My counselor encouraged me to move just a little bit outside of my comfort zone, but not so much that I would risk failure. This is one of the most valuable pieces of advice I have ever received. Although it was acquired in the context of j*b hunting, I think it applies to the OP's situation.

To the OP, it can be hard to find just where that comfort zone is. But from some of your subsequent posts, it seems that you are willing to try things. You will get there. Best of luck. Please post on your progress. Unless you get too busy!
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Old 10-24-2015, 11:52 AM   #72
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Sojourner, you identified that you need to get out more. Use this website to find groups near you that do things you like to do. Want a daily long walk? Like to Garden? There are so many groups of people who have similar interests, that you can just pick and choose.

Most of the time, these groups are not for hooking up, but for being around those who enjoy the same things you do.

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Old 10-24-2015, 12:54 PM   #73
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Nope, don't have one of those currently, although I'm trying. For whatever reason, I've had pretty awful luck in the romance department my whole life, but I'm doing my best to keep my chin up and continue the search!
Regarding finding a significant other; I used Match.com for about two years, and had a really great time. That's how I met my DH of 8 years. I think there have been other threads here about online dating, with lots of pros and cons. But I am STRONGLY on the pro side, even though I am very much an introvert and pretty shy.

The key for me when meeting someone was to keep the expectations low. I met over 50 guys in the two years I used Match, and had a really great time. I would say that 75% of guys were really very nice, good people who represented themselves honestly. The other 25% were highly entertaining, so it was all good.

Just a plug if you haven't tried it.
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Old 10-24-2015, 02:57 PM   #74
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I looked up meetup.com for gardening in my area. I'm glad of this thread, I was worrying I might have similar problem. All my relatives are busy hustling, only my husband and I are retiring. Empty nester here.


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Old 10-24-2015, 03:25 PM   #75
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Old 10-24-2015, 06:32 PM   #76
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Regarding finding a significant other; I used Match.com for about two years, and had a really great time. That's how I met my DH of 8 years. I think there have been other threads here about online dating, with lots of pros and cons. But I am STRONGLY on the pro side, even though I am very much an introvert and pretty shy.

The key for me when meeting someone was to keep the expectations low. I met over 50 guys in the two years I used Match, and had a really great time. I would say that 75% of guys were really very nice, good people who represented themselves honestly. The other 25% were highly entertaining, so it was all good.
Great to hear your success story, Silver. I tried Match for a while, years ago, but haven't been active recently. Definitely getting back into it now. Like you said, the worst that can happen (if you're careful) is that you end up meeting a bunch of new people and having some new experiences. And I'm totally with you on keeping expectations low, but at the same time staying optimistic and upbeat.
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Old 10-24-2015, 07:05 PM   #77
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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.
you talk about being an introvert... but then missing all to social interactions. Maybe not an introvert. You may not be great at cold calling...meeting new people without a context. Not sure an introvert would be bothered by not finding friends... but I could be wrong.
Work brings together people who need to work at a team, at least ideally. So find some charity or cause that you believe in... go work for it as a volunteer. I would expect you will have the opportunity to meet like minded people.
For many work is a major social outlet that they fail to see.
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Old 10-24-2015, 08:27 PM   #78
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If you are close to a college or university, consider taking a class there. I plan to take lots of classes when I retire.


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Old 10-25-2015, 11:14 AM   #79
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I have a small group of friends that I see on occasion, and top up the need for social interaction by being in a few bands. It's an ideal scenario...each band gets together 2- or 4 times a month to jam and occasionally gig, so I'm getting out 2-3 times a week and also doing something I love. There are a lot of bands around here made up of similar age people (40 - 60) who have time now that their kids have left the nest.
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Old 10-25-2015, 12:51 PM   #80
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Thanks for the thread. It's something I have and will continue to deal with, myself. I'm an introvert, but like most introverts, I am a human being, so I have a need for closeness, connection, relationships -- just not a lot of them, and not as much as other people. (An aside - some people seem to be confusing introversion with having schizoid personality, which involves a lack of interest in close relationships).

I live in a fairly small town (about 50 to 100K), where most people think differently than I do (conservative religious, traditional "family values," etc.), so social groups (e.g., meetup) that appeal to me can be hard to find.

I'm still a ways off from downshifting my work hours, but I'm thinking through these issues. Here is what I'm thinking:

1. I love animals. My dog is a wonderful companion and my best friend. I feed the birds and squirrels in the backyard. I watch my dog chase the squirrels. When the birds and squirrels are gathered, squeaking and squawking, I realize I'm supporting a whole community. I never feel alone in my backyard. I never feel alone when I'm with my dog. We walk the neighborhood streets and visit the other dogs and cats, some of whom get chased and some of whom are our friends.

I imagine that when I have more time (I have yet to retire), I'll volunteer at one of the local animal shelters. Pets can be a huge source of comfort and companionship. We don't give them nearly enough credit for what intelligent, feeling creatures they are.

2. I believe that people/beings live beyond this material existence. I may not be able to see loved ones who have passed on, or guardian spirits, but I know they are there. In the broadest sense, God is there; I am in God. So I am, we are, never really alone. When I can remember that, it's a very expansive and gratifying realization.

3. I think doing your inner work is important -- that is, the first and most important relationship you have is the one with yourself. Do I sound like Oprah? I hope not. It's become such a cliche in our culture, but it's still true. You've got to be on good terms with yourself, otherwise you just act out roles unconsciously, project junk on to your friends/partners, etc.. So "working" on my relationship with myself is a priority for me. I think the upper limit of the quality of your relationships to others is set by the quality of your relationship to your self.

4. As far as finding relationships with others, I think most of the good suggestions have already been covered -- meetup groups, volunteering, taking a class, OLLI classes if there is an OLLI in your neighborhood, joining a church group if you can find one that fits you, dating sites, etc.

Good luck, and thanks again for the thread. Good subject, one I'm wrestling with myself.
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