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Old 10-25-2015, 01:14 PM   #81
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As a fellow introvert, not in a relationship and with no family close by, I struggle with the same issue. I've come to regard social contact as a basic need I must fill like food or exercise, so I try to build some into every day.

Although my preferred means of interaction is with close friends and family members, I've come to realize that I can get those needs partially met in other ways. I've found the diagram below helpful:



From what I've read, introverts tend to prefer limiting their interactions to the inner circles. However, without an SO, it can be hard getting enough social interaction from just friends, so I've learned to derive nourishment from the outer circles as well. You don't have to be close friends with someone for the interaction to be of value. People enter our lives in different ways and it's possible for a brief encounter to be life-changing.

I do this in my own way though. Loud parties and bars are not my style. I've also found interactions with acquaintances and strangers to be much more satisfying if the circumstances apply a kind of filter to ensure we have some values or interests in common.

For example, I find the interactions with acquaintances at my book discussion group interesting and thought-provoking. The community at my Unitarian church are also caring, thoughtful people I enjoy being around.

Attending classes is also good since it gets me out of the house and allows for some social interaction without being too draining. For example, when I attend a yoga class, I generally have a brief pleasant exchange with the receptionist, perhaps exchange a smile and a word with the other women in the locker room, and then enjoy the cameraderie of doing yoga in a room of likeminded practitioners.

Other examples of this type of activity might be volunteering with animals or attending foreign and indie film Meetups.
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Old 10-25-2015, 01:39 PM   #82
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I like your ellipses, inky.

I'm a member of a large and successful social club for newcomers to my area. We have over 20 different activity groups. The ones I enjoy most are outdoor activities, book clubs and discussion groups where the group is small and the conversation is not intruding on personal matters. When I feel comfortable with some of these people, we often become friends.

I find galas and banquets too stressful and avoid the annual holiday party like the plague. When I have to attend big events, I organize my own transport so I can leave when I feel overwhelmed. This even applies to family weddings. Once the disco dancing is well under way, I take a trip to the washroom and escape!

I have no problem coping with excessive solitude. It's excessive human contact that exhausts me.
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Old 10-25-2015, 02:20 PM   #83
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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.
Great idea with the bands, Music Lover. The question that occurs to me, however, is "how did you meet the people in the bands?" I have been in the DC metro area for almost 9 years now and I am only just now getting to know some people with similar musical interests to mine (18th century period instrument performance - think harpsichords). Meetup groups didn't work for me. I finally had to reach out and send out cold emails to a few professional harpsichordists in the area and they referred me to some other amateurs - most of whom were terrible musicians. Finally, I established a connection with an older professional who is cutting back on performing but would still like to read/jam with others. Even so, we have only met 3 times over the past 6 months and I am far from being in a position to do as much music as I would like. It may develop into something more regular, but now really needs to be nursed along.

I imagine it is easier with more mainstream music, but could you reach back and share how you first met the people who you are now jamming with? Where, when, and how did you first establish contact with these other folks?
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Old 10-25-2015, 02:42 PM   #84
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I imagine it is easier with more mainstream music, but could you reach back and share how you first met the people who you are now jamming with? Where, when, and how did you first establish contact with these other folks?
Winnipeg has produced a lot of great bands. Winters are long and cold and there is a surprising amount of cultural activity, especially live music, for a city of its size. I have no trouble imagining how Music Lover got started. Eighteenth century instruments, of course, are a small niche wherever you go.

Winnipeg Bands | List of Artists from Winnipeg
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Old 10-25-2015, 03:51 PM   #85
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I imagine it is easier with more mainstream music, but could you reach back and share how you first met the people who you are now jamming with? Where, when, and how did you first establish contact with these other folks?

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Winnipeg has produced a lot of great bands. Winters are long and cold and there is a surprising amount of cultural activity, especially live music, for a city of its size. I have no trouble imagining how Music Lover got started. Eighteenth century instruments, of course, are a small niche wherever you go.

Winnipeg Bands | List of Artists from Winnipeg
Meadbh nailed it. The local music scene here is very active and loaded with great musicians. Randy Bachman (The Guess Who, BTO) once said that if you didn't play hockey in Winnipeg the only thing else left to do was get together in someone's basement and jam.

Due to our severe winters, virtually all homes are built with a full basement as they have to dig that low to get below the frost line for the foundation. As a result, every home has a ready-made "jam space" that doesn't interfere with the upstairs living space. The local kijiji ads (similar to craigslist) are loaded with band ads. Guitar players are a dime a dozen, but I play bass and that's an in demand position. As a result, I can be more selective when choosing bands, and not only look for similar tastes in music and ability, but also choose bands with people that are fun to hang out with.
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Old 10-25-2015, 04:54 PM   #86
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Meadbh nailed it. The local music scene here is very active and loaded with great musicians. Randy Bachman (The Guess Who, BTO) once said that if you didn't play hockey in Winnipeg the only thing else left to do was get together in someone's basement and jam.

Due to our severe winters, virtually all homes are built with a full basement as they have to dig that low to get below the frost line for the foundation. As a result, every home has a ready-made "jam space" that doesn't interfere with the upstairs living space. The local kijiji ads (similar to craigslist) are loaded with band ads. Guitar players are a dime a dozen, but I play bass and that's an in demand position. As a result, I can be more selective when choosing bands, and not only look for similar tastes in music and ability, but also choose bands with people that are fun to hang out with.
Sometimes I miss the Peg! The WSO was my thing. Loved the New Music Festival. Where else could you rub shoulders with the likes of Arvo Part on a cold January night?
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Old 10-25-2015, 06:08 PM   #87
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Great idea with the bands, Music Lover. The question that occurs to me, however, is "how did you meet the people in the bands?" I have been in the DC metro area for almost 9 years now and I am only just now getting to know some people with similar musical interests to mine (18th century period instrument performance - think harpsichords).
As so many people have told Sojourner, go to college. I still work and take classes at night at our local community college. You can take music classes to improve your skill and meet other like minded people. Yeah, I know, you play harpsichord but can you play another instrument or do you want to learn another instrument? Our college has musical groups and clubs. I love to get to class early and sit in the area outside the music classes and listen to the different classes and clubs play. Lots of historic sites in our area that have 18th century music concerts. Being in the DC area you must have similar.
Sojourner, I've met a lot of people taking classes at the community college. I've taken photography, metal forging, metal working, enameling. The people you meet at the night classes are all ages. They don't have to be your age to be a kindred spirit.
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Old 10-25-2015, 09:41 PM   #88
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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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I'm around the same age as the OP and after retiring and enjoying my solitude for several months, I got stupid and started to attend law school. I thought I would enjoy the social aspect of it, but it's as bad as high school was...and this is with 'older' students (about 23). The end of the term is near and I'm very torn as to if I am going to continue. I enjoy the subject of law and am really working the brain cells, but listening to all the youngins' is really starting to wear me down.

So, as an introvert, I'd be careful about going back to school.

I see in your profile that your are in the SE. If you're close the the Atlanta area, I'd be happy to meet up. I too would like to have a friend or two that are FIREd and local. The few friends I have are too damn busy working to buy next year's greatest consumer products to hang out with me

Sent from my mobile device so please excuse grammatical errors.
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Old 10-25-2015, 10:22 PM   #89
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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.
Not the OP, but I'm a very decided introvert. I'm not a recluse, however. The lack of social contact is really bothering me as well. I work very, very part time exclusively from home so there is no real social contact from that. We moved to our current area a little over 3 years ago and I moved here not knowing anyone.

I do have a husband and adult kids. And, that is great. But, I find myself wishing for one or two good friends. I don't really miss casual social contact. It is the deeper discussions you can have with good friends that I miss (I had a good friend like this at work, but we are now geographically far enough apart that I don't get this very often).

And, finding something has been hard. There are things I can do to have more casual contact. DH and I used to play duplicate bridge (it was how we met) and we've recently decided to get back into it. But, I won't likely find a good friend through it since I'll be mostly playing with DH. Possible, but more likely to have more superficial contacts.

It doesn't help at all that the area we are in is dominated by people of the opposite political viewpoints that I have and is dominated by very religious people while I'm a non-believer.

I did try out the Unitarian Church. In fact, the sermon one week I went from from an atheist member. They seemed really nice, but not sure I want something that organized and DH isn't really interested in going to it (he is introverted but is happy with contact with me, the kids and more casual acquaintances so just going and playing bridge will be enough for me). And, I'm not much a morning person...

So, I'm not really quite sure. I did look on meetup and nothing really seemed to apply. It is hard to live in an area where you feel that you don't have a lot in common with most of the people.
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Old 10-26-2015, 04:08 AM   #90
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I like your ellipses, inky.

I'm a member of a large and successful social club for newcomers to my area. We have over 20 different activity groups. The ones I enjoy most are outdoor activities, book clubs and discussion groups where the group is small and the conversation is not intruding on personal matters. When I feel comfortable with some of these people, we often become friends.

I find galas and banquets too stressful and avoid the annual holiday party like the plague. When I have to attend big events, I organize my own transport so I can leave when I feel overwhelmed. This even applies to family weddings. Once the disco dancing is well under way, I take a trip to the washroom and escape!

I have no problem coping with excessive solitude. It's excessive human contact that exhausts me.

You've described me!

This weekend we went to a wedding. Theater friend of DH, very church and God focused wedding, not my thing. I knew three people there. DH accompanied the singers. DH became quite ill the day before and I dragged him to the doctor 5 hours before.

DH is on the mend, but I was quietly grateful he was ill enough for us to gracefully bow out of the reception.


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Old 10-26-2015, 07:48 AM   #91
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I'm an introvert so stay out of my personal space.... seriously how many of us are bothered when an extrovert invades our personal space?
I do much better in small groups preferably just 1 other couple with me and my wife. The larger the group the more I will find myself moving towards the outer edges of the group.
One problem I have is I don't like sports and invariably almost every conversation leads to sports discussions. I'm fairly well read and knowledgeable on lots of subjects but sports? Don't waste my time, not interested.
My close friends are in other parts of the country but since we enjoy traveling we usually visit them a couple times a year.
And cruises? My wife would like to experience one but I'm afraid I would just end up spending most of the time in my cabin. Any intros figured out a way to enjoy cruises?
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Old 10-26-2015, 08:04 AM   #92
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And cruises? My wife would like to experience one but I'm afraid I would just end up spending most of the time in my cabin. Any intros figured out a way to enjoy cruises?

I'm an introvert and love cruises. I love the calming feeling of watching the ocean as the ship moves along. There are plenty of quiet places on the ship to sit and listen to music, gaze at the water or sky, people watch, or just enjoy the sun and read. I always get a balcony cabin so I can retreat to my cabin and still sit out to see the ocean. We can see a show if we want at night, but don't have to. Sometimes we get off at the ports and sometimes we don't. The nice thing about cruises is the variety of choice if you want to participate or not. Sometimes the guy at the piano bar is great and we spend most nights there, or we find something else or nothing. We have three cruises booked over the next 16 months.


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Old 10-26-2015, 10:08 AM   #93
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Another vote for meetup.com.

The first meetup group I joined was for English bulldog owners, about ten years ago. What a hoot to see 20 Bulldogs in one spot!

Didn't make any friends from that group but had a great time.

I love my meetup walking/hiking groups for good conversation. Have occasionally met group members outside the scheduled walk.

It may take some trial and error to find a group you're comfortable with. A couple of hiking groups I attended got too intense for me so I moved on to others.

What I like about meetup groups is that for most of them there is no commitment for attendance, etc.

Another second for dance lessons. Is there a social dance location near you, Sojourner? Here in the Bay Area there are lots of places where you can just drop into swing/salsa/foxtrot/waltz/etc classes. Generally you rotate partners so get to meet all sorts of people in class. And it's a limited time frame, so you can scoot out of there after class if you've had enough socializing!


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Old 10-26-2015, 01:56 PM   #94
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I'm an introvert and love cruises. I love the calming feeling of watching the ocean as the ship moves along. There are plenty of quiet places on the ship to sit and listen to music, gaze at the water or sky, people watch, or just enjoy the sun and read. I always get a balcony cabin so I can retreat to my cabin and still sit out to see the ocean. We can see a show if we want at night, but don't have to. Sometimes we get off at the ports and sometimes we don't. The nice thing about cruises is the variety of choice if you want to participate or not. Sometimes the guy at the piano bar is great and we spend most nights there, or we find something else or nothing. We have three cruises booked over the next 16 months.
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We found the sides of the ship are fantastically barren of other guests, there are chairs there to sit and its very peaceful.
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Old 10-26-2015, 02:12 PM   #95
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We found the sides of the ship are fantastically barren of other guests, there are chairs there to sit and its very peaceful.

+1


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Old 10-26-2015, 05:23 PM   #96
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We found the sides of the ship are fantastically barren of other guests, there are chairs there to sit and its very peaceful.
I am extrovert married to an introvert. We went on a all expense paid cruise and won't go again. We felt trapped. We don't drink or gamble or hang out at the pool or go to shows. We loved the fact that the decks were pretty empty and we walked and walked the deck. We had almost gale force winds one night and dinner for my husband and a friend was great, not much conversation. We were only a handful of people that weren't seasick. We went on excursions at the different ports that didn't allow much talking, helped crew a racing yacht, went on rides in REALLY LOUD speed boats, hiked mountain trails.
I run interference for my husband at social events. I don't mind leaving an event early. Sorry but there are a lot of boring people out there. I've gone to weddings (both sides of the family) by myself. I will drag him out of a corner if I find someone at a party that has similar interests. I rescue him when the busybody latches on to him. He goes with me to many social events, he hides and I socialize. We're perfect together.
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Old 10-26-2015, 10:51 PM   #97
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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.

The best definition of introvert/extrovert I have heard is: an introvert gains energy from being alone, and expends it by being with people. Vice versa the extrovert. It's a sliding scale. Im a definite introvert, but do enjoy/need social interaction once a week or so. Mostly enjoy small groups of close friends. It takes a huge amount of energy for me to walk into an unknown group. But I can fake it for a short while. But I'm REALLY faking it


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Old 10-26-2015, 11:29 PM   #98
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I am extrovert married to an introvert. We went on a all expense paid cruise and won't go again. We felt trapped. We don't drink or gamble or hang out at the pool or go to shows. We loved the fact that the decks were pretty empty and we walked and walked the deck. We had almost gale force winds one night and dinner for my husband and a friend was great, not much conversation. We were only a handful of people that weren't seasick. We went on excursions at the different ports that didn't allow much talking, helped crew a racing yacht, went on rides in REALLY LOUD speed boats, hiked mountain trails.
I run interference for my husband at social events. I don't mind leaving an event early. Sorry but there are a lot of boring people out there. I've gone to weddings (both sides of the family) by myself. I will drag him out of a corner if I find someone at a party that has similar interests. I rescue him when the busybody latches on to him. He goes with me to many social events, he hides and I socialize. We're perfect together.
Hmmmm, SWDW, I experience a lot of the traits your husband does and probably could be his best friend (). I have been finding this truer the older I get. My DW is quite a bit more social than me and takes over at gatherings that I really would rather pass on going to. But I tag along and somehow get through it.

I'm not sure if this personality is truly an introvert type though. Every time I take the tests online I get mixed results. What has been eye-opening is that on some of the online testing, I am showing SPD, yet I don't perceive myself as that way. I guess us engineers are wired funny from the start.

When I was working full time, I was finally at the point where I preferred to work alone and even not have engineers working for me. Early on in my career, I was a senior manager in a manufacturing plant and thrived on building great team resources and had many successes. I rose to Plant Manager and then gave it up for a staff consulting position as those cost center manager's jobs are stressful.
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Old 10-26-2015, 11:35 PM   #99
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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...
Believe me, being non-political in a blue state (Ultra Blue actually) isn't any easier.
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Old 10-27-2015, 12:01 AM   #100
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Gosh...... I've always considered myself closer to extrovert than introvert. But after reading all the social activities, friendships, etc., the self-identified introverts here are talking about having, I guess I'm an introvert. My circles of friends (from close to casual), socialization patterns and comfort with some alone-time seem pretty similar to what the so-called introverts are describing here.

Or perhaps the introverts here only think of extroverts in the extreme sense?
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