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ER: Revenge of the Introverts
Old 10-24-2014, 03:58 PM   #1
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ER: Revenge of the Introverts

As a happy, well-adjusted introvert, I'm taken aback when I read wild generalizations like these (from the otherwise useful book "The Retirement Maze"):

Quote:
"About 25% of retirees in our survey describe themselves as introverts, who prefer to avoid social interaction and the company of others. Most of their time is spent around the home and rarely includes other people, and that leaves them feeling especially disconnected and isolated. Generally, though, they don't seem to have many interests (even solitary ones), tending to find most activities personally unrewarding. And, while they're not really sure what to do with all their free time, they're also not interested in finding things to do. ...

"In theory, at least, marriage could be a way to alleviate their loneliness or a means of building social contacts. But introverts just don't work that way -- those who are married tend to have unhappy relationships, to the point where they prefer time away from their partners. ...

"But taking a job is an option -- at the minimum, working practically forces you to meet people ... However, they don't seek work's social benefits, which should be their primary reason for working."
Where do I begin? Hardly any of this rings true to me. I suspect part of the issue here may be one of inaccurate self-labeling. Since being an introvert is so strongly stigmatized in our culture, a good number of introverts reject the label. So, in this study, healthy introverts likely got lumped into the extrovert percentage.

I actually think introverts are much better equipped to succeed in retirement than extroverts. Isn't this board proof of that? About 90% of our members are introverts, based on a previous poll.

In fact, isn't removing ourselves from highly extrovert-oriented workplace environments often one of the reasons we choose to RE? It certainly was for me. No need for me to expend any more energy in fending off attempts to convert me into an extrovert.

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ER: Revenge of the Introverts
Old 10-24-2014, 04:06 PM   #2
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ER: Revenge of the Introverts

Clearly written from an extrovert's point of view.
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Old 10-24-2014, 04:12 PM   #3
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As a fellow introvert, hardly any of it rings true to me either. After reading "However, they don't seek work's social benefits, which should be their primary reason for working", I realize that the author's opinions can't be taken seriously. I don't know of anyone, including extroverts, that view work's social benefits as their primary reason for working.
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Old 10-24-2014, 04:26 PM   #4
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It doesn't make sense to this introvert either. One of the reasons I liked working as a patrol officer was that I worked alone. I did volunteer to do on-the-road training for recruits just out of the academy but that was only six months at a time, mostly I was alone.
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Old 10-24-2014, 04:28 PM   #5
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Well I guess you can say these depressing things about introverted people since they are too introverted to kill you for saying them. Thanks for the topic and the warning about the book.
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Old 10-24-2014, 04:43 PM   #6
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Well, I am an introvert but I have to admit that while I don't miss an awful lot of the people I used to interact with at work, I do miss the interaction I had with more than a few. While I am seeking out cohorts and have had some success with finding a few in retirement, the last way I'd fulfill that need is to GO BACK TO WORK. I would imagine that people classified as extroverts might feel disconnected leaving the workplace, but OTOH have a great skill set for making new connections, or had them outside work all along.
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Old 10-24-2014, 05:03 PM   #7
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The primary reason for working is survival. The wealthy Greeks and Romans knew this, and their society valued leisure (yeah, I know they had slaves...not good).

I want to share a book that counteracts this viewpoint, and looks historically at rise of the extrovert as the pinnacle of success. It is called Quiet: The Power of the Introvert, by Susan Cain. It is well referenced with a lot of data-driven material.

It gave me great affirmation to read, though I confess I skipped some of the referenced material as too much like work.

If a job needs doing, any job, whether it be replacing a water heater, pruning trees, preparing a business plan, doing my taxes, creating a computer program, saving a life in an ICU or an ER, give me an introvert. Please. Introverts actually study. They are far more likely to do the job right. Extroverts party.

We introverts are fine with being alone, but we actually prefer interacting with people on a very small group basis. The BS about poor marriages, where did that come from? We have terrific marriages and other relationships because we know we all have our individual paths to walk, and we love having some company along the way, but not too much. We get the job done without needing anyone to say what a good job we did.

I think the main problem with retirement is that we have to rebuild the remainder of our lives which was seriously neglected due to work. It isn't a problem with retirement, it's a problem that most of us high earners and savers were forced by our work environment to neglect everything else.


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Old 10-24-2014, 05:12 PM   #8
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Well, I am an introvert turned management at a megacorp. Extrovert definitely have an edge when networking with people.
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Old 10-24-2014, 05:34 PM   #9
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Well, I am an introvert turned management at a megacorp. Extrovert definitely have an edge when networking with people.
+1 I do quite well with people I know and small groups (up to 50) but am not so good at chit-chat and despised the obligatory receptions with the board of directors (even though I got to know many of them, they we just not that interesting to me).

I probably would have been voted least likely to succeed in high school. Even my own sister has admitted to me that when I first started dating DW that my sisters thought I was overreaching.
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Old 10-24-2014, 05:38 PM   #10
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Revenge of the introverts?

I am a strong introvert, but the above does not sound good! I am not sure about axe murderers, but would think serial killers are introverts. Why do we want to give any introvert here any idea?


PS. The OP talked about revenge by ER, or by living well. No violence implied. Never mind.
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Old 10-24-2014, 06:00 PM   #11
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I think they're describing retirees with depression!

I'm not an introvert, but know many - and they have plenty of interests & don't sit around doing nothing all day. And at least one likes the company of this extrovert.
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Old 10-24-2014, 06:04 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by EastWest Gal View Post
The primary reason for working is survival. The wealthy Greeks and Romans knew this, and their society valued leisure (yeah, I know they had slaves...not good).

I want to share a book that counteracts this viewpoint, and looks historically at rise of the extrovert as the pinnacle of success. It is called Quiet: The Power of the Introvert, by Susan Cain. It is well referenced with a lot of data-driven material.

It gave me great affirmation to read, though I confess I skipped some of the referenced material as too much like work.

I
Excellent book, and discuss previously in the forum.
My comment about the book, was the sad thing about it is the people who most need read the book aren't introverts like us, they are extroverts like the author and my mom. Unfortunately they are the least likely people to read it cause they lack the patience. (Ok probably a gratuitous slam on the extroverts )
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Old 10-24-2014, 06:58 PM   #13
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Being an introvert, I was an introvert at work, too. I shunned those office farewell luncheons to the point that I asked not to have one for me. In my 23-year career, I had very few friends at the company, opting to have lunch with one close friend/coworker but never caring a whole lot if he were unable to join me.

Outside of work, which is now called my "life," I have my volunteer work and my hobbies, some are with other people and some which are solo. I have my ladyfriend I spend plenty of time with, and my best (male) friend I see about once a week. I don't need a whole lot of social interaction to keep me satisfied, just a fairly small amount will do just fine for this introvert.
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Old 10-24-2014, 06:59 PM   #14
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Funny, I think of myself as an introvert (and DW labels me as such), but I don't avoid social interactions, in fact I enjoy them. However, I find I don't need to be around other people to keep myself entertained. If I play golf with a group of friends, fine - but I'm also perfectly happy to play golf by myself, or go see a movie or go to a restaurant by myself, if need be. I have no problem pursuing new interests by myself, even if DW or any of my friends do not hold the same interest in it.

DW, who is definitely an extrovert, said that was one of the reasons she was attracted to me... in her words, "you're quiet, but you have an easygoing view and peace about things. And that really intrigued me."
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Old 10-24-2014, 08:01 PM   #15
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Wow - this person is clueless! It reads as some bizarre spin, for which purpose I can't imagine?
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Old 10-24-2014, 08:07 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by wishin&hopin View Post
I actually think introverts are much better equipped to succeed in retirement than extroverts. Isn't this board proof of that? About 90% of our members
I don't think so. Just says to me that introverts like to hang out on the ER forum

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Old 10-24-2014, 09:08 PM   #17
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[QUOTE=wishin&hopin;1507922]As a happy, well-adjusted introvert, I'm taken aback when I read wild generalizations like these (from the otherwise useful book "The Retirement Maze"):


Where do I begin? Hardly any of this rings true to me. I suspect part of the issue here may be one of inaccurate self-labeling. Since being an introvert is so strongly stigmatized in our culture, a good number of introverts reject the label. So, in this study, healthy introverts likely got lumped into the extrovert percentage.

I actually think introverts are much better equipped to succeed in retirement than extroverts. Isn't this board proof of that? About 90% of our members are introverts, based on a previous poll.

In fact, isn't removing ourselves from highly extrovert-oriented workplace environments often one of the reasons we choose to RE? It certainly was for me. No need for me to expend any more energy in fending off attempts to convert me into an extrovert.
************************************************** ******************

This is laugh-out-loud funny. I am extremely introverted, and none of the hogwash in the article applies to me. Just another biased view of introverts written by an extrovert.
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Old 10-24-2014, 09:21 PM   #18
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Retirement has been such a relief for this introvert. It was exhausting for me to be around people and have to interact with them all day long at work. I am much happier now. I would have been a great telecommuter but it wasn't an option with my job requirements.
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Old 10-24-2014, 10:09 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastWest Gal View Post
I want to share a book that counteracts this viewpoint, and looks historically at rise of the extrovert as the pinnacle of success. It is called Quiet: The Power of the Introvert, by Susan Cain. It is well referenced with a lot of data-driven material.
I agree. Great book. Less well known but equally good is "The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World" by Marti Olsen Laney.
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Old 10-24-2014, 10:17 PM   #20
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The author of that quote in first post is just an extrovert trying to justify their miserable life. No need to downgrade others to try and make author's point. My conclusion: author is a loser and unhappy person.

Don't worry about it, be happy doing what you want. Even if that is by yourself!
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