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Old 12-18-2014, 08:05 AM   #21
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I am an introvert in a job where I have to behave like an extrovert much of the time. For this reason, I have anxiety much of the time due to work. It's hard to relax during the work week, because there is always a speech around the corner, an event to host or a deadline to meet. I'm looking at 2015 to retire and wonder if once you're retired, does the social anxiety and inability to relax go away pretty quickly? I sure hope so.
Yes. For me, merely switching to working part-time for 7 years reduced (but did not totally eliminate) my anxiety. Many but not all of my job tasks which gave me some anxiety were removed from my workload.

Away from work, I became more relaxed because I was able to do all of my personal tasks on weekdays in the middle of the day instead of the busier weekends and more tiring weeknights. It is so much more relaxing to go into a supermarket or bank or shopping mall or post office when very few people are there. Often, there are more employees than there are customers, so customer service is better (and quicker). As an introvert who hates crowds, being able to take this setting for granted is very comforting. I am sure you will enjoy that aspect, too.
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Old 12-18-2014, 08:45 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Ally View Post
I am an introvert in a job where I have to behave like an extrovert much of the time. For this reason, I have anxiety much of the time due to work. It's hard to relax during the work week, because there is always a speech around the corner, an event to host or a deadline to meet. I'm looking at 2015 to retire and wonder if once you're retired, does the social anxiety and inability to relax go away pretty quickly? I sure hope so.
The company Christmas party is tomorrow night...I declined. I was at our #2 headquarters, out of state, the past three days and THEIR party was on Tuesday night...I declined. I'm an introvert who'd rather watch a Forensic Files rerun back at the motel (or an American Greed rerun at home), than enhance a career by being around the same 20 or 30 people with whom I just spent the past 8 hours.

That said, an introvert can retire on a lot less money. Get up at 9, make a pot of store-bought coffee (Snobbucks is wasted on me), watch the news, take a walk, do some housekeeping, fix something, take another walk, make a pitcher of vodka slushy, watch TV and crash at midnight.

Can hardly wait.
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Old 12-18-2014, 09:06 AM   #23
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I loved that book. So insightful for me.
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Old 12-18-2014, 09:25 AM   #24
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As scrabbler1 mentioned, it is nice to go to the grocery and do things on a weekday. less people and not too hectic. as an introvert, it was great. I did it when I took a 2 week vacation but just stayed home, Doing chores, going to the grocery and gym, caught episodes of TV shows I missed and just went around. It was one of the most relaxing time I ever had. Never got bored for a minute...however, it was only for 2 weeks...wonder if I will still feel the same way if RE.
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Old 12-18-2014, 09:59 AM   #25
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introvert/extrovert is just a label you put on yourself. Don't let it define you. I use to think I was an introvert but after retiring I have so much more energy and opportunities to be sociable. Once you have a few positive experiences it just grows on itself. When you're retired you can be anything you want.
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Old 12-18-2014, 10:14 AM   #26
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introvert/extrovert is just a label you put on yourself. Don't let it define you. I use to think I was an introvert but after retiring I have so much more energy and opportunities to be sociable. Once you have a few positive experiences it just grows on itself. When you're retired you can be anything you want.

In my experiences extroverts always tell this to introverts.


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Old 12-18-2014, 10:16 AM   #27
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Thank you so much for your thoughtful answers. I am so pleased to know others feel the same way when working and and that retirement relieves these feelings. I will read Quiet soon and the link above to the past thread.

I do love that I'm making a difference for needy families in my job. However, so many days, I have to psyche myself up in the mornings and tell myself it's an acting job. "Today at our event, I will act the part of an outgoing, gracious extrovert and keep a smile on my face, not my anxious face." Then I go home exhausted from keeping up the facade. But there is some satisfaction in knowing we raised lots of money, or educated a group.

This is such a great group of people for giving feedback.


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Old 12-18-2014, 10:18 AM   #28
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I'm reading the book "Quiet" right now and it's got some great insights on how our culture forces introverts to behave as extroverts for professional reasons.
I'm about halfway through this now, and am finding it fascinating, especially the parts about high sensitivity. Explains a lot about the dissatisfaction / discomfort I'm feeling in our "open pen" office environment. Can't wait for ER!
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Old 12-18-2014, 10:20 AM   #29
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The company Christmas party is tomorrow night...I declined. I was at our #2 headquarters, out of state, the past three days and THEIR party was on Tuesday night...I declined. I'm an introvert who'd rather watch a Forensic Files rerun back at the motel (or an American Greed rerun at home), than enhance a career by being around the same 20 or 30 people with whom I just spent the past 8 hours.



That said, an introvert can retire on a lot less money. Get up at 9, make a pot of store-bought coffee (Snobbucks is wasted on me), watch the news, take a walk, do some housekeeping, fix something, take another walk, make a pitcher of vodka slushy, watch TV and crash at midnight.



Can hardly wait.

Lucky you for having the ability to opt out! We had 124 at our party last week and I had to plan it and speak at it.


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Old 12-18-2014, 10:35 AM   #30
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Stage fright is not limited to introverts...

I'm not anti-social, but my limit for big crowds is about two hours, after which I'm ready for peace and quiet...
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Old 12-18-2014, 12:36 PM   #31
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Being new at ER, I have come to realize I'm too relaxed, I have things to do and I'm not doing them. Even though I have much more time available.
Its nice, but not productive.
That used to trouble me a little bit too, but then I realized "Who says I have to be productive?" And "What for?"

Isn't that the whole point of retirement, to be able to do, or not do, whatever you want when you want to?

So not being productive doesn't bother me a bit.
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Old 12-18-2014, 01:25 PM   #32
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The company Christmas party is tomorrow night...I declined. I was at our #2 headquarters, out of state, the past three days and THEIR party was on Tuesday night...I declined. I'm an introvert who'd rather watch a Forensic Files rerun back at the motel (or an American Greed rerun at home), than enhance a career by being around the same 20 or 30 people with whom I just spent the past 8 hours.
I hear ya. At a certain point, I let it be known that I didn't enjoy attending events like these. It raised a few eyebrows and gave me an unsocial tag, but it ultimately had no effect on my career.

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As scrabbler1 mentioned, it is nice to go to the grocery and do things on a weekday. less people and not too hectic. as an introvert, it was great. I did it when I took a 2 week vacation but just stayed home, Doing chores, going to the grocery and gym, caught episodes of TV shows I missed and just went around. It was one of the most relaxing time I ever had. Never got bored for a minute...however, it was only for 2 weeks...wonder if I will still feel the same way if RE.
I think you will. I wondered too. I don't anymore.

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That used to trouble me a little bit too, but then I realized "Who says I have to be productive?" And "What for?"

Isn't that the whole point of retirement, to be able to do, or not do, whatever you want when you want to?

So not being productive doesn't bother me a bit.
It's a societal expectation, particularly in the U.S., where, in a variation on the famous philosophical statement, the theme is: "I'm productive, therefore I am." Once you RE, it's "I am, therefore I am." You can choose to be productive (in myriad ways) ... or not.
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Old 12-18-2014, 08:26 PM   #33
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The company Christmas party is tomorrow night...I declined. I was at our #2 headquarters, out of state, the past three days and THEIR party was on Tuesday night...I declined. I'm an introvert who'd rather watch a Forensic Files rerun back at the motel (or an American Greed rerun at home), than enhance a career by being around the same 20 or 30 people with whom I just spent the past 8 hours.

That said, an introvert can retire on a lot less money. Get up at 9, make a pot of store-bought coffee (Snobbucks is wasted on me), watch the news, take a walk, do some housekeeping, fix something, take another walk, make a pitcher of vodka slushy, watch TV and crash at midnight.

Can hardly wait.
Our company holiday luncheon is tomorrow. I am taking the entire day as vacation time to avoid it. Second year in a row I've done this. I've decided to make this my new holiday tradition!
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Old 12-18-2014, 08:28 PM   #34
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In my experiences extroverts always tell this to introverts.


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You took the words right out of my mouth.
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Old 12-18-2014, 08:34 PM   #35
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I'm about halfway through this now, and am finding it fascinating, especially the parts about high sensitivity. Explains a lot about the dissatisfaction / discomfort I'm feeling in our "open pen" office environment. Can't wait for ER!
When I was reading the parts about high sensitivity individuals I wondered when the author had climbed inside my head. I recognized myself over and over in that book.

Just hearing the words "open pen" makes me cringe. I fear that my workplace is headed in that direction, but with any luck, I will get out before it is implemented. They usually talk an idea to death before doing anything, and in this case that would be a plus!
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Old 12-18-2014, 11:10 PM   #36
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Lucky you for having the ability to opt out! We had 124 at our party last week and I had to plan it and speak at it.
The CEO always wants me to auctioneer. My dad was one of the best, so I used a vacation back in the 80's to go to the same school. But it takes lots of practice and experience to be great (graduating third behind a couple guys who were doing it for a living while I worked for a CPA firm did not). I made the mistake at the first Christmas party to take over an auction that was going nowhere and drove the CEO for a day bid over $300. So, I'm the resident Colonel.

But, believe me, opting out of a company Christmas party is NOT a good career move. (Getting really drunk and losing lunch in the parking lot is even worse...cost a woman her job a couple years ago.)
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Old 12-19-2014, 06:17 PM   #37
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But, believe me, opting out of a company Christmas party is NOT a good career move.
I've heard that of other places too. So glad that wasn't the case where I worked! If I didn't show I doubt if anyone noticed or cared but that was local (county) government, not a business.

Can you elaborate on why it is so important in that environment?
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Old 12-19-2014, 06:40 PM   #38
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I've heard that of other places too. So glad that wasn't the case where I worked! If I didn't show I doubt if anyone noticed or cared but that was local (county) government, not a business.

Can you elaborate on why it is so important in that environment?
My experience: When other factors are equal, it is better to be chummy (drinking buddies, socializing at parties, attending sporting events, etc.) with the folks making decisions on promotions, layoffs, sweet assignments, bonuses, etc.

Many years ago, I actually had an IT director tell me that he would rather work with someone he liked who wasn't quite as good because we spent too many hours in the office. Frankly, I think I am at the other extreme: I would much rather work with a hermit who was really good at their job.

The technology always came relatively easy for me; the socializing was far more work but has likely been at least as financially rewarding over the years.
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Old 12-19-2014, 06:53 PM   #39
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Many years ago, I actually had an IT director tell me that he would rather work with someone he liked who wasn't quite as good because we spent too many hours in the office. Frankly, I think I am at the other extreme: I would much rather work with a hermit who was really good at their job.
That makes sense then with different personalities. Someone on the board here mentioned that they liked having an introvert on staff. Give him/her an assignment and leave 'em alone, they go down the hall and a day or three later they come back with a well-thought-out solution. No muss, no fuss, no drama.

So much then depends on the personalities fitting well.
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Old 12-19-2014, 08:05 PM   #40
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I had to give a lot of presentations in the middle years of my career and it drove me nuts. Then we hired people to handle those, and I was allowed to generally work on my own. Luckily I had a few experienced support staff that could handle things with little supervision. My last 10 years of work were perfect for me being an introvert. And retirement is essentially the same. I go weeks without having to deal with anyone other than family and a few friends. It's great.


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