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Re: hermit tendencies?
Old 01-25-2007, 11:17 AM   #41
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Re: hermit tendencies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn
Extroverts do not understand introverts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CybrMike
Tough for me to understand the introvert way of life. Seems like a grumpy, lonely existence to me.
Like I said, extroverts do not understand introverts.

Worse, extroverts often suggest to introverts that they do things that they do not want to do. "You'll be much happier if you do this" (some activity involving interaction). "You'll have a great time if you do that" (another activity involving interaction). "It's unhealthy to stay at home when you could be at a party with others." No. I will not be happier and I will not have a great time. I will have a stressful time and be praying for the agony to end. As for my health, my resting pulse is well under 40 and I haven't missed a day of school/work due to sickness in over 35 years. My biggest health problem at the moment is the stress caused by my job, and one of the main stress contributors is all the interactions I have to do with other people.

I have no desire to strike up an idle conversation with my mailman or the store clerk. I'm sure they are great people and I'm polite and give them a friendly smile and thank you when they give me my mail or change. However, I have no desire to interact for the sake of interacting.

On the otherhand, I love the time I spend with my few close friends (as long as they don't invite others to join in). They are very important parts of my life.
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Re: hermit tendencies?
Old 01-25-2007, 11:44 AM   #42
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Re: hermit tendencies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn
Like I said, extroverts do not understand introverts.

Worse, extroverts often suggest to introverts that they do things that they do not want to do. "You'll be much happier if you do this" (some activity involving interaction). "You'll have a great time if you do that" (another activity involving interaction). "It's unhealthy to stay at home when you could be at a party with others." No. I will not be happier and I will not have a great time. I will have a stressful time and be praying for the agony to end.
I've had a lifetime of such advice with similar results.

Quote:
As for my health, my resting pulse is well under 40 and I haven't missed a day of school/work due to sickness in over 35 years. My biggest health problem at the moment is the stress caused by my job, and one of the main stress contributors is all the interactions I have to do with other people.
My health improved dramatically after retiring, 90% of that improvement was due to not having to interact.


Quote:
I have no desire to strike up an idle conversation with my mailman or the store clerk. I'm sure they are great people and I'm polite and give them a friendly smile and thank you when they give me my mail or change. However, I have no desire to interact for the sake of interacting.
If I engage in conversation with them I'm preventing them from doing their job or from serving the next customer.

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Re: hermit tendencies?
Old 01-25-2007, 12:20 PM   #43
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Re: hermit tendencies?

Ok, I can agree with hermit like lifestyle at times. Yet I also find that my last job in sales showed me that just about anyone can be interesting, you just have to get past the first impression most of the time.

At the same time I found that last job like wearing a mask all day, I wasn't myself because unlike a good friend you can't just say "I don't care about that, can we talk about X?" to a client.

Oh well I'm back to 'pure' engineering, so I do numbers, write reports and have the occasion meeting about issues I do care about. It's so nice.



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Re: hermit tendencies?
Old 01-25-2007, 12:32 PM   #44
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Re: hermit tendencies?

Haven't posted for a while, but this is a thread that I can really relate to!
Although I know and accept my extreme introversion, somehow it's reassuring to know that there are some other people with this characteristic out there. Like you, Uncle Clem, I'm an INTJ. Not shy, just
introverted. And I have social skills where I can chat with strangers/
acquaintances---but if it goes on for too long, I'm drained. The social skills are there; it's the social desire that's lacking. Khan and Jonny M, sounds like we share the same level of introversion. Like Jonny, I'm part of an introverted couple and we're also never really apart.

This Christmas (my first FIREd), it was a blessing not to have to worry
(dread) the company Christmas party!

My only real concern is that I'm no longer enjoying activities as part of the crowd. Gave up movie theatres years ago since it's cheaper to rent movies at home and we like mostly independent/foreign type films that aren't typically shown in multiplex theatres---but mostly because we were bothered by other people's behavior (like talking). Now I'm experiencing similar behavior at the symphony and opera. It would be simpler and cheaper to just enjoy music (radio, CDs, DVDs) at home---but going out to cultural events has been our enforced (gotta do it, season tickets) means of getting out and interacting with the world.

Because I enjoy walking and nature so much, I do frequent parks, and usually don't mind the momentary being around others on a trail.

Any crowd/getting out in the public activities that you other introverts enjoy?
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Re: hermit tendencies?
Old 01-25-2007, 12:53 PM   #45
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Re: hermit tendencies?

I've been lurking for over a year now, but this topic finally brought me out.

I'm also an INTJ and experience life in ways that are similar to what's been posted. So much so that I created a website to air my feelings on the matter. You can check it out here:

www.introvertnation.com

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Re: hermit tendencies?
Old 01-25-2007, 12:55 PM   #46
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Re: hermit tendencies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn
Like I said, extroverts do not understand introverts.
Shawn, your statement would have additional credibility if it said "some extroverts do not understand introverts." Perhaps you were implying that? And, of course, we should realize that all people do not fit nicely into either an "introvert" or "extrovert" box. There are an infinite number of gradients between the two extremes.

DW and I are blessed to have a broad spectrum of friends and enjoy them all, however we've learned they do not all enjoy each other. A few are quite introverted and over time we've learned to not invite them to larger gatherings where they would be uncomfortable. We do enjoy seeing them when we can arrange for it to be just the four of us to play bridge, watch a DVD, etc.

You need to be free to do your own thing. If a few agressive folks make you uncomfortable by pushing social interaction you're not interested in, tell them your feelings bluntly and go your own way.



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Re: hermit tendencies?
Old 01-25-2007, 12:55 PM   #47
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Re: hermit tendencies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CybrMike
Tough for me to understand the introvert way of life. Seems like a grumpy, lonely existence to me.
I sympathize because we've been thinking the same thing about you extroverts...

Quote:
Originally Posted by tangomonster
Any crowd/getting out in the public activities that you other introverts enjoy?
The surf lineup, the beach, or anywhere that I can watch the madding crowds go by and enjoy the show.

Our personality traits are not as definite as it seems. The guys who came up with the four-letter personality profiles have also written that people tend to develop their complementary skills as they grow older. In other words you may revert to type at any time, but as you mature (or at least age) you tend to apply the other four skills to some degree. So we can change, really we can.

In ER, when I'm not stressed out with work or commuting or with whatever else has to get done around the office, I can be much more extroverted. We're also much more able to control the interactions to off-peak times-- it's a lot easier to chat up a Wal-Mart clerk at 10:15 on a Thursday morning than at 4 PM Saturday. Spouse has noticed that over the last four years I can schmooze with just about anyone and have an entire conversation about nothing. This comes in very handy with the service organizations and local businesses.

I'm also known as the "Retired Caller Who'll Talk Until Hell Freezes Over" at many fine alleged customer-service call centers where their business' performance for my money doesn't match their claims.
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Re: hermit tendencies?
Old 01-25-2007, 01:16 PM   #48
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Re: hermit tendencies?

I think we all are different and each of us are at some point along the range of introversion and extroversion. (While I was typing, youbet said the same thing and I agree.)

It must feel bad to be given advice on socializing more or going out when one is introverted and find big and/or public and/or shallow social interactions draining.

From this thread, and from myself, I see that introversion does not mean one does not value relationships with others. Previous posters that are introverted mentioned they have few, close relationships and that's enough for them (and for me, too).

It seems to me that we all grow the most in the context of meaningful relationships with others. So I think that even if one were introverted, one or a few close relationships are important to nourish us and give meaning to our lives. I think total hermit tendencies without ties to any other being are what would cause problems.

It seems that introverts are more discriminating with whom they associate.

Regarding hermit couples and one's partner dying, I don't know how I'd survive that. I guess that I will go insane for a little while and I hope that the love of other people in my life will pull me through. I imagine it would be like losing an arm or a leg or part of one's heart when that happens, especially if the deceased partner was loved for a long time. I can see HaHa's point that it would be very hard to lose one's partner if one did not have other meaningful persons in life.

BF is also 10 years older than me. It's easy to assume he'd go before me but he gets more exercise and I have a weakness for butter and for pork products like as does cb's wife, who IIRC has a fondness for bacon. (BTW, cb, congrats on your retirement--I seem to remember you have retired already.)

Edited to use correct prepositional phrase
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Re: hermit tendencies?
Old 01-25-2007, 01:21 PM   #49
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Re: hermit tendencies?

Maybe this is a semantic problem.

Seems to me there are lots of introverts (i.e. shy folks) who nonetheless enjoy being around others. They are attentive, laugh and empathize but just don't say much.

Isn't that different from someone who really doesn't like being around people at all?
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Re: hermit tendencies?
Old 01-25-2007, 01:33 PM   #50
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Re: hermit tendencies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Isn't that different from someone who really doesn't like being around people at all?
No, not as long as we're controlling the interaction. It's like watching TV while you're holding the remote control.

For every hour I spend out in public I seem to need at least two hours on my own. When I'm up at 3 AM for a few hours of solitude, just me and my high-bandwidth connection, I can quickly lose track of time. When the rest of the family gets up it's hard to disengage without being grumpy about the interruption-- and they're the people I like!
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Re: hermit tendencies?
Old 01-25-2007, 01:46 PM   #51
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Re: hermit tendencies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Maybe this is a semantic problem.

Seems to me there are lots of introverts (i.e. shy folks) who nonetheless enjoy being around others. They are attentive, laugh and empathize but just don't say much.

Isn't that different from someone who really doesn't like being around people at all?
I agree Rich.

I have absolutely no data to back this up other than my own life experience, but it seems like most people are neither extreme extroverts nor extreme introverts. And it seems like the same person can have some introverted traits and some extroverted traits. People can be pretty complex, yet sometimes we try to stereotype and force people into boxes where they don't really fit.

My so-called extroverted friends (life of the party, gregarious types) think I'm introverted. My introverted friends (quiet, not fond of group gatherings) think I'm extroverted. I guess I'm just, well.....myself.

For me, having people that are different from one another as friends and acquaintances is an important factor making life interesting.

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Re: hermit tendencies?
Old 01-25-2007, 01:55 PM   #52
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Re: hermit tendencies?

Okay, as someone who tests slightly into the extrovert plane, I admit that I don't understand a lot of people who claim on internet discussion boards that they are misunderstood introverts. I would add that the opposite statement, "Introverts don't understand extroverts." is at least as true. Here are some of the things I find confusing:

1) introvert-extrovert is only one characteristic continuum in the highly questionable personality tests. Most people I know are not dominated by a single characteristic, but introverts often seem to imply that this is the sole motivation for their behavior. I wonder if this is a trait of only internet discussion board intoverts.

2) Some of the more "aggressive" internet discussion board introverts seem to spend a lot of time condemning extroverts for their percieved "need of approval" from other people. (I don't recall any threads on this board, but this subject has come up at the old NFB, TMF, and also raddr's board.) The I-types seem to believe the only reason someone engages in direct face-to-face social interaction is to achieve personal validation of some sort. This, they view, as a personality flaw or weakness of extroverts. Yet the same people seem to spend a lot of time posting messages on internet boards about their own introvertedness (is that even a real word?). They seem to be proud and defensive of this personality trait and have a need to be reassured by other introverts.

3) I understand the desire for solitude sometimes. I expend a great deal of time and energy to achieve real solitude in the desert for days or weeks from time to time. But I also find value in effective direct social interaction and communication. (Relax, I didn't say I was good at it.) I've met some serious introverts and hermits during my solo excursions. It seems to me that these serious introverts would not find any need or desire to post about their introvertedness on an internet board even if the opportunity were available. In fact, I can't imagine them even being interested in lurking. This makes me think that internet discussion board introverts are not really cut from the same cloth as true introvert hermits.

I personally don't believe the personality tests people take are based on good science. They may provide reasonable classifications for some people, but there is no reason to think they are accurate for many others. To the extent that they are accurate, I don't think that there is an optimum or superior location along the introvert-extrovert continuum. People are different. Long live the difference. It does seem to me that a person who feels their personality is dominated by a single characteristic might benefit if they could find a way to grow their other personality traits -- or they could become a real-life hermit. Maybe I'll meet them some day in the desert.
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Re: hermit tendencies?
Old 01-25-2007, 03:57 PM   #53
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Re: hermit tendencies?

There's a series of books for us "introverts" called "The Highly Sensitive Person," which lays out the charming characteristics that so many of you have already described. We introverts are attractive, creative, productive people. Too bad we are living in a society that values extroversion in all aspects of work and social life.

As I have grown older and understand my personality better, I have found it easier to be comfortable in groups and be more social, and actually enjoy it. For a long time, I felt there was something really wrong with me because I had to "recover" from interactions with people. I never understood why extroverts tend to put introverts into the "neurotic box." Why are they so threatened by someone who is not like them?
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Re: hermit tendencies?
Old 01-25-2007, 03:59 PM   #54
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Re: hermit tendencies?

Quote:
Is anybody else a (near) hermit?
simple question, simple answer: i am. so too is my spouse.
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Re: hermit tendencies?
Old 01-25-2007, 03:59 PM   #55
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Re: hermit tendencies?

I'm an introvert though most people who know me would laugh at that .I need a lot of alone time and I don't understand those couples who always have to have another couple to go out with or travel with .That to me is hell.
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Old 01-25-2007, 04:23 PM   #56
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Re: hermit tendencies?

I am an introvert and so is my DH, but have many friends, never feel alone. It is interesting to be around people who just like to hear themselves talk! My DH and I love going to the movies, reading, walking, hiking, do volunteer work together and separately. I play cards with friends and also have a close knit group of couples that celebrate birthdays together over the last 25 years. After working all day, I need to be away from anyone who loves to hear themselves talk. I believe introverts develop deep, lasting friendships. Everyone is different in their own unique way, and we should respect and value these differences to just get along in life.
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Re: hermit tendencies?
Old 01-25-2007, 04:34 PM   #57
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Re: hermit tendencies?

I know some people are extroverts and I have no problem with that; at times I envy them.

The stressful part comes from not being able to 'read' people and know how to respond to them: all those little social cues that I assume others are 'reading'.

Interaction on the internet is much less stressful than talking:

I can read and edit and censor before posting instead of trying to edit in real time while talking.

Online I can stop responding at any time; but while speaking I have no way of discerning the correct stopping time (my EX would criticize me in social situations for talking too much, and other times for not talking enough).

Work wasn't too bad when I was a programmer, but they went and made me a manager. I not only had to interact with more people, I had to interact in different ways depending on their relative status (contractor, supervisor, other managers, customers...).

If you're an extrovert, most of the above might make no sense to you.

If you're an introvert, you may be cringing.
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Re: hermit tendencies?
Old 01-25-2007, 06:06 PM   #58
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Re: hermit tendencies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginger
It is interesting to be around people who just like to hear themselves talk! After working all day, I need to be away from anyone who loves to hear themselves talk.
Bravo. And most of them are on the same committees I am, which meet at 5pm .

My favorite conversationalists are not incessant talkers. They can sit, listen actively and spin a great yarn. They ask questions and they even talk up a storm when they sense you are receptive and engaged. But talking just to talk (or dare I say posting just to post) can get pretty boring for everyone except the talker.
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Old 01-25-2007, 06:07 PM   #59
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Re: hermit tendencies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ginger
It is interesting to be around people who just like to hear themselves talk!
OMG. This is my nightmare to be in a social situation with someone who just loves to hear themselves talk! When I was married I often had to listen to these blow hards that my EX brought home. Usually they have no interest at all in hearing what another person might say. I can't imagine a more definitive bore than one of these people.
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Re: hermit tendencies?
Old 01-25-2007, 06:12 PM   #60
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Re: hermit tendencies?

Quote:
It is interesting to be around people who just like to hear themselves talk!
DW has coined a term for this trait as CAS (captive audience syndrome).
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