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Playing against type
Old 08-13-2014, 04:02 PM   #1
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Playing against type

On my bike ride today the mind was wandering and it occurred to me that I have always used my occupation as something to "play off of" as far as my "self-identity" is concerned. At various times I have enjoyed being: the oil industry guy who bikes to work, the physics teacher who plays the harpsichord, the bureaucrat who bikes to work, the physics teacher who is a single digit handicap golfer, etc.

In other words, I've always been able to use my job situation to move conversations to topics I am really interested in - my hobbies.

Does this ring a bell with anyone? How did it change when you retired?
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Old 08-13-2014, 05:29 PM   #2
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Well, I'm kind of an INTJ type who doesn't seek out others, throw parties, or whatever. When I retired, I found myself no longer forced to interact with so many people every day, as was required in the workplace. Delightful! I interact with Frank, and with a few regulars at the gym, but really I am not the social butterfly. Because of that, there is no longer a need for me to define myself to other people at all, or to steer conversations towards my hobbies.

Instead, I spend more time at home DOING my hobbies and less time talking about them to other people when I'd really rather not.

I occasionally mention my former occupation, but only when asked. I try not to talk about it otherwise.
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Old 08-13-2014, 06:24 PM   #3
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Hardly anyone I meet has any interest in what I did for a living (and still do, a few hours a week, for now). They want to know if I have kids, to see if they're the same age as their kids. Also, what I do for fun, so they can see if it's the same stuff they do for fun. Then they talk about their kids. Or grandkids. Or vacations. Or real estate values. And then we're done.

Also, I get far more conversational openings from men for some reason, and men are not at all interested in embroidery (pity; I can discuss stitchery all day long).

Amethyst
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Playing against type
Old 08-13-2014, 06:34 PM   #4
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Playing against type

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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
Well, I'm kind of an INTJ type who doesn't seek out others, throw parties, or whatever. When I retired, I found myself no longer forced to interact with so many people every day, as was required in the workplace. Delightful!
[...]
Instead, I spend more time at home DOING my hobbies and less time talking about them to other people when I'd really rather not.

Ditto.

In the early stage of retirement, I spent a fair amount of time interacting with others in relation with my hobbies. But, no matter what I am interested in, a few KIAs always end up monopolizing the discussion. I don't want to spend my precious time arguing with these people. So now I just do my thing and let others debate how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.
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Old 08-13-2014, 07:34 PM   #5
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Ditto.

In the early stage of retirement, I spent a fair amount of time interacting with others in relation with my hobbies. But, no matter what I am interested in, a few KIAs always end up monopolizing the discussion. I don't want to spend my precious time arguing with these people. So now I just do my thing and let others debate how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.
"KIAs" or PIAs or both? I know what you mean. Several times I made an honest effort to attend/join a couple of astronomy clubs. There were always a few people who knew everything about everything and wouldn't shut up about it. So I just take my scope out on the back patio and look at the stars. They don't talk back and that's the way I like it.
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Old 08-13-2014, 07:36 PM   #6
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Ditto.

In the early stage of retirement, I spent a fair amount of time interacting with others in relation with my hobbies. But, no matter what I am interested in, a few KIAs always end up monopolizing the discussion. I don't want to spend my precious time arguing with these people. So now I just do my thing and let others debate how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.
I had to look up KIA. Know It All. And yes, that has been my experience as well ... except that more often than not, they know it all wrong!
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Old 08-13-2014, 08:25 PM   #7
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I had to look up KIA. Know It All.
And here I was thinking Killed In Action...
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Old 08-13-2014, 08:29 PM   #8
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I have no problem becoming known as "the guy that retired at 42".
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Old 08-13-2014, 08:36 PM   #9
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I have no problem becoming known as "the guy that retired at 42".
Not quite young enough to pull that off but I have enjoyed the "you're too young to retire" comments.
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Old 08-13-2014, 08:49 PM   #10
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I found that it took me a few years to stop being the "retired executive" and to just be "me". I kept viewing myself in a certain professional context...hard to break after so many years.

Eventually, I just became "me"...no groundbreaking day or point, it just slowly happened and one day I looked up and found myself there without any add-ons!

It's about the same time that I stopped "being on vacation" and it became "this is how I live"
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Old 08-16-2014, 08:53 PM   #11
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W2R

I can relate. Although not shy (I do like socializing here and there), I'm somewhat introverted and am thrilled that having retired this past May, I don't have to interact with so many people daily. My issue is that DH is the opposite. He is very social and starts climbing the walls if he doesn't have that interaction with others. I don't think he understands that because I've become comfortable in my own skin, l can spend hours on end reading, researching and learning new things, working on our budget or financials, watching a movie. etc. Sometimes I feel selfish that I don't need a lot of socializing, parties, etc. I am seldom bored and actually somehow need more time daily to do my thing!

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Old 08-16-2014, 09:15 PM   #12
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W2R

I can relate. Although not shy (I do like socializing here and there), I'm somewhat introverted and am thrilled that having retired this past May, I don't have to interact with so many people daily. My issue is that DH is the opposite. He is very social and starts climbing the walls if he doesn't have that interaction with others. I don't think he understands that because I've become comfortable in my own skin, l can spend hours on end reading, researching and learning new things, working on our budget or financials, watching a movie. etc. Sometimes I feel selfish that I don't need a lot of socializing, parties, etc. I am seldom bored and actually somehow need more time daily to do my thing!

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Don't feel selfish! Retirement requires some adjustment and brings its own challenges that require some give and take. I am sure that in time, you and your DH will work out a retirement lifestyle with enough socializing for him, but not too much for you.
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Old 08-17-2014, 10:42 AM   #13
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Old 08-17-2014, 12:42 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
Well, I'm kind of an INTJ type who doesn't seek out others, throw parties, or whatever. When I retired, I found myself no longer forced to interact with so many people every day, as was required in the workplace. Delightful! I interact with Frank, and with a few regulars at the gym, but really I am not the social butterfly. Because of that, there is no longer a need for me to define myself to other people at all, or to steer conversations towards my hobbies.

Instead, I spend more time at home DOING my hobbies and less time talking about them to other people when I'd really rather not.

I occasionally mention my former occupation, but only when asked. I try not to talk about it otherwise.
Today I Learned that W2R and I were separated at birth. Getting out of the house a few times / week for volunteer activities = my Recommended Daily Adult Socialization Requirement
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Old 08-18-2014, 01:08 AM   #15
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While I am content to not meet too many new people, I really appreciate it when no one asks me anything about my profession. In some countries, particularly in Europe, I am told it is considered to be rude and overly inquisitive to ask someone about their job as part of simple conversation.
I know I would prefer not being known by what I did but rather who I am...

My parents still insist on introducing me as their son, the doctor! I always just ask people to please just call me by my first name (which my parents very well know is NOT Doctor)...my father still seems to think the title has some special sway, like when making restaurant reservations it should be mentioned as if it will get you a better table or something?

I know they are "proud," but it strikes me as odd and embarrassing --and sort of sad that they feel the need for that sort of encouragement.


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Playing against type
Old 08-18-2014, 08:08 AM   #16
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Playing against type

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Hardly anyone I meet has any interest in what I did for a living (and still do, a few hours a week, for now). They want to know if I have kids, to see if they're the same age as their kids. Also, what I do for fun, so they can see if it's the same stuff they do for fun. Then they talk about their kids. Or grandkids. Or vacations. Or real estate values. And then we're done.

Also, I get far more conversational openings from men for some reason, and men are not at all interested in embroidery (pity; I can discuss stitchery all day long).

Amethyst

This reminds me of a story from my younger days, it relevant here since that particular evening I definitely played against my "type". A friend invited me to a "Toga" party. This would have been the mid-80s. It was hosted by a female coworker of his and her roommates.

Of course we arrived in Togas, and no one else did. The hostess was rude to me for the entire evening. I shrugged it off and tried to have fun. After a while the normal pattern arrived and the Men were on one side of the apartment and the women on the other. The hostess came over and scolded us for talking about "man stuff" and chasing the women away. I told her we would happily discuss any topic she would like to choose. She looked at me, got an evil look and said " makeup"! I said, " Ok"..... You are wearing too much.

Yeah. I was single for a long time
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Old 08-18-2014, 09:23 AM   #17
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In my youth a few times used my occupation as steering. I was very soon cured of that habit. An early lesson was a sign I saw somwhere: "Don't talk about yourself, it will be taken care of after you leave"

Later in life I avoided the topic, though those who knew, would bring it up. It was fun to watch reactions.
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Old 08-18-2014, 12:20 PM   #18
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A Toga party where the hostess is mad at the only people who observe proper Toga attire...heck, a party where the hostess even allows people to see she's mad? Totally uncool...unless murder and mayhem are going on, hosts/hostesses are supposed to fume in silence until the guests leave and can be properly discussed in absentia. Also, men on one side, women on the other at a party where everyone is older than 14 is just plain sad.

Maybe you were only acting against type because the darn "party" wasn't worthy of the name!

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Originally Posted by Socal Tom View Post
This reminds me of a story from my younger days, it relevant here since that particular evening I definitely played against my "type". A friend invited me to a "Toga" party. This would have been the mid-80s. It was hosted by a female coworker of his and her roommates.

Of course we arrived in Togas, and no one else did. The hostess was rude to me for the entire evening. I shrugged it off and tried to have fun. After a while the normal pattern arrived and the Men were on one side of the apartment and the women on the other. The hostess came over and scolded us for talking about "man stuff" and chasing the women away. I told her we would happily discuss any topic she would like to choose. She looked at me, got an evil look and said " makeup"! I said, " Ok"..... You are wearing too much.

Yeah. I was single for a long time
Tom
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Old 08-18-2014, 12:29 PM   #19
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