Becoming more antisocial

Chew Toy McCoy

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Not in a dangerous concerning way. I'm an only child and am well versed in entertaining myself. I consider myself an introvert with extrovert tendencies, I enjoy social situations but also need down alone time because I can find them exhausting. I find a successful day with a group of people a personal accomplishment and if I spend a weekend without dealing with another human being beyond errands I'm pretty cool with that. Lastly, I live in the Bay Area where many of my family and long term friends have left because of the cost of living. I've had to socially start over from scratch multiple times into my 40's. I'm currently 47. It can be done!

But with the covid-19 and the political situation I find myself less interested with starting new social connections (beyond the internet). Historically people my age aren't usually striking out anew socially, but with what is going on now it's even less compelling. The internet helps buffer this in many ways and possibly has become the new norm, but I still find it somewhat concerning. The less we interact with people in person the more likely we are to stay in our ideology bubble and dehumanize "others".

I'm aware of this problem (I posted it on the internet! Without a degree! Or study!) but I fear others don't which is going to make things worse. I see a lot of "People are at their loneliest EVER!" study articles. We're pretty much at the polar opposite now, but my hope is there will be a growing interest in socialization based on empathy over insecurities and understanding differences instead of demonizing them.

If not, I hope we at least get some more Jackass movies. 😝
 

Alli

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Interesting. I just suggested to one of my professors that it’s time to do some new studies on what constitutes socialization today, and how much is necessary to satisfy human need for socialization.

Both my kids live alone. They haven’t left their apartments other than for morning run and dog walking in 6 months. They are not starving for socialization. Both seem relieved that they don’t have to live up to anyone else’s idea of what they should be doing.
 

Scepticalscribe

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My brother - whom I refer to as Decent Brother on MR, and to whom I am close - turned up yesterday to stay for a few days.

We both live alone, and - as is also the case with my Other Brother - all three of us would class ourselves as introverts, though we have had elements of our lives where extroversion played a considerable role.

I hadn't seen him in eight months, on account of Covid, although we phone and text and email several times a week; he works as a senior lawyer, specialising in conveyancing, with the local authority in the flagship local authority council, although these days, he works mostly from home, venturing into the city centre office once a week to consult legal material and files and records that cannot be taken out of the office.

He has lots of leave to take, and, when my mother was alive, used his leave to give me a break from caring responsibilities, or keep an eye on her if I was away.

Since her death 20 months ago, he has been able to travel abroad, take foreign holidays, while on leave for the first time in his life; but, not this year, on account of Covid.

Anyway, yesterday evening, at dinner, my first dinner with a human companion (apart from my mother's carer who stayed with me for a few days between positions), for eight months, it was as though a veritable torrent of conversation had been unleashed, and we were discussing this very topic.

We both agreed that we are running the risk of almost forgetting how to converse, that our conversational skills, such as how to carry, conduct and maintain a conversation, especially a lengthy conversation, are becoming very rusty in the skills of everyday communication and conversation, and we both thought that, at times, in speech, unlike the written word (which we are more than proficient in), we are beginning lose language, as whole days, sometimes whole weeks, or half weeks, go by without exchanging a word with another human being in a face-to-face conversational setting.
 
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Gutwrench

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Since my divorce in early 2014 I’ve lived on my own without interest to date or a desire to have a romantic relationship.

Despite hating everyone and everyone hating me back I do have friends who occasionally text and on rarer instances call. I rarely ever go out to socialize or have guests.

This is a perfect life for me. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

As for what is best for others I couldn’t say. Youngsters are resilient and seem to find their way. As for the middle aged and older I am of the thought they have enough life experience to forge forward.

It’s human nature to resist change but humans are incredibly adaptive when necessary.
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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Was listening to a podcast and the movie Taxi Driver came up. As a passing comment one of them said we’re now living in a world full of Travis Bickles which I profoundly and horrifyingly true. Between the political divisiveness, economic hardships, health crisis, and BLM that is devolved into little more than mini regional civil wars between the far left and the far right, we now have countless mentally unwell citizens looking to become violent anti-heroes.
 

Scepticalscribe

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Was listening to a podcast and the movie Taxi Driver came up. As a passing comment one of them said we’re now living in a world full of Travis Bickles which I profoundly and horrifyingly true. Between the political divisiveness, economic hardships, health crisis, and BLM that is devolved into little more than mini regional civil wars between the far left and the far right, we now have countless mentally unwell citizens looking to become violent anti-heroes.

While this is true, perhaps, the form this takes (and the numbers of people involved) may serve to make this particular version of it an American phenomenon.

However, as a student, I did know some well-dressed, well-spoken young men, for whom the alienated anti-hero - Meursault - in The Stranger (L'Étranger) by Albert Camus was something of a role model.
 

lizkat

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I've not had any face to face conversations with anyone since sometime back in early spring, when the FedEx courier came around from the west side of my house just as I was coming back around the east side from a walk out to the mailbox. We both laughed and made gestures about not getting any closer, I opened the deck door and walked back aways, he set the package there and walked back out and we waved and that was that!

But I'm on the phone pretty often in conversations w/ friends from the city or around here so that helps. It's better than never having a conversation more complicated than speaking an account number to a vendor or punching in numbers to the same effect to pay some bill online. Then I would really worry about "losing language."

I do find it weird, at least for such a long time now, not to share a meal with others and then spend some of the evening just talking after dinner. Still make a point of preparing proper meals most of the time, since I love to cook, but I do find myself taking shortcuts with paper plates now and then when I'm serving up stuff like tacos or pitas. I'd not usually do that unless we were out on a picnic.

Two of my friends and I have admitted that we talk to ourselves out loud while we're alone in our studios cutting fabric or sewing. Not sure what they say but I'm usually commenting on a near-mistake or an actual one, so some of what I say would burn the ears off a dog if I had one. I don't count this as conversation.
 

Renzatic

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I've always considered myself something of an ambivert. I like being around people, even like being the center of attention on occasion, but it's not something I desperately crave. If I'm left to my own devices, it doesn't bother me in the least. So long as I have something to do or work on, I can keep myself entertained for days on end.

Though I have come to recently realize that there is a limit to the amount of isolation I can bear. During the quarantine, I didn't see a single soul for nearly a month, and I was starting to get kinda weird by the end of it.
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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While this is true, perhaps, the form this takes (and the numbers of people involved) may serve to make this particular version of it an American phenomenon.

However, as a student, I did know some well-dressed, well-spoken young men, for whom the alienated anti-hero - Meursault - in The Stranger (L'Étranger) by Albert Camus was something of a role model.

You will always out-scholar me. I think South Park is the height of topical wit. Still. They’re still making new episodes just for me and 9 other people total who tune-in religiously.

I think we’ve reached the point that when people feel suicidal they figure they might as well take others with them or make a name for themselves in the process. It’s almost as if we should see people who commit suicide without causing a scene or harm to others as brave heroes.
 

ericgtr12

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You will always out-scholar me. I think South Park is the height of topical wit. Still. They’re still making new episodes just for me and 9 other people total who tune-in religiously.

I think we’ve reached the point that when people feel suicidal they figure they might as well take others with them or make a name for themselves in the process. It’s almost as if we should see people who commit suicide without causing a scene or harm to others as brave heroes.
I'm one of those viewers, lowbrow humor has always appealed to me that's why shows like South Park or movies like Deuce Bigalow or that Larry the cable guy movie where he pretty much made fart jokes for 2 hours will alway make me laugh. The most intellectual I've ever gotten when it comes to humor was the Daily Show back when Jon Stewart was at the helm.
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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I'm one of those viewers, lowbrow humor has always appealed to me that's why shows like South Park or movies like Deuce Bigalow or that Larry the cable guy movie where he pretty much made fart jokes for 2 hours will alway make me laugh. The most intellectual I've ever gotten when it comes to humor was the Daily Show back when Jon Stewart was at the helm.

I think people who grew out of South Parks years ago and haven’t gone back since in someway missed its point, or maybe what it became. They are still firing on all cylinders making fun of everybody and every political viewpoint. In fact, the last couple seasons I think conservatives would really appreciate its jabs at the left with the PC principal and PC babies storyline and Tegrity Farms.
 

ericgtr12

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I think people who grew out of South Parks years ago and haven’t gone back since in someway missed its point, or maybe what it became. They are still firing on all cylinders making fun of everybody and every political viewpoint. In fact, the last couple seasons I think conservatives would really appreciate its jabs at the left with the PC principal and PC babies storyline and Tegrity Farms.
I don't want to take you guys too far off course here but I have to say the PC principal is my least favorite character, mostly because he's just so obnoxious without ever being funny I think.
 

Chew Toy McCoy

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I don't want to take you guys too far off course here but I have to say the PC principal is my least favorite character, mostly because he's just so obnoxious without ever being funny I think.


;)
 

DT

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Not in a dangerous concerning way. I'm an only child and am well versed in entertaining myself. I consider myself an introvert with extrovert tendencies, I enjoy social situations but also need down alone time because I can find them exhausting.

Same. Only child, so is my only child :D Funny enough, our best friends also only have one child the wife's older (of her two younger brothers) only has one child (other brother is childless).

Love hanging with my immediate family (aka, my "real" family), daughter and wife. That's it, I'd do anything with them, and only rarely am I motivated to hang with other people.

Though weirdly, I am able to be, er, I'd guess I'd call it, be explosively extroverted[?] on demand. I've done a decent amount of public speaking, I can navigate a room of any demographic, from academics to people at a muscle car cruise in. I guess I have a very adaptable personality and communication style, it's allowed me to be reasonably successful in business - but I need huge amounts of "cooling off" time, and I run out of "extrovert energy".

I read an interesting article years ago about how the extro/introvert labels are really just sliders, everyone has both traits, it's more about how much they're expressed, how easily you tap into them on demand, etc.

We've got an acquaintance who constantly babbles about being an introvert, yet she's always the one who raised her hand at a girl scout meeting, she's the one who won't STFU on FB (and typically posts with a "I don't like to discuss this, but here it is, and I won't respond), article that article, she just doesn't like being challenged, confront her and she's an "introvert", but otherwise she never shuts up ... she just thinks introvert is some kind of hip label.
 

Scepticalscribe

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While I would usually (and accurately) class myself as an introvert, the events of this year have presented challenges even to my marked introvserion.

However, I have had my brother (to whom I am close) stay for for three days this week, a wonderful three days - we hadn't met for eight months on account of Covid related travel restrictions - days and nights where we wined and dined splendidly, and positively relished, savoured, delighted in four and five hour conversations each and every night, amply lubricated by good French wines.

And, today, I am in a fantastic mood, feeling really relaxed and cheerful and content and happy; for, - as if it was needed - it was a welcome reminder that a terrific - warm, witty, interesting - conversation with someone you love, who knows you well and who loves you in turn, is one of the most wonderful experiences open to our species.
 
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Alli

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And, today, I am in a fantastic mood, feeling really relaxed and cheerful and content and happy; for, - as if it was needed - it was a welcome reminder that a terrific - warm, witty, interesting - conversation with someone you love, who knows you well and who loves you in turn, is one of the most wonderful experiences open to our species.

I’m so glad you had such a nice visit with your brother. Hopefully it will keep your spirits up for quite some time.
 
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