Loner to a fault ?

  • GettingFitter

    Posts: 158

    Jun 06, 2009 3:39 PM GMT
    It seems that I enjoy my own company so much that I find it hard to relate to people sometimes in social settings and it kind of becomes a hinderance and I know it cannot be good if you want to get in a romantic relationship with a bloke, let alone strike up a mate ship at all, if you become tongue tied and not know how to be around people.

    I guess it comes from me being a loner all my life basically and I actually enjoyed doing and being on my own but lately it has begun to bother me and I know down the line if I want to be in a relationship I have to be more open and let more people in and be, well, more sociable. I was just wondering if there are other ' loners ' out there who have trouble being around large groups of people or being a one on one conversation and how they helped themselves get over it ?
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    Jun 06, 2009 3:53 PM GMT
    It's just your temperament. You're introverted. It's the way you're born. It's normal for about 25% of people. Once you understand this about yourself, you will have an easier time coping in this world and managing your energy.

    Check out:

    introvert_advantage.jpg

    "Do you "zone out" if too much is going on? Are you energized by spending time alone? In meetings, do you need to be asked for your opinions and ideas? Do you tend to notice details that other people miss? Is your ideal celebration a small get-together, rather than a big party? Do you often feel like a tortoise surrounded by hares?

    The good news is, you're an introvert. The better new is that by celebrating the inner strengths and uniqueness of being an "innie," The Introvert Advantage shows introverts, and the extroverts who love them, how to work with instead of against their temperament to enjoy a well-lived life. Covering relationships, parenting -- including parenting the introverted child -- socializing, and the workplace, here are coping strategies, tactics for managing energy, and hundreds of valuable tips for not only surviving but truly thriving in an extrovert world. "

    And here is RJ's starter exercise program: http://www.realjock.com/workout/1057/
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    Jun 06, 2009 3:55 PM GMT
    One summer I sold books door-to-door. I had several one on one conversations every day. After that summer, I had a much easier time talking to people.

    So my answer is just do it. It's kinda like sex: the more you practice, the better you perform.
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    Jun 06, 2009 9:52 PM GMT
    I have been content with my own company since Birth. I was a very content wee one. Happy to be on my own. This is something innate to me, to this very day. many things I go and do on my own still, and I now have two long term husbands, one of 20 years, and the other 10 years. I still get to have "ME TIME!"

    But the thing that really helped me step out, was my work for the public, also it's become easier with age.
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    Jun 06, 2009 11:29 PM GMT
    In addition to being just shy or having an introverted personality there are two other problems which cause lack of social interaction.
    One of these is Social Anxiety Disorder.
    Symptoms are as follows:
    Intense worry for days, weeks, or even months before an upcoming social situation.
    Extreme fear of being watched or judged by others, especially people you don’t know.
    Excessive self-consciousness and anxiety in everyday social situations.
    Fear that you’ll act in ways that that will embarrass or humiliate yourself.
    Fear that others will notice that you’re nervous.
    Avoidance of social situations to a degree that limits your activities or disrupts your life.
    http://www.helpguide.org/mental/social_anxiety_support_symptom_causes_treatment.htm


    Avoidant Personality Disorder (APD)...Has very similar symptoms
    http://www.social-anxiety-shyness-info.com/art/sad/a-11-avoidant-personality.htm
    http://psychcentral.com/disorders/sx8.htm

    Read about these two problems. If you think this might be your problem, the articles mentions how to get help

    People that are shy, introverted, or suffer from social anxiety or APD want to socialize. Individuals with schizoid personality disorder do not want to socialize.
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    Jun 07, 2009 12:57 AM GMT
    I think its good ur a loner bro, sometimes its a positive, depending on ur current situation at hand. There are a lot of folk out here now-a-days who are just plain crazy for no reasonicon_eek.gif this alone will lead u into being a loner, most times its a safe heaven, given da background or circumstances of ur life, only u will know why u have resorted to this choice, but HEY, if it works for u, by all means keep doing it, until u feel comfortable meeting da right people. U have to go through a lot in order to get the right circle of friendsicon_lol.gif
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    Jun 07, 2009 4:04 AM GMT
    It is better to enjoy your own company than to despise it, since you really can't get away.
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    Jun 07, 2009 4:54 AM GMT
    When I was younger I was painfully shy and had quite a bit of anxiety in social situations, and while in some ways I still have some social anxieties I have become much more comfortable conversing with all sorts of people.

    I sort of pushed (not forced) myself out of my comfort zone by going to gatherings and parties, etc that I initially wanted to avoid. Maybe just staying a little while, and starting at least one conversation with one person I didn't know.

    Also my job has (thankfully) required me to do a lot of public speaking, even off-the-cuff-no-notes-or-podium-to-hide-behind public speaking, which at first was terrifying but I am actually beginning to enjoy it. Also, I became a yoga instructor, which not only makes me talk to groups without notes but I have authority, which has boosted my confidence.

    So even though people would still describe me as reserved, a friend even said that I have become outgoing and friendly, something nobody would have said of me even 5 years ago.

    It took a while, and I'm still working on it, but I think it is possible if you are willing to allow yourself to be vulnerable, and remember that you are in control of how you feel. Deep breathing also does wonders for calming the nerves!

    Don't get me wrong, alone time is great too-don't ever feel like you should have to apologize for wanting to be with yourself.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jun 07, 2009 3:30 PM GMT
    There's nothing wrong with enjoying your own company
    but if it's to the exclusion of all else

    and you find yourself being afraid of social settings that's not good

    Getting comfortable in social situations is just a function of exposure
    The more you put yourself into them the less likely you'll feel uncomfortable

    What I would suggest is go to where there are people .... beaches
    malls .... restaurants
    get used to them being around you
    Take a class where you will need to interact with people
    A Dance class ... cooking class
    Toastmasters would be a great thing that you can do too

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    Jun 07, 2009 4:04 PM GMT
    I have a different issue. I'm an extrovert who behaves like an introvert. The reason? I have a paranoia that people are talking about me, pointing at me, laughing behind my back. Comes from being mistreated by others as an overweight child.
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    Jun 07, 2009 4:11 PM GMT
    GettingFitter saidI was just wondering if there are other ' loners ' out there who have trouble being around large groups of people or being a one on one conversation and how they helped themselves get over it ?

    First, I like some of the "outside the box" suggestions above, starting with Caslon's book citation, that don't assume being introverted is necessarily a weakness and a bad thing. You should evaluate that approach for yourself.

    But if becoming more extroverted is still what you want, then here's what's worked for me, since I am by nature a very shy loner who chose to reverse it.

    First, I deliberately decided to do something about it, to challenge myself to do what I didn't naturally want to do. Being that I love challenges and hate to fail, that was a good method for me, to compel and "order" myself to go around a room of strangers and shake everyone's hand and introduce myself.

    I also had the benefit of US Army service, which didn't give me the option of being a loner. Living socially was forced upon me, until it became a habit. I'm not sure what the equivalent circumstance in the civilian world would be for you, perhaps joining social clubs, taking group holidays, playing with sports teams, etc.

    I'm observed that men reach out to each other and bond best when engaged in a shared experience, especially a physical one. I honestly believe it's engrained by human evolution, the "hunting" response. Try some shared group activities, preferably with men alone, and you may find your introversion disappears all by itself during those periods. With time it may fade permanently.

    Latch onto a sociable friend to escort you, to "chaperone" you if you will. I've done that myself, really still do it with my current partner. He breaks the ice at a party, and I merely follow in his wake (bit of a mixed metaphor there).

    I realize the dilemma that represents, something of a "Catch 22": how do you make such helpful friends if you can't make friends easily to begin with? But you just need one at first, who doesn't have to be a boyfriend, just someone who'll take you along to functions and squire you around. It's like training wheels for a child's bicycle, and in time they'll come off and you'll be on your own.

    A good topic that may help others here, too.
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    Jun 08, 2009 3:30 AM GMT
    Good advice thus far. Just remember to not push a personality you are not because people probably won't respond well to that.
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    Jun 08, 2009 3:45 AM GMT
    GettingFitter saidIt seems that I enjoy my own company so much that I find it hard to relate to people sometimes in social settings and it kind of becomes a hinderance and I know it cannot be good if you want to get in a romantic relationship with a bloke, let alone strike up a mate ship at all, if you become tongue tied and not know how to be around people.

    I guess it comes from me being a loner all my life basically and I actually enjoyed doing and being on my own but lately it has begun to bother me and I know down the line if I want to be in a relationship I have to be more open and let more people in and be, well, more sociable. I was just wondering if there are other ' loners ' out there who have trouble being around large groups of people or being a one on one conversation and how they helped themselves get over it ?


    Wow, it is like I wrote this post except for the part about wanting to do something about it.
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    Jun 08, 2009 3:58 AM GMT
    you are not alone...I still haven't found my place in this cruel world
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    Jun 08, 2009 7:53 AM GMT
    I'm a loner. I can't stand to be around people unless I have to.
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    Jun 08, 2009 8:02 AM GMT
    Well, I'm definitely a loner, but I also thrive in one-on-one and group settings--I just don't participate in them as much as others do. A good question to ask yourself is: "Is a relationship what I personally want or am I driven to be in one due to social and/or peer pressures?" Just a thought.

    The best 'cure' if you're looking for one, however momentary, is to be as open and honest as possible with those you involve yourself with. If they have a genuine interest in you than your perceived 'shortcomings' will be rather meaningless in the grand scheme of things. Mostly it's about pairing with someone that understands you and where you're coming from so that you are in supportive and not anxiety-provoking company. Group settings are often a different story, particularly if you arrive singularly, but many have social phobias and/or discomforts (though some do not) and you just being yourself is all that others can ask of you. If they ask for more, well, they may not be the best people with whom to associate, you know? That's not always the case--we really can't always be in our own world--but if you're making an effort you are doing more than most. icon_smile.gif

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    Jun 08, 2009 8:10 AM GMT
    I like being alone most of the time. I'm a pretty mellow guy who normally prefers the company of a few good friends now and then. Large groups make me nervous and I normally hate parties because I don't connect well in group settings.

    Oddly though, I'm 100% the other direction when I'm working. I've always worked with public so I'm the most friendly outgoing guy you will ever run into while I'm on the clock. It isn't forced or fake, so I think I might actually have some kind of multiple personality issues. As soon as I step out the door at the end of the day I'm back to my introverted self once more.

    Large crowds, especially in shopping centers, bring out my more misanthropic feelings. I went out to Woodfield with a couple friends today. I enjoyed shopping and hanging out with them, but as soon as we left a store to navigate the unwashed masses and their filthy spawn to get to the next store, all I wanted was to run the slack jawed bovine suburbanites all down with a combine or some equally unpleasant piece of farm equipment.
  • cbrett

    Posts: 609

    Jun 08, 2009 10:40 AM GMT
    So true guerrilla i deal with hundreds off people each day when I'm at work and its so easy but socially I'm quiet (unless i have had a drink or too)
  • ursa_minor

    Posts: 566

    Jun 08, 2009 10:45 AM GMT
    I know I am an introvert; I feel awkward in gatherings where I can´t talk with anyone. My insecurities of being gay, fat and ugly scream at me whenever I find myself unable to strike up a conversation. Somehow in college, I had that thirst for attention that I had to quench. I have learned to speak up a little, easing my social problems a bit. It was fortunate I guess that I was free to express myself in a very welcoming atmosphere that time. I joined every group that I was interested in martial arts, singing, etc. it helped to put myself out there.

    I find no fault in being an introvert. Eventually I accepted that I am different, just like everybody else.

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    Jun 08, 2009 12:13 PM GMT
    I agree with Caslon. Dont try to ignore that you are an introvert. Realize that this is where you get your energy and take steps to handle it when you are not in the place where you get your energy.

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    Jun 08, 2009 5:30 PM GMT
    I used to be a loner then I forced myself to be around people. Now I can't be without it.
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    Jun 15, 2009 4:04 AM GMT
    Some people consider my aloofness a fault, I don't.

    I'm a loner, always have been and always will. I like having the option to make my own choices on my schedule and rarely get lonely.

    If I do, then I will make an effort to socialise. I am always the life of the party, but only like socailzing in small doses, it exhausts me.

    Just a part of my enigmatic self.icon_biggrin.gif
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    Jun 16, 2009 8:33 PM GMT
    Fuck people. icon_evil.gif
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    Jun 16, 2009 8:47 PM GMT
    ScottPensacola saidFuck people. icon_evil.gif


    One of my favorite Cartoons:
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    Jun 17, 2009 12:16 PM GMT
    Here is a Psychology Today article on the matter.

    Which kind of loner are you?

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200703/field-guide-the-loner-the-real-insiders