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#451 of 806 Old 12-11-2009, 02:41 PM
 
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In response to an earlier post, I read Party of One, The Loner's Manifesto. The introduction was great, and two or three chapters were helpful. But I felt like most of the book had an "us versus them" tone that I really didn't care for. I'd like more understanding from extroverts, but the air of superiority in the book seemed devisive to me. Too much time was spent on topics like "popular culture". Okay, so Peter Parker (Spiderman) is an introvert - I guess I'm supposed to feel better knowing that....
So, I've gotten through this book.

Like you, I felt like pop culture was a bit overused and it did have an "us vs them" feel, but...

Well, the more I think of the book in LONER terms it resonates for me better.
I mean, you can be an introvert without being a loner and being a loner can REALLY feel like it's "us vs them"....even more so than just being an introvert.
And with re: pop culture. I guess I kind of see using all those references because that's what (totally IMO) loners identify with the best because, and she lays this out better in the book, pop culture is almost a life line to mainstream life for these types of people....it's their "pseudo social circle".
Also, I think she was attempting to point out that while society worships these people as screen heros they don't understand that they're created (sometimes...mostly) BY real life loners. Trying to portray loners as creaters, symbols, etc. YKWIM? Does that make sense?

I feel like if your just an introvert then you might get a little something out of this book, but if your a full blown loner then you might get even more out of it, feel some of your identity from it.

This book really was a manifesto. It definetly wasn't along the same lines of Introvert Advantage or aka "I'm an introvert; help me and others understand me"
Like I said, trifle information for the common introvert, but a Declaration of Independance for the loner!

On to reading The Happy Introvert.

Internal peace and to you all!!

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#452 of 806 Old 12-11-2009, 02:42 PM
 
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I saw a good T-shirt in a catalog today. It read:

You read my T-shirt.
That's enough social interaction for one day.



I may need this shirt after my b-day party and DH's office party.
ROFLMAO.

I saw a coffee cup that said soemthing like that
"You've read my mug. That's enough interaction for one day"

I really wanted to get it for work!!!!!


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#453 of 806 Old 12-15-2009, 04:13 PM
 
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That would make an excellent work mug! lol

I survived my party. Not many people came which was somewhat disappointing since one of those people was someone I'd really wanted to see. But then again, I didn't get completely overwhelmed by tons of people at once.

People just dropped in for a few minutes on their way to or from other events and then they left. This made most of their time "small talk" rather than real conversation which was disappointing and uncomfortable, but I did get to reconnect with a friend I hadn't seen for a year or two. That was cool. And two families came with their kids and stayed for long haul, but that was mostly it.

I had been looking forward to the gathering and was kind of surprised how anxious I felt. Probably should not have been surprised.

I think December in general just stresses me out. DH too. I'm just relieved I finally had the guts to tell my parents "no" when they offered to buy us plane tickets to go see them and the rest of my extended family for Christmas. I told them we'd visit another time and that it was just too much during the holidays.

Anyone else find this time of year particularly stressing?

I am a 40 year old unschooling, belly dancing, artist-mama of one almost 8 year old. I just had brain surgery and blogging.jpg about it a bit because it's just so surreal.
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#454 of 806 Old 12-15-2009, 08:20 PM
 
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Hi!
Just jumping in to say, 'yeah it's a stressful time of year'.
I'm so well organized this year and ready to go but I still feel under a tremendous amount of pressure and anxiety.
Can't wait til it's over.

and
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#455 of 806 Old 12-15-2009, 10:53 PM
 
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I just discovered this area of the forum, and I'm glad I found a tribe like this.

I was just talking with my 15 and 18 year old Sils, they were saying that on vacations they don't feel the need of going out or have contact with their friends. They said that they preferred to spend time with family and at home. All the talk reminded me of myself at that age, I hated to think that I had to get ready to go to a party or with "friends" and when I did I felt so exhausted that I need to spend some time alone. Usually it took me time to recover.

Now as an adult I try to avoid social situations and thankfully DH is the same way. Heck he's even known for that, DD is the same way. She likes to play by herself and when other kids come she enjoys watching them play. But she won't play with them, I used to be the same way.

During the holidays, I try to relax and see the positive sides of spending it with other people. My mom and I used to spend our holidays alone until she got married again. And it's not the bad, but the first Christmas that I spent with others besides her was a bit overwhelming.

This year on the 24th friends are coming over and on Christmas day MIL, SILS and my parents are coming and that's it. New Year is going to be quiet, my mom is going to Canada with my stepdad and MIL is going to Illinois. So we are going to be alone with the baby.

Oh and not to mention that this year lots of family members want to meet DS.

Bethsy, mamma to Leonor (4) and Owen JR (11/15/09), wife to Owen (10/12/03)
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#456 of 806 Old 12-16-2009, 03:19 AM
 
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Just checking in with a "Bah humbug."


I don't really dislike Christmas but dh's family is huge and the love each other and I have to spend WAY to much time with them at Christmas.


So "bah humbug."
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#457 of 806 Old 12-16-2009, 12:59 PM
 
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HappilyEvrAfter, your perspective on Party of One was helpful - I think your ideas on it were very perceptive. I was definitely looking at it from the "garden variety" introvert angle. So thanks for a different point of view.
I'm sort of dreading the extended family Christmas get-together this year. We have to drive a long way (9 hours) and it's just not as much fun as the kids have gotten older and the family has gotten larger. But's inescapable tradition. Thank goodness my kids and dog are good travelers.
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#458 of 806 Old 12-17-2009, 11:52 AM
 
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agreenbough, thank you for the comment.

I finished The Happy Introvert. This one is along the same content lines of The Introvert Advantage (TIA) and more for "mainstream" introverts.

The parts of this book I liked over TIA is that it gave more detailed information about the Myers Briggs test and broke down each of the types, gave a best and worst "chart" of introverts AND extroverts, and it also has a chapter about parenting introverted/extroverted children (various ages).
The cartoons were a little confusing and I mostly jumped over them, but your humor might catch them better than I did.
I really liked the "If you answered YES to the majority of these statments then your a _____" parts.
It's also got sections about creativity preferences and work place issues too.

I think the only downside I felt was that it was so broad on it's topics that it didn't seem to go in-depth in some places. BUT she does refer other resources and has other books she's written that might help with that.

If you're looking for more a introversion AND extroversion book then this one might suit you.

It would probably be a better book for the extroverts in your like to read over TIA just because they'd get something about themselves out of it while learning about you too.

I'd like to hear how others viewed the books too.

Not sure what I'll read next....I might pick up one of the books by this same author that she noted in the back (and wrote)....I really enjoyed getting detailed information about the MB personalities and she's written one.

Happy Holidays!!!!
I'm just going with my gut this year and avoiding the hoop-la side of Christmas...man, it feels good!!!

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#459 of 806 Old 12-20-2009, 11:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by HappilyEvrAfter View Post
Like I said, trifle information for the common introvert, but a Declaration of Independance for the loner!

On to reading The Happy Introvert.

Internal peace and to you all!!
Thanks for the book review on The Loner's Manifesto. I've never felt like a loner really. Alone? Yeah. Lonely? Yeah. But not a loner. I guess I'm more of your common, garden-variety introvert.

The Happy Introvert sounds interesting to me. I love reading about personality types and Meyers-Briggs stuff. I like to try to figure out puzzles and personality types seem like puzzles to me. I will see if the library has this one.

DD is calling for me.

I am a 40 year old unschooling, belly dancing, artist-mama of one almost 8 year old. I just had brain surgery and blogging.jpg about it a bit because it's just so surreal.
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#460 of 806 Old 01-01-2010, 08:00 AM
 
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Must jump in here. I'm very much an introvert and am once again at that stage where I realize I (we) have no friends. Not NONE, really, but let's just say we're not great at this whole relationship thing, DH and I. We used to have a group that we "did life with," but the group has changed and parted and we've not found those with whom we have the connection that we had back then. We do have one or two families we really enjoy (who live locally), but it's not as though we're anyone else's "best" friends, kwim?

Anyhow, so being an introvert can be a lonely road. Both DH and I have tested as INTP, though he claims to be an extrovert (he likes people, at least), and I sometimes come up as INTJ these days. I have added The Happy Introvert to my Amazon list.

The funny thing is, I really like being with people and being in groups and the excitement of parties, etc. But I'm terrible at conversing with people. I've gotten better over the years - even had a home business where I gave presentations regularly (and was SO very drained after!) - but it is hard to find a very fulfilling conversation, and I rarely feel at ease socially. I can't even write well right now, as it's super late after being social this evening. Apologies for all the disjointedness!

Always nice to commiserate with others who are wired similarly, and I'm glad to find a tribe that's at least semi-active.

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#461 of 806 Old 01-01-2010, 08:00 AM
 
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Must jump in here. I'm very much an introvert and am once again at that stage where I realize I (we) have no friends. Not NONE, really, but let's just say we're not great at this whole relationship thing, DH and I. We used to have a group that we "did life with," but the group has changed and parted and we've not found those with whom we have the connection that we had back then. We do have one or two families we really enjoy (who live locally), but it's not as though we're anyone else's "best" friends, kwim?

Anyhow, so being an introvert can be a lonely road. Both DH and I have tested as INTP, though he claims to be an extrovert (he likes people, at least), and I sometimes come up as INTJ these days. I have added The Happy Introvert to my Amazon list.

The funny thing is, I really like being with people and being in groups and the excitement of parties, etc. But I'm terrible at conversing with people. I've gotten better over the years - even had a home business where I gave presentations regularly (and was SO very drained after!) - but it is hard to find a very fulfilling conversation, and I rarely feel at ease socially. I can't even write well right now, as it's super late after being social this evening. Apologies for all the disjointedness!

Always nice to commiserate with others who are wired similarly, and I'm glad to find a tribe that's at least semi-active.

HeatherB ~ mama to 3 wonderful boys:  reading.gif 03/02; modifiedartist.gif09/04; sleepytime.gif 09/07 - and Eliana, babygirl.gif 11/13/10!  
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#462 of 806 Old 01-02-2010, 03:51 AM
 
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Hi, HeatherB!

I have joined a writing group so hopefully I won't write so much on here and then delete it because I write too much on here.

We had a nice quiet new year's. DD did some sparklers and we hung out at home after a trip to the aquarium. We took DD's friend - I think it was the first time he'd ever been away on a little excursion without his mom. He did fine. I think they both had fun.

I'm very glad the holidays are over though. I've had enough fa la la.

I was supposed to go see a movie with a new-ish friend, but she had a setback and got depressed and canceled on me. (Unfortunately, I understand very well about depression.) However, I was pretty bummed because I really wanted to go out that night. Now I saw on FB that she went to the movie alone. I understand that. I enjoy movies on my own. But I wished she'd told me she would do that. I felt annoyed that she went and saw it without me after we'd planned to see it together. Oh, well. I'll get over it soon. Maybe I'll even go see the movie on my own. DH wants me to do more fun stuff. But even though I am an introvert, I do still like doing things with people - especially one on one.

OK. Too much here so I'll sign off.

Happy new year, everyone!

I am a 40 year old unschooling, belly dancing, artist-mama of one almost 8 year old. I just had brain surgery and blogging.jpg about it a bit because it's just so surreal.
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#463 of 806 Old 01-03-2010, 12:49 AM
 
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I finished The Happy Introvert. This one is along the same content lines of The Introvert Advantage (TIA) and more for "mainstream" introverts. The parts of this book I liked over TIA is that it gave more detailed information about the Myers Briggs test and broke down each of the types, gave a best and worst "chart" of introverts AND extroverts, and it also has a chapter about parenting introverted/extroverted children (various ages).
Thanks for the review! I'll add it to my list... can you elaborate on the best and worst chart of introverts/extroverts? What do you mean best/worst?

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I feel like if your just an introvert then you might get a little something out of this book, but if your a full blown loner then you might get even more out of it, feel some of your identity from it. This book really was a manifesto. It definetly wasn't along the same lines of Introvert Advantage or aka "I'm an introvert; help me and others understand me" Like I said, trifle information for the common introvert, but a Declaration of Independance for the loner!
Yes, I couldn't agree more. It's been close to a year since I read it, but I'm still reminded of the chapter on criminal behavior every time I watch the news and some outcast extrovert does something bad and is mislabeled a "loner". I don't want to fear that people are going to suspect me of pulling a gun on them just because I'm a loner and don't want to talk to them. Definitely makes me wonder sometimes if it isn't us versus them after all! Huh... does that make me a full-blown introvert???
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#464 of 806 Old 01-03-2010, 06:15 PM
 
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I'm an introverted mama, too. I've always felt bad about this...fearing that I'm not role modelling good social skills to my son. I also have this weird anxiety about having people over to my home, so we usually visit at our people's homes.

But I do always have a few very good friends, so at least I feel good about role modelling close friendships to my son.

oh well, I guess the grass is always greener on the other side!
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#465 of 806 Old 01-03-2010, 06:53 PM
 
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Thanks for the review! I'll add it to my list... can you elaborate on the best and worst chart of introverts/extroverts? What do you mean best/worst?




Well, it's got that section where it outlines the positives and negatives of both types. It jtst stood out to me because it pointed out that BOTH types can be good and bad...that it's not just neganive to be an introvert...that even extroverts have their weak points. Its not all bad to be either.

Sorry if that's dhsjointed...posting from phone and i've lost the same post three times. ugh.

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#466 of 806 Old 01-03-2010, 10:40 PM
 
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Thanks for the review! I'll add it to my list... can you elaborate on the best and worst chart of introverts/extroverts? What do you mean best/worst?




Well, it's got that section where it outlines the positives and negatives of both types. It jtst stood out to me because it pointed out that BOTH types can be good and bad...that it's not just neganive to be an introvert...that even extroverts have their weak points. Its not all bad to be either.

Sorry if that's dhsjointed...posting from phone and i've lost the same post three times. ugh.
Oh, of course! Thanks for clarifying... for some reason, I was thinking of a chart of best personality types versus worst personality types... but I knew it couldn't be that.
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#467 of 806 Old 01-03-2010, 11:05 PM
 
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thought i'd share my holiday experience/rant with you all... i spent FIVE WHOLE days at my inlaws house. they are a pretty small family (7 people total) but do EVERYTHING together. you're not really allowed to have alone/private time and i have been chastised in the past for not participating. after two days, i was completely over-interacted. when i made an escape to visit my family for a couple hours on christmas afternoon, it got ugly, and i was told i was "ruining christmas" by leaving on christmas day. by day 4, i was so crabby and cranky and i couldn't make conversation or be polite any more. it was so stressful. on day 5, i started coming down with a cold... i'm still getting over it.

NO WAY we're doing this arrangement next year. every year we alternate spending christmas or thanksgiving with my family or dh's family. so one year it's the entire thanksgiving (5 days) with dh's family and then the entire christmas (5 days) with my family. then next year we switch. i married into this plan b/c my bil's family lives far away and it's not practical for him to travel and visit them but for one holiday. but for me and my dh, it just doesn't make sense b/c our families are only an hour apart! there's no reason why we can't visit both families for both holidays... and sleep in our own beds and not go nuts!! but i have trouble being assertive about this because i just don't like for other people to know my business and what's going on in my head... anyone else (who's made it through my long rant ) find it difficult to be assertive like that?
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#468 of 806 Old 01-04-2010, 12:18 PM
 
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I'm an introverted mama, too. I've always felt bad about this...fearing that I'm not role modelling good social skills to my son. I also have this weird anxiety about having people over to my home, so we usually visit at our people's homes.
I feel like this too sometimes, but DH is social enough for both of us and then some! But when it's just me doing the parenting (which is most of the time) it's usually just the two of us hanging out at home. We go to storytime at the library twice a week, which she loves, and that's about all the large-group socializing I can handle.

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thought i'd share my holiday experience/rant with you all... i spent FIVE WHOLE days at my inlaws house. they are a pretty small family (7 people total) but do EVERYTHING together. you're not really allowed to have alone/private time and i have been chastised in the past for not participating. after two days, i was completely over-interacted. when i made an escape to visit my family for a couple hours on christmas afternoon, it got ugly, and i was told i was "ruining christmas" by leaving on christmas day. by day 4, i was so crabby and cranky and i couldn't make conversation or be polite any more. it was so stressful. on day 5, i started coming down with a cold... i'm still getting over it.

NO WAY we're doing this arrangement next year. every year we alternate spending christmas or thanksgiving with my family or dh's family. so one year it's the entire thanksgiving (5 days) with dh's family and then the entire christmas (5 days) with my family. then next year we switch. i married into this plan b/c my bil's family lives far away and it's not practical for him to travel and visit them but for one holiday. but for me and my dh, it just doesn't make sense b/c our families are only an hour apart! there's no reason why we can't visit both families for both holidays... and sleep in our own beds and not go nuts!! but i have trouble being assertive about this because i just don't like for other people to know my business and what's going on in my head... anyone else (who's made it through my long rant ) find it difficult to be assertive like that?
Don't you just HATE it when people simply WILL NOT leave you alone? The worst was when I would choose to sit alone in the cafeteria at school or at college and read a book, and other people would insist on sitting and conversing with me because they "can't stand seeing someone sitting alone."

I'm very comfortable as an introvert and a loner, but it can be awkward meeting new people simply because I don't want them to interpret my lack of talking to them to mean I dislike them, especially when the new person is of a different race or nationality. I certainly don't want them to think I'm a racist because I don't talk to them.

And yes, one thing I'm working on is being more assertive, but it's such an uphill battle.

 reading.gif Wife to DH geek.gif  since 08/06. Mother to Eleanor Rose energy.gif, born 10/12/08.  h20homebirth.gif
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#469 of 806 Old 01-04-2010, 06:14 PM
 
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*snip*
i have trouble being assertive about this because i just don't like for other people to know my business and what's going on in my head... anyone else (who's made it through my long rant ) find it difficult to be assertive like that?
Sorry you had such a miserable holiday.

I usually have trouble being assertive. I hemmed and hawed and drove myself crazy for 3-4 days before finally getting up the guts to turn down my parents' offer for plane tickets to go see them this holiday. I told them I didn't like flying much and that it was hard for me to be around everyone that would be in town all at once like that. They always want to have a gathering of everyone from each side of the family so we can all visit at the same time. Gack!

The weird part is that they were cool about it - but that what seemed to make it not insulting to them was that I didn't want to fly because I get nervous on planes. (Never mind the rest of it - I guess they don't get that, but since I don't like airlplanes then OK, we understand your not wanting to come. WTF?)

I am a 40 year old unschooling, belly dancing, artist-mama of one almost 8 year old. I just had brain surgery and blogging.jpg about it a bit because it's just so surreal.
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#470 of 806 Old 01-04-2010, 11:39 PM
 
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OMG, treehugz! I can't imagine 5 days of non-stop visiting. Whenever I'm around other people for an extended period of time, I have to make sure I get time to recharge my batteries or I start to feel almost manically unhappy.

I made it through the 2 weeks of Christmas vacation pretty well, but only because I insisted on me time. I did beg my dh to take the girls out of the house for an afternoon so I could enjoy a quiet home but he ended up guilting me into going bowling with them instead. I so shouldn't have done that because it left me depleated and ticked off in general. The next day I told him I was heading out to the library and there I stayed for 3 blissfully quiet hours, lol!

Gazing furtively at you from under my siggie!
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#471 of 806 Old 01-08-2010, 11:15 PM
 
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I feel like I am still not recovered from the holidays. Like I keep trying to come up from underwater and catch my breath and finally feel centered again, but just can't get quite enough air. Probably because I can't catch a break from our kids so I haven't had enough alone recovery time to reset my brain yet. Just wondering if anyone else still feels not quite over the drain of the holidays ?

Since I posted this, I had a couple hours to read by myself over the weekend. And I'm feeling much better. It really was my first opportunity to have that much time alone since the holidays began. I think it's interesting how much my feeling of "normal" is thrown off by not having any time to myself, and what a difference it makes.

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#472 of 806 Old 01-11-2010, 02:36 PM
 
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I just found this thread. It is so long that I might be repeating something that someone already posted about. I am a total introvert (INTJ, or INFP depending), it drives my husband nuts, and I also worry about the fact that I am perfectly happy just staying home with DS. Is this harming his social skills? He is great with other kids when we are around them, so maybe I shouldn't worry so much.
It definitely hurts my relationship with my MIL. She is extroverted to the MAX and I can only be around her, like for two hours once a month. I don't dislike her, she just drains me more than anyone else I know. She and my DH both think I don't like her, and he doesn't understand my explanation.
So glad this thread is here, it makes me feel less alone.
Oh, one thing I do to kind of go inward while around others is crocheting. That way I don't have to make eye contact and can tune out while still being physically present.

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#473 of 806 Old 01-11-2010, 05:48 PM
 
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Don't you just HATE it when people simply WILL NOT leave you alone? The worst was when I would choose to sit alone in the cafeteria at school or at college and read a book, and other people would insist on sitting and conversing with me because they "can't stand seeing someone sitting alone."

WHAT is with THIS?? I don't understand this logic!!

I took my kiddo to one of the mall play places so he could get some play time away from the house last weekend. I found a nice, off to the side seat and pulled out my book and got totally immersed (while keeping an eye out for the kiddo too).
A lady comes over and starts talking. I completely lost the first part of what she was saying cause I didn't even think she was talking to me.
I said, "I'm sorry. I didn't hear what you were saying cause I was off in another world." ...and I kind of motioned to the book...not trying to be rude...although I feel it's kind of rude to just go up to someone obviously immersed and interrupt their reading.
She said, "Oh, sorry. You just looked lonely over here and since our kids are playing together I thought you might want to chat."
Ugh. No. Not really.


And why is it that people in Dr's waiting rooms think that everyone wants to strike up a conversation? I actually really do want to read the magazines since I never get to any other time. Lol.

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#474 of 806 Old 01-11-2010, 07:13 PM
 
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I think they usually mean well...the people who say this, I think for them, it would be very upsetting to have to sit somewhere alone with nobody to talk to...so they assume it must be just as painful for everyone else, and out of kindness, come swooping in to save us from our "misery"

Sometimes though, it seems like it's the other person's own boredom or loneliness, not compassion....then it kind of bugs me.

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WHAT is with THIS?? I don't understand this logic!!

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#475 of 806 Old 01-12-2010, 04:53 PM
 
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Oh jeez I hate that! There is this great place that I take my DDs to, to play. It is set up with all these activities so that the kids can play for hours and there are comfy couches so the Mom's can just sit and relax while keeping an eye on the kids. I cherish and look forward to those times to catch up on reading, writing etc. It seems though without fail someone will come up to me, sit down and start trying to talk to me. They can see I am reading and I don't want to be rude and tell them I don't want to talk...it is awkward though. Do I try to politely point out that I am really into a good book or do I muddle through awkward small talk even though I don't want to? I just don't get it. I am not one to ever initiate conversation as I hate small talk but I would never ever go up to someone that is sitting alone reading. I just don't get it! Agh! The frustrating of being a shy introvert.

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#476 of 806 Old 01-13-2010, 01:16 PM
 
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treehugz, are you saying you live an hour away from your in-laws and have to be a houseguest at their house for five days??? That's AWFUL!!! My in-laws live 9 hours away so everybody feels the five to eight day visit is necessary. Everybody but me, that is. My dh's family is also large, close-knit, and always doing something. I never saw a bigger bunch of board game playing, joke telling, cooking from scratch bunch of people in my life. It's overwhelming, to say the least. But at least they do let me retire quietly to my room if I need to. But we visit three times a year for the above mentioned time period, and they visit us at least as much. And even that is too much togetherness for me. I need my space and quiet, and they are all so extroverted they think something is wrong with me. I've been in the family for 25 years and they still haven't figured it out. I'm thinking of instigating a new rule this year: No matter how far they travelled, no one stays at my house for longer than the weekend. Arrive Friday, leave Monday morning. If you need to stay longer, go to a hotel. If you don't go to a hotel, I'm going to a hotel.
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#477 of 806 Old 01-13-2010, 03:08 PM
 
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agreenbough -

Your hotel solution sounds good to me.

We live far away from family, too. When they come to visit, the in-laws stay here and we don't even have a guest room so it gets pretty crazy. However, they are also always into doing their own thing, so there isn't that pressure of spending extra time together. They also take us out for dinner a lot when they visit.

When my parents come to visit, they stay at a hotel by their own choice. If it's just mom, she might stay with us, but if it's both of them, they use a hotel. Part of it is that we don't have a guest room, so there is no comfy place for them to sleep. And we don't get along that well when we're together all the time so this gives them a place to get away. The main thing that started this though is my apparent substandard housekeeping abilities. My mom is a neat freak and can't relax here because she wants to fix everything up to be perfect.

I am a 40 year old unschooling, belly dancing, artist-mama of one almost 8 year old. I just had brain surgery and blogging.jpg about it a bit because it's just so surreal.
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#478 of 806 Old 01-14-2010, 12:02 PM
 
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Your'e lucky that they take you out to eat - when my in-laws visit, the majority of the visit seems to involve cooking and cleaning up. They don't eat out. I feel like I have to put on a dinner party every night, and as a rather extreme introvert, this is torture for me. My husband works late, so is not there to help. My mother-in-law will cook (and, in fact, usually brings groceries) but having someone else cooking in my kitchen is almost as stressful as doing it all myself. It's like a scavenger hunt trying to find things others have put away. And we have to have two or three vegetables and dessert every night. Not to mention I feel superfluous in my own house.

They don't really require entertaining - in fact, I have quit suggesting activities because they never want to do anything - they say they're happy just to hang around the house. They just live their lives as if they were in their own home. But really, if you don't want to go out and do things, why even visit? So I'm trying to live my usual life, too, having to work around them and feeling like I have an audience for everything I do. And I have to do my laundry in the middle of the night because my MIL will take it upon herself to do my family's laundry and she dries everything on hot - an accident waiting to happen.

They bring stacks of books to read. Again, if you're just going to read and putter around in the kitchen, why even visit? And this goes on for anywhre from 8 days to three weeks. This is why I feel I have to set a limit - I'm so frazzled by these visits I'm having a hard time even pretending to be nice. I do like them, but not underfoot for weeks!
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#479 of 806 Old 01-14-2010, 02:17 PM
 
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"But really, if you don't want to go out and do things, why even visit? "

I think their reason is probably that they like being around people regardless of what activities they are doing, especially their son and their grandchildren. My parents primarily come out just to see DD. They like to see me and DH too, but really their motivation is seeing DD. They both had close ties with their grandparents growing up, and so did my brother and me. This is one thing that makes living far away hard. I wish DD had more access to her grandparents. (But then again, there are definitely reasons other than financial that we live so far away from them.)

When we visit people we bring lots of books as well. Partly, because when DH is working so much, he only gets a chance to read while he's on the bus to and from work. Without the daily grind, we have more time for books while we're on vacation.

Their visits sound completely overwhelming. I can't stand people for more than a few days either - esp. when they take over my house. If people stayed 8 days to 3 weeks here, I'd go completely bonkers (and turn into a raving b****.) That's one reason my parents don't stay longer than about 4 days - I get so grouchy that we end up fighting a lot.

And do understand about the kitchen. When my MIL helps in the kitchen, her idea of getting dinner ready is very different from mine - especially about timing. (This is hard when we visit them as well. I often get low blood sugar before they finally get around to eating dinner.) Our own kitchen is tiny so it's hard for even just DH and I to get stuff done in there without tripping on one another - and we know where everything belongs!

I think limiting the amount of time people are welcome to stay at your house would be a good idea for you. Have you talked to DH about it yet? Is he on board?

I get very stressed at the idea of even having company. I imagine just knowing you wouldn't have to have company for extended periods of time might help you feel better.

I am a 40 year old unschooling, belly dancing, artist-mama of one almost 8 year old. I just had brain surgery and blogging.jpg about it a bit because it's just so surreal.
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#480 of 806 Old 01-15-2010, 12:44 AM
 
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treehugz, are you saying you live an hour away from your in-laws and have to be a houseguest at their house for five days??? That's AWFUL!!! My in-laws live 9 hours away so everybody feels the five to eight day visit is necessary ... My dh's family is also large, close-knit, and always doing something. I never saw a bigger bunch of board game playing, joke telling, cooking from scratch bunch of people in my life. It's overwhelming, to say the least. But at least they do let me retire quietly to my room if I need to.
Yes, it is HORRIBLE. The only thing that would be worse is if they stayed at my house... YIKES!! I am so sorry... that must be really miserable for you. It's funny what you wrote about your inlaws though... my family is entirely introverted, each and every one of us, and we LOVE to play board games, tell jokes, and cook from scratch... but in between all that we all do our own thing and leave each other alone. When you want to socialize, you come and socialize. When you don't, you just disappear, no questions, no pressure. Not so with my inlaws though... they do EVERYTHING together and are mortally offended if you don't want to be around them.

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I get very stressed at the idea of even having company.
Ditto... makes my blood pressure go up and my skin crawl just reading about it.

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Don't you just HATE it when people simply WILL NOT leave you alone? The worst was when I would choose to sit alone in the cafeteria at school or at college and read a book, and other people would insist on sitting and conversing with me because they "can't stand seeing someone sitting alone."
I hate this. It happens to me all the time, more so when I lived in the city and ate at restaurants, went to coffee shops multiple times daily, loved to sit at the parks, went for walks... all ALONE and by choice... a shocking thing too hard for some to understand it seems. Never failed that people would interrupt me... or guys would hit on my... or (the worst) I would get proselytized by a religious person... what am I easy prey?!? There must be a polite way to blow people off, but I don't know it... but then, I've admitted I need to work on assertiveness.
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