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Going thru life being unnoticed

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Robert_Z, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Producer

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    > The fact that people dress this narcissistic horse-hooey up to look like introverted shyness is also crap.

    Now I'm confused. A narcissist would have high self-esteem by definition and would likely be an extrovert if anything.

    Shy people often have low self-esteem; that's a big reason why they have trouble talking to other people... they assume they will be rejected (and I'm not just talking about dating situations).

    So it's hard to picture a narcissist being shy. My old roommate was always saying how great he is and was the opposite of shy.
     
  2. Philip_T

    Philip_T Supporting Actor

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    Hey, wait a second......Hoping I'm not part of that majority [​IMG]

    Good thread. Being a proud card carrying member of the Introvert club myself, I can truly say things got a lot less complicated for me when I finally realized that I was an introvert, and that there was nothing wrong with that. Like yourself and others will follow suit.
     
  3. Brad Porter

    Brad Porter Screenwriter

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    If you ever actually come back and play poker again I'll let you know. [​IMG]

    Brad
     
  4. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    It's not the "shy" part, it's the feeling that they are so special that they can sit back and everyone should notice them without having to put forth any effort. Sure they are shy, but they are also so judgmental about what the "fake" people are doing (i.e. everybody who has fun doing stuff the "shy" person won't do), they border on narcissistic. What do you call someone who thinks they should automatically be "valued and desired" by everyone and yet they are so hypercritical about what the rest of the population is doing, they label every activity outside of D&D and Star Trek conventions as "fake"?
     
  5. Carl Miller

    Carl Miller Screenwriter

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    Words to live by. [​IMG]
     
  6. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Producer

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    > t's not the "shy" part, it's the feeling that they are so special

    That's just my point- a lot of shy people DON'T feel special. They feel like something is wrong with them, that others will automatically not like them, etc. I'm not saying this is true of any specific people here, just that it is common. This is not just my theory, but found in any book on shyness you care to read.

    Wayne Dyer mentions this in Your Erroneous Zones (great book). There is a loop people get into where they want to approach others, assume they will be rejected, get scared away, then it becomes self-fulfilling.

    It probably sounds crazy but it's really true.

    > . What do you call someone who thinks they should automatically be "valued and desired" by everyone

    I think it's basic human instinct to want to be valued and desired, not necessarily by everyone, but at least by some. Certainly society has been teaching this a lot the past 20 years or so, the whole thing about schools teaching self esteem.

    I agree with your basic advice, about needing to get out and do things if you want life to change. I'm just bringing up the inferiority complex that is common.
     
  7. Brad Porter

    Brad Porter Screenwriter

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    Did I actually give that impression? I think the key disagreement I have with your interpretation is the use of the phrase "automatically desired by everyone". I don't think that introverts expect to be accepted by anyone automatically. Personally, I've always suspected that 95% of the world's population would probably find at least one reason to dislike me without any effort at all. (And that's OK.) I think that we just want to find the people that will accept us at face value or a group where we fit in comfortably. I just want to maximize the time spent with that other 5%.

    Any criticisms that we apply to other people are largely used as a defense mechanism, but I don't interpret that as narcissism. It seems to me that any other reaction would just feed into a cycle of self-loathing, which is not helpful at all.

    Brad
     
  8. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    But don't you see these "defense mechanisms" frequently come across as arrogant and dismissive (at least to me they do)? The incessant putting down of the ways others try to interact (or just have a little fun) may be a defense, but it puts off others.

    It's also offputting to hear how special and precious the feelings of an introvert are, as if those of us who actually try to interact don't have fears of rejection or making idiots of ourselves . . . if we even have feelings at all. It is the arrogance of the nerd and the outcast (a role I know as well as anyone), and while it may be comforting, it doesn't do you or you prospective companions any good.

    Sorry, but I can't help thinking that anyone who has such a negative attitude towards throwing caution to the wind and sampling anything and everything in the quest for fun and interaction must be a hell of a downer and yes, eventually, they are probably ignored or seen as invisible. Sorry if I tried to break that cycle, but I guess it's stronger in some than it was in me.
     
  9. Brad Porter

    Brad Porter Screenwriter

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    IMO, you're projecting these attitudes onto a stereotype more than perceiving them from anyone participating in this thread. While I'll certainly dismiss any suggestions that don't appeal to me personally, let me be clear that I'm not judging anyone that does enjoy them. (Heck, my purchasing of Diageo, Inc. stock is counting on it. [​IMG] ) If there's arrogance coming across in the way that I write then it is just poor communication skills on my part. That having been said, adopting an attitude of self-respect for one's choices is normal for everyone. It's certainly better than saying "I suck. Those people are so much better than me. I wish I was having that kind of fun."

    And I'm not claiming that there's anything "special and precious" about being reclusive, just that it is a real and prevalent personality trait. No one has claimed that one personality type is superior to another, just that introversion is real and it does shape many people's worldview. How does talking about this diminish your approach to life? It's not a zero sum game. One person's approach doesn't subtract from another's.

    Brad
     
  10. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    Real Name:
    Henry Gale

    I've not read this thread word for word, even my vast ammount of free time has its standards. [​IMG]
    But, I did noticed a few things:

    Robert Z made one post and has not responded to the 4 dozen or so replies.

    He has presented himself as Mr. Loner.

    Robert Z referred to "Our platform bed.." two years ago.
     
  11. Brad Porter

    Brad Porter Screenwriter

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    He hasn't been active on the forum since about half an hour after he made the post - but that's not necessarily abnormal for someone with a new house. And his current girlfriend situation is summed up in the thread about buying that new house.

    Brad
     
  12. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Forgive me if that statement was interpreted as saying the needs of introverts are different (and therefore more "special") than was assumed by us non-introverts (whooo boy, my mom would get a kick out of me claiming to be a non-introvert).

    Throw in the "preferably by someone whose opinion we actually respect", the "(especially drunken ones)" or the reference to "meaningful connections that we are really seeking" (as if no one else seeks meaningful relationships) and I don't think it was just me who took that as a dig on the generic "fake" people whom you claim introverts do not criticize. Yes, you have parsed your posts well and have done a good job of painting me as terribly misunderstanding or even the bad guy, but look closer and what seem like benign statements could also be seen as loaded for bear (but maybe it was a defense mechanism).
     
  13. Brad Porter

    Brad Porter Screenwriter

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    That's where I went wrong and that's probably where you started reading criticisms into the text and began responding to an attack. I'm sorry about that. Kiss and make up?

    Back to the thread - where's Robert?

    Brad
     
  14. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Actually Brad, the antagonism started here:


    I included your smiley, because I know this was intended to come across as tongue and cheek, but in my experience there is often a big honkin' NY Strip steak sized layer of this utter disdain under the gentle exterior of "I'm not critical of others, I'm just a misunderstood introvert." In my experience, it is this resentment and disdain, which may honestly be a result of self-defense, which causes the "apparently happy" people to not even try to include and/or converse with the anti-social . . . erm . . . introverts they come across.

    How do I know this about the attitude common to introverts? Weeell . . . I was once (and in many ways still am) one of you. To paraphrase what Patton said to Rommell, "You magnificent bastard(s), I read your book!!!"
     
  15. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Producer

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    A few other things to try (if they haven't been mentioned already):

    yoga and group fitness classes (often mostly women)

    swing and ballroom dances and classes- People need a partner to do these dances, and often more women than men show up. Plus the etiquette is usually to say yes when asked to dance (even if you are there with a spouse), so you can literally dance with 20 or 30 people in one session. And since the dances have specific steps to them, there isn't the awkward "what do I do next" you get with free-form nightclub type dancing... plus the basics are fairly easy to learn, so you can at least do the steps the first time you go. People are usually friendly, the music isn't so loud that you can't talk, and so on.

    I think nightclubs are the about the worst place for shy guys to go, unless you just want to drink or the like. Why? Because odds are you won't talk to people, will see other guys having a good time with women, and will probably feel even worse about yourself than if you hadn't gone... unless you are able to just treat the whole thing as an exercise in people watching.
     
  16. Robert_Z

    Robert_Z Screenwriter

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    Hey Brad and others. I've been unpacking and doing other moving-into-a-new-house activities. I didn't realize how many people would chime in, many with feelings similar to mine.

    Brad, you hit the nail on the head. I'm an introvert, but not by choice. I can't choose to be extroverted, just like I can't choose to be 6 feet tall, to be a different race, or to be anything else beyond my control.

    If I could choose to be the life of the party, and if I could have chosen (in my younger years) to be a chick magnet just by donning a different personality, I would have done so. But it doesn't work that way.

    I can't just decide to change and then ... voila, a new me, a different personality. Believe me, I tried. I joined local meetup groups, did the local HT groups, played in Texas Hold'em groups, tried 8 minute dating when I was single, went to night clubs, etc. I did get a few dates out of it and made some casual acquaintances, but in spite of all those opportunities, I failed to make one true friend. That's frustrating. Very frustrating.

    Am I wrong to want a few normal guy friends to come over and watch a ball game every now and again? To go out to a pub? Fire up the grill, play cards, etc.

    And yes, am I wrong for wanting an occasional glance from women, or the occasional flirt, if for no other reason than to feed my ever-shriveling ego.
     
  17. Robert_Z

    Robert_Z Screenwriter

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    drobbins,

    I can relate to a lot of what you said. People just don't know that I'm there. In your post, you said you don't have any interest in typical guy stuff. The funny thing is that I do, yet I can't find any sports nuts like me. If it were to happen a few times, that'd be fine, but for it to happen all the time is not a coincidence. I know ESPN and sportstalk radio were not invented solely for me, but judging by my life experience, they were, because no one else acts like they give a damn. How can that be? Are all sports guys blue collar?

    It's frustrating because my GF can always make friends easily. She'll get invited to parties, happy hours, etc., but not me.

    Like you said, for me, it's family, coworkers and HTF.

    Maybe I should pay someone to videotape me at a few social functions so I can see myself in non-action. Maybe I could see some of the signals I emit that say "Please disburse. There's nothing to see here."

     
  18. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Producer

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    > It's frustrating because my GF can always make friends easily. She'll get invited to parties, happy hours, etc., but not me.

    So you have a girlfriend but are unhappy with not getting enough attention from women? What am I missing here? The original post did not sound like someone who had a girlfiriend.

    I don't know why it would be harder to make guy friends than to get a girlfriend- doesn't make sense to me.
     
  19. Robert_Z

    Robert_Z Screenwriter

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    Tell me about it. You'd think being a Dallas Cowboys and San Antonio Spurs fan in San Antonio, TX, would make it easy as pie to get to know people, but not yet. I know there had to be hundreds of Spurs playoff watch parties, but I was invited to none of them. I knew of none of them. So back to my original post, I feel invisible and disconnected because people don't seem to share my interests.

    About the women, I'm not saying I want to date. It'd just be nice to get noticed (instead of feeling invisible) once in a while. I think most men could relate to the satisfaction of knowing you're being "checked out" by a good-looking woman. No motive, no expectation, just a nice pick-me-up.
     
  20. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    Yeah, I must say that revelation floored me. Robert, have you asked your GF if she feels you are "wrong for wanting an occasional glance from women, or the occasional flirt." Wait, check that. You're probably better off not asking that question.

    One thing I will say, usually guys who have serious girlfriends end up spending less and less time with their guys friends and sports enthusiasm goes right out the window, so don't think of yourself as friendless; you're just resigned to the inevitable. [​IMG]

    One thing I will say, keep upbeat and don't let your isolation breed bitterness and contempt. People seek out their own level of psychology, and you wouldn't want to be around introverted, bitter and contemptuous people any more than anyone else does. Some popular self-help groups have a saying - "Fake it to make it", which means you should think positive, and even if you are truly miserable, you should "fake" a positive outlook. Eventually, all that positive thinking becomes habit and you realize it doesn't matter if it was fake in the beginning or not - you're the one with the smile on your face. People like smiles!
     

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