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Old 03-04-2019, 03:02 PM
1,083 posts, read 488,602 times
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Originally Posted by Sundaydrive00 View Post
Not wanting to engage in small talk with others doesn't mean I lack the social skills to talk with a stranger. I'm just typically not interested in what they have to say. Most people who start up conversations in check out lines do so because they want to complain to someone. I'm not interested in listening to someone complain, and not going to join them in trash talking the store or cashier. I don't want their negativity in my life, so I don't engage with them.
^^^^ This. So much this.

Originally Posted by jmcahacker View Post
This 100%.

I don't do weather or 'tell me about yourself', even asking me how many kids I have can be a complicates situation since I'm remarried so there are mine, his, and even a step child deceased prior to our marriage so my answer varies greatly depending if I think I might ever talk to you again. Small talk is painful and exhausting for me because I don't do it well and then I feel put on the spot to think of something interesting or witty and anxiety kicks in. I might then spend the next three hours thinking about what I should have said in that 3 minute random chat that you forgot about as soon as you ran into the next stranger.

That said I can babble on and on with people I have a relationship with or with people who are on a topic that interests me and I have actual knowledge of. With a stranger I'm perfectly comfortable to sit in silence. I personally wonder why some people seem to be just as threatened by silence as I am by small talk.
Great comment, especially bolded.

Also, I find that when I do engage in conversations with strangers (even still in small talk territory), I end up getting a lot of unsolicited advice.
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Old 03-04-2019, 03:07 PM
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
4,422 posts, read 4,288,747 times
Reputation: 5214
Originally Posted by IndyDancer View Post
I'd like to dispel this notion that introverts don't know how, or don't have the "social skills" to carry on a conversation with a stranger. We do. We just don't want to, or find it draining/exhausting. I assume extroverts (or any of those chastising people who don't like chatting with strangers) have the skills / know how to leave people alone, they just don't like to or want to.
You're right. We get a bad rap. My issue is a little social anxiety, though my friends would say I don't have that. Maybe it's in my head, or maybe is shyness. Again, not the same as being an introvert, but it does put me at a disadvantage socially.
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Old 03-04-2019, 03:16 PM
329 posts, read 163,267 times
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I am introverted and also have social anxiety. Unless I have had a few drinks, I do not enjoy conversing with strangers or even people I do know somewhat (like my hair dresser, etc.). I do work and have learned how to act approachable as that is important here (although I prefer they contact me by email.) But that's not bad as that conversation is about work stuff, not small talk. It's non-controversial and short lived. I do have people try to talk with me often when out so I guess I forget to turn off my 'approachable act' demeanor! Sorry that my social clues don't give away that I don't want to talk! I guess I am also overly polite in that I won't tell someone I don't want to talk or talk about certain subjects. I also find it hard to tell when the 'end' of our conversation is. And I get torn on when I can look at my phone/book again as I don't want to appear rude. Conversations with others (besides my immediate family) just mentally drain me.
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Old 03-05-2019, 06:45 AM
5,449 posts, read 2,292,432 times
Reputation: 16436
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
OMG! You got the History Channel as a seat mate! That's amazing! I imagine, though, that scoring such an interesting seat mate is pretty rare.

But I would offer that everyone is interesting if you listen closely enough. Except that brick salesman from Cleveland I flew next to two years ago. Jeez.
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Old 03-05-2019, 06:58 AM
Location: Virginia
3,956 posts, read 2,028,343 times
Reputation: 10864
I enjoy chatting with strangers, particularly if it's in an environment where we are sharing a mutual interest, like gardening or old houses. I still remember participating in a historic house and garden tour a few years ago where I was waiting in line to enter a fantastic plantation home. I was listening to (ok, eavesdropping on) the woman behind me who was talking about the multitude of roses she grew. Something "clicked" in my brain, and I turned and asked her if her screen name was "XXXXX". It turned out that she was a frequent contributor to an old house forum on which I was also a member, and that we had had many online conversations. If I hadn't had the chutzpah to chat with a stranger, I'd have missed a unique opportunity.
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Old 03-05-2019, 08:16 AM
Location: Jupiter
9,961 posts, read 6,141,363 times
Reputation: 7870
Most people aren't that interesting and when they open their mouth they confirm just that.

Also, I don't really trust people so there is that.

Last edited by 49ersfan27; 03-05-2019 at 08:27 AM..
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Old 03-05-2019, 08:55 AM
Location: Middle of the Pacific Ocean
11,661 posts, read 6,271,423 times
Reputation: 11477
I don't mind the idea of conversing with strangers, but, given that such is a rarity where I have lived, I always question the motives of strangers who try to chat it up with me out of nowhere.
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Old 03-05-2019, 02:03 PM
Location: Pennsylvania
12,460 posts, read 4,213,163 times
Reputation: 9770
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
I've had some great conversations with strangers, and some fun exchanges. Some people have a great sense of humor and spontaneity. The only unwelcome stranger encounter I recall was in an airport, where a woman latched onto me in the boarding area, and proceeded to drone on and on. The attendant making seat assignments (this must have been SW Airlines?) without consulting me assigned her to the seat next to me! I had to listen to her drone on and on the whole flight! I could've killed that boarding agent, lol.

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Old 03-05-2019, 02:32 PM
5,449 posts, read 2,292,432 times
Reputation: 16436
Originally Posted by BeerGeek40 View Post

Yeah, but look at how that movie turned out. They became great friends.
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Old 03-05-2019, 03:37 PM
Location: California
843 posts, read 229,131 times
Reputation: 2397
Originally Posted by Sassybluesy View Post
The part I bolded...I have actually seen introverts (and I consider myself somewhere between the 2 extremes...but maybe a little more introvert) talk negatively about extroverts. Kind of like they think introverts is somekind of rightous calling, and extroverts are basically outgoing monkeys.

I'm not saying YOU do that, to be clear...but I've heard many introverts be like that. Personally, I think it's sad, because the world needs BOTH types. Extroverts can often be opportunity makers and door openers, because they're looking OUT where introverts spend a lot of time looking inwards.
Yeah you're right, there are definitely jerks all over the spectrum. I was mostly referring to this thread and a few other online conversations I've had about this.

Originally Posted by MLSFan View Post
Chatting with strangers isn't an introvert or extrovert trait... It is about social comfort.
You're right. Introverts can be very talkative at times. If you put me at a party with the RIGHT people who I'm comfortable and happy around, I can be a very loud, outgoing person. It just drains the crap out of me and I have to rest for the next few days is all.

So when it comes to talking to strangers, since that social comfort isn't there, that draining of energy happens immediately and quickly. Sometimes, it's so draining I get an actual headache from it. It's a weird feeling like I'm being drilled between the eyes. I start panicking and feel like I need to escape ASAP so I can preserve my energy before it's too late.

However, once in a great while, there's a stranger you immediately feel comfortable around. Human chemistry is so strange that way. I've definitely met people who were like instant soul mates (in a friend way) so I try to stay open minded about strangers approaching me. You just never know.

99% of the time though, the stranger is someone I don't click with, and it just feels weird and tiring.

Originally Posted by Atlguy39 View Post
Theoretically, CD should give me thicker skin.
Yeah, it doesn't really work that way. In my experience, you can't "develop a thick skin". I'm in a creative industry where there's typically a lot of criticism of the work, and people always say "you need a thick skin" but I argue that you can't really change how sensitive you are. You can work on dealing with the pain of hurt feelings and discomfort better, but the pain and discomfort will remain.
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