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Old 12-24-2016, 07:13 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
19,825 posts, read 18,832,665 times
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Wow, we had five people and two bathrooms. The downstairs one was only a half bath though., the tiny powder room type that's just off the kitchen. I remember standing in line upstairs in the full bath to get ready for school.

Oooops, to stay on topic, when I was a teenager wanting total privacy, I would lock myself in that big bathroom and sit on the floor with the light streaming in from the window. I'd take a pile of books in with me and that was my teenage privacy heaven. As long as I had books and maybe some art materials, I was fine.
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Old 12-24-2016, 08:06 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,726,438 times
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The issue of "social isolation" is not an either/or matter.

Like many other posters in this thread, and like most humans I suppose, I value my "alone time". I like to read, to think, etc. But that is not at all the same as being isolated socially because I also value my face-to-face interactions with other people. If my in person contacts with other people were non-existant or very rare, or even if they were limited to exchanging pleasantries with cashiers, I would feel like I was in prison and would need to break out.

In fact serious psychologists have written about the cruelty of solitary confinement in prisons and suggested that it should be considered cruel and unusual punishment in the meaning of the U. S. Constitution.

Those who grew up in over-crowded conditions will of course value their privacy, but I see that as irrelevant to the thread discussion. I value my privacy, which is the major reason I actually like living alone. But living alone does not have to be the same as being lonely.

So naturally different people will prefer different combinations of alone time versus time spent in the company of others. I submit, however, that people who prefer almost no time in the company of others (or perhaps even none at all) are rare exceptions. It is their right to live that way, and if they are truly happy with it, they are harming no one.

But the fact remains (as shown by numerous studies) that for the population as a whole isolation is harmful to health and vitality.
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Old 12-24-2016, 09:49 PM
 
6,213 posts, read 4,718,283 times
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I think there is another important factor that has not been mentioned. Many people have spent little time alone and are often not comfortable with being alone. I am not one of those people so I tend to think of that as a weakness that involves a lack of independence and self actuation.
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Old 12-24-2016, 11:13 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,556 posts, read 17,535,380 times
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I try to be a bit more nuanced.

I guess, at my core, I am introverted. I rarely go out of my way to socialize, am not a member of any social clubs, often quickly get annoyed with other people, etc. My aunt's grandson kept wanting to show me every detail of a toy set mom got him today. All I wanted to do was get out of there. I covered my face with my iPad and he still wouldn't leave me alone.

I like to socialize, but I want to keep the people at arm's length and on my own terms. If I get tired of dealing with someone, I want to be able to throw them out. I don't mind to socialize on Sunday afternoons until about 6, but after that, I'm winding down for the work week and don't want to see anyone.

I don't want to be forcibly deprived of social contact, but do not want to deal with people beyond my own limit either.
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Old 12-24-2016, 11:27 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
895 posts, read 541,987 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhxBarb View Post
Just could not read the whole article. Made me sad. Many people do try to get out of the house and be with others. Sometimes they meet cynical, mean spirited others who just push them back into their homes. Especially with some elderly, who think everyone else is a threat to their well being. This silliness doesn't help anyone.

I hope for 2017 that every lonely person can find peace and good will somewhere. We all need this.
Loved what you said and I agree. I am 63 yrs old and have reached out to an old childhood friend only to get burned. I gave up and feel the safest place for me is my home. Don't get me wrong...I have many friends but they all love to travel and I am a bit limited due to bad legs (Venous Insufficiency) and it sucks. Not to mention I have RSD.

I also belong to Nextdoor app for our community and find I don't really fit in because of my politics. I am more of a conservative and many are to the left. I've been called terrible names and it hurts. People can be cruel especially the young people I am finding. Not saying they all are but the ones I have come in contact with within our community are not that nice. I see a lack of total respect towards the elderly.

I don't know, I like my sanctuary here at home. I have my animals and do see friends when I am up to it for lunch. I am married but I am more guarded now due to being hurt.
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Old 12-25-2016, 06:58 AM
 
258 posts, read 118,504 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlawrence01 View Post
Another advantage of the 55+ communities for the most part.
Not necessarily and their HOA rules can be suffocating. I have two relatives who live in 55+ communities here in FL and neither made any real friends. One has a sort-of friend who is only around when nothing better is happening. I myself find it hard to meet people I have anything in common with. What I run into are other seniors with no hobbies or interests in common. I do tire of hearing about nothing but their latest grandchild or their last trip abroad, their latest illness etc. Those are not my interests and I know I would never meet those grandchildren nor do I have any desire to go abroad. And do people really need to share every word their Drs said to them? Every detail of their hysterectomy or bout of cancer?

But my husband and I did find our place for retirement here in FL.

It's not so easy to go out there and meet people you're comparable with, that you have things in common with. I can see why so many are so lonely and isolated. Fortunately for my husband and I we bought a place OUTSIDE the gated communities and near two RV resorts we used to stay at. So we moved to a place where we already had friends and many acquaintances. Plus, there are many retirees here and have already made friends with several other retired couples. I also made friends with a disabled much younger woman up the road. Not everyone is so lucky.
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Old 12-25-2016, 07:03 AM
 
258 posts, read 118,504 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fox Terrier View Post

Guess I'm an oddball (nothing new)!
No you are not. I'm an old senior and have met people who are happier with their own company. I was married at one time to such a man. I have two female cousins who have no desire to socialize. When the older one retired about 5 yrs ago she seldom left her isolated house in the valley. She lived with her SO who was also a loner. They were perfectly happy.

Other than being loners they were not oddballs. They just lived a quiet rural life.
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Old 12-25-2016, 08:10 AM
 
2,732 posts, read 720,803 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KatesKat View Post
Not necessarily and their HOA rules can be suffocating. I have two relatives who live in 55+ communities here in FL and neither made any real friends. One has a sort-of friend who is only around when nothing better is happening. I myself find it hard to meet people I have anything in common with. What I run into are other seniors with no hobbies or interests in common. I do tire of hearing about nothing but their latest grandchild or their last trip abroad, their latest illness etc. Those are not my interests and I know I would never meet those grandchildren nor do I have any desire to go abroad. And do people really need to share every word their Drs said to them? Every detail of their hysterectomy or bout of cancer?
I'm with you 100%, Kate! (Wish I could meet people like you in real life.) I especially get frustrated/bored with the organ recital (medical info) since people's understanding of medicine and how their bodies work is so limited. I'm interested in medical science, but when people can't really explain what the doctor said or what is being done or actual anatomy and physiology, it is not fun or educational for me.

I do have one friend who has a grandchild I find interesting to hear about---because I get a sense of the girl's personality and uniqueness---but in general, just to hear the basics, often sugarcoated, isn't of interest to me. I have tried to be interested (at the very least, listen politely and attentively, even asking questions to find out more), but then when I see that the grandparent isn't interested at all in anything about me, then I try to muster up my self-esteem and ego in a healthy way. I remind myself that I am more than just an ear for the other person to brag to about their progeny, so then try to limit my interactions with such people.

I'm not a traveler, although I have traveled in the past. People's travel plans or completed trips could be interesting to an extent if they really talked about what draws them to a place or how they felt while there. But too often it's just reciting what sites they visited and showing photos (which are even less interesting on a cell phone than they were as actual printed photographs, slides, etc.). I've tried to express interest in where people have traveled to since it's important to them. But I find it difficult to strike a conversation of mutual interest. For example, friends went to Holland. They visited a tulip grower. I looked at phone photos of hundreds of red tulips. I commented that they were pretty and there were lots of them. Then I tried to steer the conversation towards the "tulip mania" that happened in Holland in the 1630's. Now that fascinates me---how tulips were such a hot commodity back then (lowly little tulips that barely get noticed now!) and its implications for modern economics. They had visited Holland but didn't even know what I was talking about! (I've never been, but I read stuff.) But worse, it was of no interest to them. They quickly moved on to show yet more photos. And here I had expressed interest in what interested them, but it definitely wasn't reciprocated.

I don't mean to sound like a Negative Nellie who has no interests, with saying that personal health concerns/grandkids/travel aren't fascinating to me. I do have interests and passions. Current events, cooking, reading (what I read isn't what book clubs or on the best seller list), learning about Buddhism, meditation, yoga, listening to rock/classical/jazz, watching ballet and modern dance, working out, foreign and independent films), personal growth and development, animals, healthy living. Difficult to find people my own age with these interests, but I'd rather pursue them on a solitary basis than pursue socialization just to say that I have been around some fellow age-appropriate humans, trying to connect but in reality, not establishing meaningful connections or doing/thinking about what I love.

Last edited by jazzcat22; 12-25-2016 at 08:27 AM..
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Old 12-25-2016, 09:24 AM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,611 posts, read 9,674,534 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYgal1542 View Post
^^^^^^^^^ How in the world did you all manage with 9 people and one bathroom?? I can't even imagine.

I grew up in a family of 8...six kids...and never more than one bathroom. Somehow we survived.
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Old 12-25-2016, 09:31 AM
 
Location: Verde Valley AZ
8,611 posts, read 9,674,534 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
Wow, we had five people and two bathrooms. The downstairs one was only a half bath though., the tiny powder room type that's just off the kitchen. I remember standing in line upstairs in the full bath to get ready for school.

Oooops, to stay on topic, when I was a teenager wanting total privacy, I would lock myself in that big bathroom and sit on the floor with the light streaming in from the window. I'd take a pile of books in with me and that was my teenage privacy heaven. As long as I had books and maybe some art materials, I was fine.

Privacy is something I never had, as a kid, unless I went into my bedroom and closed the door. Then my mom would get on me about "not liking the family". Had nothing to do with that. I had five younger siblings and needed my 'getaway'. I could read for hours all by myself. Sometimes I'd even go out to the barn and sit on the stacks of hay bales and just daydream. lol As a younger adult I was VERY social, out and about all the time, but anymore I cherish and value my alone time a LOT. My home is my 'cave' and I love it. I 'talk' to at least 100 people a day, every day, and by quitting time I'm ready for some peace and quiet. If being alone is 'bad' for me, too bad because I will continue to cherish my time alone. I have a young lady staying with me right now but we get along good, work somewhat opposite hours and both have plenty of alone time.
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