Static friction and socializing

When it comes to socializing, I have a high coefficient of static friction. I tend to stay in place. If I let too long go between get-togethers, I fall out of the habit of hosting them, the identity of someone who brings people together. I rarely ever want to go out. I drag my feet. I look for excuses to stay at home. I resist when invited, and only manage to make myself go because of social expectations.

When I’m there, though, sometimes it’s all right. Sometimes it’s awkward. But sometimes it’s fun and almost frictionless, and the time speeds by.

I should remember those times so that it’s easier to push myself to go out. The risks are small, anyway.

What makes some get-togethers feel okay? I like board games and card games. They create new situations for us to interact in and result in new in-jokes. They give my hands something to fiddle with. At the same time, there’s still space for conversation between rounds and during breaks. I find background conversations too distracting when I’m trying to work on something, so I prefer to work at home. Pair-hacking might be interesting, though. I like talking through complex things much more than conversations just about catching up. I like having a sense of accomplishment or learning.

The weather’s warming up, so maybe I’ll have a get-together sometime. Gotta ramp up to it again. Maybe I’ll check out Gamfternoon at HackLab.to. Maybe I’ll try going to more HackLab open houses. Maybe I’ll invite people over for a casual get-together. Daylight Savings Time kicked in, so I guess introvert hibernation mode is winding down… We’ll see!

  • http://jasonjohnwells.com Jason John Wells

    When it come to relating to others and my self I have found benefit in Buddhist psychology and mindfulness practice. After 12 years I have seen some modest gains and am excited about the the growing popularity of mindfulness research in psychology.

    Even a few minutes can make some wavelenght changes, with weeks there are physical changes. Veteran mediators are the Olympic athletes of postive emotion in fMRI studies and Daniel Goleman, author of the landmark /Emotional Intelligence/ book has written two books with the Dali Lama.

    Metta (loving kindness) practices are particularly helpful in social cognition. http://www.ling.upenn.edu/~beatrice/buddhist-practice/metta-sutta.html One can focus on love for dear ones and than overlap that with large and larger scheme of sentient beings ..even “jerks”

    As a kid spent so much time with my dog in the woods that my family that my family called me, “the hermit”. But when I lived in Japan I found that the largest metropolitan area on Earth didn’t have to be stressful at all and Japanese actually LIKE standing in line. Attitude is really something.

    So in summary, like Aristotle you can cultivate character traits. Cognitive appraisal changes subjective feeling changing behavioural expression. …and Buddhism has a deep well of methods for this.

    Also, I printed off a Cards Against Humanity deck and took it to Prince Edward Island for the holidays. Many laughs. The humour might be to politically incorrect for some but you could censor the cards or use a rule modification.

    • http://sachachua.com sachac

      I think, for me, it’s a bit of a trade-off. Do I want to spend time with W-, do I want to spend time with people who happen to be in the same city and who happen to have become part of my life, or do I want to spend time connecting with people on the Internet? W- is always awesome to spend time with. Internet people are also very often awesome to spend time with, especially since we connect based on interests. Connecting with people because I’ve connected with them before… Sometimes it’s awesome, and sometimes it feels a little strange. I can always do stuff in my head or leave early, but it might be a little rude.

      Ah well, eventually I’ll figure things out!

      • http://jasonjohnwells.com Jason John Wells

        Have you read Quit: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking? A must read for introverts in the extrovert dominated West.

        Studies show that for introverts and avoiding depression it’s quality not quantity of relationships that is more important. Lots of lonely people in big cities and happy monks in the world.

        Expectations are one thing but maybe its more efficient to concentrate in some hierarchies of needs?

        I’ve been using Org to try and prioritize Dunbar’s Number lists and am wondering how to mix notes and tasks with Freeplane. Do you hyperlink nodes to large Org files or do you have some geekery method of mixing the two apps?

        • http://sachachua.com sachac

          I have a totally awesome relationship with W-, which could be why I feel less inclined to leave the house. <laugh>

          Hmm… Are you using Freeplane to visualize your mindmap (which is structurally quite similar to an Org outline, especially if you don’t have a lot of links in between), or are you also using icons and other graphical indicators? If you use it for structure, you may be able to get away with using Org (or using the Org > Freemind export). Can you tell me more about how you use Freeplane with Org? Feel free to set up a chat with http://sach.ac/meet so that you can share your screen.