Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Social Hobbies for the Inspired but Socially Inept Introvert

"All by Myself"


Most of the activities I do are secretive.  (Perhaps, it sounds creepy when I put it that way.) I don't have anything to hide. Usually it's self-development things (like studying french and working on blogs), Buddhist study things, bio tech career planning things (like imagining making my own lab on wheels), and dancing things. All in all, they are innocuous. Still,  few people know about what I do on a daily basis outside of work. (Aside from anyone who has read this.)

That's because I don't invite anyone. I'm not a total introvert, and I do like people. The problem is when it comes to normal socializing, the only thing I really do like is the people. When it comes to hanging out with people and making plans I'm often at a lost of what to do with them. The activities most Americans use for  social leisure don't click with me.

Going to the bars with friends?
 That sounds sort of boring unless it is with someone I haven't seen in a while. I could maybe do it a few times a month, but it is not motivating me to leave the house. I don't drink either. When a person doesn't drink it changes the perceived quality of drunk companions. Besides, my sober self does not need to be pushing alcoholism as much as the rest of the country. Some substances can be novel and exciting at times, but too much booze might turn you into Eeyore with a beer belly. Also: Mmmmm...water.  The bar drink that declares: "I'm going to be in bed by 9 night."

Parties with friends?
To party with large groups of people on a regular basis you already have to have a circle of close friends around you, or be in a state parasitism or symbiosis with a social butterfly. I'm not in that position. If I was to plan larger parties with people, I'd prefer to have a group of folks who already know me an each other well. That can be a goal when I have my own place at a later time (and after I learn to entertain with food).

Movies with friends? This is a great activity, but it is too expensive to do every week. It also lacks some gumption. Ditto for coffee and bonding over food. It is all fun, but it doesn't help people develop closer relationships based on doing a common interest. You talk all day, wouldn't you like to accomplish something more than talking (or chewing food)? More importantly, these activities take up a lot of money over time. One ten dollar restaurant meal and one three dollar coffee a week with buds will set you back $676 dollars this year and $3380 in five years. You could do a month long trip to Europe (on a budget of hostels, camping out, and making your own meals) on something like that. That's not to put down coffee all the time, it just seems to be a poor social safety net.

My solution: Socialize Your Private Hobbies


First go and list most of the activities and plans you do regularly alone that have a possibility of bringing other people in, even if it seems unlikely. Fortunately, I'm an itinerary and journal junky.

I maintain a physical journal, which I go through every three or so months, my Wunderlist app, and an online journal, amongst numerous scattered and forlorn Kingsoft articles .In lunatic fashion, I like to write about what I'm doing and what I plan to do a lot. In ten years, I'll probably be scribbling on the walls.

Here is a list of upcoming things I considered for next week:

Buying a Wifi hotspot
Checking out Startup Show on PBS
Planning a Blood sugar experiment with a Glucose Meter (I'll have to write a post about this later.)
Scheduling a Doctors Appointment
Stocking More Goods for My Online Business
Checking on my student loan payments
Looking Up Alziemers supplementation of oils(Another post.)
Writing out my future plans and notes for safekeeping that are on my phone
Adding two articles to my blog
Trying to go to bed at 9
Drinking Green Drink
Working out with Kettlebell swings
Spending some time Creative Writing
Stuying French
Attending Samba Class...

There's more, but you get the gist. Next, take the items on your list and highlight the ones you believe you can involve other people in.

Buying a Wifi hotspot
Checking out Startup Show on PBS- It's generally easy to spend time with people watching a show.
Planning a Blood sugar experiment with a Glucose Meter
Scheduling a Doctors Appointment
Stocking More Goods for My Online Business
Checking on my student loan payments
Looking Up Alziemers supplementation of oils
Writing out my future plans and notes for safekeeping that are on my phone
Adding two articles to my blog
Trying to go to bed at 9
Drinking green drinks in the morning
Working out with kettlebell swings and dance- Ditto for this one.
Spending some time creative writing- Lots of people want to do more creative activities, but haven't kept up with it. Having a partner helps a lot. 
Studying french-  Learning an unfamiliar language is a chance to talk with someone from a different area. I plan to go to Europe and the quality of my trip depends on the ability to connect with people.
Attending Samba Class-  Many people are interested in learning dance, but feel nervous about going to a new class.

Write a first action step for having people join you to these activities
Text a close friend about the TV show.
Text the workout buddy about learning kettlebell swings and the waltz.
Join an online site for talking with native speakers
Start a creative writing group or join one on Meetup, attend one meeting.
Ask friends on Facebook if they would be interested attending samba with me.


In the next two weeks do each of these steps. In all likelihood, they won't all work out the first two weeks. People are generally busy and it takes some gumption to try something new.

I'll let you know in an upcoming post how this strategy works out.



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