Being introverted must be a difficult thing. While I can sympathize, it’s hard for me to empathize. I’m an extrovert. This means I am energized when I’m being socially involved, face to face. Introverts lose energy when being socially involved. Much of this introversion and extroversion is because of how we are individually wired. There is however, learned introversion because of a guy’s lifestyle. Here’s a recent article from NY Magazine that describes more about introversion.
Imagine man who has been recently divorced. He’s living out in the ‘burbs and works a regular white-collar job. He’s got two kids and a visitation (I loathe that word) schedule with his kids. Being out in the ‘burbs, there’s not a lot of opportunities for social interaction. He might be an extrovert as part of his nature. But given his schedule and geographical location he can’t indulge that part of his nature. So, he becomes a learned introvert because of social isolation.
Learned introversion is also encouraged through technology. Frankly, the nerds won the social interaction game. Online dating, online chatting, and texting have all lessened a man’s social skills. Fold in online porn and video games and the situation gets even worse. There was once a time of dinner parties, social clubs, even local bars. Those times have faded and the consequence is a serious decrease in a man’s social skills.
I know that many guys will understand this situation. I’ve been there as well. Describing and identifying with the situation is the easy part. The real challenge is fixing the situation. The biggest problem is social inertia. It’s too easy for a man to be stuck in a social rut. Again, this is understandable. Here come some fixes for you guys:
1. As I have said many, many times before… get out of the house! Yes, I know this is a facile thing to say. But for a learned introvert this is not so difficult. It’s just a matter of remembering what you once did way back before marriage and divorce. There are some caveats here. Don’t go to nightclubs unless they are age specific! If you want to be pitching woo to way younger women, the average nightclub is a bad idea.
2. Technology can be your friend. This is counter intuitive based on what I wrote just a few paragraphs previously. I’m not referring to online dating. I’m referring to Meetup.com and other websites or forums where like-minded individuals have the opportunity to meet in real life. This doesn’t have to be about singles groups, it can be about any enthusiasm. Such meet ups are all about social interaction. Use them.
3. Re-learn some social skills. Interacting with people outside of work and family is not easy if a man hasn’t done this for years, possibly decades. Here’s the common resource I’ve pitched for a while. The best way to re-learn is to be social once again.
4. Be actively social by inviting people over to your place, someplace public, some type of event. This could be a happy hour or a meet up somewhere else. In effect, host a social event on your own. If you have female friends, ask them to help (they should be thrilled!). Being the host of any social event creates automatic pre-selection. The women will respond to that in a very good way.
Notice that I’ve not mentioned picking up women or the other skills of attraction. The post-divorce man must first get out in public and end his learned introversion. Then, and only then, can he deal with the realities of meeting women and dating. Fortunately, that’s a social skill set that can be learned.
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