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  1. #1
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Default Going to concerts, films, and other fun things...ALONE

    Just curious to see how people feel about this generally, though I think it may have been discussed before.

    I have a pretty good network of friends, including a few who have very similar interests to mine, and if I want to go to a concert, exhibition, etc there's a good chance I will ask someone or some people to join me.

    However, I often go to these events alone, too. This is especially likely under any of the following circumstances:

    -It's one of my hobbies which is kind of a niche/unusual area and I genuinely don't really have friends who are into it, or not enough;
    -It's very time-sensitive - there is a limited number of tickets and/or it's something likely to sell out fast, and if I try to rally friends to go I might miss it altogether;
    -I decide spontaneously that I'm happy with my own company for the evening but I really want to take in a movie, or something.

    Sometimes I even prefer being alone, because it takes the pressure off and I can just experience my own enjoyment. If I'm with other people, I tend to worry a bit that they won't enjoy themselves or something will somehow go a bit wrong.

    I ask because I'm well aware that a lot of people pretty much 100% refuse to do this. I have had people laugh or stare in disbelief or pity when I've told them I went alone to something like this, or that someone else did. With certain types of people I end up feeling like I have to justify myself. These are the people who say things like "the experience is all about the people I was there with." Some of my best experiences (of various sorts) in life have been alone - just as some of the best have been with friends or family. I guess I just don't feel like "the experience is all about the people I was with" if it's some artistic experience that on its own means a lot to me. What I love doing above all with friends or family is having great, long chats. If it's some kind of cultural/etc experience that we both feel deeply about, then yes, I'd love to be there with certain friends or family. Otherwise, it's ok either way.

    I think it's probably more common for extroverts to be totally unwilling to do something like this alone, but I'm not sure that it's totally an introvert/extrovert thing. Is it related to functions? Is it just a very individual thing? I'd be interested to hear what you think or your own views or experiences.
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  2. #2
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    I don't like doing things like that alone - even going to a movie. Just feel awkward I guess.

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  3. #3
    Temporal Mechanic. Lexicon's Avatar
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    I go see bands by myself. There's value in sharing experiences with friends, but there's also value in taking it in, alone. I can easily enjoy both. I don't go to the cinema terribly often- I can just wait to stream the movie. I'm a cheapskate. I think the one activity I wouldn't engage in without a friend along would have to be going to an amusement park. Who wants to sit next to some stranger, screaming in your ear, on half the rides. Share the adrenaline with friends!

    Also, I can relate to the whole, giving our empathy a break, in terms of just being able to freely enjoy our own experiences without the distraction of soaking up others' emotional output/factoring it in, subconsciously, etc. [xSTP shadow, perhaps? ]

    You may have a point with the extroverts having less interest in doing this- as they tend to be energized by social interaction more consistently- but I've known a few introverts to be like that, as well. On some level, I can relate to not doing things alone.. while there are many activities I'd have just as much fun flying solo, I may not even think to pursue them as often [like outdoorsy stuff like hiking, etc], without [perhaps my ISTP] friends pulling me out of my head to come along with them, haha.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    I love doing things alone.
    I have gone to concerts, art exhibits, movies, dinner, auctions, wine tastings, book stores, skiing... hell, I could keep listing things, but you get the point.
    I enjoy my own company.

  5. #5
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    I do things alone if I can't rope anybody in. I go to movies quite often alone (I don't even know anyone that I could get to go to a Wes Anderson flick), I occasionally hit small shows, art galleries, and definitely go to the bar by myself often. I generally have to really want to do it, and not just to distract myself for the evening, bar excepted.

  6. #6
    libtard SJW chickpea's Avatar
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    i don't like it at all. i feel very aimless and nervous and awkward being in public by myself.

  7. #7
    FRACTALICIOUS phobik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    Just curious to see how people feel about this generally, though I think it may have been discussed before.

    I have a pretty good network of friends, including a few who have very similar interests to mine, and if I want to go to a concert, exhibition, etc there's a good chance I will ask someone or some people to join me.

    However, I often go to these events alone, too. This is especially likely under any of the following circumstances:

    -It's one of my hobbies which is kind of a niche/unusual area and I genuinely don't really have friends who are into it, or not enough;
    -It's very time-sensitive - there is a limited number of tickets and/or it's something likely to sell out fast, and if I try to rally friends to go I might miss it altogether;
    -I decide spontaneously that I'm happy with my own company for the evening but I really want to take in a movie, or something.

    Sometimes I even prefer being alone, because it takes the pressure off and I can just experience my own enjoyment. If I'm with other people, I tend to worry a bit that they won't enjoy themselves or something will somehow go a bit wrong.

    I ask because I'm well aware that a lot of people pretty much 100% refuse to do this. I have had people laugh or stare in disbelief or pity when I've told them I went alone to something like this, or that someone else did. With certain types of people I end up feeling like I have to justify myself. These are the people who say things like "the experience is all about the people I was there with." Some of my best experiences (of various sorts) in life have been alone - just as some of the best have been with friends or family. I guess I just don't feel like "the experience is all about the people I was with" if it's some artistic experience that on its own means a lot to me. What I love doing above all with friends or family is having great, long chats. If it's some kind of cultural/etc experience that we both feel deeply about, then yes, I'd love to be there with certain friends or family. Otherwise, it's ok either way.

    I think it's probably more common for extroverts to be totally unwilling to do something like this alone, but I'm not sure that it's totally an introvert/extrovert thing. Is it related to functions? Is it just a very individual thing? I'd be interested to hear what you think or your own views or experiences.
    I can value exploring/wander alone/march to my own drum, without having to cater to anyone else's agenda/validation, but I generally find sharing experiences with those I like spending time with, to be more enjoyable.
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  8. #8
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    I do things alone quite a lot.

    Ideally I would prefer to experience these things with someone else, but I am not going to wait on living just because that isn't currently an option.

    I am going to London/Paris next year and I plan to go alone. Would it be nice to share the journey with a select someone else? Yes. Is it going to stop me from having the Greatest Time Ever? No.

    I go to movies alone a lot. I often get a whim of "I want to see this and it's 8:07 pm and the next showing is 8:35 and no one lives near me so... I'm going." The only time this was a bad idea was when it was recommended to me to go see "Let the Right One in" because they thought it was brilliant. I didn't research the film at all; I just went. About five minutes into the film I realized it was a Scary Movie About Vampires And I was Alone Except For One Other Patron Who Is Probably a Serial Killer Vampire Murderer Bent On Murdering Me. I almost cried.

    Being ok with myself alone is a very important part of who I am, so I find the need to flex this ability to remind myself that I am ok. (Not being able to do things alone creates a panic inside of me like almost no other thing.)

  9. #9
    Symbolic Herald Vasilisa's Avatar
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    This reminds me of @Gloriana 's thread: Intrusive Empathy/Intuition

    Quote Originally Posted by Vasilisa View Post
    You may be interested in reading the article I posted here.

    In the paper, Burum offers two possible theories to explain what she and Gilbert found in the study. The first invokes a well-known concept from social psychology called “social loafing,” which says that people tend not to try as hard if they think they can rely on others to pick up their slack. (If two people are pulling a rope, for example, neither will pull quite as hard as they would if they were pulling it alone.) But Burum leans toward a different explanation, which is that sharing an experience with someone is inherently distracting, because it compels us to expend energy on imagining what the other person is going through and how they’re reacting to it.

    “People tend to engage quite automatically with thinking about the minds of other people,” Burum said in an interview. “We’re multitasking when we’re with other people in a way that we’re not when we just have an experience by ourselves.”

    Perhaps this explains why seeing a movie alone feels so radically different than seeing it with friends: Sitting there in the theater with nobody next to you, you’re not wondering what anyone else thinks of it; you’re not anticipating the discussion that you’ll be having about it on the way home. All your mental energy can be directed at what’s happening on the screen. According to Greg Feist, an associate professor of psychology at the San Jose State University who has written about the connection between creativity and solitude, some version of that principle may also be at work when we simply let our minds wander: When we let our focus shift away from the people and things around us, we are better able to engage in what’s called meta-cognition, or the process of thinking critically and reflectively about our own thoughts.

    Other psychologists have looked at what happens when other people’s minds don’t just take up our bandwidth, but actually influence our judgment. It’s well known that we’re prone to absorb or mimic the opinions and body language of others in all sorts of situations, including those that might seem the most intensely individual, such as who we’re attracted to. While psychologists don’t necessarily think of that sort of influence as “clouding” one’s judgment — most would say it’s a mechanism for learning, allowing us to benefit from information other people have access to that we don’t — it’s easy to see how being surrounded by other people could hamper a person’s efforts to figure out what he or she really thinks of something.
    You may also appreciate The Upside of Being an Introvert
    Florida State University psychologist K. Anders Ericsson believes that deliberate practice--training conducted in solitude, with no partner or teammate--is key to achieving transcendent skill whether in a sport, in a vocation or with a musical instrument. In one study, Ericsson and some of his colleagues asked professors at the Music academy in Berlin to divide violinists into three groups, ranging from those who would likely go on to professional careers to those who would become teachers instead of performers. The researchers asked the violinists to keep diaries and found that all three groups spent about the same amount of time--more than 50 hours a week--on musical activities. But the two groups whose skill levels made them likelier to play well enough to perform publicly spent most of their time practicing in solitude.

    In later studies, Ericsson and his colleagues found similar results with chess grand masters, athletes and even ordinary college students studying for exams. For all these groups, solitary training allows for a level of intense and personal focus that's hard to sustain in a group setting. You gain the most on your performance when you work alone," says Ericsson. "And the introverted temperament might make some kids more willing to make that commitment."

    The trouble is, fewer and fewer of us have time for solitary contemplation and practice anymore.
    I enjoy going to art museums alone especially. It is very nice to talk about films, art, and books with people, who have also experienced them, at a later time after I have had some time to process. But I do appreciate the immersion without concern about disappointing/wasting the time of another person, since its difficult to find people who share my tastes. I rarely go to the theater alone, for some reason that experience seems social and a special treat worth sharing. Rarely go to the cinema alone, but I rarely go to the cinema anyway, I prefer movies at home unless its something special. Modern music concerts I usually prefer company, if even just to help me deal with the crowded atmosphere.
    Last edited by Vasilisa; 10-01-2012 at 02:01 PM. Reason: concerts
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  10. #10
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    I like (and definitely prefer) shopping alone, and I also like doing some hikes on my own. I also have gotten a lot out of taking some trips alone - whether out of the country or just a 2-3 day trip somewhere in the states. I can really really enjoy driving around on my own, stopping frequently to take photos, do whatever I please, and even eat out on my own with a book in hand.

    For whatever reason it's kinda different in my own hometown - I just tend not to prioritize my just heading out to dinner on my own; although after my last trip where I did that and really enjoyed it, I may start treating myself to that now and then.

    But I've never really desired to go to movies or museums or zoos or bars or anything like that by myself. I just... I dunno, I like doing that with people. [And sidenote: I'm really not a museum person, and find most uninspiring/uninteresting, at least after an hour or so. There have been a few exceptions though.]
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