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  1. #1
    Senior Member chatoyer's Avatar
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    Default Avoiding people in public places

    Ok, I am a scary extrovert, but once in awhile, I get in work mode, where I'm under time pressure or just in a mood that is less social, & I will avoid people I know, friends or acquaintances, that I see in a public place. I will go to great lengths to avoid the person if necessary, maybe feel a bit guilty about it.

    One of these times I had an epiphany, "this is what it's like to be an introvert" or at least an IT-type, oh ok, I get it.

    But then I saw myself as the avoided person.......& it bothered me to be perceived that way. I'm that annoying person the IT is trying to avoid, & even if you say "it's not personal", I'm lumped in with all those other people (which hurts my NF identity), & even if I've had those times where I'm avoiding other people, it's so occasional, that it doesn't affect my overall perception of them.

    Discuss! Anyone relate on the extrovert side? How about the introverts, how do you view those people?

  2. #2
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I occasionally (if around people I know enough about) will go into extroverted mode, but it exhausts me eventually and I will crash in the space of a minute. [Click! The switch turns off, and I disappear.]

    Usually I am in "introverted but open to interaction" or veering towards the other extreme of "Don't touch me! Or look at me!" in my worse moments.

    At my worst, I am very capable of taking active steps and expending energy to AVOID people who might try to interact with me. I will avoid going into a particular store and drive out of my way; I will cross the sidewalk to avoid passing someone who might try to talk; I will inconvenience myself in many ways if I think someone will try to interact/intrude. It is ugly, and I hate it, and it's much less than it was; but the anxiety can be awful.

    How do I view extroverts who want to interact? When I was a teenager, I would see them as very very intrusive, frightening, annoying, aggressive, etc. IOW, a very negative reaction, and judgmental.

    Nowadays I have calibrated my sensors a bit and read extroverts much better than I used to... so your intentions are no longer suspicious or threatening, and are usually well-meant and good ones. And I see positive aspects of interaction. So I deal much better. Still, sometimes I will say, "This is not you, it's me; but I'm just feeling lousy and need some space for a bit."
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  3. #3
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    I've never avoided people I know, but I make a point to avoid strangers most of the time, although I will talk to some of them if they don't look threatening. Honestly, I deal rather seamlessly with people. I can just casually ask the average person nearby what time it is, and usually have to since I don't have a watch.

    The only thing that makes me nervous is large numbers of people, or people behaving in an extremely physically active/erratic manner, it's too stressful. I'm fine if there are less than or about, say 8-10 people in a public place, as long as they are relatively calm, focused, polite, etc. rather than unnervingly animated.

    The thing is, I don't like to be in public that long. I'm comfortable enough talking to people there, but I'm much happier in front of my computer.

  4. #4
    Senior Member chatoyer's Avatar
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    I'm meaning just seeing someone you know unexpectedly, I was thinking of seeing people when I'm at the grocery store or Target, something like that.

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    I can just casually ask the average person nearby what time it is, and usually have to since I don't have a watch.
    * stares bug-eyed at Athenian, backs slowly away, then turns and runs *

    Quote Originally Posted by chatoyer View Post
    I'm meaning just seeing someone you know unexpectedly, I was thinking of seeing people when I'm at the grocery store or Target, something like that.
    It's a crapshoot on how I'll respond. On good days, I will look in their eyes and initiate contact. On bad days, I will either disappear if I can manage it, so they won't see it; or I'll pretend to be engrossed in what I'm doing, allowing them to initiate if they want. (And then I'll be able to respond.)
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  6. #6
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chatoyer View Post
    I'm meaning just seeing someone you know unexpectedly, I was thinking of seeing people when I'm at the grocery store or Target, something like that.
    Honestly, I'd probably say hello, if they were a friend. Just an acquaintance, probably not. I'm never too busy to talk to a friend.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Lookin4theBestNU's Avatar
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    I work in retail so I try to avoid talking to people all day long. The key is to see them before they see you. You also have to turn corners really fast when you see them coming and zig-zag. I avoid eye contact with strangers in public as for some reason people feel inclined to talk to me pretty much no matter where I go. People will also talk my ear off about things I could care less about. Yesterday I had a lady telling me all about menopause and her hot flashes for at least 10 minutes. I was stuck at the jewelery counter with no where to run and no one to pass the buck to. I think she knew that. Anyway I have to avoid friends often even though most are introverts they can talk quite a bit. I avoid my extroverted friends unless I have an hour to kill. When I get in work mode as you say I most certainly want to be left alone but I don't feel bad about it really. I don't know how often I am avoided or if it would bother me. I think because I am an extrovert I am sought out to talk quite a bit.
    "At points of clarity, I realize that my life on earth is meaningless, and that I am merely a pawn in a bigger game. A game I cannot possibly understand or have control of. Thankfully, before depression sets in, I drift back into my cloudy, bewildered daily routine." **Joel Patrick Warneke**

  8. #8
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chatoyer View Post
    Ok, I am a scary extrovert, but once in awhile, I get in work mode, where I'm under time pressure or just in a mood that is less social, & I will avoid people I know, friends or acquaintances, that I see in a public place. I will go to great lengths to avoid the person if necessary, maybe feel a bit guilty about it.

    One of these times I had an epiphany, "this is what it's like to be an introvert" or at least an IT-type, oh ok, I get it.

    But then I saw myself as the avoided person.......& it bothered me to be perceived that way. I'm that annoying person the IT is trying to avoid, & even if you say "it's not personal", I'm lumped in with all those other people (which hurts my NF identity), & even if I've had those times where I'm avoiding other people, it's so occasional, that it doesn't affect my overall perception of them.

    Discuss! Anyone relate on the extrovert side? How about the introverts, how do you view those people?
    Well, the thing with ITs is that we don't necessarily go out of our way to avoid people because if we don't want to talk, we just won't (and we probably won't have to worry about feeling guilty about it).
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

    Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office
    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  9. #9
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    * stares bug-eyed at Athenian, backs slowly away, then turns and runs *
    Now I know how Saria felt...

  10. #10
    Senior Member Vortex's Avatar
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    I absolutely detest running into people I know unexpectedly (unless I know them very, very well) and I'll try to slip away before I'm seen if at all possible at least half the times it happens. It's such an ackward situation.

    When I'm out alone in public places I'll do my very best to shut the world out most of the time. If it's a place I know (e.g. trainstation) I'll often push down my glasses so all the people are just blurry shapes and I can walk past them without getting any eye contact. I'm always polite, but I get intensely annoyed when I'm disturbed by strangers trying to give or sell me something, not because of their product or cause or whatever, but because they tear me out my inner world and force me to think quickly, smile and give a reply and I am never out of this inner world if I'm on my way to school or on another routine route.

    Wow, I'm getting totally agitated just thinking about how many people have harassed me in this fashion and 'pulled me out' today. Both strangers and acquaintances.

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