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Sometimes being an introvert is a drag


Alicia64
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My neighborhood has a small Halloween party ever year. I heard some of the moms were dressing up so I did too. I made healthy food, went over, said hi to a few and. . . had nobody to talk to. I made small talk w/ a couple of people, but it just goes nowhere.

 

So, I left dh -- who wanders around happily and never hangs w/ me -- and the kids and came home.

 

Don't get me wrong: being home in a quiet house is heaven, but I wish I could swing w/ the party thing more.

 

On the other hand. . . there is a book calling my name. :)

 

Do you ever wish you had a tad more extroversion in you??

 

Alley

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Yes. I've gotten much better at small talk especially when I meet other moms and can keep the conversation going by simply asking questions. People tend to love talking about themselves. But I find it exhausting. It seems like it shouldn't be so tiring to socialize, but it is.

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Thank you! I needed understanding. Dh looks at me like, "why'd you leave? There's pizza!"

 

If nobody talks to him, he doesn't care: he just has another slice.

 

And, yes, I'm getting more introverted as I get older.

 

Plus -- and I know I sound nutty -- but I'm positive the woman next door dislikes me. We've been here for two years and walks away if she sees she's anywhere near me. I swear, I've done nothing to her. Nothing. So that happened too and made me kind of bummed.

 

Thanks for getting it.

 

Alley

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I hate small talk always, but I've at least learned to appreciate it when it's in English. Small talk in any other language, no mater how comfortable I am with it, is pretty much torture. If I don't speak the language well, like Spanish, then I'm stuck waiting for someone to take pity on me. But that forces someone else to chat with me in a langauge they're probably not comfortable in. And did I mention that parents are supposed to stay for all three (or more) hours of kids' birthday parties here? But there are tacos. I eat a lot of tacos at parties.

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I'm an introvert with a bit of social anxiety. I would have struggled to go in the first place. :grouphug:

Yup. I would have talked myself into and out of going 100 times and then maybe not gone unless I had a social buffer. Dh and I have an agreement about these sorts of events. We go together and he never leaves my side unless I let him know otherwise. He's my social buffer. If he's working then I'd probably just what the OP did.

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Sometimes.  And I can muster it up if I prep myself well enough.  

 

I really do loathe small talk though.  So it takes so. much. effort. not have that, "I hate being here listening to you ramble on about stuff I #1 don't agree with or #2 am tired of hearing about." look on my face. lol

 

Then it takes me hours to recover.  

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My neighborhood has a small Halloween party ever year. I heard some of the moms were dressing up so I did too. I made healthy food, went over, said hi to a few and. . . had nobody to talk to. I made small talk w/ a couple of people, but it just goes nowhere.

 

So, I left dh -- who wanders around happily and never hangs w/ me -- and the kids and came home.

 

Don't get me wrong: being home in a quiet house is heaven, but I wish I could swing w/ the party thing more.

 

On the other hand. . . there is a book calling my name. :)

 

Do you ever wish you had a tad more extroversion in you??

 

Alley

 

I think after 50 years I have found a good amount of extroversion (a smidge more than I had before), but mostly it's just getting the balance from realizing that it doesn't really matter.  I might not have a lot of friends, but the ones I have are good ones.  I can be sociable when needed if I don't have to drive the conversation, since I've learned through long, hard practice when to nod my head and how to ask "leading" questions.  If I find I'm faltering I simply explain that I know nothing on the subject and am happy to listen to them tell me more.  That usually works.

 

But mostly I married an introvert, and so we don't do the mixers and minglers scenes much.  And that's just fine.

 

 

Besides, there are SUCH wonderful books calling....

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Thank you! I needed understanding. Dh looks at me like, "why'd you leave? There's pizza!"

 

If nobody talks to him, he doesn't care: he just has another slice.

 

And, yes, I'm getting more introverted as I get older.

 

Plus -- and I know I sound nutty -- but I'm positive the woman next door dislikes me. We've been here for two years and walks away if she sees she's anywhere near me. I swear, I've done nothing to her. Nothing. So that happened too and made me kind of bummed.

 

Thanks for getting it.

 

Alley

She walks away, huh? She's probably introverted! I hide from my neighbors, too, all the time. They're great people and I like them fine, but I don't always want someone entering my bubble just because I'm outside. I've sat in the car for a while if I pull up at the same time as a neighbor because sometimes giving a wave and saying, "hi" is Just Too Much.

 

I'm half introverted/half extroverted. I just never know which side will take over for the day.

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When there are a few random people at "social" events that I am invited to that I know, that also attend as few functions as I do, I usually hang with them and have no problem letting them carry me along in conversation. Otherwise, I feel out of place because I am not in the core group.

I didn't used to think of myself as an introvert but those were my wild days, I considered myself as a free spirit and tethered to none. lol

People who talk about themselves continually and have no room for interruptions will not keep me in their presence for long.

I am married to an introvert as well.

 

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I've always been amazed at people that can keep talking and talking, coming up with a million questions to keep the conversation going. I don't like small talk either. If there isn't something interesting to talk about, I'd much rather there be silence.

I'm definitely an introvert. I probably would have gone home too.

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I can fake it for a couple hours when necessary, but there are some parties I opt out of at this point in my life, just because I am not up to the effort.

 

Honestly, though, I like being the way I am. The introverts read all the best books and can make a mean Zucchini bread.

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She walks away, huh? She's probably introverted! I hide from my neighbors, too, all the time. They're great people and I like them fine, but I don't always want someone entering my bubble just because I'm outside. I've sat in the car for a while if I pull up at the same time as a neighbor because sometimes giving a wave and saying, "hi" is Just Too Much.

 

I'm half introverted/half extroverted. I just never know which side will take over for the day.

This is why I am SO GLAD I live on a separate lot, without "next-door" neighbors. There are "neighbors," but we are far enough apart that they don't intrude on my bubble.

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Yup, you folks are talking my language. :o I can force myself to go, muster up some conversation, then I am completely drained for a day. :o

 

It's been a stressful week, so tonight I sent DS10 and DH to a party and watched movies in the dark. I didn't turn the light on for TOTers, either. Best halloween ever! :)

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Plus -- and I know I sound nutty -- but I'm positive the woman next door dislikes me. We've been here for two years and walks away if she sees she's anywhere near me. I swear, I've done nothing to her. Nothing. So that happened too and made me kind of bummed.

 

Thanks for getting it.

 

Ack! Don't you HATE that!?! I always feel like maybe I'm going paranoid, but I'm not prone to paranoia, I don't think everyone hates me, I recognize that not everyone is compatible, or that my personality isn't going to be particularly wonderful for everyone. I feel like I look at this very objectively and logically, and yet when someone I think really doesn't care for me, it feels so awful! Funny story though, one person I'd met recently I felt that way about. I was sure he'd said a few things that were meant to subtly make a point in my direction, but it was perfectly appropriate in the circumstance. Anyway, he intimidated me the most of anyone in this new group of people dh and I have been working with. I felt so tongue tied around him, even scratching an itch on my arm felt super clumsy, I mean, there was no being comfortable around him. Turns out, he's a total introvert too, and was just as uncomfortable because I was new to this group.  Whew ^_^ So now I imagine everyone is introverted, and that makes me feel a little better. Avoiding awkward social gatherings makes me feel better still. 

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I can relate. Sometimes I'm content to observe from the sidelines and avoid talking to people. Other times I feel like being in on the action but can't seem to open my mouth. Other times I'm chatty and feel at ease, but that's usually only when I know people very well or have warmed up. I wish I didn't take me so long to feel comfortable. Parties are always hard because mingling feels so unnatural to me.

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She walks away, huh? She's probably introverted! I hide from my neighbors, too, all the time. They're great people and I like them fine, but I don't always want someone entering my bubble just because I'm outside. I've sat in the car for a while if I pull up at the same time as a neighbor because sometimes giving a wave and saying, "hi" is Just Too Much.

 

I'm half introverted/half extroverted. I just never know which side will take over for the day.

 

You don't know how happy I am to read this and see I'm not the only one.

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Funny story though, one person I'd met recently I felt that way about. I was sure he'd said a few things that were meant to subtly make a point in my direction, but it was perfectly appropriate in the circumstance. Anyway, he intimidated me the most of anyone in this new group of people dh and I have been working with. I felt so tongue tied around him, even scratching an itch on my arm felt super clumsy, I mean, there was no being comfortable around him. Turns out, he's a total introvert too, and was just as uncomfortable because I was new to this group. Whew ^_^ So now I imagine everyone is introverted, and that makes me feel a little better. Avoiding awkward social gatherings makes me feel better still.

This reminds me of a girl on my floor in the dorm in college. I felt intimidated by her and thought she didn't like me because she was chatty and funny with my roommate and others but never said much at all to me and was serious and formal when she did. We ended up working together on an extracurricular activity and went on a trip to a conference with a small group on a break, so we spent a lot of time together. As I got to know her better, she didn't seem as scary and was much friendlier toward me. We became good friends after that, and she later told me how intimidated she was by me in the beginning. I laughed and told her I'd felt the same way about her. We had very similar personalities, so it's funny that we both misread each other to such an extent.

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I've had to force myself to be an extrovert due to circumstances.  I do find it exhausting most of the time, although some social occasions I really enjoy.  I don't mind getting into long conversations with strangers if it's one-on-one, but hate talking with a whole group at once.  Also, after an evening of forced small talk I sometimes don't answer the phone for a week.

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I'm just hearing "It's exhausting to listen to you. Your small talk is boring. Your not-so-small talk is intrusive. Why don't you talk to me at parties? Why are you avoiding me?"

 

Like many people, I prefer deeper conversations to small talk, but I appreciate friendly and extroverted people a lot. I particularly appreciate being with chatty people who are good at small talk in the types of situations the OP describes. I just need a lot of time to recharge after social things.

 

I like listening to people honestly. I want to feel connected. I feel connected when the conversation goes deeper, and I don't find not so small talk intrusive.

 

Side note: the other part of this, for me, is that I think (know) my introversion comes across less warm/more reserved when people don't know me. I hate that, because I like people.

 

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I really don't know what I am.  I consider myself an introvert.  I find social situations draining.  

 

But

 

once you get me out of the house, I love talking to people.  A little too much.

 

But 

 

I would rather stay home in the first place.

 

There is a picture of a person crouching and hissing in a hamster ball.  That is me when I haven't had enough down time. 

 

BTW, I loathe meetings!  I suffer from "meetingitis" which is one of the main reasons I no longer attend church.

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I'm just hearing "It's exhausting to listen to you. Your small talk is boring. Your not-so-small talk is intrusive. Why don't you talk to me at parties? Why are you avoiding me?"

 

It doesn't make sense to us introverts either. We don't like small talk. Or revealing deep parts of us. But then we wonder why we sit alone at parties. Then are annoyed when someone does talk to us. I try to figure it out, too. I guess that's why we just stay at home :)

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Well, I don't have a lot to add.

 

Except I'm having lunch today with three of my lifelong best friends.  Which I will totally enjoy.  And later this afternoon we have to go to SIL and BIL's for a huge annual gathering of their families and friends.  Since I know lots of people it won't be totally horrible.

 

But I know it'll take me all of next week to rest and recover from all the socializing today!

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She walks away, huh? She's probably introverted! I hide from my neighbors, too, all the time. They're great people and I like them fine, but I don't always want someone entering my bubble just because I'm outside. I've sat in the car for a while if I pull up at the same time as a neighbor because sometimes giving a wave and saying, "hi" is Just Too Much.

 

I'm half introverted/half extroverted. I just never know which side will take over for the day.

:iagree:

 

I thought I was the only one!  Sometimes I love to chat with people, even new people, and sometimes the mere thought is torture.  I also routinely hide from my neighbors.  

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:iagree:

 

I thought I was the only one! Sometimes I love to chat with people, even new people, and sometimes the mere thought is torture. I also routinely hide from my neighbors.

Sometimes I can't even understand my own behavior. I'm in the grocery store and think, "Oh, there's Amy, from church," and then I dive behind the Cantaloupe display.

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Yes, I do.

 

I seem to be getting more and more socially awkward all the time, too.

 

This is exactly what I was thinking. Lol.  I'm afraid I will grow into an old lady hermit who never goes outside and only peeks out the blinds at the neighbors. All anyone will ever see of me is my eyeballs.  Except my kids, whom I have made swear they will visit me even when I'm a hermit. ;)

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I'm just hearing "It's exhausting to listen to you. Your small talk is boring. Your not-so-small talk is intrusive. Why don't you talk to me at parties? Why are you avoiding me?"

 

 

Haha! true - you can't win you know. ;)

 

I've found it helpful in some situations to assume that everyone is introverted. Helps me find the guts to go first. 

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I'm starting to really dislike the Team Introvert / Team Extrovert thing. Sometimes I read the situations described and think it has more to do with developing social skills than where your energy comes from. I know introverts who are at ease at parties and extroverts who are socially awkward. Social grace is a skill, not a talent. It's like languages or math. You can improve, or let your skills atrophy. To talk or socialize is an action you take in that moment, not necessarily a hard-wired trait that defines you. It seems unhealthy to let socially awkward moments define your personality because EVERYONE has these moments.

 

I genuinely enjoy conversation of all types with all kinds of people. I believe that past the age of 30, EVERYONE is tired after a day of chatting or a party. I think quick-witted, fast-paced conversations are fun, but I KNOW that in order to participate you must jump in like double-Dutch. If I'm just listening this time, I'd never expect the conversation to come to a dead halt, have all eyes turn to me, and have someone ask "Panda, what do YOU think about this?" Then have everyone wait for my response. That seems like he social equivalent of going into the stands to replace a player on the field. You can CHOOSE to be on the field, on the bench, or in the stands, but that choice is up to you and not the players in the game, and the role you choose that day may have nothing to do with your general personality 'type.'

 

I think I'm a considerate person, but The Hive conversations on this topic have me a bit conflicted. If I see a mother sitting alone at co-op do I risk offending her by not including her, or do I risk annoying her by attempting "small talk?" The way small talk is detested here, it seems like some of you define it as mindless prattle for simpletons that just don't think that deeply and never pick up a book. However, when talking to someone you don't know, you HAVE to start with broad, general topics and work your way through to more specific ones as you get to know them over time.

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I wanted to kind of follow up with what KFP mentioned above...

 

As an extrovert I want everyone to have a good time at a party so I purposefully seek out people who are standing or sitting alone. I try to get them to chat, loosen up and have a good time. In fact, I feel bad if it looks like someone isn't having a good time. I want/need to make that happen for them.

 

Is this a REALLY bad thing to do for introverts? I'm not pushy or mean about it. If I sense that they are really not interested I will move along, but I try to make them laugh, find common ground, etc.

 

Is my picture secretly on dart boards around introverted homes?

 

ETA: Never mind. I just saw the thread that addresses this very question.

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I wanted to kind of follow up with what KFP mentioned above...

 

As an extrovert I want everyone to have a good time at a party so I purposefully seek out people who are standing or sitting alone. I try to get them to chat, loosen up and have a good time. In fact, I feel bad if it looks like someone isn't having a good time. I want/need to make that happen for them.

 

Is this a REALLY bad thing to do for introverts? I'm not pushy or mean about it. If I sense that they are really not interested I will move along, but I try to make them laugh, find common ground, etc.

 

Is my picture secretly on dart boards around introverted homes?

 

You would be like a wonderful gift from heaven for me at a party.

 

 

I really, really wish I could get the hang of parties. I somewhat long for a little more social time, but I just can't seem to make it work for me. Not enough people like you wanting to be 'pushy' I guess. That sort of pushy would be wonderful. I might actually feel like I socialized a little. Good grief, my sitting at the computer today is me avoiding another get together simply because I know I'll sit in the corner and feel really uncomfortable and have no one to really talk about anything worth while with.

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I think I'm a considerate person, but The Hive conversations on this topic have me a bit conflicted. If I see a mother sitting alone at co-op do I risk offending her by not including her, or do I risk annoying her by attempting "small talk?" The way small talk is detested here, it seems like some of you define it as mindless prattle for simpletons that just don't think that deeply and never pick up a book. However, when talking to someone you don't know, you HAVE to start with broad, general topics and work your way through to more specific ones as you get to know them over time.

Well I'm so glad you have me all figured out and know just what I should do to make me more acceptable. (Said wrly and with a hint of humor) And to think all these years it was because I wasn't trying hard enough to develop the necessary social skills. Gee, why didn't I think of that. ;)

 

You know, for me it isn't so much the small talk per se as it is initiating the small talk and carrying the conversation. If I can be on the periphery of a group conversation without having to carry it on my own, then I'm perfectly happy. I will look forard to going home, though, and will request some peace and quiet when I get there. Preferrably with no one talking to me. My family understands this, thankfully.

 

Gently, I don't think anyone here is talking about you in particular or requiring you to change one bit. Mostly it's been what people here wish they could change about themselves. Honestly, having lived in my skin for all this time, I am aware of my deficiencies in an extroverted world. I can adjust my own expectations, but I am realistic about who I am. I don't need to be fixed.

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Do you ever wish you had a tad more extroversion in you??

 

 

All the time!

 

I'm shy, with some social anxiety thrown on top for good measure.

 

Two years ago when we moved, again, I just decided I was going to have to get over myself and be more out going on a daily basis. It's been really hard! But in a good way. Sort of :P I've made a point of introducing myself and have gotten better at keeping a conversation going, but I have to go into the situation having predetermined that I'm going to force myself to be, act out of, my comfort zone. It's exhausting. And I need a good week or two to recover, lol. One big social event a year is enough for me ;). Even going to church on Sundays wears me out for a couple of days. I think I could happily be a hermit.

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Yep. I'm ok with small talk when it's kept to a minimum. My volunteer "job" really requires an extroverted person who wants to be in constant communication in front of a sea of faces for several hours. And after that, more communication and socializing with parents. And then the director thinks it's a great idea to have a staff meeting after a day of that in the cafe at Costco.

 

I wonder if some of my increasing introversion is because I have a large family and the busyness that goes with it. Putting myself into even more social situations just takes everything out of me.

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Small talk at a kid Halloween party for me yesterday was, "I love her costume!  Where did you find something like that?"

 

Person: Well... I made it.

 

You made it? That's incredible. You're very talented.

 

Oh thanks, it was so much fun!

 

I envy fabric artists. I am not very creative in that way.

 

Oh, I'm not an artist! I just like to sew.

 

We also talked about how dang adorable all the kids were in their costumes etc.

 

I asked other people where I could find decent Chinese take- out, since I truly have had no luck in that department. I also asked for the recipe for cheese 'crackers' that were nice and fluffy.  Host showed the recipe card, and I learned her mother has been making them for 50 years. I thought that was nice.

 

 To me this is small talk. It didn't solve world hunger, but it wasn't 'boring.'  I'm not saying it's easy to talk to strangers, but I didn't think they were all stupid, and really did like the costume the mom made, was impressed by the talent it took to make it etc.  I also desperately need to find decent take-out. lol

 

I completely understand feeling shy or left out at parties where one doesn't know a lot of folks, and I certainly love a good book! I just don't know why 'small talk', or non-serious talk that is not about the state of the world. or the meaning of life, is so bad, at least at first.

 

I understand being an introvert, but it shouldn't be about disparaging  those who are good at 'small talk' ?  I do envy those who are gregarious, but don't we need folks like that at times?  One also can't know whether the person making a bit of small talk isn't also a bit shy, even if she isn't looking shy. I mean, I may be asking about good take-out places for awhile, even I do find decent Chinese, since there are other foods I also like. lol

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I'm starting to really dislike the Team Introvert / Team Extrovert thing. Sometimes I read the situations described and think it has more to do with developing social skills than where your energy comes from. I know introverts who are at ease at parties and extroverts who are socially awkward. Social grace is a skill, not a talent. It's like languages or math. You can improve, or let your skills atrophy. To talk or socialize is an action you take in that moment, not necessarily a hard-wired trait that defines you. It seems unhealthy to let socially awkward moments define your personality because EVERYONE has these moments.

 

I genuinely enjoy conversation of all types with all kinds of people. I believe that past the age of 30, EVERYONE is tired after a day of chatting or a party. I think quick-witted, fast-paced conversations are fun, but I KNOW that in order to participate you must jump in like double-Dutch. If I'm just listening this time, I'd never expect the conversation to come to a dead halt, have all eyes turn to me, and have someone ask "Panda, what do YOU think about this?" Then have everyone wait for my response. That seems like he social equivalent of going into the stands to replace a player on the field. You can CHOOSE to be on the field, on the bench, or in the stands, but that choice is up to you and not the players in the game, and the role you choose that day may have nothing to do with your general personality 'type.'

 

I think I'm a considerate person, but The Hive conversations on this topic have me a bit conflicted. If I see a mother sitting alone at co-op do I risk offending her by not including her, or do I risk annoying her by attempting "small talk?" The way small talk is detested here, it seems like some of you define it as mindless prattle for simpletons that just don't think that deeply and never pick up a book. However, when talking to someone you don't know, you HAVE to start with broad, general topics and work your way through to more specific ones as you get to know them over time.

Panda, I definitely agree with you that social skills are just that - skills. That is why I said I can bluff through it well enough when necessary. I am raising my kids to be able to speak confidently for themselves, extrovert or introvert notwithstanding. So in that respect, yes; intro or extro, it is good to work on one's social skills and not just curl up in the corner crying Introvert.

 

Having said that, there is definitely something to be said for being conscious of how you energize/fatigue. As I am getting older, I also see how much influence hormones have on how much I do or don't want to/care about interacting with people. I have come to realize that some parties don't offer a good return-on-investment; I pruned them. For instance, one very lovely friend hosted a Christmas party every year, but the vast majority of guests were moms who are very involved in their public school system. I felt like the only conversation I had, over and over, at her parties where about the wheres and what-fors of hsing. Usually, the women were nice about it, but still - the conversation would always start with ages/genders of children, then what school do they go to, then my hs confession, then I have to explain one or more things about hsing. I got tired of it.

 

I haven't noticed the WTM conversations you're talking about here; perhaps those have been threads I just haven't looked at. Ordinarily, though, I generally don't worry about whether someone welcomes talking with me or wishes I would go bother someone else. If they don't like me, I assume they will brush me off enough that i'll stop trying. Though I really cannot imagine how someone would not like *ME*...

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