Post here for any topics about introversion in general.
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I've always enjoyed being around a lot of people - as long as I don't have to interact with them. Traveling around Asia, I've had the opportunity to join local festivals where everyone is having a good time, but I feel comfortably detached from everyone else. As a foreigner, people smile at me or say hello, so I don't feel lonely or out of place but there's no obligation for me to participate in anything. Oddly enough, I've always preferred living in the centre of large cities, where I'm where the action is but existing pretty much anonymously. I can't imagine I'd enjoy living in a small village where everyone knows everyone else's business. I don't know if this is an aspect of introversion or just me.
If the truth hurts, you ain't livin' right.
I like crowds as well; you can be invisible. People will eventually notice you if you're too conspicuous but it won't be that big of a deal. In smaller groups, you have to pay more attention to the "social rules" which govern our interaction with people, i.e. am I smiling enough, talking enough, talking too much, etc. you always have to be constantly aware and mindful about not coming across as strange or different or whatever. In big crowds it's not a big deal as you likely won't know most of the people there anyway so it wouldn't matter what they thought anyway. If you're out with your spouse at a dinner party, even if it's just 3 couples, it definitely will matter.
I guess I'm kind of torn on this. In small situations, I absolutely hate crowds. For instance, I would choose a small, quiet, sparsely-populated bar over one packed with people and music blaring 100% of the time. My girlfriend loves the latter, but all they do is make me anxious and feel the need to be as close to an exit as possible. However, while I never used to consider myself a city person, recently I started to realize that maybe I was, and I think it definitely in some part had to do with the anonymity factor. There is something very pleasing to me about the idea of being in a sea of people and having absolutely no one know who I am or what I'm doing. On the other hand, the potential for quiet and serenity in a small town setting definitely appeals to me as well. While having everyone know your business might get annoying, the chance to be closer to nature and experience true peace and quiet sounds great to me.
Orientalist wrote:I've had the opportunity to join local festivals where everyone is having a good time, but I feel comfortably detached from everyone else ... I don't feel lonely or out of place but there's no obligation for me to participate in anything. Oddly enough, I've always preferred living in the centre of large cities, where I'm where the action is but existing pretty much anonymously.
Yes I do like crowds, on my terms though i.e. the concert/festival scenes. Otherwise, Christmas crowds, Subway crowds etc I can live without. I'm a people watcher and like to be "comfortably detached" as you put it. I find that easy to do in large crowds. I'm not fond of the congestion and rude/inconsiderate/ignorant people in big city life but do enjoy existing pretty much anonymously in them. I have a vacation spot in a northern Ontario forest and wildlife reserve area that is very low density for people. I've found the people there to be much more genuine and humble, although they are also city people (or citiots as the locals like to call us). As far as small towns go, you'll have a tough time fitting regardless on your level of intro/extro-version because of the "your not from here" attitude.
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