Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

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RandomDude
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Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by RandomDude »

I'm not looking for medical advise here but the subject may touch on medical issues but I'm just looking for some feedback as I've always thought BH's always give some good advise.

Long story short I've noticed I've become more reclusive as I've aged and I'm wondering if this is just normal (or at least not abnormal) and if others have noticed this themselves or in others around them? I just find I'd rather (and enjoy) my own company than that of others over the last couple years. I don't feel lonely am not depressed (I've had bouts of depression in the past but actually feel really happy the last 12 months or so). I just don't like being around people, mainly a lot of people like in parties or large gatherings. I'm naturally an introvert and have never worried about spending time on my own, in fact I kind of look forward to a bit of alone time as the weekend approaches after spending the work week surrounded by people! My wife complains I am becoming anti-social but in all honesty I just can't be bothered to go to parties/gatherings any more. I do have a couple close friends and enjoy their company from time to time but don't feel the need to seek out human interaction all the time. At first I thought it odd and even bad for my health after reading some articles (having stubbled across them in newspapers as opposed to seeking them out) on loneliness (even though I don't feel lonely) so I joined a few social clubs based on my hobbies (outdoor activities) but I felt I'd forced myself to do this and though I had an OK time I actually wished I'd done the activity on my own!

So I was wondering if anyone else had experienced this in themselves or in others and if I should just go with the flow and do what feels right for me or if there is something that is maybe odd with me!

Edited to add I’m 48.

From the outside everything looks 'normal' - I have a good job with lots of human interaction that I do well in, no depression or addictions that would trigger self isolation - truth by told I just enjoy being on my own (or with my dog and cats!).
Last edited by RandomDude on Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
rantk81
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by rantk81 »

Do whatever makes you feel comfortable and happy, and don't worry about what anyone else thinks :beer
chipperd
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by chipperd »

Whatever floats your boat!
I found reassurance in this, quite interesting I thought: https://www.16personalities.com/
Here is the rational : https://www.16personalities.com/articles/our-theory
As an INTJ, I certainly enjoy my alone time!
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cnblure
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by cnblure »

Maybe your social need for love and belonging is already satisfied by the family and friends you have? As long as you are happy it's all good. I can't say if this is normal or not, but I'm only 30 and I really relate to this. None of my friends or family are close to where I now live. I actually want to be more social, but at the same time I have no interests or hobbies that require going out to interact with people. I know that there are meetups/activities/volunteer opportunities. But attending things like this with the goal of being more social or making friends doesn't sit well with me if I'm not genuine about the reason for the activity. I feel like I'm more likely to try and force connections just to meet this goal. I don't know if it's just the way media portrays it but I guess I never learned how to just "go out" in a sense of going somewhere just to be social. Running errands or just going about my day rarely requires much interaction with others. Everyone at work is significantly older or has family life stuff going on. So this makes me feel kind of reclusive even though it's not intentional.
RobLIC
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by RobLIC »

I’m 49 and you’re describing my feelings to a T. ... Partner, dog, work-from-home job that still involves plenty of talking to people in the outside world. Sometimes I even have to put on pants for it.

An old friend with whom I speak about twice a year likes to remind me how much emotional energy it requires to keep up relationships. There may be no such thing as “normal,” but it’s a pretty common trajectory as we age to see our social circles become smaller. Also, hopefully, richer (not in a :moneybag way).

I love and value the people in my life, but I also completely relish time alone. I spent thousands on therapy in my 30s learning to enjoy my own company. :happy
Teague
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by Teague »

Meh. You're fine. Stop bothering me.

And get off my lawn.
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midareff
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by midareff »

72 and wife 56 here and we are exactly the same way except retired (8 yrs). If there is a party in the condo she won't even go although I will briefly. We like to travel but will almost exclusively seek out a table for two at meal times. We are happy, enjoy life... just don't like to be bothered by others except a few long term friends.
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by tennisplyr »

Sounds normal to me. I'm very happy on my own especially if the unpleasant option is to be around a lot of drama, self-centered or nasty people. I heard a line recently that went something like this: "It's not that I'm anti-social, it's more like I'm anti toxic people."
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by Blues »

Sounds fine to me. Enjoy your life. Others can do as they see fit.
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by NESF »

Stay the course; you're fine. I'm similar age and feel the same way.
Mr. Rumples
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by Mr. Rumples »

My former boss explained it to me this way: as you age, what is important to you narrows. You realize you want to spend more time on some things, in her case family and church, and less time on other things. And sure enough, that's happening to me. I only have so much time left on this side and I want to spend it as I see fit and as I enjoy. I talk on the phone usually with someone daily, but not always; I'm happy with my routine which is the gym and the garden and home projects, but the family, at least the younger ones, don't get it and worry about me. Sometimes I have to make myself answer the phone knowing that if I don't, they might just drive over to check on me.
runner3081
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by runner3081 »

I am already heading that way at a younger age than you. Outside of events and activities that my wife and I do with my daughter (which I get over myself and do for her enjoyment/fulfillment), I have zero interest in social activities for myself. I have 1-2 friends and hardly interact with each other, but we know we are there for each other, if ever needed.

I sort of blame it on work. As a leader in the workforce, I am having to be in those interactions and conversations constantly - somewhat faking it all of the time. That kills any extra want or need to socialize outside of work.
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by Chip »

Teague wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:04 am Meh. You're fine. Stop bothering me.

And get off my lawn.
I really should send you a bill for a new keyboard. I keep spitting coffee on mine while reading your posts. :beer
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by Mr. Rumples »

I do want to add this: I worked with the same folks for 25 years. A bond was formed and we do get together still. We have fought, argued, made up and gone through all types of events. Other than family and a few close friends, that's it, just me and the critters. I am so unsocial, that even when I go to synagogue, which is getting rarer and rarer, I go to the service and then leave, not staying for the food. The one time I went with the family, I sat outside after services in the heat for two hours rather than deal with the people.
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Cheez-It Guy
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

runner3081 wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:23 am I am already heading that way at a younger age than you. Outside of events and activities that my wife and I do with my daughter (which I get over myself and do for her enjoyment/fulfillment), I have zero interest in social activities for myself. I have 1-2 friends and hardly interact with each other, but we know we are there for each other, if ever needed.

I sort of blame it on work. As a leader in the workforce, I am having to be in those interactions and conversations constantly - somewhat faking it all of the time. That kills any extra want or need to socialize outside of work.
Whoa! +1
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Riprap
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by Riprap »

I think responses are going to be skewed here. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

This site is likely populated with INTJ types, if you believe in that mumbo jumbo.
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alpenglow
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by alpenglow »

Cheez-It Guy wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:31 am
runner3081 wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:23 am I am already heading that way at a younger age than you. Outside of events and activities that my wife and I do with my daughter (which I get over myself and do for her enjoyment/fulfillment), I have zero interest in social activities for myself. I have 1-2 friends and hardly interact with each other, but we know we are there for each other, if ever needed.

I sort of blame it on work. As a leader in the workforce, I am having to be in those interactions and conversations constantly - somewhat faking it all of the time. That kills any extra want or need to socialize outside of work.
Whoa! +1
So true. I'm a teacher and I'm constantly interacting with kids, parents, teachers, admins, etc. At this point I'm very family focused with my time outside of work.
itmaybejj
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by itmaybejj »

Everyone I know tends to feel this way. Myself included.

But the ones who consciously spend the effort to make and maintain friendships as they age never seem to regret it. But I have seen the opposite many times: people who only have a few friends and think that is plenty end up with fewer and fewer as some move or pass away prematurely; people with only one or two hobbies end up with none as arthritis sets in. And after a decade or two of not leaving their circles much, they find they don't want to "start over," and just take to their chair.

I have taken the approach of deliberately connecting with new and younger people, even when the introverted part of my head is screaming "noooo stay home and veg."

It is keeping me younger, and they are often *very* grateful to have an older friend who has been there and is happy to listen or give advice or pick up the tab.
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by flaccidsteele »

itmaybejj wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:46 am Everyone I know tends to feel this way. Myself included.

But the ones who consciously spend the effort to make and maintain friendships as they age never seem to regret it. But I have seen the opposite many times: people who only have a few friends and think that is plenty end up with fewer and fewer as some move or pass away prematurely; people with only one or two hobbies end up with none as arthritis sets in. And after a decade or two of not leaving their circles much, they find they don't want to "start over," and just take to their chair.

I have taken the approach of deliberately connecting with new and younger people, even when the introverted part of my head is screaming "noooo stay home and veg."

It is keeping me younger, and they are often *very* grateful to have an older friend who has been there and is happy to listen or give advice or pick up the tab.
+1 you are a rare breed my friend
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by Sandtrap »

chipperd wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:40 am Whatever floats your boat!
I found reassurance in this, quite interesting I thought: https://www.16personalities.com/
Here is the rational : https://www.16personalities.com/articles/our-theory
As an INTJ, I certainly enjoy my alone time!
+1
Perhaps you're getting more connected with your true or core nature and no longer satisfied with maintaining the externally derived sense of self that you had previously portrayed to others (which can be exhausting).

There are times in life for self reflection, and sometimes, reinvention of self (actually a falling away of what was not true).
So. . . it's a good thing. . . for yourself. . . and those you love.

As for "friends", quality and true sincerity with less quantity is perhaps far better than how many "friends" one has on social media.

j :happy
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virgingorda
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by virgingorda »

Yes, my husband is like you. Also plenty of social interaction at work. On weekends he just wants to be alone chopping fallen trees and doing projects. The thing is, if we get invited to a social gathering, I am scared to ask him if he wants to go, because he gets mad! And sometimes there is a party I really don't want to miss. I do get it about wanting time away from people on weekends, but I think there needs to be a compromise sometimes. I am willing to go to some gatherings alone, but not to all because it starts to look weird and I'm worried the hosts will think he doesn't like them. Really, he'd rather just be at our weekend place out in nature. What worries me is we will eventually have no friends and that would not make me happy. We are in our mid 50s, BTW.
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by Pierre Delecto »

RW-Expat wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:26 am I'm not looking for medical advise here but the subject may touch on medical issues but I'm just looking for some feedback as I've always thought BH's always give some good advise.

Long story short I've noticed I've become more reclusive as I've aged and I'm wondering if this is just normal (or at least not abnormal) and if others have noticed this themselves or in others around them? I just find I'd rather (and enjoy) my own company than that of others over the last couple years. I don't feel lonely am not depressed (I've had bouts of depression in the past but actually feel really happy the last 12 months or so). I just don't like being around people, mainly a lot of people like in parties or large gatherings. I'm naturally an introvert and have never worried about spending time on my own, in fact I kind of look forward to a bit of alone time as the weekend approaches after spending the work week surrounded by people! My wife complains I am becoming anti-social but in all honesty I just can't be bothered to go to parties/gatherings any more. I do have a couple close friends and enjoy their company from time to time but don't feel the need to seek out human interaction all the time. At first I thought it odd and even bad for my health after reading some articles (having stubbled across them in newspapers as opposed to seeking them out) on loneliness (even though I don't feel lonely) so I joined a few social clubs based on my hobbies (outdoor activities) but I felt I'd forced myself to do this and though I had an OK time I actually wished I'd done the activity on my own!

So I was wondering if anyone else had experienced this in themselves or in others and if I should just go with the flow and do what feels right for me or if there is something that is maybe odd with me!

Edited to add I’m 48.

From the outside everything looks 'normal' - I have a good job with lots of human interaction that I do well in, no depression or addictions that would trigger self isolation - truth by told I just enjoy being on my own (or with my dog and cats!).
I have seen men (my father included) who are introverts become more and more socially isolated as they age and be just fine with it. However, their wives have NOT been OK with it, especially when it creates tension about hosting guests, going on vacations, and inviting family to visit. You’ll need to find a happy middle point with your wife so her needs are being sufficiently met. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a fair number of “grey” divorces over this issue.

Also, bear in mind that research is finding more and more that rich social interactions contribute to longevity. This has been true in all of the blue zones I believe with high concentrations of healthy, happy very elders people.
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by Pierre Delecto »

virgingorda wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:59 am Yes, my husband is like you. Also plenty of social interaction at work. On weekends he just wants to be alone chopping fallen trees and doing projects. The thing is, if we get invited to a social gathering, I am scared to ask him if he wants to go, because he gets mad! And sometimes there is a party I really don't want to miss. I do get it about wanting time away from people on weekends, but I think there needs to be a compromise sometimes. I am willing to go to some gatherings alone, but not to all because it starts to look weird and I'm worried the hosts will think he doesn't like them. Really, he'd rather just be at our weekend place out in nature. What worries me is we will eventually have no friends and that would not make me happy. We are in our mid 50s, BTW.
You are describing my father exactly, including being out in nature at his lake cabin. He’s now almost 80 and it’s only gotten worse as he’s aged. It’s been a big problem and it makes me sad as it’s even negatively impacted his relationships with close family members. For example, he wasn’t willing to travel cross country for his own brothers funeral as he wanted to stay at this cabin.

I’ve fallen myself falling into the same patterns and tendencies (I’m also an intellectual, introvert type). This past year I made a purposeful effort to seek out a social opportunity and got involved with a weekly men’s Starbucks group (through church). It’s been surprisingly fabulous. I sort of had forgotten what I was missing out on.
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by Teague »

Pierre Delecto wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:16 am Also, bear in mind that research is finding more and more that rich social interactions contribute to longevity. This has been true in all of the blue zones I believe with high concentrations of healthy, happy very elders people.
Perhaps. We should keep in mind that correlation does not imply causation.
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by Riprap »

Pierre Delecto wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:16 amHowever, their wives have NOT been OK with it, especially when it creates tension about hosting guests, going on vacations, and inviting family to visit. You’ll need to find a happy middle point with your wife so her needs are being sufficiently met. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a fair number of “grey” divorces over this issue.
I think women are "wired" to be more comfortable with drama whereas men seem to be "wired" to avoid it. Once the kids are grown, avoiding drama becomes a realistic goal.

All you have to do is look at TV programming for confirmation. Hallmark Channel, The Bachelor/Bachelorette, daytime talkshows, etc.
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by Pierre Delecto »

Teague wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:23 am
Pierre Delecto wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:16 am Also, bear in mind that research is finding more and more that rich social interactions contribute to longevity. This has been true in all of the blue zones I believe with high concentrations of healthy, happy very elders people.
Perhaps. We should keep in mind that correlation does not imply causation.
There are peered reviewed journal articles on it, including by epidemiologists. Haven’t read them but I think it’s more than a surface level coincidence to be dismissed out of hand.
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by virgingorda »

Riprap wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:24 am
I think women are "wired" to be more comfortable with drama whereas men seem to be "wired" to avoid it. Once the kids are grown, avoiding drama becomes a realistic goal.

All you have to do is look at TV programming for confirmation. Hallmark Channel, The Bachelor/Bachelorette, daytime talkshows, etc.
Am I reading this right? It sounds like you are saying that any social gathering, be it a dinner outing, dinner party, cocktail party is "drama". Not so! It's fun to get together with fun people who know how to have a good time. I will agree that women tend to be more social than men, but as a woman, I would so much rather not have drama, and I don't watch any of those channels or programs.
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by Riprap »

virgingorda wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:30 ambut as a woman, I would so much rather not have drama, and I don't watch any of those channels or programs.
in any group there are usually outliers... :D

I better stop, I'm going to get into trouble with the mods.
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

Riprap wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:40 am I think responses are going to be skewed here. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

This site is likely populated with INTJ types, if you believe in that mumbo jumbo.
Oops. Guilty as charged.
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by bighatnohorse »

There's something to be said for "exercising" one's ability to interact socially.
It's subtle - but I think that physical, mental and social exercise are all required for good health.

Personally, I often avoid social contact (and other times, seek it out) - but when it happens - "mindfulness" sets in and I practice social engagement - on "social tiptoes" so to speak.
It's called "presence".
I try to make the outcome good for the other person. Being "insecure" can be an obstacle to this practice - so, your mileage may vary.
On balance, I'd opine that it's good to practice some social engagement.
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by VictoriaF »

RW-Expat wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:26 am So I was wondering if anyone else had experienced this in themselves or in others and if I should just go with the flow and do what feels right for me or if there is something that is maybe odd with me!
The best test for what's "natural" is to think of the environments people have evolved in. Being a part of a group, including continuous interactions with other members of the group, was necessary for the survival and has molded the human cognition. Most of those who had "loner genes" have not passed their genes.

Today, being a part of a group is not necessary for survival and can be easily avoided.
Today, an online community, like this one, can partly substitute for a face-to-face community.
Completely avoiding people is probably unhealthy. But it's a trade-off between a longer life with annoying interactions and a shorter life on your terms.

The best approach is to experiment with different groups, individuals, and levels of socialization to find those that fit your needs. You mentioned that you tried groups for outdoor activities. Here is my experience:
- hiking alone is fine, but I avoid challenging ones when I am on my own
- hiking with a group may or may not be enjoyable depending on the leader, on the members of the group, on the pace of the hike
- walking el Camino de Santiago is optimal for me, because I follow my own schedule, walk by myself much of the time, and interact with people as I wish as I walk, as I stop for meals, and as I settle for the night.

For as long as you work, you are getting "vitamins" of social interaction from your coworkers. When you eventually retire you'll need a replacement social environment. I recommend that you start creating it now, by experimenting, by trial-and-error.

Victoria
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by RadAudit »

flaccidsteele wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:25 am
flaccidsteele wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:12 am It’s a very unique individual that *doesn’t* become anti social as they age. Especially when they become seniors, most become child-like in their ability to socialize

I admire seniors who don’t become recluse as they are rare and typically more interesting
Especially older males

They’re antisocial and if you can actually get them to talk you’ll understand why. They have little interesting to say


It’s better that they’ve become recluse
I prefer to think of it, that as I age and time is running short, I am becoming more discerning about things like who I choose to spend time with and what I am interested in. I respectively disagree with the label antisocial because I don't listen with rapt attention to folks who chat on about things I'm not really interested in. There just isn't enough time.

YMMV.
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by J295 »

All good
Be yourself. You can’t be anybody else.
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by Pierre Delecto »

J295 wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:11 am All good
Be yourself. You can’t be anybody else.
He has a spouse. He needs to think about her too.
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by JoMoney »

Sounds like pretty normal introversion to me, especially if you already have some social interaction every weekday at work.
... but I would not ignore the idea that your wife complains about it, and you were concerned enough to raise the topic. There might be something there. Maybe your wife wants you to go out with her a bit more?
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by J295 »

Pierre Delecto wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:12 am
J295 wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:11 am All good
Be yourself. You can’t be anybody else.
He has a spouse. He needs to think about her too.
Agree 100%.
I assume he is thinking about (and openly communicating with) his spouse. “ Be yourself” is NOT code for being narcissistic or being undisciplined and selfish… to“Be yourself “assumes you know your “true self” ... simple but not easy.
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by stoptothink »

I have Asperger's, social interaction is a chore and physically exhausting for me. I have a circle of amazing friends that I have been close with since I was in elementary school, but I am very content with the 1-week a year when I see them. My "friends" are limited to those who are willing to accompany me on my pretty rigorous hiking, mountain climbing, and snow shoeing adventures - most of the time focused on the music/podcast I am streaming - which includes my wife and a small group of guys. I am perfectly OK with not desiring much social interaction.
carolc
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by carolc »

My social needs were met primarily through the people I worked with so I enjoyed many quiet weekends during my working years. But now that I’m retired (going on 7 years), I find that I seek out people (and activities) to interact with and I enjoy the time spent with them. I’m an introvert so still figure in time to myself.

carolc
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WoodSpinner
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by WoodSpinner »

itmaybejj wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:46 am Everyone I know tends to feel this way. Myself included.

But the ones who consciously spend the effort to make and maintain friendships as they age never seem to regret it. But I have seen the opposite many times: people who only have a few friends and think that is plenty end up with fewer and fewer as some move or pass away prematurely; people with only one or two hobbies end up with none as arthritis sets in. And after a decade or two of not leaving their circles much, they find they don't want to "start over," and just take to their chair.

I have taken the approach of deliberately connecting with new and younger people, even when the introverted part of my head is screaming "noooo stay home and veg."

It is keeping me younger, and they are often *very* grateful to have an older friend who has been there and is happy to listen or give advice or pick up the tab.
Have to admit that this is my approach as well! Fortunately my retirement and hobbies has helped me expand socially but I battle the tension between being comfortable alone with wanting to expand my social interactions.

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Pierre Delecto
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by Pierre Delecto »

J295 wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:21 am
Pierre Delecto wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:12 am
J295 wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:11 am All good
Be yourself. You can’t be anybody else.
He has a spouse. He needs to think about her too.
Agree 100%.
I assume he is thinking about (and openly communicating with) his spouse. “ Be yourself” is NOT code for being narcissistic or being undisciplined and selfish… to“Be yourself “assumes you know your “true self” ... simple but not easy.
Got it! In my experience with these types of situations the guy usually isn’t much taking his wife’s needs into account If he’s honest with himself.
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WoodSpinner
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by WoodSpinner »

virgingorda wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:30 am
Riprap wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:24 am
I think women are "wired" to be more comfortable with drama whereas men seem to be "wired" to avoid it. Once the kids are grown, avoiding drama becomes a realistic goal.

All you have to do is look at TV programming for confirmation. Hallmark Channel, The Bachelor/Bachelorette, daytime talkshows, etc.
Am I reading this right? It sounds like you are saying that any social gathering, be it a dinner outing, dinner party, cocktail party is "drama". Not so! It's fun to get together with fun people who know how to have a good time. I will agree that women tend to be more social than men, but as a woman, I would so much rather not have drama, and I don't watch any of those channels or programs.
Interesting ...

FWIW, my wife is much more introverted than I am but she loves the DRAMA of the Reality TV. Best gift I ever bought myself was a pair of Bluetooth Headphones for her so I could avoid the noise! :D

People are fascinating— especially when they fall outside of the stereotype norms....

WoodSpinner
thx1138
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by thx1138 »

Most important part of your post is “my wife complains”.

You are perfectly fine in my opinion wanting to skip large social gatherings. I hate them too. I enjoy one on one and small groups instead.

Thing is as you age you and your wife age together both having some sort of social connections is important as others have posted. Sounds like what is a best fit for the two of you is a bit different. So work on communication now about what each of you want to accommodate each other.

For example, making a lot of assumptions here... She should recognize you don’t particularly enjoy large social gatherings and that avoiding them isn’t “anti-social” but rather you prefer different social interactions that are more valuable to you. You need to recognize that she prefers large social gatherings and it is uncomfortable for her to attend solo. Then work on solutions that work for the two of you. You might discover that at larger gatherings you can wander into the kitchen to find a smaller group to interact with or make friends with a similarly minded spouse who attends a lot of the same events and wants to escape the hustle to the back porch for a more engaging one on one conversation.
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by tibbitts »

RW-Expat wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:26 am I'm not looking for medical advise here but the subject may touch on medical issues but I'm just looking for some feedback as I've always thought BH's always give some good advise.

Long story short I've noticed I've become more reclusive as I've aged and I'm wondering if this is just normal (or at least not abnormal) and if others have noticed this themselves or in others around them? I just find I'd rather (and enjoy) my own company than that of others over the last couple years. I don't feel lonely am not depressed (I've had bouts of depression in the past but actually feel really happy the last 12 months or so). I just don't like being around people, mainly a lot of people like in parties or large gatherings. I'm naturally an introvert and have never worried about spending time on my own, in fact I kind of look forward to a bit of alone time as the weekend approaches after spending the work week surrounded by people! My wife complains I am becoming anti-social but in all honesty I just can't be bothered to go to parties/gatherings any more. I do have a couple close friends and enjoy their company from time to time but don't feel the need to seek out human interaction all the time. At first I thought it odd and even bad for my health after reading some articles (having stubbled across them in newspapers as opposed to seeking them out) on loneliness (even though I don't feel lonely) so I joined a few social clubs based on my hobbies (outdoor activities) but I felt I'd forced myself to do this and though I had an OK time I actually wished I'd done the activity on my own!

So I was wondering if anyone else had experienced this in themselves or in others and if I should just go with the flow and do what feels right for me or if there is something that is maybe odd with me!

Edited to add I’m 48.

From the outside everything looks 'normal' - I have a good job with lots of human interaction that I do well in, no depression or addictions that would trigger self isolation - truth by told I just enjoy being on my own (or with my dog and cats!).
I''m not an expert but the fact that you apparently still have a wife suggests to me that you aren't sufficiently reclusive to be a concern, although perhaps you're saying you'd prefer not to be married? It seems to me that preferring to be by yourself and preferring to be alone with a spouse are really completely different things.
Pierre Delecto
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by Pierre Delecto »

thx1138 wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:32 am Most important part of your post is “my wife complains”.

You are perfectly fine in my opinion wanting to skip large social gatherings. I hate them too. I enjoy one on one and small groups instead.

Thing is as you age you and your wife age together both having some sort of social connections is important as others have posted. Sounds like what is a best fit for the two of you is a bit different. So work on communication now about what each of you want to accommodate each other.

For example, making a lot of assumptions here... She should recognize you don’t particularly enjoy large social gatherings and that avoiding them isn’t “anti-social” but rather you prefer different social interactions that are more valuable to you. You need to recognize that she prefers large social gatherings and it is uncomfortable for her to attend solo. Then work on solutions that work for the two of you. You might discover that at larger gatherings you can wander into the kitchen to find a smaller group to interact with or make friends with a similarly minded spouse who attends a lot of the same events and wants to escape the hustle to the back porch for a more engaging one on one conversation.
Well said!
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Sandtrap
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by Sandtrap »

VictoriaF wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:58 am
RW-Expat wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:26 am So I was wondering if anyone else had experienced this in themselves or in others and if I should just go with the flow and do what feels right for me or if there is something that is maybe odd with me!
The best test for what's "natural" is to think of the environments people have evolved in. Being a part of a group, including continuous interactions with other members of the group, was necessary for the survival and has molded the human cognition. Most of those who had "loner genes" have not passed their genes.

Today, being a part of a group is not necessary for survival and can be easily avoided.
Today, an online community, like this one, can partly substitute for a face-to-face community.
Completely avoiding people is probably unhealthy. But it's a trade-off between a longer life with annoying interactions and a shorter life on your terms.

The best approach is to experiment with different groups, individuals, and levels of socialization to find those that fit your needs. You mentioned that you tried groups for outdoor activities. Here is my experience:
- hiking alone is fine, but I avoid challenging ones when I am on my own
- hiking with a group may or may not be enjoyable depending on the leader, on the members of the group, on the pace of the hike
- walking el Camino de Santiago is optimal for me, because I follow my own schedule, walk by myself much of the time, and interact with people as I wish as I walk, as I stop for meals, and as I settle for the night.

For as long as you work, you are getting "vitamins" of social interaction from your coworkers. When you eventually retire you'll need a replacement social environment. I recommend that you start creating it now, by experimenting, by trial-and-error.

Victoria
+1
Perfect!
Always astute.

j :happy
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Riprap
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by Riprap »

RW-Expat wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:26 amso I joined a few social clubs based on my hobbies (outdoor activities) but I felt I'd forced myself to do this and though I had an OK time I actually wished I'd done the activity on my own!
Just my observation, but the problem with social clubs like you describe (and volunteer organizations) is there seems to always be that ONE person who ruins it. The know-it-all micro manager type who has the over bearing personality that more introverted persons loathe.

They're inescapable. :annoyed
stoptothink
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by stoptothink »

WoodSpinner wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:32 am
virgingorda wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:30 am
Riprap wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:24 am
I think women are "wired" to be more comfortable with drama whereas men seem to be "wired" to avoid it. Once the kids are grown, avoiding drama becomes a realistic goal.

All you have to do is look at TV programming for confirmation. Hallmark Channel, The Bachelor/Bachelorette, daytime talkshows, etc.
Am I reading this right? It sounds like you are saying that any social gathering, be it a dinner outing, dinner party, cocktail party is "drama". Not so! It's fun to get together with fun people who know how to have a good time. I will agree that women tend to be more social than men, but as a woman, I would so much rather not have drama, and I don't watch any of those channels or programs.
Interesting ...

FWIW, my wife is much more introverted than I am but she loves the DRAMA of the Reality TV. Best gift I ever bought myself was a pair of Bluetooth Headphones for her so I could avoid the noise! :D

People are fascinating— especially when they fall outside of the stereotype norms....

WoodSpinner
:D We have a rule in our house: if my wife wants to watch "Bachelor" or the like, she has to do it in a manner that nobody else has to be exposed to it. So, on her laptop with headphones.
flaccidsteele
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by flaccidsteele »

RadAudit wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 10:06 am
flaccidsteele wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:25 am
flaccidsteele wrote: Sun Feb 09, 2020 8:12 am It’s a very unique individual that *doesn’t* become anti social as they age. Especially when they become seniors, most become child-like in their ability to socialize

I admire seniors who don’t become recluse as they are rare and typically more interesting
Especially older males

They’re antisocial and if you can actually get them to talk you’ll understand why. They have little interesting to say


It’s better that they’ve become recluse
I prefer to think of it, that as I age and time is running short, I am becoming more discerning about things like who I choose to spend time with and what I am interested in. I respectively disagree with the label antisocial because I don't listen with rapt attention to folks who chat on about things I'm not really interested in. There just isn't enough time.

YMMV.
They can rationalize it any way they want but this is exactly why they become uninteresting and antisocial as they get older

They become selfish. That’s why they prefer others to entertain them. It’s a good thing for society that they become recluse

Be interesting by being interested

It’s not all about you
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quantAndHold
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Re: Becoming more reclusive as I age - is it OK to be OK with it?

Post by quantAndHold »

You’re still working. You’re getting your social interaction quotient from work. As long as you have close family and friends, I see no reason to be concerned.

Once you’re out of the workforce and not having to deal with people all day, you’ll probably find yourself seeking out other people. If you’re not, come back and we’ll critique your life then...
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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