Tag Archives | introvert

Going my own way (and what it means to me)

Walking on RailroadThere’s a growing men’s movement known as MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way) that has been starting to take hold in the U.S., and while loosely defined in some respects, one of its commonly accepted tenets is the rejection of all long term relationships with women, including marriage.

In what I feel has to be the height of irony, I also consider myself going my own way, only my way is not the same way as men going their own way (because I do not reject long term relationships or marriage).  Nay, I say, I go another way, a way different from other ways, even the men who go their own way.

Still with me?  Good.

This is one of the reasons why I can never belong to any association or group for any period of time before I start to grate on people’s nerves to the point that I’m banned for life.  I don’t know why, there always seems to be some point where things go off on a tangent regarding a group/movement/church/party’s belief where I dissent and quite literally have to go my own way.  Once that happens a rift seems to occur where I longer feel comfortable associating closely with such a group.  It’s why I don’t attend church, why I’m politically independent rather than belonging to any one party, why I don’t belong to any clubs or associations revolving around common interests or hobbies, and why I can’t even stomach the thought of joining a guild in Star Wars: The Old Republic.

I don’t like being part of a team.  I like doing things my way, which is of course almost NEVER the way a team I’m participating with does things.  I guess that’s just part of who I am.

I remember my early years in high school when this aspect of my personality really started to present itself.  I was taking an advanced economics class during my senior year, and as part of our studies the teacher put us in groups so we could learn how to collaborate on investments in the stock market.  Ah yes, my favorite kind of assignments: learning how to work with other people.  Pffffftt.

Anyway, everyone in the group I was assigned to hated me, and I mean HATED me.  Because of my disability they thought I was a mentally retarded nimrod who had no business being in an advanced college level class with shmaaartsy people like themselves, so there was a lot of tension while we went over potential investments to make for our fantasy portfolio.  Ultimately the group decided to roll with a series of companies that make golfing equipment.  I suggested that because it was, you know, the middle of January, it’s not likely that these stocks would go anywhere while it was off-season, and hey what about this company that makes Lotus 1-2-3?  This spreadsheet software seems to really be taking off, maybe we should add that to our portfolio instead?

So of course they ignored me and went with the golfing companies instead.  And of course we lost money, and of course the one stock I proposed shot up like 10% in value at the conclusion of our class project.  Right then and there I knew I was never going to be a team player, and pondered then over whether I should lobby the government to classify teachers who subjected their students into participating in group projects as child abusers.

But that’s neither here nor there…

At some point in my life I had to embrace who I was, a lone wolf of sorts who simply isn’t wired to be a part of any one group.   That’s why I chose the name A Geek in the Wilderness for my blog.  The wilderness is my home, apart from civilization and humanity, and while geek is sometimes considered synonymous with nerd, it carries a deeper meaning due to its original usage as a reference to “circus freaks,” and eventually evolving to also mean “a peculiar or otherwise dislikable person, especially one who is perceived to be overly intellectual.”

My best friend would say I have trouble associating with a group because I have a tendency to purposely become prickly and abrasive just to create a sort of self fulfilling prophecy.  I think there’s some truth to that as well, but I do know there were times I tried hard, REALLY hard to fit in, guarding my words and actions so I avoided doing anything that the group I was with might not approve of, and did my darndest best to contribute as a team player.  It never worked out.  I could always feel the hatred or the disconnect.  I never felt like I truly belonged anywhere.  But you know what?  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that either.  Some of us were just born to be loners, independent of any group, and that’s ok.  I’m at peace when I’m alone.  I feel happiest when I’m alone.  It’s only society that keeps asserting that I should be miserable, that the ONLY path to happiness is to be an active part of  large social circles revolving around a common interest or goal.  No man is an island after all, as they say.  Sorry, that’s just not how I roll.

I choose to go my own way.  :-P

I am a special INFJ snowflake

Loved reading the following link, which really parses out many of the various traits of having an INFJ personality.  Too lazy to fisk it out in depth on my blog though, but go take a look if you’re curious about what makes me tick.  Might also help you understand why I have a tendency to feel like I’m right about… oh… everything?

INFJs are, by definition, rare, reserved, and unlikely to initiate anything, which means that many of them can end up alone and misunderstood. To help with things, I’ve compiled a list of points which I think would be of great use to anyone considering dating someone who identifies as an INFJ. (Source Link)

Aside

Ugh, I need to stop being so anti-social…

I actually went and apologized to some of our new part time people here about not being chatty enough. I’m always in my corner ignoring everyone and laa lee laa in my inner world that I forget I need to socialize every now and then. Nice ladies too, I told them, “It’s not that I don’t like to socialize, it’s just that I generally can’t stand people.”  Got a right good laugh out of that one.  Still, I’m starting to get worried.  I seem to have no incentive these days to engage people in conversation and show interest in their lives.  Hmmm, how to break this habit…

A Tale of Two Women

When I was in Colorado, I took the opportunity to practice talking to women whenever I could, just to get in the habit of learning how to socialize with people in public.  Being an introvert, this does not come naturally to me, and my dialogue is often stilted and forced when I’m out of my comfort zone.  But I wanted to try anyway.

My first opportunity presented itself when I stopped by Whole Foods to pick up groceries for the cabin.  I came across one girl working in the store, pretended like I was lost and that I was looking for the coffee blends section (which I had already passed twice.)  She smiled this bright, yet shy smile, and off we went.  We talked for about 20 minutes, about the weather, mountains, coffee, etc. and for a moment I felt like a natural extrovert.  It’s how I in fact discovered the chocolate mint coffee blend that has now become a new favorite of mine.

At the end of the trip I was waiting for my flight and spotted another girl on her iPad (instant geek turn-on) sitting at the same gate.  Modestly dressed too, like she had just gotten out of church (a traditional one, not the one where the congregation dresses like they’re going to a rave.)  There was an empty seat next to her, as well as a free wall socket to plug my own gadgets in.  I nodded at her before sitting down and proceeded to plug my iPad in for charging.  Then made of show of frowning as if it it still wasn’t being charged (it was.)

“Excuse me, are you having any trouble charging your iPad?”

She looked at me for a moment, and without a word went right back to her iPad, surfing images on Pinterest.

Hmmmmmm, did she hear me?  It is pretty loud in the terminal here…

Since we were both at the same gate it was apparent that we were taking the same flight to New York.  So I tried again:  “Are you visiting New York or returning?  I’m just returning from a vacation here myself.”

She glanced over at me again, then STOOD UP, gathered up all her things… and walked right out of the terminal.   She didn’t return again until the boarding started.

????????????????????????????

I’m amazed at the contrast between Airport Girl and Whole Foods Girl.  Same approach, just trying to break the ice and make friendly conversation, with completely opposite results.  In one sense I’m heartened by meeting a Whole Foods Girl type, but in another sense I get thoroughly depressed knowing there are a LOT more Airport Girls than there are Whole Foods Girls.   You have to understand, it’s very difficult for me to talk to people in public, because I have to expend an enormous amount of energy to hear what they’re saying in order to engage in a constructive dialogue.  By sheer math alone, I would encounter more Airport Girls than Whole Foods Girls, with the experiences leaving me so drained of energy and despondent that I wouldn’t have the resolve left to talk to anyone else, even if the very next girl I wind up talking to could be the Whole Foods one.

And you know what, I get it.  Airport Girl probably had no desire to talk to anyone and just wanted to be left alone.  I’m sure there are plenty of women who would like to be able to go out in public and do their thing without being badgered all day by men.  What I don’t like is how some of them may go to their friends or write on their blogs,  ‘This totally creepy guy approached me at the airport today.  I’m so SICK of all these creepy guys bothering me every day.  WHERE HAVE ALL THE NICE MEN GONE?”

Uh huh.  I guess there’s this unspoken rule of conduct where men can only approach women in the proper setting, like bars, clubs, raves, etc..  You know, all those places that I avoid like God’s plague on earth because of the hook-up culture contained therein (and because of the jet engine level noises.)  If I approach women in public, it’s not because I’m creepy, it’s because my opportunities for befriending women are severely limited.

And here’s another thing:  these aren’t creepy guys that are approaching you in public.  There are men YOU ARE NOT ATTRACTED TO approaching you.  Because I can guarantee that if Airport Girl had found me immensely attractive, I would have been able to sit on her lap and cop a feel while she giggled uncontrollably with glee.  All sins would have been forgiven.

Anyway, it seems like there are two things I could do: find a way to brush off the toxic encounters of Airport Girls, knowing that encounters with Whole Foods Girls are worth the aggravation, or, go Galt and simply withdraw from society altogether.  I’m sorely tempted to do the later, but as long as I continue to believe Whole Foods Girls are still out there, I’ll probably keep trying.  As long as they exist, they really are worth the aggravation.

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