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skye
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I have come across a few discussions here about introversion that comes from fear and lack of self-confidence. Does anyone else have the same problem for opposite reasons?

I find that I value my time so much and am so negative about people in general that I do not seek out friendships. Like I have been in the past with books, because there are so many and I don’t want to waste time on anything that is not worthwhile, I tend to only give someone a chance if they come recommended. Not the most positive outlook I know. It’s not that I don’t believe any great people exist, but those gems are so incredibly rare that I usually decide it’s not worth spending a lot of energy mining for them. For any given person I can’t help figuring that they’re part of the other 99%, which prevents me from making the effort to start a conversation. I am not at all lonely. I work on my own projects and see the few people I already know I’ll enjoy spending time with; I don’t need anything more. But I’m wondering if this is healthy. I have not had a close female friend in years. (Any other Objectivist girls find that one particularly difficult?) I am so self-involved that if another person exactly like me who I would get along with perfectly existed, we would never meet, even if we crossed paths every day.

So what prevents you from being pessimistic about people around you that you don’t know? How do you get the motivation to be outgoing when you look at the world we live in? What are the first signs you look for in a classmate or coworker to determine whether you want to know them better? Do Objectivists have time for each other? And if I am concerned about being able to spot one, what can I do to make myself more visible to people like me?

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You know what Skye, there are very few people on the face of this planet from which something can not be learned. Even if their only use is to show you which way to hell (the wrong way of doing, thinking or being X,Y or Z). Their use to you, selfishly is the way they can make you think, learn and grow.

My .02, but meh, you probably would consider me one of the 99% :rolleyes:

Edited by Zip
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Try conducting small experiments by talking to your co-workers/fellow students to find out more about them; imagine yourself as a curious scientist if it helps you. Most people may not be particularly intelligent, rational or consistently ethical but they might well be interesting, possessing common sense and benevolent. Your chances of finding your very own John Galt or James I will be greatly increased this way. :rolleyes:

Also have a look at Dan Edge's 'Benevolent People Premise' article.

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So what prevents you from being pessimistic about people around you that you don’t know? How do you get the motivation to be outgoing when you look at the world we live in? What are the first signs you look for in a classmate or coworker to determine whether you want to know them better? Do Objectivists have time for each other? And if I am concerned about being able to spot one, what can I do to make myself more visible to people like me?

A good example is going to a gathering of some kind. I try to be neutral when looking at people around me, except when there is an obvious indication that they are irrational to a great extent. When I start a conversation or get drawn into one, I quickly manipulate the way this conversation goes to show me some key agreements or disagreements. I use the word why and how a lot, people are very willing to share their thinking or feeling. After a short while I get a coarse picture of who these people are, find out where we have overlapping values and stay within this territory of conversation. I call that: looking at people in aspects. The more aspects you have in common, the more likely it is to be friends with this person.

To make yourself more visible to like minded people is not very difficult really. You just have to be bold enough to drop into conversations that are ongoing, to show your agreement or disagreement not by saying yes or no but by giving your reasons. Expand while answering and point to other issues and pull out more of what the others are thinking. If there are people who are like you, they will automatically try to continue a discussion with you.

The world we live in is mixed. It is not all bad and it is not all good. I stay mostly positive, I live by my established standards even if the world is not in agreement, that is something you could try to do. There is this movie: Life is Beautiful, it is a good lesson in how one can enjoy life in even the most dire conditions.

Being alone is a choice. I love being alone, there is nothing wrong with that at all. I am married and have this like minded partner, so we have ample opportunity to debate things. We prefer not to be with people just to be with people, but when we gather with others the nights get rather long with our discussions. Sometimes it is worth the effort, sometimes it is not.

Be secure in who you are, the rest will follow :rolleyes:

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I have come across a few discussions here about introversion that comes from fear and lack of self-confidence. Does anyone else have the same problem for opposite reasons?

I've had similiar experiences, in a few cases I have had people tell me they thought I was 'shy', in reality I wasn't talking to them much because I just didn't find them that interesting. I usually have something to work on or figure out queued up in my head, and usually I'd rather occupy my thoughts with those than some strangers weird dream they had the other night, astrological prediction of the day, or ghost / UFO they swear they saw. When I do find that unusual gem of a captivating person I want to pick their brain as much as possible.

I find that I value my time so much and am so negative about people in general that I do not seek out friendships. Like I have been in the past with books, because there are so many and I don’t want to waste time on anything that is not worthwhile, I tend to only give someone a chance if they come recommended. Not the most positive outlook I know.

Rand wrote that time is our spiritual currency

(that currency) is a part of one's life that one invests in everything one values. The years, months, days or hours of thought, of interest, of action devoted to a value are the currency with which one pays for the enjoyment one receives from them...the distinguishing characteristics of any psychological process, including that of evaluation, are its content and its intensity (Concepts of Consciousness.)

So I wouldn't feel bad about jealously guarding your own, but it's always good to be mindful of the difference between rational self interest and pure self absorption.

It’s not that I don’t believe any great people exist, but those gems are so incredibly rare that I usually decide it’s not worth spending a lot of energy mining for them. For any given person I can’t help figuring that they’re part of the other 99%, which prevents me from making the effort to start a conversation. I am not at all lonely. I work on my own projects and see the few people I already know I’ll enjoy spending time with; I don’t need anything more. But I’m wondering if this is healthy.

This is a perfect question to ask yourself. Or, more specifically, what would constitute to you a fulfilling (eudaemonic) life and if that kind of life would include a close, intimate, intelligent rational friend. If so, then it would make sense for you to put the time into looking for one. It might take you a while, maybe years, but you might very well have a great friend for 2 or 3 decades. I have 3 very close friends and we are all intelligent, rational, and interesting. I've been friends with two for about 15 years and the third since I was about 5, one is explicitly objectivist, the other two pretty much implicitly objectivist and they are all a rich valuable addition to my life.

When I engage in random conversations with strangers, I am always friendly and cordial, but I try to find out as quickly as possible without coming off as interrogating someone if they are an interesting thoughtful introspective person or if they have a passion or skill that I find fascinating and could learn something from them about. Do this a few times and you'll figure out a series of questions or just general flow of discussion that will help you figure out how worthwhile of an addition this person would be to your life in as little time as possible.

So what prevents you from being pessimistic about people around you that you don’t know? How do you get the motivation to be outgoing when you look at the world we live in? What are the first signs you look for in a classmate or coworker to determine whether you want to know them better? Do Objectivists have time for each other? And if I am concerned about being able to spot one, what can I do to make myself more visible to people like me?

If you actually find yourself having a negative cynical or pessimisstic view of other people, I think you should spend some time reconsidering this with some introspection. I find almost anyone interesting to some degree, but because of our finite life spans and all my passionate interests, most don't make 'the cut' so to speak of the blade of opportunity costs. But I don't think of them as wretched or am generally irritated by their existence. If you want to be irritated at something direct it toward the popular philosophical attitudes which have bludgeoned into the vast majority of people a whole slew of absolutely terrible ideas. I find the not very interesting strangers more as collateral damage the I do anything else.

As for making yourself more visible or more easily spotting others, I'm drawing a blank! I'm interested in what others suggest here.

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I am so self-involved that if another person exactly like me who I would get along with perfectly existed, we would never meet, even if we crossed paths every day.

It doesn't sound like you're ready to have a relationship with anyone yet, romantic or otherwise.

Finding people to connect with on a meaningful level is hard. It requires the same dedication and patience you devote to your work. If you find human companionship worthwhile, then you have to put in the effort. If you don't, then you can't expect much from the people you don't give the time of day to.

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It doesn't sound like you're ready to have a relationship with anyone yet, romantic or otherwise.

i should have been more clear. i don't mean romantic relationships. i am in a long-term one already, but we end up being reclusive together or among our already-established groups. i'm not totally cut off from people, i'm just talking about on a day-to-day basis being more outgoing with whoever happens to be around me.

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i should have been more clear. i don't mean romantic relationships. i am in a long-term one already, but we end up being reclusive together or among our already-established groups. i'm not totally cut off from people, i'm just talking about on a day-to-day basis being more outgoing with whoever happens to be around me.

I have become more along the lines like this as well, since studying Objectivism.

I don't think it is necessarily unheathy if you are meeting your needs/values, etc.

For me - I belong to a local Objectivist group, and I have made a lot of good friends there. I don't go to every event though if I am not particularly interested in it, and there is never any hard feelings because no one expects anyone to show up unless they want to. That was very like a breath of fresh air!

There are other groups that I am involved with, mostly on a professional level. I actually organize a professional group, but it is only because I want to have a large network of people in my field for my own selfish purposes: career growth, having people that are in my field I can bounce ideas off, etc. In return, I will do the same for the people in my network. However, I don't hang out with people just to hang out either. What is the point? Life is too short!

I must admit, I do sometimes feel like I am locked up way to much indoors (I work from home). So I will make a point sometimes to be around other people - just to make sure the outside world still exists, hahah. But for me, that means spending some time in a bookstore, or walking through the mall, or just taking my kids to the park.

If you are getting what you need, and are comfortable with your current situation don't worry about it. However, keep in mind your long term goals as well. From a career perspective, it is at least a good idea to widen your network so that if you are job hunting you can call a few people that know you to help with referrals or to offer you advice when needed. They don't need to become your best buds though, and you don't have to pretend they are.

There is nothing wrong with being goal oriented in seeking out relationships as you see fit.

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