We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
That is excellent advice from someone over 30. Social isolation breeds all sorts of strange and unreasonable habits of mind, while social interaction helps us define ourselves, learn about ourselves, and, especially, to learn what our limits are. Isolation nurtures delusions of grandeur or delusions of inferiority, and prevents acceptance of reality.
I attended a faculty cocktail party last night, and, for some reason, the advice I had received many years ago came into my head as a shy person during boarding school: "When you enter a gathering, make sure you say hello to, or introduce yourself to, a dozen people. Then you can leave if you want to. Never act like a shmoozing politician, but it's your job to let people know that you exist. They might want to know you, or they might not. Either way, it's learning. Learning sometimes hurts."
At my age, with genteel breeding and with my life experience, it's a little silly for me to still need that reminder. People tend to enjoy and seek my company.
During my freshman year in college, I made myself sit with a different group of people in the dining hall at just about every meal for the first few months. It would have been easier to just sit with the same group, but it was a good experience nonetheless.
I rather like that advice about going to parties and trying to meet a dozen people. A few years ago after moving to the city where I live now, I'd make myself go out to social places and things and I told myself I had to introduce myself to at least three new people. A dozen would be a lot more ambitious. It might be worth trying that again as I feel a little stalled in my social life here again now.
Yes. This is excellent advice. I love socializing, but I am not a natural gladhander. At some point I realized I needed to assert my existence just a little bit, because nobody was going to introduce me.
Which brings up a small peeve of mine, social-wise: if you are at a social gathering of some sort, speaking with someone you know, remember to introduce that person to anybody who approaches that knows you but not them.
When my son was little I would drop him off at school with the last words being "Make a new friend". He just started a new job at a new school the other day and I'm forwarding this post with the comment "Network".