Poll

Would you identify yourself as an introvert, extrovert, or an I/E (somewhere in between)?

Introvert
391 (79.1%)
Extrovert
38 (7.7%)
I/E
65 (13.2%)

Total Members Voted: 486

Author Topic: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?  (Read 15968 times)

Miss Growing Green

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Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« on: February 13, 2014, 12:21:21 PM »
My husband and I are both introverts, and I was wondering if there was any correlation between Mustachianism and whether you identify as an introvert or an extrovert.  It seems like being an extroverted Mustachian might be a little harder than being an introverted one, but maybe that's not true...

If you aren't sure, here's a really short 12-question quiz that can give you an idea for which one you are:
http://www.thepowerofintroverts.com/quiet-quiz-are-you-an-introvert/

EK

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2014, 02:13:35 PM »
Introverts love the Internet, so I'm not surprised to see us well represented in the poll.

sheepstache

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2014, 02:19:31 PM »
On the other hand I feel like introverts might be more inclined to be willing to spend money to avoid social interaction.  Whenever MMM talks about bartering with his neighbors or, god help us, living in someone else's house while on vacation and working with them 12 hours a day I'm just like, no and no.

Random Hangers

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2014, 02:27:37 PM »
Ha ha, this is so timely. Just a few hours ago, I outed myself as an introvert to a super outgoing friend of mine. We used to hang out just the two of us (so I thought she knew I preferred it that way) but for some reason recently she keeps inviting me back to her place for Game Night with a bunch of folks I don't know, or to $1 Burger Night at the local watering hole with her co-workers whom I don't know. I just texted her and confessed that I'm likely never going to be fully comfortable socializing that way, but I'd love to hang out just us if she can find the time.

zachd

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2014, 02:30:28 PM »
Interesting question, I often wonder about people's personality types and the the forums they follow or activities they like.  My MB type is INTJ.

I am also on a forum for record collectors. There seems to be a good deal of OCD behavior on both and I think record collectors (or collectors in general) are often intoverts.
My wife is an introvert also.

This really becomes apparent to use when we go to parties where there are mostly people we don't know. We find our selves finding the room where they are keeping the animals closed in and sneaking in there and playing with the cats or dogs for 30 mins and then we feel we have stayed long enough so we say good bye, or, if it seems too difficult to break in on some conversations, quietly sneak off and go home. haha. 

While we are both introverts I'm really logical and she is really emotional. It is often frustrating for both of us.  Dave Ramsey kind of calls this out in a general sort of way by saying most households often have a "nerd" and a "free spirit".   The nerd should not be surprised or offended if the free spirit doesn't really care about the elaborate spreadsheet he/she made.  It is good advice, my wife can't look at the spreadsheet for more than 15-20 mins without getting bored.  Which when you think about, 15-20 mins is probably plenty, but if you have that logical/ocd mentality I'm sure you will play with the spreadsheet for an hour or more and start making charts and bar graphs and adding colors to the columns and all that. 






dragoncar

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2014, 03:00:20 PM »
Also see:

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/off-topic/are-you-an-intj/ (78.5% yes, although there's got to be sampling bias there)

and

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/welcome-to-the-forum/calling-out-intj's-enxp's-(and-other-known-personalities)

On the other hand I feel like introverts might be more inclined to be willing to spend money to avoid social interaction.  Whenever MMM talks about bartering with his neighbors or, god help us, living in someone else's house while on vacation and working with them 12 hours a day I'm just like, no and no.

True, although I think extroverts will spend more "being social".

EK

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2014, 03:06:07 PM »
I may spend more avoiding social interaction, but overall I'd say being a shut in homebody is a good way to save!

smalllife

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2014, 03:08:28 PM »
Whenever MMM talks about bartering with his neighbors or, god help us, living in someone else's house while on vacation and working with them 12 hours a day I'm just like, no and no.

Ha!  So true, although I would be up for bartering if it didn't require too much chit chat beforehand.

dragoncar

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2014, 03:17:21 PM »
Whenever MMM talks about bartering with his neighbors or, god help us, living in someone else's house while on vacation and working with them 12 hours a day I'm just like, no and no.

Ha!  So true, although I would be up for bartering if it didn't require too much chit chat beforehand.


Miss Growing Green

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2014, 03:29:32 PM »
Maigahane-
Thanks for those!  The Meyers-Briggs personality one was especially interesting- I'm an INTJ just like most of the respondents, despite it being a "rare" personality type.  hmmm..

somepissedoffman

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2014, 03:44:29 PM »
I'm an introvert, but only when I'm sober.

gillstone

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2014, 03:51:05 PM »
I'm willing to bet that the high proportion of INTJ's on the MMM forum would correlate with the article from back in September covering reader careers:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2013/09/17/a-one-question-survey-who-are-the-mustachians/

The survey of readership shows at least 34% are in some form of engineering and another 10% work heavily with numbers (finance).  These careers generally attract a disproportionate number INTJ personality types or similar types in the I/J family.

luigi49

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2014, 03:52:10 PM »
we just have this poll earlier?  Is there a 50-50 answer?

lifejoy

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2014, 03:53:34 PM »
Extrovert here.

In my real life, I have a tendency to make friends with introverts.

Online too, it looks like!

grantmeaname

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2014, 04:08:13 PM »
I don't think those are real things.

matchewed

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2014, 04:12:12 PM »
we just have this poll earlier?  Is there a 50-50 answer?

To your second question, most people fall solidly in that category. And/Or what grant said.

furrychickens

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2014, 04:45:44 PM »
An introverted but successful salesman.

Introverted in the classic sense that people exhaust me and I *don't* naturally seek out interaction.

I can carry conversation with strangers (clearly, since I deal with strangers more than my own co-workers) but I like to be learning/engaging. Can't stand small talk.

Milspecstache

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2014, 05:43:12 PM »
Introvert but as I understand the basics, extrovert means you get energized by other people.  For me, in my line of work, I find myself enjoying work interactions more and more while spending less time on individual activities.  I guess my job is forcing me to become more extroverted.

Russ

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2014, 05:45:36 PM »

Hedge_87

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2014, 08:16:19 PM »
Extrovert here. If I can't dazzle with brilliance, I'll baffle with bullshit.

fantabulous

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #20 on: February 13, 2014, 10:33:20 PM »
Extrovert here. If I can't dazzle with brilliance, I'll baffle with bullshit.

Total introvert here. If you try to baffle me with bullshit, I will force myself to take a shit.

MissStache

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2014, 09:11:44 AM »
I would comment, but I don't want to talk to any of you people.

(Goes back into cave...)

gillstone

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2014, 10:52:28 AM »
I'll poke my head out of my shell for a brief moment to note that the MBTI is not considered predictive of future performance/action.  The only personality test that has any predictive value (and it is scant) is the Five Factor Model and even then only its measures of extroversion and neuroticism.  To paraphrase the modern lyricist Meatloaf - 2 of 5 ain't bad.

Transmatic

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #23 on: February 14, 2014, 12:56:59 PM »
Iíve been following the MMM blog for about a year but this is my first post.

Iím surprised to see such a discrepancy in personality types so I feel obligated to ďspeak upĒ for the extroverts. Iím most certainly an extrovert.

Have many people here taken the Myer Briggs personality test? Iím an ENTJ.

Catbert

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #24 on: February 14, 2014, 01:00:17 PM »
Myers-Briggs ISTJ here.  My "I" score was very high although my profession was human resources.  I always said it was a great occupation except for the damn people!

Samsam

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2014, 01:20:08 PM »
ENTJ ovah here...wait this seems like deja vu..

gillstone

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #26 on: February 14, 2014, 01:33:46 PM »
Have many people here taken the Myer Briggs personality test? Iím an ENTJ.

Between high school, college and grad school I've taken it so many times I can now game the test to be an INTJ, ESFP or anything else on the list.  Which hits at the effeictiveness of the test and similar ones.  If those taking the test live in a culture that places a higher value on extroverted behavior or are taking it as part of a job application process, there is  pressure on test-takers to answer in ways that indicate extroversion.  The effect varies by culture and setting, but it can skew data and result in false positives for extroversion.

hybrid

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #27 on: February 14, 2014, 01:51:36 PM »
The polling results match up well to my life experience.  For all those supposed extroverts out there, of which I am one, I am surronded by introverts.  Many of my friends work in IT and/or identify with much in The Big Bang Theory, so I don't think that's an accident. 

Anti-ComplainyPants

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #28 on: February 15, 2014, 02:36:55 PM »
I'm exceptionally extroverted, and the friends I spend the most time with are face-punchingly anti-mustacian.

This occasionally gets me into unnecessary spending, but I've managed to inspire a common routine of hosting the crew at my place after they've spent a bunch of money at Happy Hour. This costs me free ninty-free, except for the alcohol I've previously bought from the store for a fraction of what it would cost at the bar.

Video games, board games, Pandora, and a projector (refurbished on Amazon) at my place have paid for themselves x1000 by allowing me to host rockin' gatherings rather than going out. Plus if anyone drinks too much, they can battle for the spare room/couches/carpet space!

phred

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #29 on: February 15, 2014, 03:45:47 PM »
These classifications aren't cast in stone.  Over the years an intro may become an extro and vice-versa, a feeler may become a judger, and so on

Ian

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #30 on: February 15, 2014, 04:38:29 PM »
I've always felt like introversion and extroversion are useful concepts in most cultures, regardless of their predictive validity. I feel as though there's a strong social expectation that matches the extrovert profile, and since I don't share that I've always considered myself an introvert. I usually test evenly between the two, though.

read books

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #31 on: February 17, 2014, 04:59:59 PM »
I'm an introvert in that I need time on my own to relax and am happy to spend days at a time caught up in my work on my own. I think I/E makes sense as a category. It's like any category: what use is it? How does it shape our experience and understanding of the world and the people we encounter?

I think one issue that causes confusion is the relationship between introversion/extroversion and shyness. I'm not shy. I will introduce myself to people, enjoy casual conversation, feel pressure to keep conversations going smoothly in social situations (and can generally do it), and enjoy public speaking.

Someone asked about MB type: I'm an INTJ (female), and I'm a humanities person (not an engineer of any kind and not interested in numbers ).

Big_Paul

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #32 on: February 17, 2014, 06:01:42 PM »
I've done the Myers-Briggs a few times over the years and got a different result every time. I don't hold much stock in it. I'm an introvert some days. I like my own company, peace and quiet, reading. Other days I like to be in a crowd laughing, chatting, fooling around. An extrovert. People are far too complex to be categorized into four convenient letters.

Nancy

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #33 on: February 17, 2014, 07:37:07 PM »
I don't think those are real things.
True. They are not real things. They may be ideas or idea building blocks that people use to construct manageable narratives of their lives/selves.

grantmeaname

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #34 on: February 17, 2014, 08:05:35 PM »
Sorry, I didn't realize I needed to be pedantic to have a conversation. Let me say that I don't accept them as meaningful social constructs that are accurate or useful in explaining human social interactions, because literally everyone I know draws energy both from introspection and from social interaction in amounts that vary not only based on their innate fixed temperament, but also what else is going on in their life, the context they find themselves in, the phase of life they find themselves in, the specific people around them, and interactions among all these factors. Looking at myself, specifically, I not only can't meaningfully call myself an introvert or an extrovert, but can't call half of my behavior or half of the days of my life one thing and the rest the other. I just don't see what the terms are for.

Sparky

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #35 on: February 17, 2014, 08:42:06 PM »
Right down the middle for me. I honestly don't care if I'm around people or not. Self entertained :) I love talking to people as much as I like flying solo

Nancy

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #36 on: February 17, 2014, 09:55:27 PM »
Sorry, I didn't realize I needed to be pedantic to have a conversation. Let me say that I don't accept them as meaningful social constructs that are accurate or useful in explaining human social interactions, because literally everyone I know draws energy both from introspection and from social interaction in amounts that vary not only based on their innate fixed temperament, but also what else is going on in their life, the context they find themselves in, the phase of life they find themselves in, the specific people around them, and interactions among all these factors. Looking at myself, specifically, I not only can't meaningfully call myself an introvert or an extrovert, but can't call half of my behavior or half of the days of my life one thing and the rest the other. I just don't see what the terms are for.

I was agreeing with you and was trying to keep the convo going. My bad! I see now that I don't know how to talk on the internet (I think it's because I quoted and repeated). Anyway, I think there are a lot of widely accepted ideas that we use to create order out of random chaos, and I also don't think they are meaningful or beneficial.

Ian

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #37 on: February 18, 2014, 12:28:19 AM »
Sorry, I didn't realize I needed to be pedantic to have a conversation. Let me say that I don't accept them as meaningful social constructs that are accurate or useful in explaining human social interactions, because literally everyone I know draws energy both from introspection and from social interaction
Really? I suppose it's not that unlikely, but I'm still surprised that's your experience. You've never met anyone who catagorically doesn't draw energy from social interaction?

I've met enough people who constantly feel this way over long periods that I'll defend "introvert" as a useful category. They describe social interaction like a physically intense sport - it might be fun or worthwhile, but it is always exhausting. I know a few people who draw almost all their energy from others and I find that they generally embrace "extrovert" as a label. Maybe your social groups tend to be in the middle of the spectrum, but I think people definitely exist who do categorize aspects of their life and behavior on this continuum and thus find the terms useful. At the very least, I've met enough people who don't seem to understand that other people want more/less interaction than them that I'm glad the terms are available.

Nancy

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #38 on: February 18, 2014, 07:32:19 AM »
Good point, Ian. It could be especially helpful in a society that promotes extroversion as the ideal (mandatory class participation anyone?). Perhaps it is positive for people who feel a certain way to have a label and a group with which to identify or at least the concept of a group so they can feel less strange (because extroversion is portrayed as the ideal not because they are actually strange-whatever that would mean) and more connected. I dislike what I think of as idea nets, but just because I find them so, doesn't mean they are so for everyone. FWIW, I find socializing exhausting.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2014, 07:55:27 AM by Nancy »

exranger06

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #39 on: February 18, 2014, 01:02:12 PM »

FIREySkyline

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #40 on: November 09, 2017, 08:07:58 PM »
Sorry to dredge this up, but I was thinking about starting the same topic. Reason? I have a theory that introverts are much more likely to want to FIRE than Extroverts. I think there are quite a few extroverts out there who wouldn't feel fulfilled if they didn't get the social interaction of the workplace every day. Now I know most of us would still say FI buys us freedom to do what we want regardless, but I'm seeing that most of the extroverts just don't seem to have any motivation to set the goal because they like being at work anyway. I can't understand the perspective, but it seems to be there. This poll generally supports that, internet audience aside.

If you're not sure where you fall, try the Meyers-Briggs. I'm fine talking to people and considered a people person relative to other engineers, I just don't feed off of it.

Monkey Uncle

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #41 on: November 10, 2017, 04:02:39 AM »
Sorry, I didn't realize I needed to be pedantic to have a conversation. Let me say that I don't accept them as meaningful social constructs that are accurate or useful in explaining human social interactions, because literally everyone I know draws energy both from introspection and from social interaction
Really? I suppose it's not that unlikely, but I'm still surprised that's your experience. You've never met anyone who catagorically doesn't draw energy from social interaction?

I've met enough people who constantly feel this way over long periods that I'll defend "introvert" as a useful category. They describe social interaction like a physically intense sport - it might be fun or worthwhile, but it is always exhausting. I know a few people who draw almost all their energy from others and I find that they generally embrace "extrovert" as a label. Maybe your social groups tend to be in the middle of the spectrum, but I think people definitely exist who do categorize aspects of their life and behavior on this continuum and thus find the terms useful. At the very least, I've met enough people who don't seem to understand that other people want more/less interaction than them that I'm glad the terms are available.

This sums up my thoughts on the subject nicely.  While I generally agree that Myers-Briggs is a bunch of bullshit, the introvert-extrovert continuum appears to be a real thing.  People in the middle may not think it is a useful construct because they can go either way.  But a substantial portion of the population appears to fall more toward one side than the other.

I've known since very early childhood that I am an introvert (although I didn't know what to call it then).  Work (and life in general) require communication and social interaction on a daily basis, and I've gotten better and better at that type of contact over the years.  I've even reached the point where I can "read" people pretty well (at least compared to when I used to not even try to do that).  I spend my days on the phone, in meetings, e-mailing, skyping, strategizing with others, etc., and I do my job well.  But at the end of the day I am exhausted and just want to go home, have a beer or three, eat, take care of a few life chores, and go to bed.  The intense social effort that a professional career requires is one of the reasons I want to FIRE.  I just have no energy left to do the things I want to do.  My wife is looking forward to getting some of my social energy and attention again instead of me spending all that capital at work every day.

marty998

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #42 on: November 10, 2017, 04:22:09 AM »
The Forum is self selecting in a way. Talking over the internet without having to physically interact with someone is so much easier for introverts :)

Naturally you will get an outsized proportion of I's over E's here.

Mrbeardedbigbucks

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #43 on: November 10, 2017, 05:18:07 AM »
I fully embrace my introversion. In the past I used to feel bad about it, like it wasn't normal. I think there's this unfortunate negative stigma around being introverted. People label you as "shy" or "quiet". American culture and especially in the business world, want someone that appears outgoing and confident and there's a pressure to look busy and maintain a social life. Now I no longer make excuses or feel bad about not wanting to socialize every chance I get. In fact just recently someone at the office asked me if I was going to the company holiday party this year and I just said, "no", I didn't bother coming up with an excuse.

When I do attend social engagements, I often find the person that likes to talk the most and ask them a question about themselves. It's like winding up a cheap plastic toy, they'll keep talking and talking and you just stare and nod your head and keep saying, "uh huh, ok, sure, yeah, really?, wow" and when they're done talking, you wind them up again by asking another question. It's really fascinating in some situations because if you just ask questions and listen, many people will tell you some stuff you probably shouldn't know. They feel you're trust worthy because you're not a big talker and you sound interested in their lives. Introverts socialize and have fun in their own way.



soccerluvof4

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #44 on: November 10, 2017, 05:32:18 AM »
I'm am Introvert that can be like an Extrovert till the person around me drives me nuts. Sometimes people confuse my calmness with me just trying to ignore there obnoxiousness.

Freedomin5

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #45 on: November 10, 2017, 06:11:21 AM »
Total introvert here. I hide it well, but my first reaction to an invitation to a social gathering is always, "Do I have to go? What excuse can I use to get out of going?" I then sometimes am able to force myself to go because having friends and a social support group is supposed to be good for you, or so I heard.

While I'm able to engage in conversations with others and sound relatively normal, it exhausts me. Parties bore me; group games stress me out (including board games). I do enjoy grabbing coffee or just hanging out with one friend at a time though. Though that starts to exhaust me after awhile too. I can't recall ever feeling energized from socializing with others -- that concept is rather foreign to me. That being said, I do gain other things from talking to people, so I force myself to do it every once in a while.

orangepalm

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #46 on: November 10, 2017, 07:30:45 AM »
While I'm able to engage in conversations with others and sound relatively normal, it exhausts me. Parties bore me; group games stress me out (including board games). I do enjoy grabbing coffee or just hanging out with one friend at a time though. Though that starts to exhaust me after awhile too. I can't recall ever feeling energized from socializing with others -- that concept is rather foreign to me. That being said, I do gain other things from talking to people, so I force myself to do it every once in a while.

The concept of becoming exhausted by social interactions (and dreading having to participate in the first place) is probably the hallmark of introvert-ism. Extraverts gain energy from social interactions. I'm the same as you, being social in smaller groups is great and all from time to time, but it gets tiring and frankly, I'm often not really interested in the all too prevalent meaningless conversation (gossip etc.).

FWIW my wife and I are both INTJ and have a career in STEM (cliche much?).

Monkey Uncle

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #47 on: November 10, 2017, 07:46:53 AM »
When I do attend social engagements, I often find the person that likes to talk the most and ask them a question about themselves. It's like winding up a cheap plastic toy, they'll keep talking and talking and you just stare and nod your head and keep saying, "uh huh, ok, sure, yeah, really?, wow" and when they're done talking, you wind them up again by asking another question. It's really fascinating in some situations because if you just ask questions and listen, many people will tell you some stuff you probably shouldn't know. They feel you're trust worthy because you're not a big talker and you sound interested in their lives. Introverts socialize and have fun in their own way.

My problem is that I really don't care to know anything about most of the people I meet. So when someone like that starts going on and on about themselves or some aspect of their lives, I just zone out, and it's very hard to hide the fact that I'm zoning out.

Very often for me, these types of social interactions go the other way, such that I'm just kind of standing there, and the other person feels compelled to ask me a question.  To which I will usually give a matter-of-fact, two or three sentence answer, and then just stand there again.  Which makes them uncomfortable, so they ask another question, and so on...help! Somebody please get me out of here!

MatthewK

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #48 on: November 10, 2017, 08:36:02 AM »
I'm an introvert, but only when I'm sober.

Haha, that's great, me too!!
I'd also agree being introverted make's it a bit easier to grow net worth.

Just Joe

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Re: Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
« Reply #49 on: November 10, 2017, 09:22:43 AM »
When I do attend social engagements, I often find the person that likes to talk the most and ask them a question about themselves. It's like winding up a cheap plastic toy, they'll keep talking and talking and you just stare and nod your head and keep saying, "uh huh, ok, sure, yeah, really?, wow" and when they're done talking, you wind them up again by asking another question. It's really fascinating in some situations because if you just ask questions and listen, many people will tell you some stuff you probably shouldn't know. They feel you're trust worthy because you're not a big talker and you sound interested in their lives. Introverts socialize and have fun in their own way.

My problem is that I really don't care to know anything about most of the people I meet. So when someone like that starts going on and on about themselves or some aspect of their lives, I just zone out, and it's very hard to hide the fact that I'm zoning out.

Very often for me, these types of social interactions go the other way, such that I'm just kind of standing there, and the other person feels compelled to ask me a question.  To which I will usually give a matter-of-fact, two or three sentence answer, and then just stand there again.  Which makes them uncomfortable, so they ask another question, and so on...help! Somebody please get me out of here!

It depends on what they are going on about. If I'm learning something useful to me then talk on! If they are telling me every last detail about their favorite evening soap is progressing on TV then maybe I'll run to the restroom to call my wife and call her to schedule a phone call in ~7 mins that requires me to report home. ;)

I once dated a young lady who told me all about her family every date. Everyone's names, what they did for a living, where they lived, what their favorite things and activities were, etc. etc. Nice girl but we were not meant for each other.