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Choosing to live life in solitude
#21
Have you talked to your barber before?

I don't think you were being hurtful, or at least I didn't read it as being hurtful. Likewise, you don't have to talk to the barber, a lot of people don't and that's fine. Also, he's probably talked about the weather several times any given day so yeah I can see how picking such a topic might fall flat. That thing is it should be something that might seem natural to you, if you liked muscle cars for example, that might be a good topic...but if you don't know anything about cars, don't know where the oil goes and so on, probably won't work. So don't force a topic that you're not going to enjoy. That's the whole reason to talk to your barber is to make the experience more pleasant, or a reason that it.
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#22
(01-26-2022, 11:33 AM)Anonymous Wrote: I have a weird experience at the barbers.

The barber which I always go regularly to have my haircut will have lengthy conversations with other customers talking about economy, local news, spouse, children etc. while cutting their hair.

But when he cuts my hair, there will be total silence that I would sometimes wonder if there is a problem with my hearing.

But as I grow older, I don't really bother whether the barber is interested to talk to me or not. As long as he cuts my hair properly, I'm fine with it.

Plus, he charges a bit cheaper compared to other barbers near my place. So I don't mind.

PS: Sorry if I sound hurtful in this post. I did not mean to hurt anybody with this post. I just wanted to share my experience with the barber because I have not talked to anyone about this barber experience before.

To further expand on my previous post (I will try not to repeat anything but there is a chance I might).

I don't think what you describe is weird. I have had the same experiences with barbers and hair salons. For me personally, I find hair salons to be a tad more inviting, however, hair salons see much more women than men and men's haircuts can throw them off or sometimes they simply suck at it. I have had a few terrible haircuts, to the point of considering a flowbee...

[Image: Robocut-vs-Flowbee-Haircutter-1.jpg]

Like I asked in the previous post, do you ever try to strike up conversation with your barber? You certainly don't have to, but I am wanting to know why you don't, that is assuming you don't. Also keep in mind things like body language, both you and your barber. If you look like you're grumpy he might just assume you don't want to talk...likewise, if he's looks grumpy you might feel like he doesn't want to talk to you. Whether that's true or not is unknown. Just like you might look grumpy, head down, no expression on your face, but are in a chipper mood. Some people just don't look like how they feel.

We can often tell a lot about someone just by observing them. Arms and legs crossed, sitting upright and straight while waiting for the barber. It would seem like that person is anxious. Someone who is sighing a lot, checking their watch, might be annoyed with how long they're waiting. You might not realize it or think about it but observing someone can greatly influence your own behavior towards them and that includes someone like your barber.

My opinion is trust your gut but don't read too far into it. If you get a bad feeling about someone, there might very well be a reason, but sometimes we jump to conclusions. You might mistake that someone doesn't like you because they have somehow figured out that you're gay, but what evidence do you have of that? I mean of course if you walked in dressed up in drag or something that would make it very obvious that Ray Charles notices sure, but otherwise you have to not listen to your inner monologue in those cases.

When it comes to socializing with strangers and people you don't know that well, it is totally normal to run out of shit to say. It's like fishing (I've never been fishing), you throw the line out and hope to catch a fish. You have to find common ground, a topic that you and the person you're talking to have an interest in. Likewise, the more things you yourself are interested in the easier it is to find something you and a stranger have in common.

Going back to the barber, if you find that it is really that you don't like your barber but you only go to him because he's cheaper than others, ask yourself if the savings are worth it. Try a different barber or maybe a hair salon, see if the experience is better or not. Maybe it costs a little more but maybe it is an overall better experience.

That brings me to this. Experience things. Not just social experience, try new stuff. Be curious. Find new hobbies, learn new skills. It might not seem like it first but the more things you seek will bring you in contact with more people who are doing the same things. For instance, if you like hiking, you might get involved in a group that does day hikes. Now, there's a whole group of people who have something in common and can learn from them. Do I need hiking poles? Are in bear country, do I need to carry bear spray? What kind of hiking shoes do you recommend? And so on.

I know that I shouldn't make assumptions about anyone but I would think that you probably don't go out doing recreational things much? And do correct me if I am wrong because I feel that in order to help someone overcome social anxiety it is good to try to know them. I often look into myself to understand how others feel. I don't always share the same experiences that others do.

[Image: _110892159_pbd.jpg]

This is a photo of Earth as you would see it from Pluto. It was taken by the Voyager space probe many years ago. The reason I point this out is that no matter what the problem is in life, it is usually better not to take things to seriously, not to beat yourself up or make inconsequential comparisons between yourself and others. I have found in my meandering experience that people are more similar than they are different. Even across different cultures that at face value are nothing a like. We all experience anxiety, although differently at times and we all want to be accepted by others, even if someone says they want to live in solitude. Understand that anxiety doesn't go away, you just learn skills to cope and that's what makes it better. 15 years ago I wouldn't have ever imagined standing in front of a class of college students giving a presentation and aside from the pandemic I've done it every semester for the past several years.
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#23
I've gone to a salon for my hair, but since the pandemic, I've gotten clippers and just clip it almost all the way down to the scalp.

Most of it has fallen out anyway.

When I went to the salon, the stylist was always chatty, and I enjoyed it, but there are times when I'm not in the mood for chit-chat.
[Image: 51806835273_f5b3daba19_t.jpg]  <<< It's mine!
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#24
(01-26-2022, 11:33 AM)Anonymous Wrote:
(01-24-2022, 06:12 PM)InbetweenDreams Wrote: The point is you have to get someone's interest by getting their attiention or making an observation. Now, not all people want to open up. To be honest, when I go get a haircut I'm perfectly content with sitting there in silence, but if a conversation starts and it's something interesting I'm find to talk too.


I have a weird experience at the barbers.

The barber which I always go regularly to have my haircut will have lengthy conversations with other customers talking about economy, local news, spouse, children etc. while cutting their hair.

But when he cuts my hair, there will be total silence that I would sometimes wonder if there is a problem with my hearing.

But as I grow older, I don't really bother whether the barber is interested to talk to me or not. As long as he cuts my hair properly, I'm fine with it.

Plus, he charges a bit cheaper compared to other barbers near my place. So I don't mind.

PS: Sorry if I sound hurtful in this post. I did not mean to hurt anybody with this post. I just wanted to share my experience with the barber because I have not talked to anyone about this barber experience before.
I don't think this is unusual. Barbers spend their lives dealing with the public in a one to one environment. I'm sure over time they must develop a sixth sense about people, picking up on who the talkers and non-talkers are. If he senses you're a non-talker he probably figures you are more comfortable skipping the small talk.
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