Work @ Home = Degrading People Skills?

Discussion in 'Indie Related Chat' started by Chaster, Feb 16, 2005.

  1. Chaster

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    You know, I just have to get this off my chest...

    I've been working at home now for about 2 years. In that time, I've noticed a disturbing trend: my people/social skills are atrophying. This was illustrated all too glaringly this morning when I said some (in hindsight) off-color comments while talking to another parent at my daughter's daycare facility. :eek:

    This is very upsetting to me (and very embarrassing too). I am not a "shut-in" by any means - I attend church activities regularly and get together with friends every few days. And previously, I would have described myself as quite gregarious. Yet, I find myself to be more and more "challenged" in social situations because I feel like my capability to carry on basic social "chatting" has become a shadow of its former self... :(

    Anyone else out there experience this?...
     
  2. Hamumu

    Indie Author

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    Do you ever leave a room and say "BRB!"?
     
  3. Ricardo C

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    I've been a freelancer for ages, but just took a part time teaching gig to help fund my indie projects. The money's decent, and I only work four mornings a week teaching basic computing to grade schoolers. It's a dream job, really. But yes, I HAVE noticed how socially awkward I've become by spending so much time working on my own, and having social interaction with a limited number of people (fianceé, immediate family, close relatives, for the most part.) One thing I noticed right away is how shy I seemed on my first day, and how meek my voice sounded. I've been getting over it, but I definitely think working from home has rusted my people skills a bit.
     
  4. mahlzeit

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    Maybe it's not working at home that reduces people skills, but participating in online forums, immediate messaging, and IRC channels. In other words, by hanging out with a more-than-average share of idiots. Present company excepted, of course. :)
     
  5. Raptisoft

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    I prefer to think of it as "becoming a lovable curmudgeon."
     
  6. PoV

    PoV
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    People don't talk like that. :D
     
  7. Indiepath.T

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    Phew, and I thought it was just me who was loosing it... and I've only been doing this for 13 weeks.
     
  8. Cartman

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    I have a friend who was a Tech Writer for MS. She told me once after she had been at home with her kids for about a year that she felt like she had lost that social interaction that adults experience. She found herself using child like phrases more and more and missed the interaction she had from a day to day office job.
     
  9. 20thCenturyBoy

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    I have two young kids. I go to work for peace, quiet and social interaction. The actual work is an annoying side effect.
     
  10. DangerCode

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    May I suggest joining a group like Toastmasters that forces you to work on your communication skills?

    I've been a membere for nearly a year now and I think it's great.
     
  11. exepotes

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    at least some of you had social skills to lose... i've always been like that... damn me!
     
    #11 exepotes, Feb 17, 2005
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2005
  12. svero

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Getting along with people is over-rated. The best thing that ever happened to me was losing my people-skills. The hell with the lot of you!

    - S
     
  13. exepotes

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    yes, i tend to agree with you, but when i go to a shop and the salesmen there are afraid of me, or my talking, or my looking... and i end buying nothing...
    may be i'm the unabomber! no, wait, i wouldn't be using a computer...
     
  14. Chaster

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    I've thought of that in the past, however, I just can't bring myself to sacrifice the time/effort necessary... Also, I am not really concerned about "formal presentation communication skills", more "interpersonal informal skills".. It seems that Toastmasters mainly focuses on one's ability to overcome stage fright (I don't have that problem).. Of course, I could be wrong since I've never been to Toastmasters....
     
  15. Reactor

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    If you're a church guy Chaster, you can rejoice in not being able to communicate well, since Moses was a mumbler, and Paul wasn't eloquent in speech either ;)
     
  16. Abscissa

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    Me too ;)
     
  17. DangerCode

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    You can check out a local club as a guest for free for as long as you like. I actually did originally attend TM to overcome my fear of public speaking but I was very surprised to learn much more than that.

    It's a great way to improve your normal, day-to-day communications and it's good networking too (you'd be surprised how someone knows someone that knows someone). Of course, every club is different so YMMV.
     
  18. Chaster

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    I think people misunderstood me - I don't have a problem communicating with people. I have, of late, found myself unable to carry on social chit-chat because I can't think of anything interesting to talk about with people outside of the industry & my family.

    So in a way, what I'm saying is "all work (at home) and no play has made Chaster a dull boy"...

    To add upon my lack of interesting thoughts to share with people I am talking with, I have also developed a certain ummm, shall we say "lack of forethought" (i.e. I've made some "off color" jokes... Previously, before I started working at home, I would have caught myself before saying things which I later regret..)

    Basically, what I'm saying is - I don't have a problem communicating, I have developed a lack of discretion. (I think I'm probably overreacting to the problem a bit though...)

    My wife assures me that this is nothing new and has always been the case... :rolleyes:

    In any case, I'm taking steps to improve the situation..

    Chaster
     
  19. Mike Wiering

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    It's probably a good idea to get into more groups/clubs where you meet lots of people regularly.

    Learn to play an instrument (if you don't already) and join an orchestra! I play the cello myself and wouldn't like to think of what my life would be like if I didn't. At the moment, I play in four orchestras. That means having a rehearsal almost every evening, lots of concerts, rehearsal weekends and sometimes even tours to other country. These are amature orchestras, so there are a lot more activities than just playing music and you get to meet lots of people.
     
  20. Jonas

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    I'll second DangerCode, on the Toastmasters Angle. It's actully probably one of the reason I go, is just to be forced to talk to folks.

    Heres the site to find one near you: www.toastmasters.org

    I basicly have the same problem in that I was finding it somewhat difficult to talk to "normal folks" about stuff I find interesting. I didn't even really have a good reason to be a TM, it's not like I have to address groups of folks in person much. But yet, something just pulling me back until I joined up.

    I don't know what other toastmasters clubs are like, but ours is full of really nice folks from all walks of life. I think to only look as TM as a Speech club is kinda missing the true point in that it's about developing people skills.

    One thing I find fun being the resident Computer Guru of the group, is actully briing topics I find interesting to them in a "normal folk" fashion. And alot of the time it's small talk.

    I dunno, I think it's worth hanging out for 2 or 3 times. If you don't like it , you lost a maximum of 1 hr a week. You never know, you might get that hr back 10 fold.

    Anyway, I'd say that it's helped me interact with the muggles.
     
    #20 Jonas, Feb 18, 2005
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2005

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