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Oftentimes guys get blamed for being "introverted". With a few exceptions of places I know I can go and have a good time, it does not appear to me that modern life has any social outlets at all. I see cute girls walking around on the street everywhere, but I never see people talking to strangers in public. Everyone goes about their business silently, and it is clear that talking to strangers is a huge taboo. The only people who might talk to you are salespeople or people trying to scam you.
If you go to a bar you are not supposed to talk to other groups of people. You are supposed to leave them alone and respect their privacy.
If you go to a park you are not supposed to bother other people.
If you go to some kind of social club, only a small subsection of the population will show up, like 25 people in a city of four million.
This is not a U.S. phenomenon. Europe is the same way, probably worse.
It is very easy to live in a large city and be completely alone, surrounded by people at all times. I find it very unnerving. It is not just me. I NEVER see two strangers interact. I can't even imagine how it would occur, except in a few beach communities I know of.
I understand that I need to initiate conversations with other people, but shouldn't I only have to initiate 50% of those conversations? If zero interactions are occurring between me and others, and I also see zero interactions occurring between other people, what does that tell you about the social norms of life in a big city?
Coming back to life.
And you're young. When you get older hardly anyone will initiate a conversation who doesn't want your money.
But then, that may just be changing times. When I was young the U.S. wasn't a culture completely paranoid about talking to strangers. Then too, it wasn't a culture consisting almost entirely of brain-dead narcissists -- by way of explaining the paranoia. Don't know what to tell you, except amen.
America has a strong sense of what's appropriate, no matter how much of a rebel they're portrayed in movies or how little social grace they have in real life. They're usually like a little Puritan, but dialed down. Germans & English are the best comparisons (and the cultural heritage of the place).
They're not okay with liking something, either. They definitely have what's called a "negative identity." This causes a lotmofnprovlems, but also keeps a lot of problems from being fixed.
Narcissism is included in this, whether it's the root of it or not, I don't know. The only thing they'll take any risk for is their image. Too bad the country working like shit doesn't register as an image detriment to them.