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Ideas for meeting people that don't include bars, clubs, or drinking?
This is a big issue I'm running into. I realize that you can show up to a bar and just order a Coke, I feel like I'm not going to make very many friends in a setting I hate and feel obligated to show up to because it's 75%+ of the activity in the area.

There's a couple alternatives I've been looking at, namely board and card games, since those are pretty much on a weekly basis at local stores. I'd rather be meeting people over things like book clubs or biking, but most book clubs are meeting once-a-month (at that rate, how long until I can say I know people there?) and the latter doesn't seem to be a thing.

Concerts and music are too expensive to be a regular thing. I do volunteer work but I almost never see anyone there because it's gardening in a small city park.
A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother.
When I was younger I would go to a local chess club that met every Monday night. Group of 20-30 regular adults.

I have a few friends that are into cars and are always inviting me to car meetups. I usually only attend one or two a month but if I wanted to I could be doing something a few nights a week.

I have a friend that seems to meet a ton of people through yoga classes. Become a regular. Get to know other regulars. This probably applies to something like crossfit too.

If your area has a makerspace or some version of one then you could hang out there and work on projects and help others with their projects. It's a good way to learn and make friends.

I recently got back into disc golf. Much more heavily than before. I only have free time to play on the weekends but every weekend there is some tournament or event or league night that I can do. I actually have about 2 months planned out in advance atm of events I'm going to attend. Of course you meet others during the events and that increases the network of people you can contact if you want to just go play a round with people.

I'm sure similar could be said for something like bowling? I dunno.

My suggestions might be bad but they sure as hell have been working out for me. My schedule is jam packed with business stuff, work stuff, fun stuff, and social stuff. I never thought I would be the type to enjoy being so busy all the time but It's actually really fulfilling and satisfying to schedule so many things and then follow through with it all.

I think the key might be to get into something specific. A specific game or activity. Then find your local community for that activity and just jump in.

The local meetup book club just broke up due to lack of interest. I dont think many people really find book clubs that interesting. Same with gardening or biking. They are all things that are mostly just solitary activities.

There are a couple of pretty active running groups around here though.

Just keep looking Smile
Lack of possibilities for meeting people locally is a big reason I've moved online.

It's just all luck, and the places I like to be are not common. Places like bars and the like are places I just don't belong, and certainly wouldn't connect with the people there.

The closest I have is something like a library, but people there generally don't want to start talking randomly to strangers, haha.
The best we seem to have is - the trouble is, for a person with my issues, it's no good. Because Meetup is mostly populated by snobby 'average Joes' who don't know what it's like to be perceived as being 'different'.

Then any local clubs in my area seem to be limited to specific ages and disabilities. Which is quite frustrating.
To quote a popular werewolf film - 'Everyone's cursed.  It's called life'
Libraries and bookstores.

You definitely have a better chance at meeting interesting people in libraries at bigger cities than in smaller towns.

I lived in one city where the public library WAS the college library, filled mostly with younger people, a couple floors high, and populated enough that you can run into someone doing a dissertation on a subject that you're also studying. Okay yes, they're there to research and do a report but: I mean, who the Hell actually enjoys writing a report? I'm a nerd, and even I don't like writing reports.

Another city I lived in had a library to it which was simply where all the homeless people and crust punks hung out. Have you ever had a conversation with the homeless or crust punks? I mean, habits aside, their life story and perception is an interesting thing to delve into. It teaches you to break down the walls of your own perception and discard your judgment of other people. Yes, they are troubled people, however they are people. If humanitarian concerns interest you, there's literally an entire field of social study based around this alone.

Okay, so where do you meet business owners and people that actually make money? They're often at trade shows, which usually takes a bit of money to get into in the first place. There's some boards/forums specifically for that kind of a thing as well, and you can find plenty of ways to better your finances through attempting to develop a better relationship with your manager. Not all managers a bad, a lot of them are, but not all of them. I'm an awesome manager, or I try to be at least. Toungue . No drugs or alcohol for that conversation with those types of people though. Even though everyone there is likely a functioning alcoholic or has some sort of addiction, that conversation isn't considered appropriate in professional business meetings and/or conversations.  I used to work a for a father/son duo that were multi-million dollar entrepreneurs, I invested countless hours into talking to them about management when they made me a manager. "Learning the ropes" as they call it. That field of work though, in that company and location specifically, didn't drug test. It was in a college town when I was in my early 20's, and we were in the "tobacc0" industry of wholesale other words: I was the supplier to the corner stores for cigs, wraps, pipes, pipe cleaners, cheap booze, and pretty much everything you'd expect college kids to be into for experimentation that was borderline legal. Fought the feds? Yep, been there, done that too...I've seen some pretty cut throat shit in the world of business for only being 30 and working mostly minimum wage kinds of jobs. My thing is: I genuinely don't want to be a business owner. I literally can't afford to start from in the hole because I was born in the hole (err...that's an accidental double entendre, I'm sorry!)

Anyway, the TL;DR version of it being:

Meeting people can be easy, meeting the right people however, is much, MUCH harder...I meet the wrong people every fucking day, for example. Okay yeah, I smoke weed and on very rare occasions (the Equinoxes specifically) I take psychedelics but that's just because I'm what you'd call a Stargazer.

Have you ever seen The Wolf Of Wall Street?? I feel like most people want to be that and also hate the idea of that basically at the same damn time (yes, I did just drop that bs reference).

So where do I land as an introverted INFJ, Cancer, straight cis white male when it comes to meeting people??...I don't...

People meet me, I don't meet people. That's pretty much always how it has been.
If that looks like a lack of confidence and high strung social anxiety disorder coupled with crippling clinical depression, that's probably because it is exactly that....I can fake being extroverted, for pretty much a period of 8 - 12 hours. JJUUSSTTT enough to get me through a long work day, or a long visit to a friend I actually sincerely, genuinely care about.

Irony being that I emotionally feel like the tail end of the Mortiis song Monolith:

"Here I stand, alone
My soul has turned to stone
Half my kingdom to
Him that helps me through"

My nails are...literally digging into the walls around me, at this point...though the ironic thing is that: I'm the one that built these walls! >_< I don't need further conflict in my life, I'm clearly conflicted enough...

I mean I have seen some seriously...seriously fucked up fucking shit in my life...enough to warrant me seeing a counselor except I can't afford it. Enough to talk to cops except they'd probably jail me too. Enough for nobody to want me, but enough for me to figure out how to survive literally entirely on my own at any length of extremity short of basically having my arms and legs rot off from some infectious disease which I hope I never have to suffer. Rolleyes

That's where I stand when it comes to meeting people, and why I kind of don't really meet people in person these days. Online is much safer, if I can't handle it I can literally just shut my laptop and walk away and go watch a movie, or play a game, or something of the like.
"Of Fire in Nature, Love in Spirit unkenned,
Life, hath no axle, no spring, and no End"
I've met people at art classes and by taking French lessons also by volunteering at the local Hospice. I've found that by pitching up and just going with the flow I eventually ended up connecting with someone. By just being some place and in the presence of the same people on a regular basis I was able to form a connection, nothing major, no tight friendships but at least it was some conversation. I saw a TED talk on Youtube and the presenter suggested having a routine going to the same coffee shop on a regular basis at the same time, attending a class on the same day every week, places and activities where you feel comfortable. Eventually you will connect.
Its obvious really become a bank robber  Cool give up that crappy job with crappy colleagues and embark on an exciting adventurous rollercoaster of crime! A sawn off shotgun and youll soon have a captive audience to relate all your tales of woe whilst coming home with a wheelbarrow of cash. Don't worry about a disguise as it'll be a real buzz having your fizgog in the news and on tv. If you survive but get locked up no worries as notorious dangerous psycho types attract lots of fan mail from the opposite sex and weirdly marriage offers.... Rolleyes
Hi Tealeaf apologies for some of my posts going off at a tangent...I get bored so take a lateral leap to keep myself amused.

I tend to avoid people mainly but when I haven't spoken to anyone for 3 or 4 days and wonder if I still retain the ability to speak and string a coherent sentence together I meander over to a local wildlife/bird hotspot. Twitchers/watchers/tourist are usually a sociable lot and happy to chat/share info and sometimes even make a cup of tea. Being close to the natural world is always revitalizing and if you go for a walk heathy too. I don't know what part of the world you live in but guessing theres lakes/forest/reservoirs on the outskirts which are of interest and often youll find bird/wildlife hides put up for viewing where you can have a cuppah and chat. Are there rambling clubs you could join?- im too much of a loner for that but you might consider it.

Dog walking- in the UK theres a charity [Cinnamon Trust] who help with walking dogs for the elderly/infirm-I quite enjoyed this. You can have quite a few dogs to walk regularly and the owners are always very grateful.

Fishing-I doubt if you be in to this but its a great way to be out and about and tend to speak to quite a few people in passing.

Anyhow that's how I retain my slender thread to the human race- best of luck  Big Grin
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