Sunday, 17 July 2016

Socializing


<spacer.gif>Sociability
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According to your results you appear to be the type of person who doesn't socialize very often. You likely have a limited social network, and possibly aren't really interested in extending it beyond a few close and intimate friendships. Having an active social life doesn't appear to be an important thing to you. Chances are that when the opportunity arises to socialize among a large group of people, you'll most likely turn it down if possible. This doesn't necessarily mean you don't enjoy socializing or being around people. Rather, you tend to prefer spending time with smaller groups of friends. Individuals who score similarly to you typically aren't conversation-starters, especially with people they aren't familiar with. In addition, they aren't known to be exceptionally outgoing, unless among close friends.

(People who I met at BAR, don't think this applies to you. I didn't find BAR stressful at all . . . maybe that is because the people at BAR are more my tribe or maybe it is because I figured if it went to hell, I never had to see any of you again)

I have been giving socialization  a lot of thought recently (which led me to the quiz whose results you see above) because of my reaction to an invitation to a party. I was invited to a party that would be about 10 people, most of whom I like (only one I would say I dislike), and my immediate reaction was "no way in hell."  This party is being held at a friend's house, a friend whose house I was at a party earlier in the month. At the first party, nothing "bad" happened. I was teased a little by a friend, but I didn't make any huge social blunders or anything. (It is not like I got drunk and started singing or anything). However, I did leave feeling exhausted. The idea of going to another party, within a month, just is too much for me.

I think there are a lot of reasons why I feel this way. Looking back at my life, there is something about me that makes me less desirable to many and makes me the target of bullying.  I was bullied and excluded extensively as a kid. (I was the only kid not invited to more parties than I can count or likely know about). While I don't have a diagnosis, it is clear I fall more on the autism spectrum than many. I am sure I appear socially awkward to people. Groups overwhelm me. Bad experiences in groups have further made me not trust them and be more awkward in them. It has become a vicious circle. 

For the first 4 decades of my life, I have repeatedly tried to be the "Social K10" with little success. I am better at small talk now, but haven't really gained any other skills, but rather have had my dislike of groups reinforced. I have decided, going forward,  I am going to "Be K10". (I am borrowing this notion from  Gretchen Rubin's "Be Gretchen" - aka be yourself). I am done being a social group member.  I am limiting my big group events out side of work (work takes a lot of energy as most of my work is with people, half of whom are in crisis). Over the years,  I have been pressured into going to may such events (because apparently other people care)  and I am not going to let that happen any more. I will go to events that I want to (because even then, I know I am going to feel crappy after it but  I feel crappier if I didn't want to be there in the first place). I will put my focus on cultivating relationships in small group settings. If people don't like it, well, not my problem. 

Yes, I am going to miss things, and yes this is going to keep me at the edge of the potential community, but that is where I am already and that is where I am happiest. It is when I try to cross that line closer to the centre, that it really falls apart. Research shows you only need a couple of really close friends (they define that as someone you can call at 2 am if you needed help) and I have that. I am not alone, I just have a small, awesome circle, that is happy to let me stand at the edge and doesn't judge me for not jumping in. 





 






4 comments:

  1. Now when I respond that this "is interesting", it is not without depth of thought. I actually read it a few hours ago and had to let it percolate in my mind for a bit.

    First of all it was surprising in a way because that wasn't really the K10 I met. But like you said, BAR was a bit different. I thought about it and I think that those who gathered already knew each other's hearts. The stuff we didn't know about each other was the more insignificant fluff. So I think it was just a more gentle, very relaxed, social setting. I mean really, we'd already talked about poop and pee before we even met!

    That you described yourself as being picked on, or a bully magnet sort of person surprised me as well. I didn't see that. I didn't see anyone who was "unusual" other than you Canadians are so nice (LOL! I had to put that in!). No, I saw someone who was interesting and easy to talk to and who laughed easily. Maybe the thing about you that attracted the bullies was that they thought they could get away with it?

    As I have grown older my desire to be in ANY social setting, much less a larger one, has slowly diminished. I consider myself an extrovert who is just tired of putting up the effort it takes with so many people. Maybe it's part of growing older? I don't know. I can easily see how older folks become isolated. I can feel myself being pulled that way too.

    So I'd say if you feel somewhat abnormal at all for how you think and feel about this it might be more normal than you think. Depth is often much better than breadth in these things.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing something so personal like that. Now, let's see if that bathroom is big enough for a small party lol!

    C

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for your very kind words C. I wrote and rewrote this post and almost deleted it a million times. Finally I said to myself, let it go - it may set you free.
      Maybe some of my issues are I have tried to socialize with people "outside my tribe" too much. People who don't appreciated some of my quirks (I am a dog blogger after all, that does make me a little quirky. As does being childless by choice. As does being passionate about lifelong learning and a random fact collector. As does . . .well I could go on forever!)
      I am glad all my scars don't shine through when I meet people. I always worry they will.
      I agree those of us who met at BAR had seen most of each others warts and all already. It was more putting a face to the stories. It really felt more like seeing the family members you actual care to see.
      I have just downloaded the videos to my computer again and am going to try and get them up. If it fails, I will use panoramic pictures!

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  2. As we mentioned in our post last Thursday - "find your tribe and love them hard". Sometimes that is all we really need:)

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