Thursday, May 19, 2011

Why I Don't Like Socializing in Groups

One topic I've been considering as of late regarding my lovability goals and pursuit of valuable relationships is what I consider to be my preferred situations for socialization, and in thinking about that I've realized again how much I dislike groups. Can it really be considered beneficial to friendships to socialize in such a manner?
Nos vemos en el bar

The thing that strikes me the most are those images on social networking sites where people will post endless photos of themselves with countless people, many time in very intimate poses such as hugging or kissing each other, to indicate how close they are as friends. Yet, evidence suggests they don't see these people that often to have developed such a strong intimacy, as shown by consistent comments from various people on how long it's been since they've seen a particular person. Just how much do these people know each other as individuals outside of a group-setting? And in groups, why do they display such physical intimacy despite not having cultivated a true appreciation for each person as an individual? To me, it seems more like the person is inserting themselves in a group for the sake of being in a group rather than appreciating the group as a gathering of distinct individuals.

What irks me the most is how it seems that in such group settings everyone is concentrating very weakly on everyone and everything, so in the end they're not really socializing with anyone in particular, but rather anyone in general. The majority of my experiences have shown it's very easy to fuse with the environment in that setting by not talking or getting involved: Everyone's so caught up with what's happening in "general" that they hardly notice anything unique about a particular person. It's not about cultivating friendships, but rather being in a collective atmosphere. Most of all, it disturbs me how often people don't act like themselves in group settings, where they'll be one kind of person when dealt with privately and another person in front of others. I've seen people who are often calm in disposition in private often get hysterical, loud, and hyper in more populated settings, a direct contradiction to their usual behavior.

I am not saying, however, that it's inherently irrational to socialize in groups; rather, that too often it's done for irrational reasons and in irrational ways. For example, take the majority of how college kids conduct parties and whatnot. For me, it would be more ideal to socialize in a group after having gotten to know as many of the people as individuals as possible, or else be aware of how individual everyone is when being exposed to them during that time. Don't relax your focus, appeal to the whole group indiscriminately, and then allow yourself to forget everyone afterwards. It's nonsensical to me to think that someone would show great affection in kissing someone for a photograph, but then hold them at arm's length beyond that scenario. Moreover, these kinds of people I often see frequently change the groups they associate with, each new batch of photos showing a whole new smorgasbord of strangers.

I'm not sure if I'd ever truly enjoy group socialization in a rational sense, however. Even with intimate friends I've never much enjoyed being in groups of more than three. It's not shyness; it's just that I don't like asserting my personality to that great a number of people at a time, so I often stay quiet even if discomfort is entirely absent. Then again, perhaps I might change after pursuing valuable relationships more successfully. We'll see.

Anyhow, this is why I don't like groups. I much prefer getting to know someone more intimately and privately.

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