I was having an interesting conversation with Quester this morning. We were talking about how some folks prefer to socialize one-on-one, some like small groups, others enjoy large gatherings, and various combinations of those options. He mentioned a good friend of ours who said she would rather be either with one or two friends, or at a big party where she can focus on just one or two of the other guests at a time. Small or medium sized groups, on the other hand, seem way too chaotic and confusing to her.
This was a new idea to me. I have a couple of introvert friends who prefer to gather one-on-one, and I’m familiar with that concept. But I’d never really thought of the fact that a small group, like a family, could feel intimidating.
Personally, I prefer those small to medium sized groups, like a family setting or an informal gathering of friends, and it’s even better when it’s in my own home or backyard. While discussing it with Quester, I suddenly realized why. I was thinking of how I like to incorporate my friends into my family life, or gather with a few of them at once. And it came to me that the way I deal with my introverted self, especially as someone who has partners and kids who I live with, is to group my social interactions together. “Geesh,” I told him, “if I had to go see each person individually, that’s one day for her, and another for her, and another for him, and on and on, and I’d just never have any time to myself!”
This little epiphany made me laugh. And it was cool to realize that, within the labels of “introvert” or “extrovert,” there are many varieties of experience and ways to live a balanced life. We continued our conversation, and went off on a bunch of other fascinating tangents about personal preferences and living in community. Not bad for a day when Mercury is in retrograde, eh?