Antisocial v unsociable.

Many thanks to my dear friend Annette Thomson for posting this on FB today. It struck a chord with a few of us and got me thinking (always a highly dangerous activity)


It would appear that many feel the same. While we don’t go in for anti-social behaviour, we have a low sociability tolerance-level. I don’t do well in crowds. Love people but in manageable numbers. At the moment the noise level of a full room is enough to drive me into catatonia. It’s a shame because on a lower scale I adore chatting to friends. The other night we had our pre-Christmas do over at the village hall and I was delighted to sit with a plastic goblet of apple juice and be force-fed sugar for a while. After an hour, however, it all got too much for me and I did what the wee man in the cartoon is doing. I escaped.

This time of year is not good for people like us. Office parties and enforced jollity rule and those who find it hard are labelled kill-joys or even worse “stand-offish”. We don’t want to be hermits (well, OK, sometimes I do but that is part of my condition) and we enjoy the company of selected friends immensely. Silly, isn’t it? My on-line persona is extrovert and sociable to the point of gregarious. The truth is rather different. I’m a closet introvert. Maybe that is where introverts are happiest – in the stationery cupboard, alone!



17 thoughts on “Antisocial v unsociable.

  1. Indeed. You are not alone. I love the social aspect of small groups, particularly things like family parties, but I’d rather smash my own toes in with a hammer than walk into a conference and have to schmooze. The thought of a table plan dictating that I sit next to strangers is enough to send me into orbit. I’m highly extrovert and sociable in my own way – with the right people, at the right time and in the right environment. Even then, I’m usually the first to slope out quietly. Otherwise I’d much rather be in front of the TV or with a good book.

    1. Hit it on the head there, Helen “I’m highly extrovert and sociable in my own way – with the right people, at the right time and in the right environment”. Put it there, gal – me too!

  2. Probably the case for lots of writers – me included. It’s not that I don’t like other people, I just prefer a few selected ones at a time. And crowds freak me out.

  3. Glad you all agree – even funnier when one thinks that I was originally trained as an actress, performing in front of the audience. Miles different from being “me” in front of crowds – very like authors, as Kathy says.

  4. I’m about the same. I can take a room full of people for a time, but prefer less. I hate crowded market places or any place where people are shoving and pushing. I can happily spend a day or more by myself. Here I am in a country where people love crowds and don’t recognize personal space. 🙂

  5. I know – being shoved or jostled drives me up the wall! David – there is always room in my cupboard for you,dear. We can even chat, I like chatting with just one or two other people. And yes, I adore being in the countryside where we can walk for hours and not see anyone.

  6. Exactly! I saw the cartoon today too, and it is true. Big crowds, noise, are too much. As I am introvert, and ADHD, too much distractions overwhelm and I have to get out of the situation. I can take it a few at a time, and do very well all by myself here, with the cats! 🙂

  7. Each to our own ways, Ailsa! I’m very much like you – dont do parties (can never hear what people are saying, for one thing); and I love going for walks all on my own. Every year I endure winter in this strange country I feel less and less like Christmas… but give me people one at a time, and I come out of my shell. Have a peaceful time!

  8. Thanks Jane and Olga – perhaps we are more the norm than those who blossom in a huge crowd? I agree with Jane that being unable to hear properly and distinguish who is saying what makes life very awkward!

  9. I think it’s important to do what we need to do – in our own time. I have friends who were wildly sociable when they were younger but are now hard of hearing and big groups are difficult for them. Our needs change over time – and we need to go with that flow.

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