I Dread Going Out. Am I Normal?

Londoners over the age of 31, it appears, are really bad at socialising. Once our 30s bite, we prioritise home comforts and takeaways over nights out with friends. On the face of it, this seems to go against our essentially social nature.

If human beings really are social animals, then we should all naturally favour social activities. Yet have you ever watched the muddy hordes of Glastonbury, fought your way through a crowded pavement of after-work drinkers, or opened an invitation to a friend’s wedding in Majorca with distaste rather than envy or anticipation?

And if you think about it, wasn’t Michelangelo up on that scaffolding in the Sistine Chapel by himself for four years? With his interest in anatomy, he probably spent more time looking at dead or marble or painted humans than real ones.

All of this tells us that in people there is clearly a desire to not socialise that’s just as natural as the tendency to seek the company of others.

In fact, for much of our lives there’s a kind of equilibrium balancing our need and desire to socialise with our ability to do so. Take for instance people at school or in other kinds of education: they’re in an optimal setting for making friends.

Being in a single institution for six hours a day throughout our formative years socialises us all. No wonder that in a recent online survey 72% of adults said it was easier to make friends before they left full-time education.

When you get into your 20s and 30s, work usually provides the main focus to your social life. But not everyone wants to sit all day at a desk and then stand all evening outside a pub. There’s the pull of the gym after work rather than a bar crawl, or that exhibition at all the museums open late on Fridays. You can go to an exhibition with friends, but then it’s hard to really focus on the art without being rushed or distracted.

And then there’s parenthood. Even if having a baby can kill your pre-pregnancy social life, a child brings couples into contact with others who have children. Children are naturally worked into the socialising process and often enrich it.

So it is that the nature of socialising, and your desire for it, ebbs and flows

Source:: The Huffington Post – UK Lifestyle

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