I'm a Social Person Who Can't STAND Group Hangouts

Over the last year or so, I've come to the conclusion that I can't stand group hangouts.

If you know me, this may seem odd, considering I'm the queen of throwing a party for any given reason, and I often pack as many (fun) work events into my week as humanly possible. While I deeply value my alone time, I'd be classified much more as a social butterfly than a homebody.

The Flynn house in The Kissing Booth

(The Kissing Booth via Netflix)

That said, being at an event or a free-for-all party where you can wander aimlessly, chat with strangers and do other things to keep you occupied is a lot different from a controlled environment with a particular group of people in a confined space. I've realized over time that even when I'm in these situations with close friends, it triggers my anxiety. I feel antsy,  angry, and, well, miserable (to put it lightly).

Here are four reasons why I can'stand group hangouts.

1. Someone Usually Dominates the Conversation

I'm just going to keep it real here and say that while I don't need to be the center of attention 24/7, I'm definitely not one to sit back and watch somebody make a situation all about them. Sure, I do like the focus on me at times, but ultimately, I'm having the best time when everyone is an equal participant in the hangout. I enjoy being in minimized groups of like three or four people, as opposed to six, seven or 10. I like when everyone's vibing and we're all on the same wavelength. It's only natural that someone takes over in bigger groups, and that's when I feel isolated and out of touch. I just don't have it in me to feed someone's ego by constantly laughing at their jokes and pretending to relate to everything they say.

Cher appreciating the attention she's getting from Christian in Clueless

(Clueless via Touchstone Pictures)


2. I Have More in Common With People When We're 1:1

When you spend individual time with someone, the conversation is more likely to go back and forth in a flow that pertains to both of you. In groups, however, it can be a majority rules situation. If every single person is in a relationship, has a pet or is obsessed with Taylor Swift, for example, well, it's pretty natural the conversation will lead to those topics. While it's more than fine for those topics to come up in an intimate setting, in groups, it's easy to feel like an outsider if you don't have anything to contribute. In smaller settings, there's room to share your own interests and opinions, too—even if they differ from the others.


3. I'm Usually Not Big on the Venue or Activity

Part of why I enjoy work-related events so much is because they pertain to my interests. Nothing tickles my fancy more than being among the first to check out a new makeup or skincare line—or being invited to a chef's tasting at a trendy new restaurant. Or if I'm at a party, it's pretty much anything goes. I can bring the guest of my choice, come and go as I please and basically do what I want.

In group hangouts, there's really only so much I can tolerate. I despise games, so game night is out. I think movies can be great, but at the theater—not during a group hang. And if we do a restaurant, I would like to have a say in where we go. As for other activities like miniature golf and the like, I enjoyed those when I was a kid, but not in the present. I am down for a waterpark, but really, what are the chances of rounding up a group to do that?

Shutterstock: Group of friends playing board game social

(via Shutterstock)


4. People Are Cliquier in Groups

Ah, the unofficial seating chart. If you're not seated by a favorable pick during a group outing, your entire experience can be destroyed before it ever began. People feel the need to sit next to the people they're closest to, and the girl you went shopping with the day prior can act like a stranger to you if someone she likes better happens to be at the group hangout.

That's being dramatic, but in all seriousness, dynamics change when certain people are together. It is true that a close friend of yours may act differently when she's with a few others, even though she considers you a really good pal.


Perhaps everything would be different if we didn't expect so much from people. HERE's how lowering my expectations improved my friendships.