Maybe you’ve been told that you are too demanding toward other people. Or that you are a recluse, a loner, an antisocial type. But what if you are just a socially selective person? Let’s talk about this personality trait and explain why it’s great to have it.
What does socially selective mean?
It means to be picky when it comes to one’s social circle and to intentionally keep it small. It describes someone who chooses their friends carefully and hangs out only with those people who make them happy and bring meaning to their life.
However, it’s not necessarily a synonym for being reserved and introverted. In essence, not all socially selective people are introverts, but most introverts tend to be socially selective.
Moreover, many people – both introverts and extroverts – become pickier about their social connections as they grow older.
So, are you this kind of person? Let’s look through the traits and behaviors associated with social selectivity.
8 signs of a socially selective person
1. You don’t have many friends
The most telling sign of a person who is picky about their social circle is that they don’t have many friends.
If it’s you, then you probably have only a few good friends. But these people have been by your side for years and you are certain that you can trust them.
You see no sense in maintaining superficial friendships. So it’s your choice to keep your social circle small but of high quality.
2. You don’t make friends easily
You also don’t easily bond with people. Nor do you open up to others if you don’t know them well enough. You tend to be cautious with new people.
You want to get to know someone on a deep level and in different life situations before you can call them a friend.
You are pretty happy with your small circle, so you feel no need to expand it. Being socially selective doesn’t mean being a recluse and isolating yourself from society. However, it could mean that you don’t seek opportunities to meet new people.
3. Your friendships are deep and meaningful
You may not have many friends, but those few people you surround yourself with are reliable and loyal. They also have similar passions and goals in life, so you feel like you can be yourself in their company.
You seek to form meaningful bonds with other people, not superficial connections. Maybe you enjoy deep conversations with your friends. Or you like doing interesting activities together such as hiking or traveling.
Whatever you prefer, it all boils down to the fact that you seek to engage with other people in more meaningful ways.
4. Socializing with random people seems like a waste of time
You see no sense in joking around in the company of random people. Yes, it could be that you used to like it when you were younger – especially if you are an extrovert. Big groups, loud gatherings, parties all night – we’ve all been there.
But you no longer enjoy this stuff. Socializing with people you have nothing in common with doesn’t make any sense anymore. It feels like a waste of time. You’d rather stay in and spend time with your family or on your own.
5. You value your inner peace
All the above traits have to do with the fact that socially selective people seek to protect their inner peace.
Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, sometimes you feel like too much contact with other people drains you. Like they disturb your inner calm.
You may say that this sounds more like an introvert, but extroverts can feel this way too as they grow older.
They may take more time to become socially selective than the quiet ones, but ultimately, they too reach the point where they no longer have the energy to maintain meaningless connections. This is when they devote themselves to their families and close friends.
6. You don’t feel the need to be social all the time
A person who is choosy about their social connections is emotionally self-reliant. It means that they are comfortable in their own company and have activities and passions to entertain themselves.
Therefore, you don’t feel the need to be social all the time. You are pretty happy with staying in on a Saturday night. You have no problem to celebrate Christmas with your family alone instead of going to a fancy party.
Of course, it doesn’t mean that you don’t enjoy social activities at all. But you just don’t need to go out and socialize with other people all the time.
7. You see no sense in hanging out with people you don’t resonate with
When we are younger, we tend to be slow to figure out whether we are in the right company or not. It’s because we don’t really care – we just want to have a good time and experience life to its fullest.
But as you grow older, you realize that there are people you resonate with and those who don’t really bring anything valuable to your life.
When you become socially selective, you see no point in hanging out with such people. If all you can discuss with them is gossip and small talk, you prefer to do without them.
The same is true for the individuals in your life who make you feel uncomfortable. For example, friends who don’t respect your personal boundaries or overly critical relatives who make you feel insignificant.
As a socially selective person, you choose to distance yourself from people like that.
8. You are good at reading people
Being picky about your social circle also means being quick enough to recognize who belongs in it and who doesn’t.
You are quite good at reading people – either because you are an intuitive person and it’s your innate quality or it’s a skill developed from experience. You are highly observant and quick to understand what kind of person is in front of you.
This way, you soon figure out if someone you just met is a decent human being or is not what they seem. This is how you know if there is any point in getting to know them further.
Why being socially selective is a great quality
Now you see that there is nothing wrong with being picky about your social connections. Moreover, this quality offers a lot of benefits.
You don’t waste time on the wrong people or pointless social activities. You know that you surround yourself only with trustworthy, like-minded individuals who add value to your life and won’t let you down.
Therefore, you form more meaningful bonds with others. And this ultimately translates into greater happiness and life satisfaction. So, in the end, socially selective people are happier people!
Thus, the next time someone accuses you of being antisocial, cite a popular meme:
I’m not antisocial. I’m selectively social.