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What It’s Like To Be Selectively Social

Before diving into this topic, please keep in mind that this is just one perspective of being selectively social. Other factors play into this “lifestyle” such as personality traits.

Growing up, I considered myself as an introvert. I was often described as shy when I was a kid. As I got a bit older, to an age where I could self-analyze, I realized I wasn’t as shy as I used to be. Out of curiosity I took an introvert versus extrovert test online which revealed that I fell in the middle: an ambivert.

This was pleasing news to me because it meant I could part from attempting to be more social than I was comfortable with. I used to think it was a bad thing that I wasn’t as social as other people. I was the type to be picky about whom to continuously interact with.

At one point I tried to push myself out of my comfort zone and become friends with some acquaintances. They gave off some vibes that I didn’t particularly like, but I assumed I was the problem and should overlook these flaws. However, even after the attempt to befriend these people I gave up because it felt forced, which wouldn’t be good in the long-run either. My final decision was to keep my distance and just remain polite if I ever had to converse with them again.

What does “selectively social” mean?

For me, being selectively social is accepting that it isn’t necessary to “fit in” with every crowd. Eventually you will meet people that understand how you are and enjoy your company naturally. You just have to know that isn’t going to be everybody.

“Being socially selective means intentionally keeping your social circle small. You’re only comfortable to show the real you if your friends are around. You aren’t afraid to tell all your secrets and share your thoughts in front of the people that you love.”

(Angelo Caerlang, 2017)
selectively social person at small picnic
Source: Pixabay

Intentionally having a small social circle is one of the main elements of being a selectively social person. A social person might say, “I’m well-acquainted with multiple people from here and there” while a selectively social person might say, “I know one or two people from here and just know of others from there.”

The purpose of this blog is not to persuade you that being selectively social is better than being social. It is neither a good or bad thing, it’s simply a life choice. I present this information to you as a selectively social person for your understanding of others like me, in hopes you will respect rather than judge them.

What are the pros of being selectively social?


Tendency to be trustworthy and loyal – due to only being close with a few people.

Feeling like you have more control over your social media presence – you usually only follow and have people that you’re comfortable with as your followers, thus not overthinking what you post.

selectively social man on social media
Source: Jess Foami on Pixabay

Less likely to be associated with negative people whether directly or indirectly – therefore avoiding getting stuck in drama. 

  • Unlikely to be acquaintances with a friend of a friend who isn’t the kindest person
  • A large group of friends sometimes causes division and having to choose sides 

Not feeling bad about cutting certain people out of your life –  there is no need to explain yourself.

  • Knowing that though at times there wasn’t exactly closure, those people don’t think badly of you
  • You are comfortable with the fact that people just grow apart

What are the cons of being selectively social?


Tough to network – as a result of knowing less people.

People will mistake you as being rude – if you’re quite an honest person and can’t hide emotions well on your face, people will take it the wrong way when you avoid talking to them.

Misconceptions about you such as being a loner, having overly strict parents – because you only talk to a few people and perhaps don’t like to attend large social gatherings.

  • You rarely say yes to hanging out with just anyone, you’re more likely to agree hanging out with very close friends instead of a mix of friends and some acquaintances
  • You prefer going home right away after a day of work over spending extra time getting to know your coworkers better
selectively social woman drinking coffee
Source: Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels

Regretting opening up to the wrong person – overthinking what you said and how you said it.

  • It happens, you think you can trust someone or they happen to talk to you when you need to rant or express some emotions, but later feel that you exposed yourself too much to someone who isn’t likely to be a long-term friend


To reiterate what I said before, this is just one perspective of someone who is selectively social. If you also describe yourself as selectively social and would like to share your perspective, feel free to write to Parting Stories! We can all educate one another.

May this blog encourage you to think about the people in your life who may be selectively social and not judge so much why they act that way, but instead respect and accept them. It is unfair to automatically believe that such a person needs to be helped to become more social. 

selectively social man with friends
Source: Matheus Ferrero on Pexels

Selectively social people are aware of when it is appropriate to be more social than usual, like for example, in a professional setting. However, when it comes to casual social gatherings that they reject attending, it is not a good idea to push them to join just because you want them to be as social as you may be.

I hope this was informative and thank you for reading.

©Parting Stories

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2 years ago

Educational and insightful!

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