It’s not ever so often that I see people be selectively social but last year, I saw an increase in the number of friends and family members become much more selectively social. It baffled me. As you can see from the title, I am not particularly selective and when I am, it’s because I’ve viewed it from as many angles as I can and determined if credible logic justified my thinking.
So, what happened? Well, my friend (let’s call him Baltazar (thanks for the name, Buzzfeed)) had organised an outing to a restaurant and I had asked Baltazar if I could bring someone I know (let’s call her Oakland (thanks again, Buzzfeed)). Baltazar had previously met Oakland, so I thought it would be fine as they were acquainted. However, Baltazar refused and said Oakland didn’t… fit in/match the vibe. I’m being euphemistic here. Baltazar claimed hosts’ rights which is perfectly fine, but the pickiness didn’t make any sense to me, especially as I’m not one to conform to social rules either. Then, I started to contemplate whether I agree with being selectively social and for the most part, I do not.
1.One of the major reasons why I’m not selectively social is that there are people who commit serious and heinous crimes against individuals and society such as paedophiles, rapists, etc and those who enable it. I’m classing these together because enabling is creating an environment in which these crimes may recur. Therefore, I frankly have bigger fish to fry. However, there are some non-criminal things that would lead me to not wanting to have anything to do with them and that is if they’re genuinely and consistently a bad egg. I’ve discussed and encouraged cautiousness in forming conclusions based on first impressions in my other post (First Impressions – Should They Really Count?) which is why I’ve stated ‘consistently.’ I like to give people second chances but if they do continually disappoint without remorse and an effort to improve and/or are genuinely malicious and spiteful, then it is the fair thing to do to remove yourself from a toxic environment.
2.Another major reason why I’m not selectively social is because I’m a Muslim. I know that many of us, myself included, do not enjoy making small talk with an acquaintance that we bump into. There are some days where I’ll just wave across the street to the person as a gesture of goodwill, but I try my best to not flat-out avoid them. When I think of the Prophet (SAWS), the first thing that comes to my mind is that he was a kind man. I just can’t imagine him being rude to people, so I try my best to emulate his example; it can prove a difficult task sometimes! This is what I remind a relative as they have sworn off mixing with people which will hinder the development of their Imaan. I do not want to abandon people and I believe that to serve the community is to serve the self’s Imaan.
3.An argument for being socially selective that I can understand is that as we grow up, we tend to have busier schedules making time precious and limited. It’s understandable to spend it on your loved ones and want to be in an environment where you are fully accepted. But, yet again, I cannot rule out newcomers in my life based on just that as after all, it could develop into a beautiful friendship.
4.Sometimes, some people just don’t fit and that’s okay. I don’t think either party would mind as they are not missing out on anything except perhaps the middle person (me!). However, I don’t understand people who are socially selective due to a disparity in the levels of their education. Being educated doesn’t mean that you are good. Your education cannot guarantee you a good character. I used to know a person who was well educated and selectively social in terms of what their potential friends could bring to the table and I don’t mean good friendship. The person thought in terms of: “Oh, this person organises fun, new and exciting gatherings so that’s her use for me.” And the ‘her’ here was me. Did you notice that I said that ‘I used to know?’ Major bad egg alert.
5.In terms of wanting a good friendship, this is what any sane person would want and need. However, it is also important to distinguish the difference between voluntarily emotionally available people who genuinely do not care about how you feel and those who just don’t have the best social skills. The latter do care, they’re just not the best at discussing emotions. They will show they care in other ways by helping you out with practical matters or in areas they have some level of knowledge. Don’t rule them out just because they don’t have a certain love language.
To sum up, if you ever see me be socially selective with people, just know I’ve done some rigorous examination before I came to that decision. And that’s it for now! I’d love to hear what you guys think on this matter, are you socially selective or socially open?