Since 31 January, I have been socially interactive - in a crowd, no less - 4x. Four times, in a single week.
This may seem perfectly normally to some of you, but that realization went a long way to explaining why last night, at the 4th of those gatherings, my brain went "no more people. Nyet. None" and directed me to go the fuck HOME.
I like people. But I am a social introvert: less is more. Bring me the people in groups of two and three (five, max) and I am perfectly forever happy. Shove me into a crowd of ten or more, even when they're people I like/find interesting, and you've thrown me into a den of vampires: my energy will fade and then so will I.
The trick, of course, is to ration these gatherings, and when rationing isn't possible, make quick hits and then leave graciously. But it still kind of sucks sometimes, when you're having a good time but know that you can't take much more without significant cost...
This is one of the godsends of the digital age: I can interact with a lot of people over the course of the day through the Internet, and the drain, while there, is massively reduced. It's a lot like living in a major city, really: if I want a conversation, it's there. If I don't my neighbors and fellow city-dwellers are perfectly happy to ignore me/not be a drain.
This may explain why I've spent today with the door locked and the phone turned off*, purging my research library and reshelving the survivors... For the record, 30 culled, 250+ survivors. I think that's a respectable ratio.
*ok, ok, I was livetweeting the cull. That doesn't count.
- socially, I'm in Chapter 11