I just got home from a Friends-giving dinner. One of our friends was out of the country over Canadian Thanksgiving, so tonight we made up for it by having a Friends-giving potluck at her house. It was really awesome, lots of great food, great people, and great talk. Most of her family was there as well. It was really fun. I've never had a group of friends to do this sort of stuff with before, so every time I hang out with this group of people it is new and fascinating to me.
For most of my life, I've had individual, separate friends. I've not often hung out with a group. I usually see each friend separately, and I don't usually bring them together in group settings. Towards the end of high school I sort of had a group of friends I hung out with a fair bit, but I never truly felt like I fit with them. Even in university, I hung out with my school friends at school, but if I saw them outside of school it was usually individually.
It's a bit strange, really, since I tend towards introverted. I know it seems counterintuitive, but honestly being in a large group of people is possibly less stressful for my inner introvert than one-on-one hangouts. I like one-on-one because you can get way deeper with knowing people, I think. But it's also more pressure on me. If I'm hanging out with this new-ish group of friends and I don't feel like talking, no one cares. I don't have to participate. I can just park my ass in the corner with a dog and listen to everyone else. There is way less pressure to participate, and if I do participate it's generally still a genuinely interesting conversation, but on a less emotionally intense level than in a one-on-one conversation. And, if I'm truly feeling hermit-y and don't want to go, I don't have to feel like I'm letting anyone down. There are no hurt feelings, I'm not ruining anyone else’s plans. They all still meet without me and have fun.
So, on this friends-giving day, I'm extremely grateful for the fantastic new group of friends I've gotten to know over the last year and a bit. You all rock.