Posted by: GeekHiker | February 28, 2008

Group Avoidance

What would you do if you were planning to do something you love, but had no desire to do it?

It’s funny. I have a hike scheduled for Saturday, a group thing, and I’m not really looking forward to it.

Yeah. I know. Me. Un-thrilled by a group outing. Big huge ‘freakin surprise.

I mean there’s no real reason for me to feel this way about the group hike. It’s a good & interesting trail. The weather this weekend should be very nice. They’re a fine bunch of people and all that.

Yet I find myself either wanting to stay at home and veg for the whole weekend, or go off hiking solo instead.

Maybe I’m just feeling shy. Maybe I’m just feeling anti-social. Who knows?

I’ve never been particularly huge on group situations anyway, as we all know. One of the things that I learned from my relationship with The Ex Girlfriend, and from my friendships in general, is that I really am better in one-on-one or small (say, four person) situations; far, far more so than groups.

In larger groups I have a tendency to not be myself.

I have a tendency to withdraw into my shell.

I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing, but it seems to be how my brain is wired, so I’ve decided not to fight it. I am who I am, I ‘spose.

Nevertheless, I really am trying to be better with these group situations. Mainly because, even this late in life, I still struggle with shyness and the only really effective way to overcome that is to force oneself out of one’s shell by doing, I think.

Of course, there’s the added advantage of meeting and making friends with people who share, to at least some small degree, the same interests.

Well, okay, fine, total disclosure: a small part of the motivation for doing these group activities was in the (vain) hope that, in addition to expanding the social circle, I might, perhaps, just perhaps, meet someone. Preferably someone of the cute female variety.

(Really, whether anyone wants to actually say it or not, that’s why a lot of people go.)

Of course, since I don’t seem to be nearly as smart/intelligent/good-looking/suave as the other guys there, that plan hasn’t worked out so well yet.

Actually, I’ve discovered that all I really need to be is just not the hottest guy there (which I am, inevitably, not). All it takes is one exotic looking, tall, handsome, long-dark-every-woman-wants-to-run-her-hand-through-it-hair guy to be there and, well, let’s just say the females aren’t hanging on every word I say for the day.

I suppose it’s a darn good thing, then, that that whole line of reasoning isn’t my primary motivation for jumping into these group activities, isn’t it?

Yeah, primarily I’m trying to just overcome shyness and get to know people. And do it while doing activities I enjoy.

So, yeah, on Saturday I’ll suck it up, and I’ll go.

And despite everything I’ve written here, I’m sure I’ll have fun.

And, pretty much no matter what happens, I’ll end up with a blog post about it.

And I should probably just stop complaining, shouldn’t I?

Now if only I could make myself as motivated as I know I should be…



  1. You know, when I was a single guy I wouldn’t have been caught dead in a social group situation like that. Why? Because I didn’t have the cajones. You are a brave man my friend and the fact you put yourself in uncomfortable situations to improve yourself, even ones with guaranteed side benefits, show that you are better than the long-dark-every-woman-wants-to-run-her-hand-through-it-hair guys.

  2. You fall towards the introvert side of the introvert-extrovert spectrum. Don’t wish you were some other way–you are great the way you are. Plenty of other quality people also prefer small groups or one-on-one interactions. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that!

    Of course it is good to push out of your comfort zone from time to time, and yeah, you’ll be more likely to meet a cute girl than if you stayed home or went solo.

  3. Two things.

    You know this, but I’m a lot like you when it comes to shyness. I don’t do well in group situations either. I’m quiet until I get to know people. That’s just how some people are. Maybe you should look for a group where the same people will be there every time, and that way you may have a better chance of coming out of your shell over time.

    Second, I think you are selling women short. You are assuming that we all think alike and that we are all looking for the same things. Your comment about the women going for the hot guy seems logical, but it may not be true in reality. Women are just as varied as men, and they have different tastes, different views, different things they are looking for. Not all women want the guy who is considered HOT by Hollywood standards. They just want the guy they are attracted to.

  4. “I am who I am”

    And I hear Popeye…

    You know what I think already.

  5. You want those kinda guys there — because they weed out all the vain women. 😉

    Go and have a good time. You’re hiking, so I’m sure you will!

  6. I’m the same as you, small group (4) or just me and my hubs otherwise I feel like I am babysitting or having to plan the crap out of it so no one is bored. Maybe thats just the event planner in me…

  7. Homer – Thanks for the thoughtful comment, and the pep talk too. 🙂

    Hadley – I agree. There’s always room for improvement, but some things just can’t be changed.

    Lea – 1) Not a bad thought, though my time feels stretched thin as it is sometimes. 2) I’m sure you’re right, but the example above has actually happened…

    Just a girl – Heh, that was the idea. 😉

    Aaron – I guess we’ll find out!

    Backpacker Momma – It’s so cool (and I’m just a bit jealous) that you have such a cool family unit…

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