How do your friends behave at social events? Is one of them the life and soul of the party, chatting, laughing and dancing with everyone? Or perhaps you know a party pooper, someone who spoils other people’s enjoyment by refusing to join in and have fun. This week we’re looking at language that relates to spending time with other people socially.
Starting with a useful adjective, someone who is sociable likes to meet and spend time with other people.
Oliver’s very sociable – he loves parties.
I’m going to make an effort to be a bit more sociable.
Someone who is extremely sociable, going to as many parties as possible, may be called informally a party animal: He used to be a real party animal before he had kids.
Someone who is confident in social situations and enjoys them may be called an extrovert: People who work in sales tend to be extroverts. An extrovert often has a wide circle of friends (= a lot of friends) and tends to be good company (=enjoyable to spend time with): Emma’s really fun to hang out with. She’s such good company.
A number of adjectives are used for people who are extroverts. They may be described as outgoing, meaning that they are friendly and like being with other people. An adjective with a similar meaning is gregarious:
Both girls are quite outgoing.
Sam is certainly more gregarious than his brother.
If a person is affable, they are friendly and easy to talk to: He’s very pleasant and affable.
Someone who is chatty likes to talk a lot in a friendly, informal way: Jamie was his usual chatty self.
There are verbs in this area too. If you socialize, you spend your free time enjoying yourself with other people: He needs to socialize a bit less and study a bit more.
To mix is to spend time with people at social events and talk to them: I feel I should be mixing more with my colleagues.
If you mingle at a social event, you talk to several people, one after another, by moving around a room: She seemed to be mingling with the other guests.
Of course, parties and social events are not for everyone. Shy people can find gatherings difficult. They may be introverted, (=shy and preferring to spend time alone): At school, she was quiet and introverted.
They may feel slightly embarrassed or nervous speaking to people they don’t know. An adjective for this is awkward:
I chatted to him briefly – he seemed a little awkward.
She’s socially quite awkward.
They may be rather reserved, not giving opinions or showing their feelings: I found her slightly reserved.
Activities such as dancing make some people uncomfortable because they worry about what other people think of them. The word self-conscious describes this feeling: I’m far too self-conscious to dance in front of my colleagues.
Do you recognize any of your friends in these descriptions?