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Being social at places you don't like


dr_styles

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This could've gone into a few possible categories but I've chosen this as it sort of relates to shyness and my sad-case situation (for those that don't know, I'm one of the group of zero-dated/kissed/attraction guys)

 

Ever since my epiphany ("a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality") that my romantic future is doomed with my current lifestyle and general shy behaviour. Amongst with the whole raft of personal goals and changes, one was to be more social and accept people's invites to things - basically be social. Don't get me wrong I'm not a bad communicator or person, just an introvert and reserved with that upbringing. I also don't drink, party, or any of the typical nightlife stuff. With that new goal though I have gone with work-friends to a couple of quiet bar drinks which is ok. I don't mind the quiet drink and chat. Nightclubs were the exception. I hate them - I don't drink, don't dance, don't like loud/rowdy music, or the rowdy people ... which is basically what a nightclub is.

 

Now here's the dilemma, workmates this week (who know I don't drink/party) are having a night out later this week, i.e. bar hopping, clubbing, guaranteed. I'm already feeling pretty depressed/despondent about my loveless situation. I mean I have for a long while but right now in one of those worse-than-usual times.

Reasons for going:

- stick to my promise of being more social; try to at least keep my friends

- I won't meet anyone not going

Reasons for not:

- I'm not in the mood for socialising ... (I'm shaking this one at least)

- Like I said, zero appeal for a night out doing things I hate

- the whole aspect for meeting people is a little mute. I'll be so uncomfortable I doubt I can fake being happy/attractive, let alone be willing to approach (I get no "interest" as it is anyway). and we all know the stigma of clubbing girls. I'll be happy to meet anyone, but somehow I don't expect a nice conversation from the environment and people who generally go. Plus most of the time I've gone out with people we all just stay as a group anyway.

 

(yes sorry for the whingey bits of it but I would like to see what people think too)

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I think you probably should go with your friends. Especially as is partly fulfils your goal of being more social. If you don't participate then it's hard to be part of that group of workmates. One solution could be to tell them you only want to come along for an hour (or whatever time period you want) as you've got other things you want to do (or whatever excuse you wish to use). If the night turns out better than expected you can stop longer.

 

I don't think you'e being whingy. It can be hard if the activities aren't what you enjoy. But good things may come of it.

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Rationalization - a defense mechanism by which your true motivation is concealed by explaining your actions and feelings in a way that is not threatening.

 

That true motivation, Fear. Shyness is a nice description made by society to hide the real issue, so in reality the word shy is also a rationalization.

 

Nothing Will Ever Be Accomplished If All Obstacles Must First Be Overcome.

 

Think about the Bold sections and think about what they REALLY mean. Take them out of context of the conversation and look at them, what do you see?

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Agree with all the above. Otherwise you might end up being social for the sake of being social. It has it's advantages but you'll end up like alot of people out there: A fake.

 

If you feel comfortable with it you might explain to your friends that you like to go out but not in nightclubs, something I never liked myself anyway. People just go there: They just stand there, barely talk, end up drunk, ... and it's all a cover up to f*** with the other gender anyway lol.

 

No but I am sure that by explaining the reasons to your friends you'll come over as strong since you will defend your opinion and youe likes. Maybe you could organise the next night out ? Bring them to places you like.

 

You have to find people with common interests anyway, so you can relate top them anyway. I mean, what's the point of having friends if you don't enjoy their company ?

 

As long as you don't force yourself into "being social" because it looks like you blame yourserlf for being like that. That's fine you know, I know alot of people like that and they are enjoyable company. They are just called "less social" because they don't like to do what others do. ( It's often a way for more social people to feel better about themselves )

 

Good luck with your night out

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Being more social and outgoing doesn't mean you HAVE to do things you're not comfortable with. If you don't like drinking and clubbing then don't frakking go. Like I've said many times before, why not take up a hobby or sport that you can enjoy? Where you can have fun doing something you like AND meet new people AND do so in an environment not fueled by loud music and alcohol? I don't know what's preventing you from doing this. There's plenty of fun, easy, social hobbies and sports out there that you can do. Case in point, a good friend of mine met her new bf at an indoor soccer club.

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Thanks for the replies. Boy coldplay that's pretty deep, I sort of don't get it (at the same time I think I do hehe).

 

Hey MorphyGyps I'd like to, and practically speaking yes there isn't much stopping me. I dunno but the guys in a similar position to me probably know what I'm talking about it. Maybe they can explain it better

I know it's not a must or law or anything like that to go drinking, partying or whatever, but that's just one of the most common social activities for people my generation. I dunno I can't really explain it much at the moment. Still pretty down about the whole thing (not the night out). It's kinda doomed if I do, doomed if I don't. I suppose the fact I have to make this decision adds to that too.

 

I've mentioned to a few people on eNA that they need to take advantage of stuff like this (e.g. threads of people at College) and be prepared to do the walkaway, leaving early essentially. My turn to be prepared for that I suppose.

 

Well pinpointing it more the two considerations really are:

- Staying social with the friends

- Meeting people/dates

Ignoring my "predictions" what do people think of the two points? What is worth it, what isn't? Unfortunately I've paid the cost of the first one during Uni too.

 

Bah the whole thing is so depressing (uhhh, I don't mean the clinical term or anything, just saying ...)

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Don't go.

 

Going to clubs/bars/nightclubs will not help you grow to like them more. They are an exception to the rule of "you might grow to like them if you try them".

 

I think you will feel more confident in yourself if you make a personal decision not to go to a place because you personally don't like that sort of place.

 

This doesn't absolve you of having to go out an become more social. But it should always be in a place you like to be in. Never in a place where the place itself already puts you in a bad mood.

 

Don't go.

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I like techno, I go to nightclubs whenever there's a DJ I really want to see. Try going to nightclubs when there's someone performing who you'd like to see (odds are it'll be a little more expensive, but you'd probably enjoy it more). Go with female friends, female friends are great at introducing you to new women.

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I know how you feel, I'm really shy and was never a very social person. I'm trying to change that, be more fun and try and get out more to meet new people. The trick is to go out and don't think. I believe that is what my problem has been. I would think too much about "what should i be doing?" "will people think I'm socially awkward?" or "I don't feel comfortable" A lot of it is just in your head. A night on the town is all about hanging loose and letting go of your concerns and worries. Everyone that is out there too is out to have fun and relax. If you just relax and go with the flow it will be easy.

 

The thing is, if you really know you can't learn to enjoy yourself at those types of places then maybe the nightclub scene is not for you, it's not really my thing either. Because if you go there and are uncomfortable, people can sense that and it will make it harder to talk/meet with people. Try and do social things you do enjoy. Sports, clubs, and places you enjoy like parks, bookstores, even striking up a conversation at a music store or coffee shop could help you meet people.

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I think you will feel more confident in yourself if you make a personal decision not to go to a place because you personally don't like that sort of place.

 

This doesn't absolve you of having to go out an become more social. But it should always be in a place you like to be in. Never in a place where the place itself already puts you in a bad mood.

 

Ideally that's true, but I've done the not going thing a lot, and nowadays it doesn't feel much better. Even doing nothing now puts me in a bad mood (granted not as bad as being stuck in a place I hate).

 

Otherwise you might end up being social for the sake of being social. It has it's advantages but you'll end up like alot of people out there: A fake.

 

Because if you go there and are uncomfortable, people can sense that and it will make it harder to talk/meet with people. Try and do social things you do enjoy. Sports, clubs, and places you enjoy like parks, bookstores, even striking up a conversation at a music store or coffee shop could help you meet people.

 

This makes an interesting point. There are some similar thoughts when deciding even if it's not a nightclub. I might not hate the place but I'll be thinking about how it's going out for the sake of going out, especially when it's going out by myself. Anyway I gotta go to the night out now, so I'll be back later I guess to finish this bit.

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Well I can tell you I won't be bothering with those again. Consider this my once-a-year or whatever thing to see how things are at.

 

It wasn't as bad as the last time (which was a while ago) where I was really self-conscious and stuff though; maybe just because we didn't go to any nightclubs (i.e. dancing). Still went to quiet and loud bars, with the dolled up groups. It basically felt like a waste of time. Like the lonely feeling of being at home is more on despair that I'm not doing anything to fix the problem, but not "bored" as such or feeling I have no interests - whereas out tonight I really did feel bored and didn't want to be there.

 

So my own view (granted maybe a bit spiteful/frustrated atm)

- Being social to maintain friendship: Maybe, but at the same time your respect for them drops a bit

- Meeting people: No way. Basically everyone stayed and chatted in their own groups. Me in my own, everyone else in theirs. Plus for the louder places, it was screaming the stereotypes of dressed up drinking/drunk young people ... but yes even they were in their group of girls/guys. I realise this depends on the places you go, like club, singles bar, etc.

- Personal growth in anything?: Uhhh, don't think so.

 

In short, Nightlife definitely not for me. Drinking, bar hopping, staying up late, no thanks. I suppose it's sort of good to know that then I'm not missing out on much (in terms of fixing my loveless situation). I don't deny down the track I'll be pressured to try again because I'll have those thoughts of needing to try something.

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I wont argue a personal choice but they way your putting forward the night is kind of bs.

 

- Meeting people: No way. Basically everyone stayed and chatted in their own groups. Me in my own, everyone else in theirs. . . .

- Personal growth in anything?: Uhhh, don't think so

 

So why do you think this happened? Because people are just as nervous as you are. Now set that all aside, what would a successful person do? They would go talk to those groups.

 

So ya personal growth? Not gonna happen... Personal growth comes from within, not just sitting around hoping you will be noticed at a bar.

 

You not only have to WANT to grow, you must make yourself accountable for your actions, its no one elses fault at that gathering that you felt awkward, they werent bad people or in any way contributed to the good or bad time you had. That was all up to you.

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I agree with coldplay's post right above mine. If you go to a club/bar and are convinced before you go that you'll have a bad time, then you'll be miserable while there. Once you're there, as coldplay said, you just need to step out of your comfort zone and force yourself to be social with other groups. It'll be hard the first few times, but it's gotta get easier the more you practice it.

 

I'm not very good at it myself... clubs just aren't my place, either. But clubs and bars are where my friends and acquaintances hang out, so I'm trying to get used to them, too. Eventually, I hope to find some friends who just want to stay in with me and play board games/card games/just get to know each other in a quieter place, but for now, the place I'm going to meet people is out in the bars and clubs.

 

Anyway, summary - if you go out, just try to have fun and force yourself out of your comfort zone. Just practice... it should get better.

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I agree that it is very important to teach yourself to expand your comfort zone. But we are dealing with fear here. Shyness/unsocialness is basically fear.

 

Suppose you had a patient who is afraid of spiders. To treat this you should gradually introduce him/her to very teeny tiny teensy spiders and gradually work up towards a regular sized house spider. You would NOT show him a giant hairy tarantula to get her used to it -- doing so would shock him to the point of being more scared of everything.

 

Nightclubs and loud bars are the same thing to someone who is very shy or who doesn't like those loud places. They are an affront to all the senses, like almost running into a brick wall, plus you have the sudden onrush of social worry and self-consciousness about your clothes/voice/appearance, etc. Some people enjoy the invigoratingness of this environment, but other people retract and are afraid of it. This is like the giant hairy tarantuala. You don't accustom to it, you avoid it.

 

You can't "expand your comfort zone" by going to places you are completely repulsed by or afraid of. You can only expand your comfort zone by doing it gradually and sticking to places you like or have something mental to cling to while you are there.

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Ya you can. Taking the plunge takes all the bs excuses we make about this whole thing out of the equation.

 

I use the three second rule, if i think about going out, i give my self three seconds to make the decision then DO IT, if i want to talk to a girl i dont sit there and quietly fret, i give myself three seconds and DO IT. the list goes on.

 

My mom was deathly afraid of spiders her whole life, one day at my sisters she decided to stop being a pansy and pick up her pet terantula. The biggest shock (Not really) is that nothing happened, she wasnt tramatized, she didnt get bit, nothing happened, she is no longer afraid of spiders.

 

Im sure talking to people in a social situation isnt going to make this guy catatonic, whats the worse that could happen? Weigh that with the BEST that could happen and i dont see how anyone could rationalize this argument against taking action... Immediately!

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Those are all ways of dealing with the places I don't like and those are good ideas too. But there's still that question of whether to go in the first place. Yes I don't feel too great at typical night out places but I also know it's not fear that makes me hate them.

 

Eventually, I hope to find some friends who just want to stay in with me and play board games/card games/just get to know each other in a quieter place, but for now, the place I'm going to meet people is out in the bars and clubs.

 

This doesn't absolve you of having to go out an become more social. But it should always be in a place you like to be in. Never in a place where the place itself already puts you in a bad mood.

 

Unfortunately as I've found this year I'm rather pathetic at getting out there with the social clubs/groups that might interest me so whilst I keep working on my mindset on that front, I will always consider occasions like this. I know I won't do a blanket No all the time, otherwise I'll be repeating what I did through School/Uni. It's more about where to draw the line, how regularly, etc.

Or to put it another way let's say there were regular weekday/end activities with friends or a group, or god forbid going on dates with a girl , would it change the decision for anyone here?

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I can completely understand you in one way but disagree in another!

 

First of all, the reason I understand your viewpoint is because I am very similar. I LOVE to spend time with my friends (many of which like to drink and party in a good way) and dance (granted, this is where we differ) and have a good time but I don't like clubs (only indie clubs and small bars with small dance floors where it's more laidback i like) and don't drink or smoke or party hard.

 

I don't care what others think aout this and I have my own reaons for not drinking and YES I'm considered WEIRD and it's not easy at times but I stand by my choices and feelings. I can understand what you mean about how you feel funny about going to these places when you know you're going to feel the same ...

 

For example, it sounds lame but almost evertime I agreed to go with my friends at Uni I felt like I didn't want to go. I had to force myself. Sometimes I had THE best night and there are stand out nights when I went and almost every time I'd find myself in the toilets texting my mum (yes, lame) and feeling teary and upset because I felt so uncomofrtable as guys would leer all over you and try and feel you up and buy you drinks and it'd all feel forced and in your face and people would be drunk and awful... you know the score. You'd feel so out of place, feel as if ou looked wrong and danced wrong and I never once got approached or shown interst in. Maybe because it was plainly obvious I was so uncomofrtable! Awful.

 

Next time it came to going out, I thought twice because I didn't want to pay to feel so rubbish but I made myself. I remembered the things I like and the ways I coped and what I enjoyed...

 

Try, as Knight of Hope said, to push yourself a bit. I have tried each time to push myself and try and force myself to deal with it. Yes, I'll never enjoy it and AGAIn, as Knight of Hope said, I'd rather find people at Uni who share my wishes to maybe do something a bit different (my friends from home are all those people ) but you CAN'T shut yourself off from things.

 

Try, give it a go and if you realise it's definitely 100% not for you then try and arrange to go to places that can be a comprimsie. Just don't make it so you're missing out...

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The circumstances do differ a bit. You're a girl and at least you like to dance. Whereas like I said I can't see anything I like about it.I just turned down another invite down last night too (and this one definitely involves a nightclub).

 

I'm much more willing to do the other social things now like work lunches, movies, and "quiet night" drinks - even the quiet nights are pushing it for me (like midnight). Call me weird but I like my routine and sleep. So in terms of keeping together with friends, I'll just have to risk it; if not going out for a long party night out is enough to break the friendship (in a social sense, think acquaintance) then I guess I'll have to cop that. I do find it ironic how some people can sometimes call me boring when that's all they seem interested in doing hehe.

 

The other goal of meeting people it certainly doesn't seem worth it, and my basis for meeting them isn't exactly great either or the type of person I'd be into or them me.

 

Just not me I guess. I am still aware that at least here drinking and staying up is pretty much part of the culture so it's not great to cut your chances but can't say trying is doing wonders for being happy with myself.

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I'm definitely not going out to the places again (I know I keep saying that). Just went again last night because it was a sort of going away thing for a few people and it was a weeknight. And well, besides from feeling like a complete waste of time, it makes me loose respect for my "friends". They aren't bad but they just turn into idiots really, and fine if that's how they let their hair down then they can go right ahead, but I have no interest in drinking, dancing, deafening music, zero-substance/stupid conversations and behaviour, and deliberately staying out late. Plus just makes them poke fun about it later which not to sound too princessy is just crap I'd rather not have to put up with.

 

Yes as you can tell I am pretty spiteful at the moment but the whole nightlife stuff is not for me. Says something about society too tbh - there's plenty of other activities that aren't this but pretty it's all "friends" seem to like doing. The ideal friends we're after are few and far between.

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Yeah, I am also fed up with a society that seems to say "you're supposed to be an alcoholic in your early-mid 20s, and then you're supposed to meet a girl and settle down and forget about alcohol except for the occasional beer during the ball game on Sunday!

 

In my undergrad years, I had the most sober group of friends imaginable. We did a lot of things that society would call childish (board game nights, movie nights in each other's rooms, going to play mini-golf on a Friday night, and all of those things without alcohol), and we all LOVED it that way. There weren't any nightclubs nearby, but we wouldn't have gone anyway! We were nuts enough as our sober selves that we had the most fun ever doing all of these "abnormal" things.

 

And now I'm in dental school, and drinking is pretty much all anyone does. They do it just for fun (being drunk is apparently fun?), or they do it to drown away their sorrows after a bad exam. Honestly, there are much better coping mechanisms than downing a bottle of booze! I need to get a more like-minded group of friends... Maybe you need to do the same! (It's hard but would probably be best...)

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And now I'm in dental school, and drinking is pretty much all anyone does. They do it just for fun (being drunk is apparently fun?), or they do it to drown away their sorrows after a bad exam. Honestly, there are much better coping mechanisms than downing a bottle of booze! I need to get a more like-minded group of friends... Maybe you need to do the same! (It's hard but would probably be best...)

 

I completely agree!

I mean, I have some VERY VERY close friends who are all very different and yet all of them share some specific interests of mine with me (like crafts, musicals, music festivals/gigs) but all still have this notion about drinking!I adore them and we do LOADS of non drinking things which is AWESOME but to fit in at Uni, you HAVE to do a bit of it so I did.

 

Due to family problems in my past and strong feelings I have, alcohol used to scare me, terrify me infact and I HATED being around it. I went to Uni and freshers week was possibly THE scariest thing in that respect. I had to deal with it. 2 years down the line it's STILL not completely gone. I've lost a lot of the worry and awkwardness with it and have even TRIED it properly and know it's not for me...the thing that STILL stays with me is how you feel so DIFFERENT. I don't drink at all and nobody's ever going to change me and I'm secure in this but it's so frustrating trying to force yourself to be comfortable in a position where you just want to GET OUT and leave and do YOUR kind of things.

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I am similar to you dr_styles in many aspects. Pretty much all my friends are alcoholics - that is FACT and it seems to be perfectly normal nowdays (obviously I am a weirdo, becouse i dont drink). My problem is, i used to be like that when i was younger. We did lots of "bad" things in our teens, smoking weed, tagging around, drinking here and there. Well, it was fun, but we were kids.

 

Last few years i used to get lots of invites to parties and stuff, but i declined most of them (really felt like an idiot, but i figured i wont go somewhere where i feel bad - I know they will want me to get high with them and if i dont, what the hell i am gonna do there with bunch of people who lost their senses).

 

Nowdays, they dont invite much as often...they rarely call me, becouse they know i will most likely decline. I am sure they think i lost my mind or something. The thing is, i would surely like to spend my time with some of them, but they only call me on occasions that i am not comfortable with (drinking etc.). Well you may ask, why dont i go to places i like - hobbies and stuff. Thing is, i dont have whole lot of hobbies. I like music, i like some sports, but only passive, i like lots of things, but none of them could be really considered as hobby i think.

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Yeah, I am also fed up with a society that seems to say "you're supposed to be an alcoholic in your early-mid 20s, and then you're supposed to meet a girl and settle down and forget about alcohol except for the occasional beer during the ball game on Sunday!

 

Annoyingly they still do better. They get all their "fun", relationships and so on, and still end up with the girl (and plenty still with the education, and the job, etc.)

 

We did a lot of things that society would call childish (board game nights, movie nights in each other's rooms, going to play mini-golf on a Friday night, and all of those things without alcohol), and we all LOVED it that way.

...

I need to get a more like-minded group of friends... Maybe you need to do the same! (It's hard but would probably be best...)

 

Don't we all? But that's a little hard when 9/10 new people I meet will be somewhere along the drinking/party line.

... will you be my friend? LOL

 

I completely agree!

I mean, I have some VERY VERY close friends who are all very different and yet all of them share some specific interests of mine with me (like crafts, musicals, music festivals/gigs) but all still have this notion about drinking! I adore them and we do LOADS of non drinking things which is AWESOME but to fit in at Uni, you HAVE to do a bit of it so I did.

 

The friends who have been asking me out seem similar. They've given me a lot of other social opportunities and at work and outside of it most times they are "good friends", but they practically put drinking as the only true "going out".

 

Like a movie night one time was cancelled because this person disagreed with the time people wanted it; it messed up his regular routine of exercise and cooking time. This same person however later that week went to all the hassle of rebooking bus tickets, rescheduling some work/home chores just to join some mates out drinking that night. I don't think people with these priorities are in the minority either, and when you're in the minority for any reason in general your chances/pool are lower.

 

Nowdays, they dont invite much as often...they rarely call me, becouse they know i will most likely decline. I am sure they think i lost my mind or something. The thing is, i would surely like to spend my time with some of them, but they only call me on occasions that i am not comfortable with (drinking etc.). Well you may ask, why dont i go to places i like - hobbies and stuff. Thing is, i dont have whole lot of hobbies. I like music, i like some sports, but only passive, i like lots of things, but none of them could be really considered as hobby i think.

 

Yep pretty much the same thing here. People just didn't bother inviting me anywhere because I was the guy who wouldn't do anything. In the past I definitely did this too much (just to play the upbringing card here) even for a few non-drinking things which is why I'm willing to do the "quiet nights" out at least. I think it's helped in being the social loop for things - ironically one of those is the same guy I mentioned above who called me boring for not going out for a "big one".

I like doing a lot of things, but nothing to the point of considering it a hobby where I wouldn't be joining with the primary purpose of meeting someone. Well I'm trying to change this part too so I think I'm getting close to something.

 

----

 

Actually what I don't like about these things most is not the place/activity, but the fact it's always out late (like home past midnight, and that's a "quiet night" for them). I may hate a loud bar/nightclub but I'd be willing to put up with it for a few hours to stay "in-touch" with friends, well supposed friends. Unfortunately going out seems to mean a lot more than a few hours, and a lot of times the "walk away" isn't possible due to where it is, plus as I'm finding out leaving early is not as harmless as I thought to the friendship.

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I've been thinking through my own very similar situation, and I realized it's not exactly the bars that bother me. It's more that it's a very large group that goes out together, and I really shine when the group is small. Of course, most of my friends go out to drink, but few end up drunk. So maybe it's not so similar after all...

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