Over on Fet today, @TheFerrett posted a brilliant piece of writing about the cost of social interaction. (It can be found here for those without Fet accounts.) He noted that the cost is different for everyone and generally higher for introverts than extroverts.
Ferrett used the analogy of budgeting well being. For most people talking to someone they don’t know is about a dollar, while for Ferrett, it’s fifty bucks. Again, it’s a brilliant piece that wonderfully illustrates what I’ve been trying to explain to those close to me, for what seems like forever.
As I kicked this around my brain, I thought about what my costs would be in terms of Ferrett’s analogy. I think they would look something like this:
Going to a lifestyle event with people I know $20
Going to a new lifestyle event with people I know $30
Going to a lifestyle event alone $40
Going to a new lifestyle event alone $60
Engaging in conversation when approached by someone I don’t know $75
Approaching someone I don’t know to introduce myself $100
Talking about myself with anyone other than family $200
Existing, without speaking to anyone, in a venue with a lot of people (variables include size of venue, number of people, noise, etc.)
$30 first hour, $40 second hour, $50 third hour, $60 fourth hour
Asking for help from those who do not live in my household $250 min.
Asking for help from the Husband $5 – $50 (context dependent)
Asking for help from the boy $1
Cold selling anything (raffles, soliciting donations, products, etc) $1000
Selling to people who come to me $300
Confrontation of any kind $700
When you consider how these stack, and that these costs are per interaction, an evening at the local dungeon can get quite pricey. A weekend at a lifestyle event takes a solid week, which includes sleeping in and quiet alone time, to refill my emotional wallet.
Still, given all of this, I’m much better than I used to be. There was a time in the not-too-distant past that just attending a munch was a couple of grand. It does get better with practice.