You can have social and non social thoughts that are derived from past experiences, your perception of what a social situation should be like and peer influences. Your social thoughts will influence your ability to behave socially. Culture also influences your social thoughts.
Social thoughts may include "I don't like this person or that", "I do like this person or that better than the other", "I do feel comfortable with this person more than the other". Your social thought will also influence how you feel about a particular person or situation.
How do you know whether your social thought is functional (helpful) or dysfunctional (unhelpful) socially? It can start from what other people tell you. You don't have to change because of what other people say, but it would help if you think about whether it is true or not. For instance if you don't like to be around many people and called a snob, it may mean that you are introverted. Therefore your social thought may include "I don't want to go out again, but rather be alone". Another person may consider this behaviour socially unacceptable. If you accept their comment, then you have introjected what they said as you have not considered your own view point. You may need to talk about their comment with another person who is not biased and understands and accepts uniqueness and human behaviour to explore it further. You may talk about it to a person who does not understand introversion and run the risk of hearing their biased perspective. Or you may decide to ignore it. If you do decide to ignore the comment or listen to a biased perspective then you may be at risk of judging yourself too harshly and start to feel uncomfortable with your true identity and try to change to suit others.
Therefore the question remains of how do you maintain social connections that you are comfortable with? How you do maintain social connections with others that respects and understands who you are?
Josephine from jb Consulting and Psychology is a
mental health, behaviour and learning intervention and consulting specialist for adults, children, young people, as well as staff at the workplace.