“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”
― C. S. Lewis
Think of any group, be it a group of friends, your office at work, your sports team, or a classroom. Generally, you can think of at least one individual in the midst of that group that is liked by just about everyone. She or he is charismatic, loves to joke and laugh, and is unabashedly likable. It’s the person that you want to be around, because they make you feel happy just to be around them. They know your name, they know who you are, and they make it a point to get to know you as long as you let them. They may also have a tendency to get into the midst of a social group, and insert themselves as the center off attention, even if it’s by accident.
This person is a Socializer.
Socializers are all about relationships – And much like Killers, the game that they are playing is often completely different than the game that was designed to be played. The pure Socializer, however is less interested in inflicting his or her will onto another person, but instead prefers to create and be entrenched into the social environments that a situation creates.
When a task needs to be compelted, a Socializer will often keep an eye out for the well-being for those in the group, even above the needs of the project at hand. They are concerned with those around them, and the completion of the task is secondary to that. This can sometimes be viewed as a stereotypical “Motherly Instinct.”
Socializers do these things because they genuinely love people. While they sometimes are not the most talented at the task that the group is working towards, (often not the justifiably “best” player), they are usually the individuals that a group will center around. They strive to be friends with everyone, even going out of their way to make sure that “social outsiders” feel included, or treating with a smile those who just as soon kick them in the teeth. Everyone loves a Socializer, and they are usually one of the most well-known people in any group setting. They are the person that everybody loves, even if it is sometimes in a begrudging way.
Because of their ability to attract others and their almost natural likability, Socializers are a welcome sight. They love to talk about things, and are very attracted to drama. If the Socializer is not waist-deep in the most dramatic situations of a group, you can bet they’re about to be. They are emotionally sensitive, and as such, love to know and discuss the latest gossip, why this person and that person are no longer friends, and what the latest rivalries are. They love the narrative that is created by groups upon one another, and are much more interested in discussing the social value of an individual than their skill or tactical prowess.
In a way, a Socializer could be described quite well as a flipped coin of the Explorer. While the Explorer knows everything about the game, the Socializer could tell you everything about the people playing the game. While an Explorer could tell you a teammate’s stat percentages with the gear he’s currently using, a Socializer could tell you about a teammate’s spouse, how many kids they have, their names, and all about the last time that their families went out to dinner together.
Despite this comparison, however, Socializers and Explorers don’t often get along, simply because neither sees the same information as relevant. This can create awkward situations if the two are forced to interact, simply because their priorities are so divergent, and the two will usually seek separate paths. That’s not to say that the Socializer won’t be willing to try to engage the Explorer in conversation, but the relationship will often not go beyond superficiality.
A Socializer’s focus can often be found on celebrities, politicians, or other influential people, and they will often try to engage with those people, or at least talk about them with others, in an effort to be involved, if even by proximity.
Socializers always seem to know the latest gossip about everything, and have a hard time keeping it inside. When they learn something new about someone, it’s as if they need to share it with someone or they’re sure to burst from sheer excitement. As such, they tend to revel in the exploits of both Achievers and Killers equally, because these individuals are most often the movers and shakers of the environment that the Socializer is in.
Achievers will usually keep a few Socializers around them, especially those who provide to them some kind of adulation. Because Achievers thrive on vindication of their skills, and Socializers thrive on the telling of a tale, especially if that tale involves someone that they know, this match works rather well.
Killers, on the other hand, often provide great drama for the Socializers to consume. Killers love for their actions to have a reaction, and as such, Socializers often become their ideal prey. Not only is a Killer assured that his actions have garnered an effect, but the larger an effect, the larger the “social ripple” will be that his actions have created.
That said, a Killer whom a Socializer has befriended can often become the staunchest of companions, almost seen as something of a watchful guard dog or bodyguard to his friend, who will tolerate no disrespect to them. The Killer, usually a rather isolating individual, can prove to be loyal to a fault, performing “dirty work” for his friend, whom he/she views to be more respectable.
Socializers can be found in almost every type of social environment, and are very outgoing. (Almost all Socializers are natural extroverts.) While they are quite often viewed by other types as “less skilled” than others, they are nonetheless almost universally liked, and as such, are often accepted into most groups. (At the end of the day, Socializers are usually just a kick to have around.)
To cater to a Socializer, provide opportunities for them to talk. Provide easy ways for them to interact with others, to communicate, and especially, provide places for them to congregate with others. Let them learn about the goings on of others, and give them opportunities to share in these experiences with others. Socializers love nothing more than the telling of a great story, especially when it is them who is doing the telling.
Above all, say hello to them, but more importantly, go ahead and say hello back after they talk with you. You’ll probably like them, and they’ll make you feel great, whether you like it or not.