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Why are some people very gregarious and others not?

gregarious. adj. 1. Habitually associating with others, as in flocks, herds, or groups. 2. Enjoying or seeking the company of others; sociable.              Funk & Wagnalls Dictionary

Gregarious, sociable, affable; company-loving, convivial, companionable, outgoing, friendly, amiable; communicative.

Ungregarious, unsociable, unfriendly, cool, introverted, uncommunicative; aloof, standoffish; self-sufficient, self-contained.

Why are some people very gregarious and others not? Let us ask a different question: What might cause a person to not be too gregarious? Could it be caution about getting too familiar with others? Could it be prudence? A prudent man knows there are many kinds of people out there. Some are good. Many are not. From experience one learns that there are many people who will draw you in with nice words and then use you, plunder you. They may want to draw you into something, involve you in something. People are selfish. They often are after something for themselves. There are many tricksters, con artists with their own agendas. They may be sizing you up for a kill. One must be cautious in dealing with people. A certain skepticism and wariness is in order. Prudence calls for caution. A prudent man does not want to get too friendly or too confiding with just anyone. He is cautious. He waits and watches before getting too friendly. There are many other things that may cause a person to be unsociable, aloof, standoffish. A person might just not like people. He might be angry at the world, angry at society. He might have an inferiority complex that causes him to try to hold people at a distance (due to fear of people seeing his weaknesses).

Following are some quotations that give some insight:


   Better alone than in bad company.

   Associate with men of good judgment.

   Bad company is the devil's net.

   A man is known by the company he keeps.

   Birds of a feather flock together.

   He who walks with wise men will be wise,

    But the companion of fools will be destroyed.


                                            Prov. 13:20


   Hear, my son, and be wise;

   And guide your heart in the way.

   Do not mix with winebibbers,

   Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;

   For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,

   And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.

                                               Prov 23:21


   You may depend upon it that he is a good man whose intimate

   friends are all good, and whose enemies are decidedly bad.


   No company is far preferable to bad, because we are more apt to

   catch the vices of others than their virtues, as disease is

   more contagious than health.



   It is meet that noble minds keep ever with their likes; for

   who so firm that he cannot be seduced.



   People will, in a great degree, and not without reason, form

   their opinion of you by that they have of your friends, as,

   says the Spanish proverb, "Tell me with whom you live and I

   will tell you who you are."

   Evil companions are the devil's agents whom he sends abroad

   into the world to debauch virtue, and to advance his kingdom;

   and by these ambassadors he accomplishes more than he could in

   his own person.

                                               Anthony Horneck

   Wicked companions invite and lure us to hell.


   Be cautious with whom you associate, and never give your

   company or your confidence to those of whose good principles

   you are not sure.

                                        William Hart Coleridge

   Never contract friendship with a man that is not better than thyself.


   If a traveller does not meet with one who is his better, or his equal,

   let him firmly keep to his solitary journey; there is no companionship

   with a fool.


   Make no friendship with an angry man,

     And with a furious man do not go,

   Lest you learn his ways

     And set a snare for your soul.

                                    Prov 22:24

   Go from the presence of a foolish man, When you do not perceive in him the

   lips of knowledge.

                                                                                    Prov 14:7

   Be civil to all

   serviceable to many

   familiar with few,

   friend to one,

   enemy to none.


Gregariousness and love of talking go together. With the gregarious person, words just flow. Good sense and prudence tends to be associated with few words. Much talk tends to be associated with foolishness. There are many proverbs regarding much talk and discretion in speech. Prudence often calls for a minimum of words. For example:


  He who has understanding spares his words,

     And a man of understanding is of a calm spirit.

                                                  Proverbs 17:27

   Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace.

                                                  Proverbs 17:28

   In the multitude of words sin is not lacking,

      But he who restrains his lips is wise.

                                                  Proverbs 10:19

   He who guards his mouth preserves his life,

     But he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction.

                                                  Proverbs 13:3

   Whoever guards his mouth and tongue

     Keeps his soul from troubles.

                                                  Proverbs 21:23

   The heart of the righteous studies how to answer,

     But the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil.

                                                  Proverbs 15:28

   A fool's mouth is his destruction,

     And his lips are the snare of his soul.

                                                   Proverbs 18:7

   Words are like leaves; and where they most abound, much fruit of

   sense beneath is rarely found.



   Talking comes by nature, silence by wisdom.

   Give every man thine ear, but few thy voice.


   Better say nothing than nothing to the purpose.

   Those who know much speak little; those who speak much know


                                                     Chinese Proverb


Most people are neither strongly gregarious nor strongly aloof. Most are somewhere in between.

July 2017

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