People, especially M/s pairs, frequently get the advice, “Communicate! Know yourself!” but they don’t always get advice on how to do those things.
I’m not an expert, just your friendly neighborhood slave who “used to be an introvert, is now an extrovert, still gets mistaken for an introvert”.
So here we go: evaluating, explaining, and planning for your social wants, needs, and abilities (and some on doing so within an M/s dynamic as a slave).
If you only read one more sentence here, let it be this: not all socializing is the same.
If what you really want is a long emotional midnight talk with your best friend, small talk at the water cooler with your coworkers isn’t gonna cut it.
If you want to be talking with an energetic group of people, that long emotional midnight talk isn’t gonna cut it.
If you want to talk to someone about a specific passion project, a family dinner focused on a distant relative isn’t gonna cut it.
Step 1: Evaluate
Think about what you want (and don’t want) or need out of social interactions. Not just right now, but in general. Consider:
Quantity of People — What do you get out of small group interactions? Large group? One on one? Do you have a general preference for one or more of those? Do you want different amounts of people at different times, and what times are those? Are you “better” at interacting with a specific quantity of people, based on how well they respond, or on how you feel?
Specific People — People who are close to you might be in a bit of a category all their own. Are there people you crave interacting with in particular? Your partner(s)? Your family? Your best friends?
Intimacy Level — What do you get out of interacting with strangers? Acquaintances? Friends? People closest to you? What about conversations that are light, or conversations that are in depth? Do you have a preference towards any of those, and does your preference change—if so, based on what? Are you more at ease, and do you set others more at ease, with intimate conversation, or small talk?
Virtual or In Person — How do you count virtual interactions? Group virtual spaces, private messaging, phone calls, video chatting? Are you tech savvy? Do you feel more comfortable in a specific medium?
Topics of Discussion — Do you seek out friends to talk about specific things with, like hobbies, or kink? If so, what things?
Level of Interactiveness — Does sitting with someone, both mostly doing your own thing, count as socializing for you, and in what way? Do you enjoy it, or no? Does that change based on number of people, or who it is?
Length/Frequency of Interactions — What amount of socialization do you generally need, and of what types above? What about alone time, and how do you define that? What makes those amounts go up? Down? Do you like fewer but longer interactions or alone times, or more but shorter? Does anything there depend on other factors? What do you define as frequent or infrequent, or long or short? Are you long-winded, or do you struggle to keep conversations going?
Step 2: Analyze
From the information you determined based on those types of questions, ponder what your social life would ideally look like in action.
I’ll use myself as an example.
I generally prefer a mix of some fairly large group interactions with mostly one on one. I like having time to interact one on one with some of my vanilla family, Mistress, and my best friend. Virtual communication doesn’t usually do much for me, but sitting with someone while we both do our own thing does, and it’s important to me to have people to talk to about both writing and kink (largely covered by the specific people above). I tend to go for longer one on one hang outs, like spending a whole day together, and large group interactions of maybe around three hours.
With that information in mind, I make it part of my weekly planning to check for any kink events I want to go to (generally an easy way to satisfy that large group desire) and to ask those specific people if they want to hang out (generally optimizing around schedules for longer amounts of time).
Basically: figure out how to meet those desires. Come up with different, malleable ideas.
Step 3: Discuss
Within whatever framework your dynamic has, share what you discovered in the steps above.
“Whys” for your preferences might be a good thing to share if you’re having a more theoretical conversation, but it might be good to not get too hung up on them if you’re just talking action items.
Remember that most social needs are very specific to each person; don’t try to pass general judgment on them, good or bad; simply explain them as being yours.
Then, talk about your ideas for meeting those desires. Ask for feedback; see how you can make it a win-win.
As said, I’m an extrovert; Mistress, on the other hand, is an introvert. For us, it works out well if I go out of the house to get my extrovert time, because it generally leaves her home alone to get her introvert time. Win-win.
Maybe there are people you can both arrange to see at the same time for convenience. Maybe you both want to go to more kink events—you can offer to look for ones you’d both enjoy. Maybe you can offer to manage both of your calendars to make planning easier (we use a shared Google Calendar).
From there, you can have experimentation with action plans to find out what works best.