A friend of mine recently hosted a going away party for a close friend who was moving away. She invited about 10 mutual friends for a nice lunch at a local café. One friend showed up late, with two girlfriends in tow. Rather than socializing with the rest of the group, she sat at the far end of the table and chatted only to the friends she had brought. She then left early so that she could meet up with one of her girlfriends’ friends. Everyone felt that she was slighting the man who was the guest of honor.
Sometimes, it’s not enough to simply show up. When I am invited to an event, I book the time off and make sure it takes priority. Things may come up in which a friend suddenly arrives in town, but I will do my best to not interfere with my original plan. If I need to bring someone along, I will ask the host for permission first. Once I’m at the party, I will make sure I introduce my friend so that she can take part in the group conversation. That’s so much better than isolating yourself or making your group of friends feel that you aren’t interested in them.
According to my friend, this woman is a social butterfly who always brings random friends to social gatherings and then disappears for most of the night. It’s great to be sociable, but not at the risk of alienating or ignoring your true friends. Try going solo for once, or bringing a friend who has some connection to the group. Simply “showing your face” doesn’t translate to quality time.