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Author Topic: Is it always rude not to take part in a social situation?  (Read 11453 times)

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Re: Is it always rude not to take part in a social situation?
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2010, 01:02:30 PM »
I think that in Finland it actually might be more common to separate by gender (for example families tend to go to sauna together until the children hit puberty), co-ed saunas might be a more studenty thing to do. Though they aren't rare and are completely normal, I think that usually and especially with older people it's gender separated. A common scenario has an extended family or friends staying at a summer cottage. You would start heating the sauna in the afternoon (the be really authentic you need a wood stove), then the women would go there, with children if there are any. After that the men (they get more heat and get to stay longer) and the women will start making dinner (the traditional scenario isn't very equal, men would probably chop the wood and heat the sauna). Quick googling confirms that some people do it (mostly people who have studied certain subjects, for example engineers like to do it, and people with groups of very old friends, like my bf, who actually is also an engineer), some do it when they're drunk, some are extremely against it (they don't want their husbands to see naked women, for example. I think that as my bf has been doing saunas with these people for years it wouldn't do any good even if I was against it, he knows what they look like naked already), some are somewhere in between. I think that saunas in Finland are still mainly seen as a family thing and as a way to get clean (nothing makes you feel cleaner). And almost all public saunas are separated.

I haven't actually ever been to a co-ed sauna, at least as an adult. There have been other opportunities, like when I was at a camp when I was 15, but I was too shy then (my friends went and told that a 17 year old camp councillor liked being naked in the same room with girls a bit too much). They did sauna nights at my college, I don't know if they were co-ed as I knew that they incolved a lot of alcohol and I wasn't interested. And I don't really do summer cottages so I usually go to sauna with just my mother (my apartment doesn't have a sauna so I go when I'm there).


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Re: Is it always rude not to take part in a social situation?
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2010, 01:09:51 PM »
No I don't believe it's rude to not join in every social situation that you might come across. But then I'm someone whose pretty outgoing. Yes I enjoy doing social activities as much as I can with other people but there's something to be said for being alone sometimes. By the way I wouldn't have done the sauna either. I tried a sauna only once and I hated it. I'm here in America so like 90% of the time people would be wearing swimsuits anyway. But I hated how hot and uncomfortable it was and if I was expected to go naked that's not happening. I wouldn't be too worried about seeing other people naked but I'm not very comfortable with other people seeing me naked.



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Re: Is it always rude not to take part in a social situation?
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2010, 01:56:20 PM »
Most posters so far have said (and I agree) that you're fine as long as you're not declining to join every social event. I'm glad the others didn't seem to mind. I find that it helps make my attitude clear if I express my regrets before anyone has a problem with me: "Guys, I'm enjoying the peace and quiet so much, you go skinny-dip, have fun, and I and my skin will put my feet up and finish this book."

As for the sauna, I love saunas (I feel so clean afterward) but I wouldn't want to be crammed too tightly in one with a bunch of other sweaty people emanating toxins from their pores. But I'm fine with the nudity ... used to be a bit shy until someone long ago re-framed it for me: "It's no big thing, everybody knows what everybody's got."
« Last Edit: August 09, 2010, 01:59:21 PM by magician5 »
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Re: Is it always rude not to take part in a social situation?
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2010, 02:43:19 PM »
I think it is unreasonable to expect anyone to be sociable every minute for an entire weekend.  So, OP, I think you are fine.  I need time to myself everyday and if I am with a group, I still find ways to carve out a block of time and be alone.  As long as your particpate in the majority of activities and are not rude about the alone time (which you weren't), you are fine. 

And, in general, I would think skipping an event where others are naked should garner no comment.  Some people aren't comfortable with nudity and they should never be pressured to participate.   
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Re: Is it always rude not to take part in a social situation?
« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2010, 12:53:26 AM »
Fun fact: the first time I went to a co-ed naked sauna in my adult life was in Germany. In Finland it had always been separated by gender - or a "bathing suit sauna" with a bunch of friends. It took me some getting used to but by now I hardly notice that I'm naked (except when someone I know well suddenly turns up at the sauna and I realize that we've only ever met clothed before  :P)


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Re: Is it always rude not to take part in a social situation?
« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2010, 04:41:38 AM »

I think that in this sort of situation a lot of it comes down to *how* you opt out of stuff, or how you participate.

If you go to an event and decide that you don't like or won't participate in more than about a third or half of the activities, then people will start wondering why you came.

If you are act grouchy, or offended, or out of sorts, when it comes to a given activity you are opting out of then people tend to notice. If you graciously deflect it, they are less likely to mind. For example, suppose you are at a gathering and people drag out a board game and you hate board games. Announcing "I hate boardgames" and then pulling out your iPhone and texting people is going to look a lot more anti-social than saying "Oh, I've never been good at this sort of thing. I'll just watch".

And it depends on the nature of the event. For the above example, going to a board game themed party when you hate boardgames and have no intention of playing is different than opting out of one informal section of a larger event.

There's also the issue of how visible your non participation is. If everyone else is having a conversation, and you are sitting there with you headphones on and a book, ignoring everyone, it will come across differently than saying "I'm really tired, I think I"ll rest a bit" and excusing yourself for a while.


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Re: Is it always rude not to take part in a social situation?
« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2010, 05:39:46 AM »
What blarg314 said.  So long as you don't get stroppy and make a big fuss about how Activity X is immoral, depraved, disgusting, boring, etc, and just quietly say you'd prefer a bit of quiet time to read, I don't see that there is anything wrong with opting out of part of the weekend's activities.  You're fine.