Prevention for Social Butterflying


Staff member
Oct 9, 2012
Social butterflying is when you're in a social arena - bar, nightclub, networking event, party, school/work function - and, in order to appear sociable and outgoing and cool and not a social burden (or, perhaps, because you're just extremely sociable and want to meet everyone and/or you drank a bit too much caffeine that day), you start engaging in light conversation with people, then leaving to talk to other people, then coming back again a bit later, then leaving again after some light conversation, then coming back again later.

The problem with this is that this quickly irritates people after you've stopped by a few times - it isn't how people connect in social situations, but you won't realize it until you stop and think about it. When you're somewhere hanging out with your friends, and someone cool stops by and talks to you, that's cool. If he/she leaves, well okay. If this person then comes back to talk some more, that's okay. If he/she then leaves again, well... I guess that is what it is. If he/she then returns AGAIN... you're starting to pick up on it, right? The person starts seeming scattered and flighty, and you begin to wonder what exactly it is that he or she wants with you. I mean, this person isn't sticking around long enough to really integrate with your group or get into deep conversation with anyone... he or she is just kind of there, then not, then there again, than not. It's also preventing you from getting into any kind of real rhythm with the other people you're there talking with because someone else keeps butting in, then leaving, then butting in, then leaving again.

I used to sabotage my nightclub approaches by doing this too much - I could feel something was somewhat off, but I wasn't really sure what it was or what I ought to do about it. When someone pointed out I was social butterflying, I saw it, but found it rather hard to stop.

I realized part of it, at least for me, was social pressure... I felt like trying to hang around would make me a social burden, so I left to alleviate this feeling. Then came back. Then left again. I figured women would grow to miss me when I was gone, and they'd be more excited to see me each time I returned. Only it didn't work like that.

Here's the solution I adopted in my mind to cut this out: allow yourself to leave a girl and come back to her ONCE (1 time) at maximum.

After that she's off limits.

That means, when you meet a girl you like, either lock her down and get into some real talk then and there (or grab digits and get out), or leave ONCE, then come back and lock her down / pull her away / get into real conversation / get a phone number.

Once seems to be the magic number. It's risky - you may leave, and never be able to find her again - but if you come back after leaving once, assuming a little time has passed and she's realized how boring it is without you / how lame all the other men there are, she'll be happy to see you. And on her end, it looks like you left, realized she's awesome and amazing, and came back to get something going on.

If you do it more than once though, it looks like you don't know what you're doing... and it just ends up being annoying.

To kill the social butterfly habit, adopt a mentality of "One (1) breakaway and then return is allowed; more than one is not."

Personally, these days, I think the risk of losing a girl completely by breaking away even once outweighs the excitement/attraction boost you get from leaving, and recommend not leaving at all. But if you'd still rather leave once to drum up some intrigue (or to tell your buddies you've found the girl you want to talk to and are going to settle in), you'll usually be okay.

Just don't leave and come back more than once, is all...!



Space Monkey
space monkey
May 29, 2013
Great post and very true. When i first turned 21 and was new to the bar scene i did this a lot and i have friends who still do this and it get insanely annoying.

I realized it made me seem like i was trying way to hard to fit in and it makes it seem like you also can't hold a conversation.
It also found that i'm a lot more approachable now that i don't do this.