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There are 4 social styles, from 'firefly' to 'evergreen.' Here's what yours says about your relationships.

Julia Pugachevsky   

There are 4 social styles, from 'firefly' to 'evergreen.' Here's what yours says about your relationships.
  • In the "Art and Science of Connection," author Kasley Killam, MPH outlined 4 social styles.
  • Beyond being an introvert or extrovert, you're a butterfly, wallflower, firefly, or evergreen.

When it comes to relationships, there are more communication styles and personality differences than just "introvert" or "extrovert."

"I noticed that introversion and extroversion don't really capture the nuance of how we approach socializing, solitude, and connection in our lives," Kasley Killam, MPH and author of "The Art and Science of Connection" (out on June 18) told Business Insider. From both her research and experiences talking to communities all over the world, she came up with four social styles that people generally fall under: butterfly, wallflower, firefly, and evergreen.

She said that besides only looking at the quantity of connection a person craves, these styles also address the "quality of connection that people prefer."

Killam shared what each style says about relationships — and why it's still good to push yourself out of your comfort zone, no matter where you fall.

Butterfly, happy with all kinds of talk

A nod to "social butterfly," the butterfly personality style describes "someone who likes a really high amount of interaction but is comfortable and happy with more casual connection," Killam said.

It doesn't mean that they only like small talk — butterflies are excited to get deep, too, she said. They're just glad to be engaged in all types of conversations, and often.

Wallflower, content with some distance

As the name suggests, a wallflower is "a bit more shy but really comfortable and happy with less frequent interaction," Killam said. They can also be fine with more casual connections, she said.

In the book, she also mentioned that wallflowers often prefer staying out of the limelight, but that doesn't mean they enjoy feeling like floater friends. Like anyone else, they "have the inner desire and ability to love and be loved," she said.

Firefly, deep conversations with recharge time

Fireflies burn bright before disappearing into the night, describing someone who loves deeper interactions but also craves solitude.

Killam identifies as a firefly herself. "I love deep conversations with friends and family," she said, whether one-on-one or in small groups. But she also requires time to recharge alone.

Evergreen, a pro at opening up

Evergreen plants stay lush all year long, not just seasonally. Similarly, an evergreen is "someone who likes a lot of frequent interaction, and also deeper," Killam said.

While they might look like butterflies at first glance, Killam said the kinds of conversations they have speak to their nature. Taylor, a woman she mentioned in the book, "really only enjoys and feels fulfilled by socializing with people who she has deep connections to," such as close friends and family. Evergreens are the people who phone a best friend or parent every day.

Your social type should be flexible

Killam said there's no one perfect style, and that each has pros and cons. That means "there's value in stretching beyond what might be comfortable to explore what ultimately is best for each of us," she said.

For instance, she said more introverted styles like wallflowers and fireflies benefit from pushing themselves to socialize more. As a firefly, "the times in my life when I felt most meaningfully connected are times when I socialized more than I would typically choose," Killam said.

Meanwhile, if you're an extroverted style like an evergreen or butterfly, you should try to "cultivate a connection with yourself and to prioritize some alone time as well," Killam said. That way, you can "go deep in the relationships that are most important."


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