Money Studies Articles and Resources

Your Home and Your Sociability Style

By Lois Vitt


Your home may be your castle, but a big part of your housing decision-making is all about other people. Home is where most of us experience not only the intimate aspects of our personal development, but also the most important social interactions that occur during the course of our lives. Do you enjoy living alone in solitude, rarely entertaining friends or family? Or do you enjoy the company of family and friends at home and the feeling that you are attached to a broader neighborhood or community? Either lifestyle is healthy and natural; the challenge is to identify and honestly face the social needs your home will be expected to serve.

Some people have a strong need for peace and quiet at home. Others love the hustle and bustle of people around them, the sounds of laughter and spontaneity. When the doorbell rings, do you sag momentarily at the possibility of being interrupted, or are you excited about who might be dropping by? Neither choice is superior to the other. The important point is to claim your true social identity and make your housing decisions, in part, in light of that identity. And, if you share your home with a partner or family members, it is critical, before making the next housing decision, that everyone's social needs be uncovered and addressed with sensitivity.

A home can support a variety of lifestyles, but only if decisions are carefully made. Each person's housing history, habits and cultural preferences are rooted in social relationships. Ideally, these relationships are respected and reflected through their home. It's a very good idea to identify your preferred lifestyle before making a move. Do you prefer.

  • A solitary lifestyle: You go your own way and do your own thing, unconcerned about what others think of your choices.
  • An accommodating lifestyle: Your preference is shared living, possibly even nurturing others.
  • An essential lifestyle: By choice or by necessity, you live simply, without the array of modern conveniences many others take for granted.
  • A communal lifestyle: You prefer community living arrangements, enjoying group activities with others who share your interests, hobbies or life stages.
  • A public lifestyle: You like to influence others or you are motivated to lead and be active in organizations, so you choose housing that allows you to devote time and energy to activities important to you.

Examine your social needs carefully as you look for your next home.