Man I hate group dynamics. Perhaps this is too severe. I really dislike group dynamics. Not strong enough. I loathe group dynamics.
There's something about spending time in any group that swells past 4 or 5 people that just makes me lose my bacon. This is something of an odd thing considering I'm pretty much the poster boy for the ENFP crowd (Myers-Briggs... google it if you're curious). But I really have a hard time in situations like these. I think it's something about the fact that once you get to a group this size one of two things are happening. You're either superficially connecting with everyone in the room or engaging with a few select people and then blowing the rest of the room off.
I don't really know how either of those options are supposed to sound like a good idea. I've spent way too much of my life investing in superficial relationships and I don't know if I have much time for it anymore. Now, some might counter this and say "it's a party dude, lighten up, have a good time." But that's just it... I feel like more and more often we (church friends? non church friends? me? where I work?) try to construct social situations where we don't really have to be vulnerable, or real, or authentic, and everything can be about a mile wide and two inches deep. Which is a super way to go through life without having to really know anybody (apologies Good Will Hunting).
I'm just to the point where I'd rather spend 2 hours really connecting with a handful of friends that hours skimming over the surface of a community. This is why I ninja out. The whole goodbye thing in a group setting that large seems superficial. "Goodbye friend, we didn't really talk all night, but it was great to see you." Really? Seriously? So I just bail. Because when I feel like a goodbye is significant, I'll give one. Of course this policy has led me to some epically bad attempted subtle exits from parties... but such is life.