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Spike : boundaries of an introvert

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  • Spike : boundaries of an introvert

    This is an extension from the poll 'Spike : How 'nice' does he play now. Having seen some of the responses to that poll it has sent me down a slightly different tangent about how much Spike actually wants to be 'involved' in other people's lives. Does he actually want friendships? People often discuss what Spike should or shouldn't be doing socially, or in terms of integration with the Scoobies, and I'm wondering whether Spike really wants to become integrated, whether he actually wants to 'play nice', and whether what we see is caused (or not!) by him being naturally introverted and placing his own boundaries and limitations on what he is actually actively looking for.

    It seems in the other poll to be felt that if it isn't a life and death situation Spike actually will mostly only want to help those that he is personally interested in. That he wouldn't definitely want to get involved in the every day issues (relationship troubles, family issues, practical support, emotional support etc) of many of the people he knows. He talks about being on the outside of Buffy's life but I am just not sure how much he actually wants to be involved in the day-to-day issues of others. This is not to say that he couldn't be central to Buffy (for example) and choose to still not get deeply involved in everyone else's lives too, it is just a question of whether he would want to or if he chooses the boundaries he experiences to an extent (consciously or subconsciously). In the other poll, considering if someone wasn't trying to convince him to help them, there was no connecting reason to inspire it, the person just needs help and hasn’t had to ‘sell’ it to him and he hasn’t been asked to do it by anyone else, (but it requires him to put himself out to do it) would he do it? Does he actually want that kind of involvement? It seems that most of us are not convinced and are unsure how far and to whom this would stretch. I think it comes back to personal involvement and his interest in them (hence this poll looking at friendship and introversion).

    This is a guy who loves a soap opera but doesn't seem to actually seek involvement in the lives of others. Is this just because he is a watcher of people but doesn't actually want to integrate/interact? How self imposed are the boundaries Spike works within? Would he really change them?

    We haven't been shown him making any effort to reconnect with Dawn even though they were really close once, he just doesn't seem that interested any more. I think that he 'likes' Willow and would help her out but would he sit with her and a hot chocolate and marshmallows to hear about her latest love life disaster? Not sure he would want to tbh, yet he can be seen to seek that connection himself. He is quite happy to chat at a party with her but would he want to meet up and spend an evening playing poker and chatting as friends?

    Essentially, I think a lot of what he experiences are self-imposed boundaries because he is introverted but the sensitive poet does require some connections. Loneliness for Spike can be a self-generating issue as he tries to balance his need for connections against his lack of desire to be a social butterfly. Spike seems to need interaction deeply with few people to be happy.

    So who (of the people above) would Spike actively choose to be amongst those people? Who of the people above would Spike choose to be inside the boundaries of his life? Essentially, do you think he wants to be friends with any of the people he knows? Outside of 'the mission', who would he choose to share and compare with?
    46
    Buffy
    23.91%
    11
    Angel
    2.17%
    1
    Dawn
    19.57%
    9
    Xander
    0.00%
    0
    Willow
    6.52%
    3
    Illyria
    10.87%
    5
    Connor
    6.52%
    3
    Lorne
    2.17%
    1
    Dowling
    2.17%
    1
    Koh
    2.17%
    1
    Wood
    0.00%
    0
    Faith
    2.17%
    1
    Riley
    0.00%
    0
    Andrew
    0.00%
    0
    Clem
    10.87%
    5
    Harmony
    0.00%
    0
    The Bugs
    4.35%
    2
    Potentials from S7
    0.00%
    0
    Kennedy
    0.00%
    0
    Gunn
    6.52%
    3

  • #2
    * The answer depends on what Season we’re discussing and what of the IDW stuff is canon.

    * Spike cares for very few people.

    Let’s see:

    BtVS S2: is in love with Drusilla, is frenemies with Angel, loves Buffy albeit this may be only subconscious.
    BtVS S3: is in love with Drusilla, he seems to like Joyce, loves Buffy albeit this may be only subconscious, he was at least partly attracted to Willow
    BtVS S4: is in love with Drusilla, is having some kind of relationship with Harmony but doesn’t care about her that much, loves Buffy albeit this may be only subconscious, he admits to be attracted to Willow
    BtVS S5: is in love with Drusilla, is in love with Buffy, was in some kind of relationship with Harmony but she’s clearly ‘rebound’ and always was. He seems to love Joyce and Dawn
    BtVS S6: is in love with Buffy, don’t hear about his feelings for Dru, he was friendly with the Scoobies until he’s knows that they did a resurrection spell on Buffy without even telling them of his plans. After that, he seems to care less for them. He abandons Dawn right after seeing Buffy.
    BtVS S7: is in love with Buffy, still seems to love Dru, seems to like Willow or at least care for Willow a little bit, becomes quasi-friends with Xander
    BtVS S8: is in love with Buffy
    Spoiler:
    but had abandoned her for years and he has yet to get back with her (on 9.13)
    .
    BtVS S9:
    Spoiler:
    abandoned Buffy and the Scoobies. He’s had a limited amount of affection for his bugs


    IDW stuff:

    Spoiler:
    Seems to have feelings for Illyria, became friends with Illyria. He had a relationship with Spider – for all intents and purposes, Spider was his girlfriend. He cares for Beck but he isn’t exactly attracted to Beck. He still loves Dru and made out with Dru for perhaps minutes. He ‘abandoned’ Beck and the fish and got a hotel room with Dru.





    Stoney

    Does he actually want friendships?
    Yes.

    by him being naturally introverted
    He isn’t. Even as William, in “Fool For Love” (5.07) we see that he went to a party and had no problem going into a group of people and socializing with them. And as a vampire, we see that he’s easily able to make friends (like in “Halloween” (2.06)). He’s naturally extroverted.

    We haven't been shown him making any effort to reconnect with Dawn even though they were really close once, he just doesn't seem that interested any more.
    She threatened his life in “Beneath You” (7.02). Even in “Lies My Parents Told Me” (7.17), she’s not friendly with him.


    * I consider Spike’s distance from people and his relative distance from the Scoobies, and part of the reason why he’s distant to Buffy is that he is immortal and they aren’t. This goes back to him in “Lovers Walk” (3.08) saying, “I’m nothing without [Dru].” Spike is immortal and can live forever. There’s only so much he can connect to a human with and there’s only so long that that friendship can last with a mortal.

    Comment


    • #3
      Actively? First thoughts were Buffy, Dawn, and Willow. But passively? There would be a lot more (imo).

      Spike wants friends, but he is afraid of getting hurt, so I can only see him actively wanting to befriend Buffy, Dawn, and Willow. Passively I can see him enjoying a friendship with almost half of the people here. Though Xander hates him and the feelings is mutual, I think they have enough history that if they were around each other enough they may get past the dislike. Dowling I could see, Clem too, but they had (it seems) a falling out.

      I don't know how to categorize Illyria, but Spike cares for her for sure. Not counting the IDW comics, but he did seem good with Gunn, Lorne and the crew. Passively, I can see him making for short term friendships.

      Spike is just too fearful in making long term active friendships. I don't know if he even knows how. That is one thing I have always wanted to see and I hope we'll get to see it soon.


      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by MikeB View Post
        He isn’t. Even as William, in “Fool For Love” (5.07) we see that he went to a party and had no problem going into a group of people and socializing with them. And as a vampire, we see that he’s easily able to make friends (like in “Halloween” (2.06)). He’s naturally extroverted.
        I agree that Spike does want friendships but what you describe doesn't make him an extrovert.

        As your lists illustrates, over the course of the complete 'story' Spike has felt emotionally for very few people. An extrovert is typically friendly and outgoing and thrives off interacting with plenty of people. Spike doesn't behave like that. Having minions doesn't make Spike extroverted, being able to be around a group of people doesn't make you extroverted. Spike doesn't want to connect with many people, he doesn't seek company with a large/varied group but he does care about some people very deeply. Introverts aren't hermits they just don't want to be surrounded by people all the time and tend to be introspective enjoying books more than a group conversation and don't tend to enjoy small talk, pointless socialising. Introverts can enjoy a party too though. In actual fact most people are truly ambiverts but in the main, Spike appears more of an introvert than an extrovert to me.

        Spike, I don't believe, would actively choose a friendship with many of the people he knows and want to invest time with them. He isn't shown to seek an active social life to be happy. In S9's mini...
        Spoiler:
        he is obviously considering what makes 'home' and the connections he has. I expect him to choose to settle and not be a wanderer any more so he will probably develop a social group and be more involved in the lives of the group of people in his sphere (taking himself off the periphery).
        But I believe it would take Spike a while of being settled somewhere to develop genuinely deep friendships and that may only be with a small number of people. I just can't see him actively wanting a varied social life to feel energised by the company of others. He is far more likely to be involved in a group of people, have deep friendships with 2 or 3 people and still actively want time to himself, to read etc. Needing to retain his own space. As I said, more introverted than extroverted.

        * I consider Spike’s distance from people and his relative distance from the Scoobies, and part of the reason why he’s distant to Buffy is that he is immortal and they aren’t. This goes back to him in “Lovers Walk” (3.08) saying, “I’m nothing without [Dru].” Spike is immortal and can live forever. There’s only so much he can connect to a human with and there’s only so long that that friendship can last with a mortal.
        It is an interesting point and is probably one of the reasons why Spike retains a loyalty and familial bond with Angel (and I believe he would feel the same with Dru too). It will be really interesting to see if this aspect comes up with the current considerations he is going through in S9.

        EDIT: I agree Tenny that passively Spike would accept a larger group in his life and actively engage with a smaller number. I see what you mean about Spike guarding his feelings but I think that is why he only seeks deep connections with a few to be happy. I can't see him suddenly thriving from a large social circle and wanting little time to himself even if he did become more socially confident.

        Where did you get the idea Spike and Clem had fallen out?
        Last edited by Stoney; 26-09-12, 08:59 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by MikeB View Post
          He isn’t. Even as William, in “Fool For Love” (5.07) we see that he went to a party and had no problem going into a group of people and socializing with them. And as a vampire, we see that he’s easily able to make friends (like in “Halloween” (2.06)). He’s naturally extroverted.
          I don't agree with this. Just because someone goes to a party and can socialise doesn't make them an extrovert.

          I definitely see Spike as an Introvert. He prefers to keep the number around him small. He never lived in a big nest or managed a group of vampires (except when he was trying to do/get something that he needed their help with). He can socialise with a large group and it's not difficult for him but it's not his preferred place to be. Even more so after he got his soul (although I haven't read the comics so don't know if that changed).

          I actually don't think he really chooses friends. Even before becoming a vampire he was very solitary. In staying with Dru he got Angel and Darla in his family. In wanting to be close to Buffy he got the rest of the scoobies. Even his affection for Dawn I see as all being about Buffy.

          I think he prefers his own company or the company of a girl he loves and while he is comfortable with her friends around him, he doesn't let them in enough to ever be 'his friends'.

          Comment


          • #6
            I think introversion and extroversion are not as straightforward as people make out. In actuality it can be argued if there either of the two are a permenant personality trait. Introversion and extroversion are more commonly 'states' than anything else, so it makes sense that people will never fully fit into one category or another.

            To me at least Spike is no different. In fact to disagree with most of the people on this thread if anything, I'd put him more on the extroverted side of the scale.

            The reason being is because extroversion isn't simply about how many friends you have, it's where one directs their energies. Spike doesn't seem to want to spend time alone or if he does, it's normally because he has no one with whom to talk.

            Regardless of him not having many friends, I wouldn't place Spike in the introversion camp. Despite his snark, he seems more energized by people than not. He even quips that Angel is one for company which would sound strange coming from a expressed introvert.

            Now I'm sure many will come up with examples where Spike has shown introverted behaviour, but that's not really the point I'm making. First and foremost, it isn't always easy to label people so readily. Number 2, I'm not simply looking at the amount of friends he has, I'm looking at how he interacts with others, especially people he has just met.

            To be honest, I don't truly know how to label Spike or even if I'd feel comfortable doing so. The reason I don't place in the introversion camp is because he doesn't seem to be drained by being around people nor does he appear energized by being alone. Despite his snark, he seems generally energized around people, even if that number of people is relatively small. Also Spike's situation is difficult to judge most of time he's a soulless vampire who has spent most of his time killing humans rather than socializing with them. Like all vampires he may have complicated relationship with them on top of the simple extroversion and introversion scale.

            Also Spike more or less says he likes to experience the world 'throw himself in' rather than reflect upon it or himself (sources from episodes Damage, LMPTM respectively) which is typically extroverted behaviour, but always it's never that simple.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hmmm, I see your point. An extrovert doesn't require a large group to be energised by their connection to other people and Spike does desire deep connections with people, just not many of them. It is not unusual to see him taking time to himself though in the show (S6 and S7 particularly), watching Passions, reading when Buffy arrives at the crypt. A stereotypical extrovert would be bored beyond belief spending time doing that and it really is shown as a behaviour of his not to seek company for the sake of it I think but to enjoy time on his own like this. Perhaps Spike is the perfect example of the ambivert, as long as it is all on his own terms.

              Comment


              • #8
                To start, Spike in “School Hard” (2.03) mentions something about Angel preferring to be alone or whatever. Angel didn’t hit Spike back with such a statement. Spike in BtVS S2 said that he had friends and Angel never disputes this.

                Chipped Spike hanged out with demons and had was in poker games and such. Plus, he was at the Bronze a lot.

                And we haven’t seen most of Spike’s history but the flashbacks have him being shown being at parties: 1880, 1950s, etc.



                Tennyoelf

                Though Xander hates him and the feelings is mutual,
                This isn’t true after sometime after BtVS 7.08.

                Spike is just too fearful in making long term active friendships.
                Well, he was BFFs with Angel for at least 18 years.



                Stoney

                My quote: He isn’t. Even as William, in “Fool For Love” (5.07) we see that he went to a party and had no problem going into a group of people and socializing with them. And as a vampire, we see that he’s easily able to make friends (like in “Halloween” (2.06)). He’s naturally extroverted.

                I agree that Spike does want friendships but what you describe doesn't make him an extrovert.
                I guess it depends on how one defines “extrovert” vs. “gregarious”. And extrovert is simply an outgoing person which means the person is sociable and self-confident. That describes William Pratt.

                And introvert is a shy person who tends not to socialize much. William Pratt wasn’t shy and it seems he was a regular on the social scene. And not wanting his poetry read is not being shy.

                As your lists illustrates, over the course of the complete 'story' Spike has felt emotionally for very few people. An extrovert is typically friendly and outgoing and thrives off interacting with plenty of people.
                What you’re describing is someone who’s gregarious.

                And you don’t mention that in BtVS S4 to BtVS S6 that’s he’s a fixture in the Sunnydale Underworld. Not caring about more than a few people doesn’t make one an introvert. If that were true then everyone in Gossip Girl would be considered an introvert.


                * With the BtVS S9 Spike miniseries you’re merely speculating so I won’t address that stuff.

                ________________________________________________

                It is not unusual to see him taking time to himself though in the show (S6 and S7 particularly), watching Passions, reading when Buffy arrives at the crypt. A stereotypical extrovert would be bored beyond belief spending time doing that and it really is shown as a behaviour of his not to seek company for the sake of it I think but to enjoy time on his own like this.
                Watching a TV show and reading doesn’t make someone an introvert. And an extrovert doesn’t need to “seek company for the sake of it”. I’m not even sure what you meant by that phrase. It’s not as if an extrovert needs to constantly be around people and can’t stay in and enjoy watching their favorite TV show or enjoy reading a good book.



                Nikki

                I definitely see Spike as an Introvert. He prefers to keep the number around him small.
                He was with the Fanged Four, in BtVS S2 he had a group of vampires, in BtVS S4-BtVS S7 he was with the Scoobies, in the IDW stuff he was with a bunch of people, and with the bugs he’s with a bunch of people.

                He never lived in a big nest or managed a group of vampires (except when he was trying to do/get something that he needed their help with).
                Spike never needed to live in a big nest. That’s for weak vampires. Again, Spike was with the Fanged Four.

                He can socialise with a large group and it's not difficult for him but it's not his preferred place to be.
                According to what? Again, he was a fixture in the Sunnydale Underground.

                Even more so after he got his soul
                We don’t know what he was doing the 3.5 – 7 months from “Grave” (6.22) to “Lessons” (7.01). When he was back in Sunnydale, he was in the basement of Sunnydale High School or having to keep himself away from the Potentials. When he was at Xander’s we find out he was going out every day and picking up women (as well as killing them).

                I actually don't think he really chooses friends. Even before becoming a vampire he was very solitary. In staying with Dru he got Angel and Darla in his family. In wanting to be close to Buffy he got the rest of the scoobies. Even his affection for Dawn I see as all being about Buffy.
                We don’t know much of William Pratt’s life but it seems very unlikely that he was solitary. As for choosing friends, he chose Clem. And, again, we don’t know much about Spike’s history.

                I think he prefers his own company or the company of a girl he loves and while he is comfortable with her friends around him, he doesn't let them in enough to ever be 'his friends'.
                I consider this goes with his being immortal. Although, depending on what’s canon or not, he’s not currently hanging out with Illyria. But “Bargaining” (6.01 – 6.02) seems to show that he could be good friends with the Scoobies if the Willow group hadn’t kept their resurrection spell plans from him and if Giles hadn’t left.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Well as I said when the discussion progressed, Spike seems in fact to be a good example of an ambivert as he does display characteristics of both.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have no idea for the comics (my source is the spoilers provided by you all as I do not read them), I always wanted to see more development of a possible relationship between Willow and Spike from Season 4 (yes I know that scene was played as a joke and implied much emasculation).
                    325 posts to go til signature

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