My ideal number of people is the fewer, the better.
Place me into a large group of people and I’ll slowly edge myself out of the group, until I’m on the outskirts. Chances are, once I’ve done this I will tune out entirely. Anecdote time: University tutorials tended to be around 15 or so people, and a lot of the time I’d freeze up when called upon.
Break this up though, put me into a group of three or four and I’ll probably contribute a handful of things. I do recall working like this in a number of classes: one class I had, had four people. Contributing was easy, made more so by the fact that the other girl was friendly and the two guys were non-intimidating. I find packs of people intimidating, there’s always more people around to judge you. Then again I haven’t been in a crowd of people since May, so I could be wrong. I do know how to play to people, being demure or funny or serious as the situation requires; I just don’t have much need of it right now.
However, I’m not always suited to being one of two people, because then I’ll just sit silently. Staring. Maybe at you, maybe at my book, maybe I’ll find my iPod deeply fascinating. Whichever way you dice it, this is the scenario that sees me running a long list of Clever Things to Say, but they’re the things that don’t get said. Actually, in this scenario I can be one of three ways: I could monopolize the conversation, I could hand it to you, or I could be an equal contributer.
Really, it all depends on my mood, the topic, and how I feel about the other people around me. These factors are the vital ones.