Part seven of the A-Z series. G is for Group.
When deciding what the “G” topic of this series should be several words came to mind. Grace, gratitude, generosity, gentility, game-changer, giggle… on and on but group won out. Why?
A group is a support system or the people that are most commonly interacted with on a daily basis. They are a very important part of life. Who is your group? Are they energy givers? Do you feel when interacting with them refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to take on that which the world offers you?
Are they energy suckers? Do you feel drained, agitated and drowning in a pool of drama after interacting with them? What are the goals of the people in your close group of family and friends? Do they have meaningful, positive, self empowering goals? Are there goals primarily self-destructive and counter productive to your vision of life? Or are they merely floating in time and space looking for an anchor? Are you that anchor?
One of those general “they” sayings is that “they” say who you hang out with matters. There is some truth to that. Many times people try to hang on to groups that no longer fit them the way one might hang on to a favorite pair of jeans. The problems come when the jeans become constrictive because they longer fit or become worn and tattered and can no longer be held together. Groups can be the same way. For either it is best to accept that its natural to grow out of them,these things happen.
Is it time to find a new group? It may be. If your goals on a basic level different from the group you have been hanging out with, or if it is increasingly more difficult to find activities you have in common it may be time to find a group more in alignment with your current goals and interests.
How do you know what group is the right one? Going back to the jean analogy you must try a few on for size. Some may feel strange at first but then you can break them in a bit. The way to know it is the right fit is that for the most part you feel better hanging out with the group. You feel accepted for who you are and don’t have to do too much accommodating to others to get along with them as well.
Anytime a group of people get together there will be conflicts at some point. How does the group handle such conflicts? Do they tear each other down? Or do they work through it in a loving and supportive way? Those groups that continue to be loving and supportive of you no matter what is the type of group to hang out with.
Determine healthy boundaries based on why you are hanging out with the group. It is possible to have different groups to meet different needs. One based mostly on business interests, one on parenting, one for sports or hobbies, one you can have deep talks with for example. Sometimes you are lucky to find a group that meets many needs and that is fantastic as long as your needs are met is what counts.
So who is your group? What holds you together? Does that purpose still fit your vision and goals for your life? Or has the situation become too destructive and constrictive? Hopefully you can find a group that fits you and ultimately enhances your enjoyment of life.