June 2, 2017 jasperdetaeye

Are you part of the right group of Friends?

In January 2017, I started a new life in Dublin. I established a new career. I established new living circumstances for myself. I basically established a new way of living for myself. I moved to Dublin not impulsively. This move was a well-considered new step in my life. I envisioned living in Dublin to be a valuable new step in my life. The main reason was that an explanatory lifestyle suits me. Exploring new cultures, new persons and new environments enriches me and makes me simply happy. Besides, I even so tried to escape old behavioral and relational rusty patterns gained in life

Momentarily, I enjoy living in Dublin. I love to find challenges and conquer them in my new job. The Irish culture amazes and brings things into perspective. It refines my paradigms regarding certain matters in life. The nature in Ireland is revitalizing my innate love for nature. Every bike ride or long run energize me by means of the exercise but even so more by means of the beautiful environment that surrounds me in Ireland. At last, I, even so, managed to escape old behavioral and relational patterns. This was confirmed this weekend by my reflection and feelings after a weekend back in the Netherlands.

Back Home

Last weekend, I was back home in the Netherlands and met up with several friends and family member. Being reunited with friend and family was a pleasant experience. Once reflecting on the different relations I have in the Netherlands, I considered myself a happy and lucky person. In the evening or afternoon, I was often cycling back home after a meet up with friend or family and a feeling of gratitude resonated with me.

This long weekend was satisfying but even so exhausting. Because of the fact I am not often in the Netherlands, entire days were crammed full with appointments. The results were short nights and a considerable mental load. An exhausted person often falls back into old patterns. As was for me the case, I noticed I felt back in old behavioral patterns.

Group versus Individual

I noticed that over the last months in Dublin, I have developed considerably personally. Nowadays, I clearly have certain values I live after. I have distinguished what does and what does not interest me. Logically, I spend my time preferable on the matters that interest me. Next, I prefer to be surrounded by positive and vivid persons who energize me. And, I prefer to 1v1 contact above large impersonal group contact. On a 1v1 contact, it is, even so, easier to act according to your personal identity. As soon as you are part of a bigger group the group identity dominates the personal identities.

It’s a true art to even so to be able to express your personal identity to a satisfying level in a group. Mostly, the group identity is even so established by means of a well-considered combination of personal identities. However, this does not have to be the case always. When certain individuals in a group have a dominant personal identity and the frequency of contact of group members vary considerably, it could result in the omission of somebodies personal identity in the group identity as a whole.

Reflect on Your Groups

We all have limited time to spend with friends. As humans, we have an innate desire to have contact. Hence, we have to maintain contact. However, we don’t want to have merely superficial contact. We, even so, want profound and genuine contact. Hence, we have to allocate our time wisely to have a balance between basic contact and profoundness of contact. There’s no ideal balance. This depends on the person.

A valuable exercise to support the allocation of your time to groups is to ask yourself:

  • To which extent does this group identity resemble my personal identity?

Or in a more concrete phrasing:

  • If I had only one day to life and all personal social groups organize an event, which event should I attend?

Volatility of Groups

During the tenure of our lives, experiences, people and jobs come and go. Regarding these matters, we cannot expect constancy. We can consider ourselves fortunate that we don’t have to live by the same people, jobs, and experiences for our entire lives. It would become boring to know how your life is going to look like in 10, 20, 30 years, don’t you think?

Groups are even so volatile entities in life. Groups are established often at a young age. Every individual develops personally. You begin to gain other interest. You start meeting new people. And you explore new countries, sports, and jobs. Especially during the early years of life, you develop considerably Hence, the group composition and even existence will inevitably differ over time.

Abandon Groups

I have heard from a certain individual that he abandoned a certain group because he was not able to identify with the group anymore. And he, even so, claimed group activities were energy drainers instead of energy creators. Mostly, persons who make such decisions have an active coping and are courageous to act instantaneously on their feeling. However, a question can be raised. Can we consider this as a well considered or an impulsive decision-making process? How to deal with old personal groups where you can’t identify with anymore?

Personally, I, even so, had the feeling I didn’t match anymore with a particular group and I was about to follow the example of the earlier mentioned individual. However, luckily, I did not follow up the example and I learned a huge lesson from this.

Evolving Groups

The lesson learned regards that perceived group experience are even so completely volatile. There are simply moments you feel completely in sync with a group. However, there will also be moments you obtain the feeling that you have to conform too much to be part of the group. The internal contact diversity in groups is even so completely volatile. The people you interact with predominantly in a group differ over time. Before you know it that one person you nearly interacted with becomes your best man on your wedding.

It’s unique and variable to possess solid group friendships. Mostly, you have invested over 10 years in those relations. And believe me, they understand your values and lifestyle better than they are able to express. I think you should never abandon groups permanently. Maybe, certain members of the group will become your most inner- and well-trusted friend in the near future, when things have evolved.

 

 

 

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