Saturday, March 16, 2013

Group friendships....worth it?


New Year, new blog....ok, granted it's March and the New Year was two whole months ago. The blog still lives though I feel our posts are kinda of like a spotted owl sightings. We were inspired to write as we spent the past weekend up at Deep Creek Lake, MD with a group of women who have known each other for sixteen years. They met in college and through the years have created a cohesive group that have been able to survive the superficial petty things that sometimes end relationships and have managed to forge a tight true bond of sisterhood.

So how did they do it? Is there a secret formula only available by years of meditation and training in the mountains of Tibet? Hmm..I don't think so. From my observations, this weekend I would say that the reason that this group has survived while other groups of friends fall apart is that appear to genuinely like each other and make an effort to be present for each other. They were very open with each other about personal issues that they are facing. this group of trust strengthening itself from the inside each time a person opens up and reveals a part of themselves. Like most groups of friends there are stronger players who are the "hubs" of the groups, the people that other members of the group go to first for support. The Carrie Bradshaws of the groups if you will. Without those key members, it is next to impossible for a group to survive even if there is  love there.
The other part of me kind of feels that I'm not a large group person. I like my loosely interconnected groups of friends whose only connection is me. It allows me to pick and chose depending on my mood and activity....specialization in friends if you will.  Large groups can be draining and takes a lot of effort. And for me personally, I like taking the easy route.


Is is true, are we really back writing?  Yep, inspired by a girls getaway weekend, Jenn and I rekindled our co-dependency, within a larger group and made us remember that we still are passionate about a few things in life: us. and other women's relationships (not necessarily in that order of course). Don't get me wrong, I'm mostly a glass half full kinda girl, but when it comes to large group long term dynamics of women, I'm often skeptical...does it really work?  Can you really be a "best friend group", or even a "good friend group?".  This past weekend tested my theories.

16 years of friendship, started by a "thrown together" group of a sorority (which Jenn and I also belong so definitely no knock on sisterhoods); various personalities, but the common theme is that not only did they respect each other, from all appearances (which I think cooped in a house together without cable or other distractions allows you to see the "real" nature of others), seemed to enjoy each others company. This was the first time I had placed myself in an environment of being the "guest", and I enjoyed their company too.   It was apparent that there are sub-groups of larger group, but definitely doesn't enter the realm of falling into dangerous cliques.  What can I say, sometimes the magic just is there and works.

Other times though it just doesn't; and I think that's OK too.  On the Myers Brigg spectrum of a whole lot of letters, mine always begins with an E...supposedly that's for extroverts.  I am supposed to draw my energy from others and enjoy the social nature of it all...truth be told, it drains me too.  Maybe its because I have yet to find that group that is totally OK with who I am, and I when I don't feel like being Mary-Sunshine, no judgement is passed?

1 comment:

  1. Its hard to make "real" friends as we get older. Company and companionship is favored more. matchmakers I think we keep our guard up as age comes on. With me that is true to a point.