The Magic Power of Groups
The Magic Power of Groups
I always hesitate about participating in groups. I have a little bit of social anxiety going on when it comes to interactions with multiple people all at the same time. However, whenever I have the opportunity to do so, I don't regret the experience, the high, euphoric state that comes from interactions when hanging out with friends or a learning experience that's not replaceable. I get to see things from other people's perspectives and get validated on my own experiences. Groups can be amazing things!
The Euphoric Nature of Groups
A study was done in 2015 regarding the magic power of groups. The magic tends to differ depending on whether it consists of mixed genders or all one gender. What is it that makes groups so powerful and amazing? They found that when people get together, a collective emotional intelligence occurs. This helps to increase the cohesion in the group.
Translation: When you all start to feel like you are a part of something, you start acting like it. This tends to increase your ability to participate and function in the group setting. The more you are able to participate in a group, the better the group is going to function.
What Happens in Groups
Sometimes, you are able to make more progress in groups than with individual sessions (whether that is in coaching or individual counseling), because you get to see and connect with other people who are struggling with the same things that you are. You get accountability from your peers. You get to hear what works for others and get the experience of working with others.
Both extroverts and introverts can function well in groups. Extroverts tend to talk out their feelings and thoughts. Hearing the thoughts out loud helps extroverts to figure out what they are thinking. Group settings give extroverts an excellent opportunity to explore this gift. Group settings also tend to recharge extroverts. It's a win/win for them.
However, introverts can do well with groups as well, but it depends on what the group is. For example, for an introvert, small talk is agony, but deep, meaningful conversations are the bee's knees. In group discussions (groups such as anger management groups, anxiety groups, or groups where connections occur), the introvert is in his or her element. Introverts tend to take a while to process through things and may think about something before responding, which can lead to some interesting points in conversations.
Groups may NOT be for you
If you don't enjoy connecting with other people, you may not want to join any type of group. However, just because you are an introvert or an extrovert, should not be a reason to boycott a group. Both introverts and extroverts can do well in groups, but some need to find out where they fit in at first. Groups can be healing, but not all groups are meant for you. Find out a group that works for you and try it out. :-D
In Person versus Online
Groups are held both in person and online. You can find different online groups with a simple Google search. Both of the programs that we run include weekly groups. I love the camaraderie that groups provide. Groups can validate and provide accountability, but I believe that groups can provide a safe haven to heal.
Still Need Something Extra?
There are so many things that you can do to explore yourself and your anxiety. I have a lot of different resources that you can check out. However, if you need something a bit stronger, come schedule a talk to figure out what your next steps are going to be. Do you want change? If so, let's put some of that desire into creating real change.