It is no secret that many changes occur during adolescence. Group relationships are one of the fields of experience of these changes. Indeed, social relationships cannot be said to remain the same between middle school and high school, high school and college, or the working world. For those of us who adapt to our new environment without difficulty, group relationships can be a source of great joy and social fulfillment. So why can’t some people form relationships that give them the same sense of fulfillment? Why do some people who are perfectly integrated into their group sometimes feel alienated from that same group? Why does the idea of a social link, in some cases, even tend to make us run away?
It is in this perspective that we will reflect together on the place of the individual within the group. The individual is you. The group is a strange, undefinable mass, which, despite the fact that it is often made up of familiar faces, can quickly become disturbing and even a little anonymous.
Who are we, when we are in a group? Am I the same person I was in my two-person relationship? Am I the same person as when I am alone? Am I more shy or introverted than I usually am or, on the contrary, does the group stimulate me?
In psychology, there is an interpretation that consists in considering the personality as introverted or extroverted. To be introverted would imply to have a type of energy which finds its source in solitude: the introverts regenerate themselves in solitary activities and spend this accumulated energy in their contact with the others. For extroverts, it is the opposite: they draw their energy from others, from group relationships, and it is in solitude that their energy level goes down. Obviously, personality is not generally dichotomous: we can be more extroverted at certain times of life and more introverted at others.
Nevertheless, one thing is sure, we all experience solitude and group relationships at one time or another.
So how do we deal with social relationships when they involve a significant energy cost? In the same way, how to find one’s place as an individual when these same group relationships seem to us indispensable, necessary?
The quest for solitude and the search for companionship are the two plates of an essential balance in human existence: on the one hand, we have a secret garden to cultivate whose flowers make our inner life bloom like so many delicate petals that are our imagination, our emotions, our sensations, our spirituality and our creativity. On the other hand, when we evolve in society, we deploy resources of openness, adaptation and curiosity, which contribute to our happiness by superimposing themselves on our inner vibration. In the long term, it is therefore difficult to imagine being completely satisfied by our social relationships if they do not include their counterpart, solitude. This is why it is interesting to know how to tame one’s solitude in order to better enjoy group relationships.
- SHARING TIME: life is long enough to allow for moments with others and moments for oneself. It is necessary to find a balance between work and leisure, for example, that leaves time for both, in the proportions that suit the person we are.
- ELECT MOMENTS: if the moments we spend alone are of poor quality, we will tend to rely on others to try to spend good moments, which is risky since it is very susceptible to variations. Conversely, if we have bad group experiences, we may react by retreating into solitude. What if it’s a question of investment? Perhaps we are not with the right people, perhaps the activities we share are not fulfilling for us. In the same way, perhaps we have never asked ourselves what interests us personally, what areas we would like to discover.
- INVESTIGATE YOUR MOMENTS: you’re with your friends, but you’re thinking about the series you could have finished at home in peace? Are you warm in bed, but lamenting the outing you could have chosen instead? This is unnecessary torture. What you have chosen is an opportunity to be happy that you are giving yourself in the present. So whatever might have happened instead is fantasy. Something is happening to you right now, and it’s up to you to embrace the opportunities that each moment brings, whether you choose to embark with a crew or sail solo.