When split into two parts, the word “group” offers this simple explanation of what it helps you to accomplish: “group.” In other words, being a part of a group offers a sense of belonging that encourages you to think positively about your life and your place in this world. Without joining any groups, you can be left to deal with issues that life presents without reaping the rewards of receiving support from others. And that is a scary thought.
However, relying solely on your acceptance into groups to boost your self-esteem can also result in disturbing outcomes. So while joining organizations can help you along your journey to reach your goals in life, neglecting to spend sufficient time on your own discovering your own sense of self-worth can be detrimental to personal growth. How do you know how much time to set aside for taking part in group activities compared with spending time alone? The answer can be summed up with just one word: balance.
Benefits of Belonging to a Group
Humans are social by nature, and part of that includes a deep desire to belong. When we “fit in” somewhere, we are often proud of this status, a response reflected by the popularity of fraternity and sorority apparel seen worn on college campuses across the country. Not only does being a member of a group help to validate your sense of belonging and acceptance, but it also provides you with people who might have experienced similar experiences to yours in life and can offer encouragement and advice. In terms of health benefits, countless studies have shown that there may be no stronger influence on self-growth than taking part in something that is bigger than yourself.
Group members that you meet with regularly and open up to about your personal experiences can help keep your actions in check. If you are suffering from depression, having friends to keep your positive thoughts flowing can even spell the difference between life and death. Because when you are a part of a group, it is normal to feel like you have a responsibility to keep showing up despite how lousy you may feel at times.
In addition, by listening to the knowledge of your fellow group members, you are certain to learn things about life that you did not know beforehand. On top of that, though, you are more likely to be accepting of viewpoints that differ from your own. And if you are trying to accomplish a task, there is nothing more beneficial than having extra hands and minds to call upon to help you do so.
Disadvantages of Relying on a Group Too Much
While the benefits of joining groups are numerous, there are dangers that come from not setting aside enough time to be alone. When you rely on others to help you make all of your decisions in life, you end up robbing yourself of the ability to generate your own independent thoughts.
Also, if the group that you belong to ends up taking part in activities that are immoral or illegal, you can feel pressured to join them. By doing so, you might end up paying a heavy price that could include your becoming a member of a group that is forced to live together in a place called prison.
Finding the Right Balance
Whether it is a sorority, fraternity, or a community organization, joining groups is a vital part of discovering your place in the world. However, spending ample time alone can be just as important. So make a plan to do both. Do not be afraid to share your life with others, but also never forget to stay true to yourself.