That Support Group Could Actually Be Bad For You!

I’ve noticed a pretty large increase in the number of support groups. These may have been previously existing, such as networking groups that are offering support, or they’re newly created ones in response to the global pandemic. Whichever the case, there’s a lot of support out there, which is fantastic! I highly encourage you to have support, especially during times where we are in isolation; to have that mental and emotional support, that connection, as much as we can.

But, I have to throw up a red flag, caution tape, red blinking lights, a few warning signs at you before you fully commit to any type of group!

First of all, try it out. Test out a few because no one is created equally – either because of the purpose it’s serving, it’s mission, the personality of the facilitator, or the peers in that group. Try at least two different support groups before making a commitment.

But the really, really big caution I have for you, the question that you should be asking is, 

“How do I feel at the end of one of our group meetings?”

Support groups are a great way for people to share similar experiences; to come together, have some comradery, to not feel alone in their emotions, in their feelings. But that should be just one aspect. If you are leaving a group’s meeting and all you’re thinking about is, “Oh, thank goodness I’m not alone. Oh, I’m so glad that John went through that same experience.” If that’s all that you are leaving with, there is a huge miss, and that is a group that I would encourage you not to continue with. Because again, while we want to feel like other people get me, we can’t stay in that place. That, leaving that meeting with that feeling, is just supporting and advocating for us to stay there. You want to be able to move to the next place.  

So if you’re leaving the right kind of support group, it’s not just about, “Oh, they get me,” it’s “Oh, I have an idea! Somebody shared a tip. Somebody shared how they came out of this.”

You’re leaving that meeting with hope, you’re leaving with optimism, you’re leaving with a feeling of, “I can get out of this!”

So find that support group that isn’t just about, “Hey, everybody gets me,” but instead is also about where are you moving forward.  

What are you finding in support groups? Are you finding ones that are offering this next step, or does it seem to all be just, let’s come together and have a big pity party? What has your experience been?

Comment below, I would love to hear from you and offer you support as well. 

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