Friday, September 29, 2006

Friday Five: Group Therapy

The RevGalBlogPals' Friday Five:

Tell us about any group(s) you currently belong to. (e.g. book club, knitting circle, walking buddies, etc.)
My friend and I are in the process of creating a kind of every-other-month potluck/barbecue/theme party group with other women in the general mid-Michigan area. We've already had a couple of meetups, and are planning a "harvest" party for sometime in the coming month. Other than that...I'm an introvert; not much of a joiner. My pre-party planning for socially enforced get-togethers tends to resemble the scene in All That Jazz where Roy Scheider is looking in the mirror, putting on a game face and proclaiming, "It's showtime!"

Do you feel energized or drained by being in a group situation? If the answer is "it depends," on what does it depend?
I am sometimes energized; very often drained. The less I have in common with others in the group and the more I have to do the heavy lifting in conversations, the more drained I feel.

Is there a role you naturally find yourself playing in group situations? That is, do you naturally fall into the leader role, or the one who always makes sure the new person feels welcome, or the quiet one who sits back and lets others shine, or the host?
Oh, I'm definitely the helper. I'm the one refilling trays in the kitchen, or showing people around. If you're not a natural "groupie" these things give you something useful to do so you don't sit around thinking, "What am I going to say next?" or sitting in a corner spacing out. Give me a job to do.

Handshakes vs. hugs: discuss.
I don't care to hug people I don't know. I'm not a fan of fake familiarity. So if I do hug you spontaneously, know that it actually means something.

Ice breakers: a playful way to build community in a lighthearted manner, or a complete and utter hell of forced fun and awkwardness?
That definitely depends on the group. I'd put any work-related-shindig icebreakers in the latter category. I've enjoyed retreat-connected icebreakers, though.

Bonus: If you answered "playful and lighthearted," share your favorite ice breaker.
I once went to a retreat where each of us had a piece of paper taped to our backs with the name of an historical or current-events figure on it. We didn't know who we were. We had to go around and ask for clues from the other retreatants, and vice versa. I know...icebreakers for geeks. Say -- want me to go in the kitchen and refill the chip-and-dip trays for you?

1 comment:

Cathy said...

You and my husband are the same type - he wants a job to do in a group - like go to the kitchen and do something.
I love him so much - I just don't understand that part. It's good to know there are your types out there - otherwise the chips and dips would never get taken care of!