When your group changes shape, it’s only natural to feel a bit off kilter. Groups are central to our lives. We have our family groups, our work groups, and our friend groups. We may even have acquaintance groups or groups that we keep secret from most of the people in our lives.
And because groups are so central, it can hurt when they change. Acknowledge this. Take it all in. Feeling the change is the first step to overcoming the change.
Also realize that just because a group changes, it doesn’t mean that the change is for the worse. This is a natural human reaction, to think that change is automatically bad. We are naturally suspicious of change.
It probably has something to do with how we evolved. When there was a change on the horizon, our ancestors had to be on guard to see if the change was a dangerous one or a friendly one. Change isn’t automatically bad, although our brains skew towards that.
Once you’ve acknowledged how you feel, it’s time to see what your role in the group is. We all play roles, whether we want to admit it or not. Your role may be leader in one group and follower in another. It’s neither good nor bad. Our roles just are what they are.
Does your role need to change to meet the needs of the altered group? Do you need to step back? Or step up? Only you can determine that. Use the clues of the new group to determine what to do. How are others responding? What is most needed at this juncture?
Ask yourself as many questions as you can. Questions are one of the most effective ways that we learn about the world. You don’t even necessarily need to have an answer to benefit from asking a question. Just try it.