Love this idea! I would really love to do, or take part in something just like this. .......I know quite a few women, but it seems like they just can't all get along together. How can I implement this idea without the drama or conflict?
This is a great question, Pippi, and it really made me think: WHEN is this sort of thing going to work? Well….. I guess it works when the group of women have SOMETHING in common. Something that is "important to them". For our first group -- the women all live in the same general neighborhood. So -- they have THAT in common. In our neighborhood -- there is quite a bit of crime! (Luckily - usually NOT violent crime!) Crime of breaking into cars and staling stuff. (The TV show "Sixty Minutes" -- just had a report where you can buy a garget for about $25 -- that will unlock any car that is "locked electronically". You know - you "push a button & the car locks"). There is frequently some breaking into homes -- more usually, though, it is people getting into homes through an unlocked door. (Someone is out front, working on the yard - and someone slips into the house & steals stuff). So ---- people are VERY interested in getting to know their neighbors and keep "up to date" on what kind of crime is going on, how often, etc. (Kind of sad, now that I think of it --- but "the economy IS really bad. There was MUCH less crime -- decades ago -- when people could find "full time jobs" easily).
The second group -- is "older men and women" -- who formed a group in church -- for people who wanted to have "interesting lives" - although they were old. And - it is easy to be "interesting" -- if you are loaded with money for travel and cruises and like that. But this group is very interested in having a great life on not so much money! So -- this "pretty intense interest" -- made everyone "very open" to friendships and socializing/having parties -- with similar people.
In other words -- the "common benefit" of getting together, through some "shared interest" -- makes it work.
Are you saying -- that you have a bunch of assorted people -- and you get along with each one of them (separately) -- but when you get them all together -- that they do not "get along" - with each other? That they spin "drama and conflict" together?
Well -- there is some "payoff" -- for having drama (and conflict) in your life. It keeps things exciting. And the people involved with "the drama and the conflict" -- might have very interesting lives on their own -- and "not need" a group. But -- when THERE IS -- some real need - that is common to all the people in the group -- there is a much "bigger payoff" -- in having the group "work well".
In other words -- I am not going to be "picky and critical" -- about any neighbor -- who is telling me important information - that can help keep me and my family safe. (And "crime news" is not the only kind of information that can be important and helpful from neighbors!)
Or -- when I am with the group of older people (like me) -- who don't have much money -- but WANT to "pool resources" and have parties with food and drink and interesting conversation -- I am going to naturally "look for the good things about those people -- so that can keep me (and them) happy and keep the parties going"!
I am not going to focus on their annoying qualities -- if they are loaning me a fascinating novel to read - in exchange for one of my favorite books for them to read. And then - we get together and talk about what we like/don't like/don't understand/whatever - about the books. ANYbODY can be annoying to us! But I don't WANT to be annoyed! I WANT to have fun, and be happy!!!! So I just don't let any "minor annoyances" get in the way of that!
In other words -- if I were on an expensive vacation cruise with some of the people from one of the groups -- sitting at the same table -- I might be annoyed with them -- because I was spending a lot of money and I thought "everything" should be fabulous, for what I was paying. But THAT is not my situation.
On the other hand -- if this is THE BEST group of people -- that I can find where I live -- basically "for free" -- then - they ARE the best that I am going to get! And these people WANT to have a good time with the group -- just like I do!!!! So -- we all do our best -- to make that happen!!!!
If you tell us more about these people, Pippi -- maybe I and others in our MHH Family - will have more ideas!