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Thread: Doin' Everything in One Big GROUP!

  1. #1
    heart on fire Array
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Default Doin' Everything in One Big GROUP!

    I have in-laws.

    There are many things I do not understand about the in-laws.

    One thing is that they feel an absolute NEED to do everthing in one big group.

    For instance, one of them is very down and weak right now and in the hospital.

    So over the weekend, those who live near gathered at one of their houses. Instead of organizing visits all twelve of them marched on the hospital at one time and visited the sick person as a group in the room. Stayed two hours and left and all went out to eat and then all went back to the person's house.

    One of them told me that the patient being visited was overwhelmed and said very little. I am surprised the hospital didn't say something but apparently they didn't.

    This happened one time when we visited one of them who had just had major surgery. We flew in, went to our hotel room, changed clothes and then went to the hospital. Made the mistake of calling one of the other people first. They dropped everything they were doing to race to the hospital so we could all be a BIG group visiting a person in the after surgery care ward! Of course the person then too got overwhelmed and tired.

    Because when they do things in a group, no one can visit one on one, everyone speaks at once, they tell the same repetitive storys as a group and people start shouting over each other to be heard and it is a like whoever can shout over the next person loudest dominates the conversation and generally that's the same two people and other people end up just listening.

    Everything is done like this. In order to even get a private visit with one or two of them to have a more get to know you conversation you have to do it incognitio because if the others find out you're coming, they'll break their legs to get there and make another group situation. If they find out later about any one on one visits they get HURT and OFFENDED.

    This is totally foriegn to me!

    In my family we do things some times as group and sometimes one on one. So we see the different sides of the people, their group persona, their cozy get together persona and then their one on one persona. But with husband's family it always, always has to be the group.

    So share similar stories or explain the behavior to me.

    EDIT: This is not a Fe/Fi thing. They run the gamut personality type, some TJ, FJ, FP. Only my husband, my niece-in-law and myself have ever expressed any negative opinion about the group thing. Everyone else loves it and they love to express loud joy over how they do everything in a group, they have slogan like sayings and they often do refer themselves as "we" or "us" like they are a borg.

  2. #2
    Protocol Droid Array Athenian200's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007


    It's probably a family tradition that's been passed down. They saw their parents do things in groups, and grew up doing everything in a group, so that's what they're accustomed to.

  3. #3
    heart on fire Array
    Join Date
    May 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    It's probably a family tradition that's been passed down. They saw their parents do things in groups, and grew up doing everything in a group, so that's what they're accustomed to.
    FOlks please don't cut and paste this part, I'll likely delete it. Just putting out here for a brief discussion:

    They were isolated from both parent's families (complicated). And the parents grew emotionally estranged, had bitter years and then divorced. This is something the children started doing as teens and adults.

    It drove wedges between spouses because the siblings were so tied to each other's hips during their weekends and vacations and such. It's already caused marriage friction between one of their children and the child's spouse because the child was so tied to her mother, she couldn't even set her birthday aside for a romantic dinner alone with spouse.

    My husband and myself theorize it is a way to avoid more emotional intimacy but of course I'd like to hear other theories or I wouldn't have posted. Thanks for your replying.

  4. #4
    Free-Rangin' Librarian Array Jae Rae's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007


    Three ideas:

    Fear of missing something

    Fear of feeling left out

    Fear of being talked about
    Proud Female Rider in Maverick's Bike Club.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array Hirsch63's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007


    The family of my Ex shares many of these traits....I could not understand them either....hence the "Ex".....
    Patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings...Steal a little and they throw you in jail, steal a lot and they make you a king

  6. #6


    Well, I think you're right on about the fear of emotional intimacy. It's something that my father likes to do with his siblings, who he had a falling out with many years ago. Now he's starting to extend himself to them a bit, but he's only willing to do it as a part of a large group or party. I don't think he could really handle speaking with any of them one-on-one, because a conversation about the past would be most likely to happen then.

    If you'd like other theories too, it also sounds like the kids developed a "we're in this thing together" sort of attitude during their parents' divorce. As a group, they could sort of diffuse the stressful emotional aspects of the divorce amongst themselves, and provide strength to one another. Now, many years later, when they should have developed their independence and a more healthy distance from one another, they're still using that group dynamic as a crutch. In this case, it wouldn't be avoidance of emotional intimacy per se. Rather, they have allowed themselves to grow to rely on one another during times of stress and excitement, like when people are in the hospital, or during vacations.

    That's about all I can think of

  7. #7
    half mystic, half skeksis Array jenocyde's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009


    I prefer to do things in groups as the conversation is lighter and easier. When I was in the hospital and I got solo visits, it always made me feel like I had to be clever or interesting or entertaining when all I wanted was to chill out. I like to kick back and hear everyone's banter and join in when I feel like it. And there are a whole host of family members who I have vowed to never be alone with again. My family can just get under my skin sometimes, but I don't want to write them off completely. So seeing them as a group takes the pressure off.

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