Breaking Away From the Group: Ask Noah
The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Q: At 30, I'm still very friendly with a group of my best high school and college buddies. I've literally collected these guys over time and we've remained a tight group. I'm sort of like their leader. We're all 30 and still all unabashedly single. I like these guys tremendously, but lately I've been feeling very tired of the whole gig. I'm recognizing just how small I've been playing things, personally and professionally. I just feel really stuck in this mire, but don't want let anyone down.
A: Human beings are social beings and we need to form meaningful relationships in order to feel significant. In a perfect world, a long established group of friends would satisfy the social needs of its individual members.
Like Lions, human beings are literally "pack animals" and our packs keep us from being isolated, helping define ourselves, and place in society.Among a "pack," there usually exists a hierarchy/system of power. Your male pack, created in adolescence, was comprised of 15- to 20-year old boys, each playing out very specific roles. Sounds to me you're getting very tired of playing out the same role a good 15 years later. I don't sense that you are bored. I think you are angry. You are sick of this particular boyhood "group thought," and would really like to start being more of an individual man. This does not mean that you should suddenly disassociate with what is essentially your extended family. You just need to begin examining these relationships and ways they may be limiting your own evolution. This is about you. Long-standing, time-consuming friendships like yours color all aspects of identity. Now ask yourself these three questions: What is missing in your life? What do you want? What changes need to be made to your social life, in order to achieve this? Maybe adding new friends from different backgrounds either financially or culturally would benefit you. Associating with individuals who do not mirror ourselves allow us to change perspectives on the way we see the world.
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