You’re leaving us?

by whiteoxeye

All of us are part of a group, or two. Many a times we have to leave our group, it could be by choice, or otherwise. There are many factors that contributes to why we have to leave a certain group. It could be that the group does not benefit you anymore.

In the case of the recent episode of The Big Bang Theory, The Toast Derivation, Sheldon realizes that he is not the center of the group and decided to create a new group, where he thought he will be the focal point. The screen caps below shows the series of actions that Sheldon decided to take after his realization.

We can see that Sheldon left his group of friends, and created his own social group. However, he finds that they are essentially not the same type of people. These new “friends” do not care about giving in to him. While his old group of friends, despite the fact that they cannot stand Sheldon most of the time, gives in to Sheldon. This is when he realizes that he has to go back to his real friends. And while Sheldon was with his new “friends”, the rest of the group are talking about how they miss not having Sheldon around.

Another apt example would be the popular television series in the 1990s, F.R.I.E.N.D.S, in the episode, The One with the Kips, Ross had to stop seeing Rachel in order to salvage his marriage with Emily. However it is not as easy as it sounds, in order for this to happen, either Ross or Rachel had to leave the group. This is not a decision by choice, and in this tightly knitted group, it is a very hard decision to make.

Ross had to balance between his individual need and the group’s needs. For those who had not seen this episode, Ross and Rachel tried very hard to not be in the same room, and Ross decided that it was a stupid idea and confessed to Emily that Rachel was at dinner too.

Also, in every group there is always the possibility that someone new will join in. However, it would take some time for the new member to fit in with the rest of the group. This will happen when the new member starts to build a relationship with each of the other members. This can be depicted with Knapp’s model of relational development. It is also mostly focusing on the first phase, consisting of 5 stages of what Knapp calls the “coming together”.

Initiating being the cautious period, where you are self-concious and where all the filtering and screening of each other takes place, experimenting being the start of small talks, to try and know a little more about each other, and likewise, telling them little things about yourself, intensifying is where there is increased commitment, awareness and participation. Also this is where you start to be more comfortable around the group, integrating is the stage where you identify yourself with the group, forming a group identity and finally there is bonding where obligations and commitments are formalized.

In The Big Bang Theory (below), Penny was the new addition to the group.

As for F.R.I.E.N.D.S (below), Joey and Rachel were the new addition to the group.

So, have you joined and left any groups you were part of? If it boils down to the decision of leaving a group, would you make the same decisions as Sheldon and Ross? And if so, would you come back to the group after?

I guess such decisions are dependent on the situation, but it would be nice to have a group of friends like that of The Big Bang Theory and F.R.I.E.N.D.S.