I recently went on a program for Passover where I had to be with/work with the same small group of people non-stop for 10 days straight. In any group that you are going to be inseparable with for more than a couple of days, the thought of making it to the end is nerve-wracking. So how do you make sure you can spend all that time with those people without wanting to pull out all your hair?
1. Make sure the group you are with is solid.
Granted, if you're not the one picking the group, it's hard to make sure it's a solid group, but you can also make sure you're only taking part if you know someone is putting care into making sure that the dynamic works. The worst nightmare would be arriving to discover that there was no thought put into the dynamic.
2. Come in with an open mind.
Don't expect that all the people in the group will be the type you would choose to be friends with in your normal life. These might not necessarily be your first choices, but they are who you have, so make sure you take the time to actually meet them instead of immediately writing anyone off. And hey, maybe some of them will surprise you and you’ll decide that type of person should be your first choice.
3. That being said, make sure you don't have preconceived notions.
Maybe there is someone you've heard rumors about from a friend or that person you met once for five seconds and didn't love. Either way, clean the slate. It's not worth it.
4. And all THAT being said, make sure you have a close friend with you.
You’re going to need someone who you can really trust to vent to and talk to about everything that's going on. Someone who you already have a strong relationship with, so worst case you can fall back on them for comfort.
5. In the first day or so, be ready to feel out the atmosphere...
If you have a big personality, awesome! But make sure you don’t go in expecting to be the tastemaker. Make sure you observe how everyone is fitting together and go off of that.
6. But don’t be someone you’re not.
Don't go into it trying so hard to fit in that you aren't being honest. People can feel that and it puts a strain on the environment. The end goal is to have people like us for us, not the person we think they want. People appreciate you being open and honest. No one likes someone fake.
7. Try not to be so guarded.
You’re spending so much time with these people, you gotta be willing to open up a little.
8. One on one bonding is keyIn order to make sure you are comfortable and the group energy is good, you have to connect with some if not a majority of the group members, individually. If everyone gets up to go to the bathroom and leaves you with one other person, don’t be afraid to delve into conversation with them. It would be awkward for the two of you to just sit there speechless and that way the next time it happens, you’re ready! Plus, it makes group interactions more pleasant when you know that you individually really like people.
9. Try not to stir the pot.
We're not in high school anymore. But even if you are still in high school, don't create drama. You have to be with these people. There will be no running away from it. Keep it mellow.
10. But also don't be a pushover.
If you take number nine too seriously and someone is straight up not treating you right, you could get into a bad situation. You might be trying to avoid drama, but could end up blowing up and making it even worse anyway. Stand up for yourself but don't overdo it.
11. Spread the love.
Don't spend all your time with one person. Sit next to different people at meals and make sure you change up who you individually chill with. You don't want to reach a point of being sick of anyone.
12. Don't forget to keep in mind with everything you do and say that you're stuck with these people.
Don't say or do anything you will regret tomorrow.
13. Most importantly, be prepared to make friends for life.
A bunch of days of straight bonding time brings you closer to people in a way normal friendships don't. It's pretty freaking awesome.