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How can I find the right group to join?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

What do you like to do? What defines you? Are you half Latino and half African American? Join both groups and savor the best of both cultures. If someone wants you to be all of one group, and nothing of your other half, figure out if that is desirable or unrealistic for you. Do you like all sides of yourself ? What are attributes of both sides of your family that you cherish and respect? Can’t find any? Think of caring adults with whom you can identify and “adopt” aspects of them to help you sort out which group works for you.

In school, groups often share a passion: cooking, French, robotics, sports, scouting, and so on. Out of school, groups can be formal or informal. We advise finding groups where some or all of the interaction involves face time--those mirror neurons don’t respond to text.

There are also groups that bring together people who have shared a common trauma, such as the High Five Club for five-year cancer survivors (at Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital), the Alopecia Areata club for those who have had a medical illness that caused them to lose all their hair, Al-Anon for family members of people with alcoholism. These groups can help turn a potentially negative experience into one where the pain is shared, glory with the joys of the present and future are shared. Service groups make you feel good, which has a positive impact on your looks and well-being, because if you feel good on the inside, your outside tends to radiate that energy in a good way.

And there are also groups that are linked together through religion and/or church. The point is: Many groups out there provide the deep emotional connections between people who share passions. Chances are, you’ll find yours--it usually just takes a little looking.   

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.