Why birds of a feather flock together


Kevin Mangelschots

Taken literally, birds of a feather flock together to protect and defend themselves against possible predators, since it’s easier to fend off vultures through the power of superior numbers.
Figuratively speaking, we tend to seek out and be attracted to those who have similar qualities to ourselves. Think of having the same ethics, values, likes and dislikes, and similar beliefs. This even holds true on a physical level, as beautiful people are inclined to be drawn to other good-looking individuals.
We enjoy those who share a matching mentality and tend to dislike others who have opinions that conflict with our current ideology. That’s because these differences are typically perceived as a personal attack on our character.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What does “birds of a feather flock together mean?”

A flock of flamingos sitting together.Birds of a feather flock together means that people with similar interests and personalities have a proclivity to band together.

That’s due to being attracted to those who have the same sort of attributes as we do, and we want to associate with folks we deem to be likable and virtuous. That’s because we almost always think and link ourselves with positive qualities such as being good, virtuous, ethical, and empathic.

Examples of “birds of a feather flock together”

Image of the word “example” being written with a blue marker by someone's hand.A possible real-world example could be that people who enjoy working out form friendships with other folks who enjoy exercising.

As a result, they go to the gym together as training partners. Be it for resistance training such as lifting weights, or cardiovascular exercises like running or biking.

Another instance is that we seek out romantic partners we deem to be kindred spirits. Most likely because we’re more apt to be compatible, and thus, less probable to engage in conflict due to contrasting views.

What’s the full saying of “birds of a feather flock together”?

A flock of geese flying together.
While it can perfectly stand on its own, it may be a part of the full saying, “Birds of a feather flock together, until the cat comes.”
This implies that we find comfort when we’re around those who are akin to us, but only until the cat comes, which warns against trivial relations based solely on kindred qualities.
This entails that we must create meaningful relationships with those around us to feel fulfilled, and so those friendships can stand the test of time, even if hardships come along.


Image of the word, “conclusions” written on a black backboard with white chalk.

We’re drawn into those with identical qualities. We like those with the same beliefs, values, ethics, likes, and dislikes while disfavoring people who we consider too different from our personalities.

While that’s perfectly reasonable and even advantageous most of the time, it does present some potential dangers such as developing a narrow point of view, having few contrasting thoughts and ideas, and getting stuck in your comfort zone.

That’s why we shouldn’t automatically dismiss contrasting perspectives or characters that are opposite to ours. Instead, try your best to learn something new, and to understand where other folks are coming from.