Why you either follow the herd, or risk getting expelled

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Kevin Mangelschots

Following the group has multiple advantages such as safety in numbers, having others make decisions that are most likely not too detrimental for you, and being able to divide tasks amongst other group members.

Nevertheless, following the herd has a variety of downsides as well, such as groupthink, making bad decisions, and foregoing one’s own desires and needs for those of the group.

However, people who don’t follow and support the herd have a tendency to get expelled by the other members. Let me explain why.

Why you either follow the herd or risk getting expelled

Illustration showing a common example of groupthink.

People survived not necessarily because of their intelligence, or because of strength, or because of power in numbers, but because of their great ability to adapt to their environment. That was in my opinion the biggest reason why we became the dominant species on planet earth.

Sure, being intelligent and working together with others was a large part of it, but it’s only one part of the equation. Being smart won’t save you if you refuse to adapt to the different situations in life.

Let me give you some examples.

Let’s say that you wish to survive in a group setting where individually is not tolerated, and where you have to listen to the person in charge. If that’s the case, then you better follow the rules and ethics of the group before you get belittled, verbally bullied, maybe even physically assaulted, and eventually, expelled.

If you start a new job, and all your colleagues are huge computer geeks who are into computer games, then you better show some interest in talking and/or playing video games as well. Because when they see you don’t care, then you most likely won’t be accepted in the group.

Image of a man focusing on one thing while the rest of his colleagues are talking in a meeting.

Likewise, if your colleagues are not into playing video games, seeing it as childish and only for nerds, while simultaneously liking parties and binge-drinking, then you’ve got a choice to make. You can either choose to party with them while not talking too much about video games, or be prepared to fall outside the group.

Of course, it’s not that black and white. And some people are more tolerant of people with different personalities than others. Some people can accept, and even appreciate, the fact that others are different. That they have different values, personalities, and passions.

People will have you believe that they’re all good, kind, and considerate people. But in my experience, this is not the case. Not at all. Remember that virtue signaling is prevalent these days, but that in reality, they’re just doing so to gain attention, fame, or become more popular.

To be accepted into a group, you’ll have to show that you can pull your weight, and that you can adapt to the group’s expectations, values, and interests. If you can’t, you won’t be accepted and/or eventually be forced out. Be it verbally, or by force.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

How do people force you out of the group if you don’t follow the herd?

Picture of multiple people trying to put multiple white jigsaw puzzle pieces together.

If you don’t follow the herd, chances are large that you won’t be accepted in the first place.

If you do happen to be accepted as a group member, then you best conform to the group’s identity. To its values, and interests.

But, what happens if you don’t? What happens if you don’t meet the expectations of the other group members?

Verbal abuse

Well, then you will turn out to be the black sheep of the family. You will be outcast. People might start poking fun at you, but not in a good, or loving way.

They’re looking to hurt you verbally, perhaps even going as far as to verbally abuse you. Slinging offensive language at your head to intimidate you.

Psychological abuse

Perhaps the worst form of abuse is when foul people try to mess with your psyche. Especially verbal abuse, but also physical abuse for that matter, can be used as tools to hurt your mental fortitude.

Gaslighting, which means manipulating somebody in order to get them to doubt their own sanity, is a popular tool that awful people use in order to break someone down psychologically.

They try to influence you to start doubting yourself, your decisions, and will manipulate you to try to make it seem like you’re the bad guy. Like you’re the one who’s crazy in the head and who’s in the wrong.

A word of advice, don’t take it personally and acknowledge the simple fact that these folks are toxic, spiteful, and angry individuals. Stay as far away from these kinds of people as possible, since nothing.

Physical abuse

A woman with scars on her arm from previous cuts due to self harm.

Things can also get physical. It is possible that physical escalation happens depending on the nature of the group, and if it’s a male or female dominated herd. Bullying others can range from psychological abuse to physical abuse. Being punched and kicked is something that is a real possibility.

Luckily for us, it is safer in our world than it has ever been before. We have so many options now that we can basically choose which groups we want to reside in, so we don’t always have to suck it up if we don’t like it. Leaving a group is now a viable alternative.

While we needed a group to survive in the past, both for protection against animals and human alike, we now have access to safety, food, electricity, and water almost anywhere on this earth.

Don’t like your work or your colleagues? Learning a new trade and/or changing your job has never been more mainstream and easier than ever before. Don’t like your social circle? You can find a new one in your region, or by joining a local sports group. You can even meet new people online. The possibilities in our current timeline are endless.

Conclusion

Image of a hand holding a card with the word “conclusions” written in blue.

Sometimes, you have to follow the herd or risk getting expelled.

A balance should be struck between mindlessly following other people, and developing the individual in order to learn to think, and make decisions for ourselves.

However, be mindful of going against the grain too much in places such as at work, particularly if you need that job in order to survive. Because it isn’t that simple to just leave, seeing as we require money in order to sustain our way of living.

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Always make sure to develop the individual, seeing as you are the sole person you can always rely on.

It’s your life, and you’re responsible for your own well-being and contentment. That’s why you should learn how to make good decisions by learning how to think critically for yourself so that you can learn how to improve your quality of life on your own accord.

I’m not saying that following other folks is bad, but you need to learn to think for yourself, even when it’s not required.