While thinking about others, it’s a natural tendency to compare ourselves to them, what they’re thinking of us, and our place among them as we perceive it. We seek reassurance we have a place to belong.
There’s strength and safety in numbers, and following the crowd makes life so much easier. Sometimes it rubs the ego the wrong way (I’m not like them), but it’s hard to muster argument against the path of least resistance.
We’ve all followed the crowd
To the airplane exit.
To the right movie in the theater.
To the wrong person we’re trying to impress.
At times we want to stand out, but that can be intimidating. Plus, it gets lonely and confusing there, and fast. Faster if it’s just for show.
Standing out also means you’ve got to do more work to figure out the ‘what now?’, and it’s tough to sacrifice the comforts you were used to (and sometimes tougher to give up those to which you weren’t).
People look at you differently. It’s a rule of life, that; people notice what doesn’t fit their crowd. It can get uncomfortable.
Sometimes, I think it’s better to leave. Not necessarily in a blaze of glory, but perhaps quietly, because you’ve got better things to do.
I also think following the crowd can be fun, though, if you are exploring or expressing your truth. It can be life affirming as well when you’ve made the choice to do so first, and of your own will.
Suddenly, it becomes your crowd, which is different from the masses (don’t worry about making them happy, they don’t know how to do that).
You can either find your crowd, or build it—both can be amazing—because what holds true for theirs holds true for yours too; the crowd loves being a crowd.
(Photo: Dominique Chanut)