Monday, June 6, 2011

Birds of a Feather Always Flock Together

There is truth in the old adage; birds of a feather flock together.  People feel that they function best when in their comfort zones.  For people who do not maintain a diverse network of social connections, containing oneself to one particular group can be extremely detrimental.  Being social is a combination of quality and quantity.  One is not considered ‘social’ unless they have a vast number of connections from different groups (work, activities, neighbors, etc…). The quality of these connections is also important; they should vary from acquaintances to confidantes. There has to be a balance in the quantity and quality of the connections; having one close friend is just as bad as having fifty acquaintances.  Often people will forms groups comprised of people similar to themselves.  These groups may boast many members, but they cannot provide the same interactions that having a diverse selection of friends provides.   Associating with different people allows us to see the world from different perspectives.  If you only go out with the same people then you are only viewing the world from a narrow angle (i.e. you surround yourself with chronically negative people and therefore, you only see things from a negative point of view). We see this herd mentality in everyday life, people following the same fashion trends, music, etc… This decentralizes authority, taking away individuality for the sake of the group’s cohesion.The group’s members become co-dependent on one another and thus they need each other as a necessary means of survival.  Being around others with different perspectives opens up this angle and promotes the discovery of new and different things, which can greatly enrich one’s life.   This also allows for more individuality and personal freedom. 
It is also important to be able to function as an individual outside of the group.  Those who have experienced instability in their lives often function best in a group, either because they thrive under the attention that they had previously been deprived of or because they enjoy being taken care of and feeling as if they belong.  Since power is often somewhat distributed throughout a group, this makes its members feel as if they have control.  For people who have suffered from having their life controlled by others, to feel some semblance of control is almost overwhelming.  
Additionally, if the group is acting like a singular person (due to the similarities of its members) then it is important that the group is able to be social and interact with people or groups outside of its own entity.  
If two members of a specific and selective group are sitting together at a dinner party, they can stay together (if need be for comfort, seeing as large gatherings are often uncomfortable, especially in an unfamiliar setting). However, they must include and interact with others.  Members of a group should be welcoming rather than off-putting.  While they are not required to welcome other people into the group, they do have to make an effect to mingle and effectively communicate with others; that is if they truly want to be social.  Without an earnest attempt to branch out from within one’s solitary group there are no social gains to be made. 
© 2011 by David Gharat Personal Life Coach. All rights reserved

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