Fitting in is a safe way to get through life for many people. Blending in with groups to avoid the spotlight is second nature to some while others feel more comfortable and even encourage having all eyes on them.
Some people are trendsetters and others are followers. The trendsetters get to have all the fun, while the followers simply replicate whatever the trendsetters are doing.
I know it’s not easy for everyone to speak their mind and wholeheartedly show off who they are, so following the crowd may be easier.
When put in unfamiliar situations, we observe what others are doing and copy their actions. We attempt to blend in and act like we know what’s going on even if we’re totally clueless.
Deep down we’re all a little afraid to look out of place and draw unwanted attention to ourselves, but why?
Most people become followers because they fear rejection. It doesn’t matter whether it’s rejection from a job, spouse or social group — they fear that if they go against these groups they won’t be welcome anymore.
Everyone knows rejection isn’t easy, and to some it can be pretty damaging. That’s one reason why people choose to impersonate others rather than being themselves.
However, there is no way to avoid rejection forever because it happens to everybody. There’s no point wasting your time worrying about something that’s inevitable.
I watch people huddled in groups all the time because they feel more protected that way. Maybe that’s why men and women walk in huge clusters throughout campus as if they’re one superhuman or why people stand in unwelcoming circles at parties. Blending in makes you comfortable, but showing off your true colors brings you out of your comfort zone and into reality.
Being a part of a crowd is a priority to some people, and it can take over your life if you lose track of what’s important. People should want to show off their own style and personality. It’s exhausting trying to fit in with everyone all the time.
In our infinite search for acceptance, we sometimes risk losing our sense of self. Even though being part of a group can be positive for your social life and keep you in your comfort zone, agreeing with everyone for the sake of fitting in is harmful. It’s vital to not lose track of who you are on your quest for normalcy. Life isn’t about perfecting the person you could be, it’s about embracing who you are now without second thought.
Something to remember before blindly agreeing with something or someone is to think. Think before you change your attitude or behavior to fit other people’s standards. Think about what you want for yourself before thinking what others want from you. You can’t just agree with what everyone says and expect your moral compass to always point north.
Ask yourself, “Is fitting in worth ditching my own opinions and views?”
The answer is always no.
It’s impossible to agree with everyone, and it’s most certainly no way to go through life, but resisting the urge to conform to groups is easier than it seems. Know where you stand, what you stand for and what’s important to you. If people try to convince you to feel some other way, find better friends to hang out with. Standing together is good, but standing as an individual is great.
Email Laura Schmidt at firstname.lastname@example.org