Group Mentality or The Herd

United States
March 6, 2009 1:19pm CST
It seems no matter what medium we operate in there is always a herd somewhere. These the types that cannot do anything alone, propagate fear through paranoia, and bull doze through areas like sheep grazing. Sheep are interesting creatures. They are by far the dumbest creatures around, not my words but those of people who have worked with them. They follow the leader. Whichever sheep is leading at the time the herd will follow that leader to the end, even if it means over a cliff. So what makes people like sheep? Not everyone is like a sheep mind you, but they do exist. They are those individuals that follow a particular crowd and do not question anything that is being said or done. They believe everything the current leader tells them without question, and sometimes innocent people get hurt in the process. They all seem to be motivated by fear and paranoia. Fear of something they perceive to be a threat, and paranoia that something is out to get them. They create an imagined wolf in sheeps clothing to mask their own fears, so to speak. Have you ever had to deal with a herd/sheep? How do you handle this type of mentality? In what setting did you have to deal with them? Were friends involved or family members? What can we do to in our community to decrease this type of behavior?
1 person likes this
8 responses
@p1kef1sh (45640)
6 Mar 09
Many people are quite happy being in the flock. They don't want to be leaders, they like others to make their decisions for them. It is the same in any community not just here. Being the leader can be very lonely and the decisions that you make may not make you popular. Far easier to carp and criticise than to be the carped at and criticised! Personally I like a little of each. I love the camaraderie of the flock and sometimes I like to strike out on my own and see what happens. I don't think that there is much that can be done frankly. People will always want to find a concensus and most simply don't want the hassle of being seen as different. Most of the "popular" kids here have had more than their fair share of grief over the months and years. Some have been cowed by it, and others keep coming back for more. Be true to yourself, don't throw stones, play nicely and most of all have fun. That's why we're here isn't it. I can get grief without switching this little box of tricks on at all! LOL.
2 people like this
• United States
7 Mar 09
It's kind of sad though when you think about. Just going along with what someone tells you even if it is not the truth. I would hope that people would realize that they can reside in a community, but that they don't have to give up their individuality. Thanks for responding-Anora
@p1kef1sh (45640)
17 Mar 09
Thank you very much for the BR Anora. X
• China
7 Mar 09
there're many people follow this way just as you said,even my friends.though i'm a student,yet it seems that we guys have learned how to be sophisticated,oops.i can magine what it would be in adults' world.maybe we just wanna to protect ourself amd make everyone happy,steadly we forget to say no and lose ego
2 people like this
• United States
7 Mar 09
Menger- That's a really interesting view on it. Thank you so much for sharing! Namaste-Anora
@hotsummer (10449)
• Philippines
6 Mar 09
i guess many of us has been guilty of that in some point of our life. but i don't have any one to follow to as of the moment. i don't have any political parties or follow any one in my community. but i do think that we should not always be blindly following any leader . we should have a mind of our own and could judge by our own if the leader is leading us in right path . cause if that person fall into some mistakes then we will definitely fall that leader. and hopefully it will not be some serious kind of mistakes that will be hard to recover from. but i do believe it its nice to have some leader to believe on and follow on cause that gives us some kind of inspiration and encouragement to live our life fully. but also we just hope that the leader is really worthy to be called a leader in every sense of the word. cause there are many so called leaders who are just out there for their self interest and not to care of their people.
2 people like this
• United States
7 Mar 09
I think this goes beyond political figures, and we could apply it to our friends and family. Those that speak the loudest, set the group on fire, etc may not always be right. Thanks for responding-Anora
• United States
6 Mar 09
I think that people find comfort in a group, which makes it easy to get into the herd mentality. I do think that is nice to belong to a group where you can share your ideas about things and not feel like your being judged but I also believe that you shouldn't just go along with the group you associate yourself with when you dont agree with something they are doing or saying. I think it comes down to people being afraid to be alone. Sometimes making a hard decision means your putting yourself out on a limb. Most people arent comfortable being the only one to do or think something. But if one would just take the risk, they will find that they really are not alone and many people think and feel as they do. They just have not had the courage to stand up yet.
• United States
7 Mar 09
It is definately difficult to stand up for what's right, but it is something we should strive for. I can recall as a child having had different situations in which I got caught up in the "group" thinking, and it never ended on a positive note. I thought that when we grew up it would magically change, but I've realized that it hasn't for some. Thanks for responding-Anora
@Lore2009 (7389)
• United States
6 Mar 09
I just dealt with a lot of my friends like that. I think I was like that but now that I realize how there is so much injustice in this I stepped out and saw how all my friends were like that. Out of all of them, there was one in particular that is seriously like a cameleon (sp?) and changes attitudes depending on who she's talking to COMPLETELY and she doesnt' even notice. Anyway, I just stopped talking to all of them now. And I feel more free.
2 people like this
• United States
7 Mar 09
Lore- I've known people like that myself. If someone says the sky is green they go along because they want to be a part of "in" crowd. Maybe it's why I've never really been a part of any sort of "group", because I'm too darn open with what I believe lol. Thanks for responding-Anora
@deejean06 (1953)
• United States
6 Mar 09
Hi Anora - I'm not sure if this fits into your scenario but I do know people who don't or can't - I don't know which - have opinions of their own. These people will always have the same opinion as the person they are speaking with. There is no debate. Once or twice I have interjected my opinion - which is usually the "wrong" one and have been insulted and belittled immediately. So I've learned not to put my own feelings on the line because of the personal attacks. Still I smile inside when I remember that just days before the same person had an opposite opinion - just with another person!
• United States
7 Mar 09
Deejean- It's amazing how that occurs isn't it? As if people are too afraid to have a differing opinion. I'm not sure why people resort to personal attacks though, my only guess is that the ego uses it as a way to protect it's interests. I would say keep on being true to what you are. I'm not say we shouldn't belong to groups, either. We all have our friends. However, we shouldn't just blindly follow the crowd, believe what another says, just because it's what the crowd believes. I'll just state this on yours, though I'll probably end up repeating it, this idea came when watching a Berenstain Bears episode with my son and reflecting on people I knew in real life who were like the sheep, believing something about another just because the person that told them was a part of the "gang". So, I just thought I'd make a discussion out of it and see what others thought. Anora
• United States
7 Mar 09
For those of us "THEY" call freethinker,the whole world seems to be full of the people you have describe AND many who would like for us to just shut-up.The threat they perceive is real.(Can't let people think for themselves,they might realize what freedom means)..lol...They simply want everyone to agree with what they think is true or right...We can only challenge people to think for themselves.
1 person likes this
• United States
7 Mar 09
Flame- You summed it up nicely!! Freethinker and Freedom, two concepts so misunderstood and unwanted by many. They just don't know what they're missing lol. Thanks for replying. Anora
@xParanoiax (6999)
• United States
13 Mar 09
Occasionally, I run across the really fanatical herd-minded folks, but I prefer to deal with the apathetic or just otherwise unknowing ones instead. I tend to reach out to them via my blog just in an effort to get everyone thinking...not a "OMG what's wrong with you! I'm right! bLAHA BALAHAH" type way. I figure, provoking throught, or at least attempting to...on a daily basis, with your life, your thoughts, your words, is the best way to go. The more people who do it, and the more people who do it in an as informed way as possible, the more likely it is to address the problem of "blindly follow the leader", apathy, and fanaticism.