What other people think of us is important to us, because we’re all connected. And we’re more alike than our egos would have us believe. We want to be respected by others — we want to belong. We feel pressure to conform, because we don’t want to be left out. It’s easier to fit in than to be a trail blazer and get people to follow you.
But we all offer a different perspective on life. On the one hand if we spend a lot of time around others we’re likely to feel pressure to conform. And on the other hand if we don’t spend time with others we won’t learn from their insights. Balance is important in virtually all areas of life, including human contact.
We need to learn from one another, but if we don’t spend time alone we’ll have less individual insights and therefore less to offer each other. This brings to mind the phenomenon of “Groupthink”. When people get together they start to conform to the group consensus and it becomes difficult to inject new ideas.
People working together and sharing ideas can be a very powerful force for good. But it can also be a force for evil, even without the group realizing it. Evil in the sense of reinforcing unproductive or destructive ideas.
We need to come together in awareness of the potential for us to fall into the Groupthink trap. Awareness of it can go along way toward preventing it from happening.
Be careful of what group you are part of. And don’t spend too much time with one group. Especially one that doesn’t listen to your ideas. Constructive criticism is fine, but closed ears are not.