I really have trouble when I try to "blend" into a group of people.
I have never been very good in a group of people. Part of the problem stems from the fact that I am afraid of people in general. I have Aspberger's syndrome, which is a type of mild Autism. I have great difficulty understanding positive facial cues, and I am sure that other people here on Inward Quest have trouble with being in a group for various reasons.
I have always wondered why a group of people always seem to "cut out" those in the group who are different from the group. For example, a person might get pushed out because they are not physically attractive. Intelligence can be another reason why someone might get ostracized from a group. Those who appear too dumb, or too smart are often "cut out" of the group.
To me, it is as if the group becomes an entity which rejects those who do not fit in with the "soul" of the whole. I do not understand group dynamics very well, and how I am treated in a group makes me avoid them. I especially dislike group "projects" in school. They drive me crazy. It is extremely difficult to function in an online group (I attend school online.).
I have found that men, especially, seem to dislike me in groups- they seem to dislike smart women, and this is where I could really lose myself. I refuse to "dumb myself down" at meetings and if I say something there that requires thought, after the meeting, the men line up to challenge me- as if something I said challenges their masculinity. (Okay, guys, are you ready to lambast me here??? LOL!)
I always felt that groups should be as inclusive as possible, for each person has the potential to contribute something unique to the group as a whole. But instead, I find that more time is spent in group dynamics than is spent in helping the group achieve its goals. Why is this? Is it just "human nature"?
Because I have been hurt in groups, I now avoid them like the plague. But I am cutting myself off this way, and that hurts my soul. I cannot grow if I avoid groups altogether. But sometimes, Emily Dickinson makes sense to me. People can be very mean.
I sometimes wonder if this has to do with the survival of the fittest. I wonder if this "cutting out" of a person somehow has to do with human evolution. Then it would make sense to me that people would single out those who do not blend in with a group.
I have wondered if any of you have experienced this.
In each heart is a private space
Untouched by sight or sound.
It is in this place that the soul resides
Alone, And hope rises up, unbound.
In a nutshell:
Stop caring what other people think and how they feel...especially about you.
Although this may seem to run completely counter to what most of us are taught throughout our life by our family and society, it is really the only healthy way to live.
And although it may immediately strike those who are unpracticed in it as being "cold-blooded," if you actually think about it (and/or put it into practice) you'll see that it has nothing to do with one's propensity for compassion.
You can still have immense compassion for someone, still care for and wish them well-being, without caring what they think, say, or how they feel about you.
Some worry that if they stop "caring" they will come off as "callous." But if you think about it, it's never someone's apparent "callousness" that causes pain or upset or annoyance...it is one's negative reaction to that callousness that gives rise to more negative feelings. If everyone were callous in that way, then there would be no more fights, arguments, tantrums, or upset feelings at all.
It really is that simple.
Just stop giving a darn. Then sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.
Or don't, and keep caring...but, conversely, that can be a rather exhausting ride. :)
Others have said as much many times before on Inward Quest, just in different words.
A passage from the Lankavatara Sutra (said to be a direct transcription of the Buddha's teachings) illuminates the situation thus:
I feel that for me to explain this that I need turn to music.
Picture this, you want to make a choral singing group. There are many people there that want to fit in and join chorus. All different singers are there and want to be excepted. Many top notch singers and many amateur singers.
So the singers line up and try out to join this group. This is not like "We Are The World", everyone must blend together as the notes of a chord blend together, singing in perfect harmony.
One by one singers come up to the microphone. Each tries out to join.
First steps up, Willie Nelson, a great singer but for this his voice is too nasal. He just doesn't fit in for this choral group. Next comes Brian Johnson, another great singer, but for this beautiful choral group you are trying to put together his voice is too raspy. Next we have Billy Idol but his voice is too novel. Then Janice Joplin tries out, even though she is an amazing singer, for this choral group her voice is just too unpredictable. Next we have Ice -T sing his rap version, that doesn't seem to fit either. Then Ronny James Dio tries out, too loud and shrill.
One by one singers try to fit the coral group but do not make the cut, each singer may be amazing in their own right but to fit into your choral group, no.
I could use orchestra try outs as another example. Earl Scruggs brings his banjo to try out for orchestra. He is an amazing banjo player but no he doesn't fit here. Next you have Zamphire play his pan flute, not quite what the orchestra needs. Then Yani plays the keyboard but no, and Jerry Lee Lewis plays the piano, but that just doesn't fit either. Jimi Hendrix gets up and plays his guitar, amazing but drowning everyone else out because they can't play as loud as a cranked 200 Watt amplifier. Next Jimmy Dorsey comes to play saxophone, but that doesn't fit either, neither does Sonny Boy Williamson the harmonica player.
No matter the group whether it be based in music or social, I believe there is a harmonic frequency of that group. For example here in our group Inward Quest we really don't experience scoffers and nonbelievers much, they would feel bored here.
I believe any group has a harmonic that all that fit in tune to. The interesting thing is someone has to set the key of the song. This may be where fights and disagreements come into the picture. This harmonic seems unconscious when people get together or purposely set in stone like Inward Quest. When we think of playing an A on a violin that same A vibrates on a Piano that is setting near by. This just happens, A flat, or A sharp just would not fit, even though they are close.
To fit in, you would need to be a chameleon that can change for every situation. This reminds me of the movie "You Can't Catch Me". Matt Damon in this movie was so smart he fit in anyplace. He could be a lawyer, doctor, pilot, Indian Chief, where he wanted and be very convincing at it. He fit in anywhere, there was no place he was out of place. So to to do this we need switch frequencies. We do this to some extent, as for myself when I am going in to teach karate I am different from myself at home. I think the more diversified groups we get into the more we learn to do this. Example: we join a ghost group that loves talking about ghost, we do not mix it up with the UFO group we also join and start talking about flying saucers, or the poets group and talk about motorcycles and football. I believe we do tune to the situation but this may be off, as I said you do not want an A sharp or A Flat if the root note is A, so we can be close but still feel we just don't fit, no matter what our differences may be we just don't fit in. It is in those times when we may feel we are losing our integrity, much like the Atheist that decides to go to a Bible study group and fit in. It just wont feel comfortable, no matter how much he or she tries to blend.
The example of A, A sharp and A Flat is the same as too pretty, not pretty enough, too smart, not smart enough for this particular social group, close is still out of harmony and the group feels that and so does the one that doesn't match.
The only way I can see something like that is as if the person could compartmentalize personality and then be comfortable because that is a different compartment. Again I refer to my being I karate instructor, that is a different part of my personality than say my mental/spiritual part I am being here.
This grouping I think could be overcome, it was for "We Are The World" with amazing results, I believe it could for orchestra such as we see with the Trans Siberian Orchestra. Jimi Hendrix had a dream that he wanted to play with an orchestra some day, unfortunately he never realized that dream but fortunately for us others did. Maybe banjo and harmonica and saxophone in orchestra could sound good. We'll never know until someone crosses those boundaries of what could go together.
to answer your question is simple every one wants to receive praise from one another, they judge other and laugh about other on outside appearance they are blind and do not want to see that their cup is full of deadly poison and even if they clean the outside it does not clean the inside.
if you do not want to loose who you are first clean the inside of the cup and know your self and do to other what you want them to do to you if you would be them for this you will need to walk a mile in their shoe.
if you do not do this and do like other and only want to receive praise from one another you already lost your self. know this many honor me with their lips but their heart is far from me.
if you know your self and are in truth with no iniquity then you truly know your self and cannot loose your self.
with out light one can loose is path and get lost in the darkness.
You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going.
Better the poor whose walk is blameless than a fool whose lips are perverse. so when you see group of people that are turning against each other with desire and hypocrisy in their hearts. according to you are they blameless or fools with perverse lips?
why would you desire to be part of a group like this?
Desire without knowledge is not good-- how much more will hasty feet miss the way!
A person's own folly leads to their ruin, yet their heart rages against the LORD.
A person's wisdom yields patience; it is to one's glory to overlook an offense.
Let me ask you this what kind of people would you let in to your home?
Would it be people that seek their own praise and talk all the time with perverse lips telling lie and making all kind of evil deeds from the overflow of the heart?
or would it be people that tell the truth are patient at peace with a pure heart?
what kind of people do you take in?
And what kind of people are you? it is easy to find fault on the outside it is not as easy to know your self know your error and correct your error.
Do I speak the truth to you?
Let there be light, be the light that you can be, experience and enjoy.