Bad Girl

Bad Girl

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Experiences of the last few months have sent me a reminder of something that’s always in the back of my mind. Reflection time again. When I do that, I withdraw from the world as much as possible to give myself the space and time to work with whatever it is, to go deep down inside. To explore it. To look at all those painful dark places in the back of the closet. You know, all those things you don’t want to see. I’ve had a couple of runners lately and other kerfuffle.

There’s always some sort of poopy crap at some point, always. A disturbance within the ocean waves. If only I would behave, be a good girl, do as I am told, live up to expectations, focus on meeting other people’s needs, be what they want me to be, and for freak’s sake stop asking questions, just stop. I’m a bad, bad, bad girl and now I’m paying for it. I’m paying for being my authentic self, for being true to that. You know what? This is not a new experience. It’s the story of my life.
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This is where I started. It’s the story of my life, so what? This is old stuff I’ve explored to death. Why is it manifesting in my life again? There’s something new I need to look at here. I take everything I experience in life as an opportunity to learn and grow. I’ve been doing what I describe as “sitting with it”, in other words, being with what I was feeling, thinking, and experiencing. Not denying. Not avoiding. Looking right at it, watching my thoughts, emotions, and behaviour closely.

Throughout my life, I’ve been part of all manner of groups at one point or another. The same dynamics always play out in any group, only the details differ. I’ve had some really good times in groups. That said, it usually goes south fast when I express viewpoints and/or behaviour contrary to how the group thinks. Herd mentality is the antithesis to the individual.
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“The Asch Conformity Experiments were a series of psychological experiments conducted by Solomon Asch during the 1950s. The experiments revealed the degree to which a person's own opinions are influenced by those of groups. Asch found that people were willing to ignore reality and give an incorrect answer in order to conform to the rest of the group.”

The more one conforms to group think, the more one is accepted by the group, or society, since that is also a group. At the same time, one is sacrificing one’s individuality in order to gain that acceptance and be a successful group member. If one exerts one’s individuality, one pays the consequences for that choice. Get back in line, or else you’ll be punished. Conformity can be dangerous, as Milgram demonstrates.

Milgram Obedience Experiment and short video are experiments Stanley Milgram conducted beginning in 1961. “If an authority figure ordered you to deliver a 400-volt electrical shock to another person, would you follow orders? Most people would answer with an adamant "no." However, the Milgram obedience experiment aimed to prove otherwise.”
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These are the experiments I recalled from research I’ve done into group behaviour over the years. I’ve noticed that individuals who are part of a group (myself included), will go against their own beliefs, ethics, and moral code in order to belong to and maintain their position within a group. This occurs in employment situations also. There are no exceptions that I have experienced.

Deeper I went into exploring this. It expanded out into the realization that this begins in childhood for all humans, this pressure to conform to group think and behaviour. It is the way of this world. We are set against each other from the outset. To be left out of the group is terrifying for many. To stand in one’s own position, operate autonomously and express one’s individuality is a threat to how this world operates. Do not dare to question anything or express a different viewpoint, just do as you are told, spoken or unspoken or be ostracized.
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Whether people wish to acknowledge it or not, we all suffer as a result of such dynamics. All I know, is that the moment I start conforming to what others want, behaving in ways that are in opposition to who I am, I become absolutely miserable, the most unhappy and unbearable human to be around. It also encourages me to do harmful behaviour towards others, to retaliate for the mistreatment I’m experiencing within a group. I know it does the same to others, since I’ve observed that for years. So yeah, no one is winning in these situations, even when there is the perception that some are winning. That’s an illusion.
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Those that ran from me recently, two of them, ironically, happen to have the same sort of belief system I was brought up with and left behind long ago. Each of these two people is quite forward about their belief systems, constantly reinforcing it in their conversation. I took them at their word, that they live what they say they believe. You know that expression, “practice what you preach”.

Nope. I watched both of them act in contradiction to their dearly held belief system in several ways, all influenced by group think. My observations were that neither had the self-awareness to consciously see that this is what they were doing. I said nothing to either of them about it. Both did the I Ran So Far Away thing when asked a question. Silence. Okay then. I moved on. I won’t chase anyone. “Run away” behaviour tells me where a person is at. Best to let go and leave them there, since it’s not my responsibility.
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Recently on a show, I said something to the effect of how important it is to pay attention when anyone approaches you, to observe how they are and ascertain what their reasons are for wanting to come closer to you. It was suggested to me that I’m guarded. Yes, I am guarded at times. It depends on how a person approaches me, what their motivations are, and what they are seeking from me. Being too friendly can be a problem. Recent burnings have reinforced this.

Throughout my life, I’ve learned that people have all kinds of motivations for wanting to connect. Sometimes those motivations are of a malicious or self-serving nature. The person isn’t interested in developing an authentic connection. They are focused primarily on what they want. Forget what it costs the other person or the damage their behaviour causes. Within a group dynamic, people who operate from such a place have the potential to cause a great deal of harm, especially if they are in a position that allows and supports it. Evidence of this is everywhere in the world, should one decide to actually see it.

An old friend said to me once, “Tread carefully in the jungle, be aware of how you step”. I’ll add to that, know yourself, be aware of your choices, and what motivates you to make them.
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All photos taken by Nine with a Pentax digital 35mm camera.
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This was such a real and straightforward post that I appreciated and resonated with.

I have been a witness to this group conformity since I was in grade school…because I too was apart of them. I had to always belong to a clique at school. We had rules to follow and if someone got out of line they were confronted. If someone invited anyone into the group without group approval they suffered the consequences. Now when I look back on these things I see how ridiculous it was and still is. Where are those group members now? Well once I start expressing my beliefs and faith they slowly started departing from me.

that the moment I start conforming to what others want, behaving in ways that are in opposition to who I am, I become absolutely miserable

@Nineclaws I’m the same way. Once I realized this in my early twenties I changed the way I did things. I broke away from the normality of pleasing everyone and trying to prove myself (credit to the Lord for the strength He gave me). I no longer conform but instead stand up for what I believe and no one can change that. If they don’t like it they keep it movin. 😄

I think it’s smart to stay guarded and only loosen that guard once you’re sure of someone. I’m the same way with this too. After being done a certain way so many times it’s almost an automatic defense mechanism that happens. Treading carefully in this day and age is what everyone should do.

I really enjoyed reading this. The evidence is all around but as you said one can only see if they’re willing to look. Back then I didn’t want to see the truth because the feeling of belonging felt so good. It wasn’t until I realized my worth that I finally saw that I didn’t have to prove myself to anyone or any group.

Thank you @crosheille and also thank you for sharing your personal experience.

If they don’t like it they keep it movin. 😄

That is key and if they don't move on, I move on, LOL.

You're right, it does become "almost an automatic defense mechanism". I tended to be far more on guard when younger for other reasons. Where I've been at for some years is a tendency to be more comfortable with putting myself out there. Now the tendency is for me to be too friendly, since I like to meet new people and socialize. The more one puts oneself out there, the more one may become a target I've noticed. Recent experiences are making me reign in my friendly and apply added caution. Silence is a peaceful place to rest.

Your description of your experience of being in a clique brought back memories. I was never in the cliques, reject from the outset, my culture and colouring did that, then add in my nature. I was always the outsider. That said, I used to watch others then, same as I do now and I never saw a lot of "happy" on the part those kids that were part of a group.

I think it's important to be aware of where others are coming from. I find that most people don't intend to cause difficulties for others, instead, they are caught up in things that result in them making choices that aren't the best for them. Aside from that, there are always a percentage of people that are best avoided.

I always love chatting with you. Wonderful conversations and discussion. I really value that. Thank you for being you. 😍🤗

Absolutely! This post was very intriguing and made me want to share. 😉

Hahaha!! Yes!! If they don't move I move...love that and so true!!

I agree about being a target the more you put yourself out there. Being an outgoing person who loves meeting new people would make it challenging to stay silent. I too am this way but due to me being more cautious I do tend to wait longer before putting myself too much out there for others. Once I get a feel of people I can usually discern whether they are someone I want to share life with.

they are caught up in things that result in them making choices that aren't the best for them

I so agree and have witnessed this many times before.

Awww thanks so much. You know I love chatting with you. When we talk here I feel like we are sitting in front of each other someone outside a small cafe with a cup of tea enjoying our day. 😄🥰🤗

I have much love, respect and appreciation for you dear friend ~ 💓

I agree about being a target the more you put yourself out there. Being an outgoing person who loves meeting new people would make it challenging to stay silent. I too am this way but due to me being more cautious I do tend to wait longer before putting myself too much out there for others. Once I get a feel of people I can usually discern whether they are someone I want to share life with.

You've put this so well. I have nothing to add. This is key.

I feel sad when I see others get caught up in things. That's where it always ends up for me. I wish for so much more for others.

When we talk here I feel like we are sitting in front of each other someone outside a small cafe with a cup of tea enjoying our day. 😄🥰🤗

Thank you and what a beautiful vision, totally my kind of thing, totally. Love, respect and appreciation right back at you my dear friend @crosheille! ❤️🤗

@nineclaws I love this about you. Whatever you do whether good or bad,there are still people that won't like you for it. You live your life for God and no one else. Also I like that you learn from your past experiences. That's wonderful. Keep on being who you are- authentic.

Aww, thank you @sapphirekay! You're absolutely right, no matter what you do there are always those who won't like you for it. Peace is to be found inside, when one is living true to one's self and in concert with the Divine.

It can be really impressive how herd mentality rules our entire life sometimes, it's sad bc of the never ending snowball effect it creates. More bravery is needed.

Awesome post 💙

It can be very subtle at times and the constant pressure to conform is like fighting the tide coming in ;). I think if others start to look in and find who they really are, that will lend the necessary courage to be brave.

Thank you so much @ailindigo! 💙

I read this at work and am commenting late. I love how that chick is playing along with you taking her picture. I'm guessing you don't know her...

The crowd/herd/mass mentality is very frightening. I've succumbed to general consensus in the past (and btw I absolutely appreciate you sharing your own vulnerability and not doing the "you're all sheeple" thing I see so often). I would like to think that the work I have done to overcome and resist narcissistic abuse and manipulation would help me to stand up for whatever needed standing up for should such a need ever arise in a group situation, but I really don't know if this is true. We are wired to go with the flow, I guess evolution thought this was the best way to protect the needs of the many. It's gross, though, isn't it??
I can absolutely relate to how awful it feels when you try to conform. Maybe that's why I don't feel like making any effort to go socialize.

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How do you know it's not me? Maybe it is and I set it all up. ;)

LOL, actually, she was across the street from me, waiting for transit here, didn't know I was photographing her at all. She was lost in her own world.

The crowd/herd/mass mentality is very frightening. I've succumbed to general consensus in the past (and btw I absolutely appreciate you sharing your own vulnerability and not doing the "you're all sheeple" thing I see so often).

It can be if one allows it. I think those saying "sheeple" need to get busy with looking in the mirror at their own crap and dealing with it before they start judging anyone. No one should be judging anyone and that stuff annoys the crap out of me. I refuse to be a part of it.

I really don't know if this is true.

You will know when in the situation that tests that arises. Been there many times. Not an easy thing at all. Knowing yourself, being aware, paying attention to red flags from the beginning are key. Selective socializing is the approach I use. Mistakes are learning opportunities, so those will occur as well.

Crazy, it looks like she's looking right at you a few times and posing.

Selective socializing. Term of the month award!

LOL! I thought she saw me when I was taking her photos and kind of worried she might not be happy about it. When I looked at the series of shots after, I realized she didn't see me. I like people natural, just being whatever way they are when I photograph, rather than having them pose, although some have for me on the street, which has been fun too.

Selective socializing. Term of the month award!

😂😂😂 It sounds more socially friendly put in those words.

 7 months ago  

You're still fuckin awesome, it's good to see that hasn't changed.
Don't worry too much, most people can't practice what they preach, apparently rubs against the grain.

Sometimes just have to let the runners run, and occasionally help them outta the bear traps along the way.

Awwwwww....thank you @rubido!

I think a lot of people lack the self-awareness to see. It's something that takes practice and work.

Sometimes just have to let the runners run, and occasionally help them outta the bear traps along the way.

I tend to just give them space. Distance is a good thing in my experience. If they decide to change course, then that offers an opportunity to reconnect. For the bear traps, they have to actually want to get out of them and also do the work required...if so, I'm happy to assist where I can.

Thanks for popping in and reading. I always enjoy your way of expressing yourself. It gives me a smile every time.


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The old herd mentality. I have always thumbed a nose at it. It never really works out for me and it suspect a lot that do conform aren't always happy either.

Never conform!!

Those pics look like Scottish weather right now, sunny but necessitating jackets!

I was of the impression that you're more of the loner variety, correct me if that is erroneous. I agree, from what I see, a lot that do conform aren't that happy with it. I think they sell themselves a lot of ideas that belonging is worth the price. I should note though, it's human nature to be social, with only a very small percentage who prefer isolation from all.

Never conform!!

😂 That sounds like a battle cry. I'm liking that.

Scottish weather, eh? It's like that here right now...still wearing wool. That said, weather used to be hot & humid, bright sunny days with wicked thunderstorms every so often, from mid-April to mid-October. For years now, it's cold, wet, then decides to go super hot & humid around end of May instantly.

I can be very sociable but I do like my own company. I despise keeping my mouth shut about nonsense I hear when wirthin a group and even though I use humour to call things out and it kinda gets accepted that way it still makes me feel tad awkward that I cant let it go enough to not be a dick, at least according to how it looks from the inside of said group.

I like a battle cry, I have many I alternate for the occasion! :OD

Yes you are social and skilled that way, which is why I like to chat with you. Makes for good conversation and laughs. I can see clearly you do enjoy your own company, such a great way to roll. I think that's an important aspect for anyone.

it still makes me feel tad awkward that I cant let it go enough to not be a dick, at least according to how it looks from the inside of said group.

😂I get the impression you must be very entertaining. I'd be smirking in the shadows. Humour is a great approach, but I'm biased towards that already. Balance is key and then there are always those who will think the dick thing, LOL.

I like a battle cry, I have many I alternate for the occasion! :OD

Very fitting for a Scotsman (with some Irish thrown in). I would be disappointed otherwise. 😂

 7 months ago  

People are becoming increasingly in the group think mode it's a bit sad and incredibly scary. A lot of times if we have an opinion contrary to the group think it gets assaulted and people are called in for reinforcements and it's a pile onto the person with the wrong opinion. It's terrifying for the future we are headed. I wonder if this was the case for millennia or it's something that's new with the internet and such?

Unfortunate that you cut off two people because they weren't true to themselves and fell victim to the group think scenario. We've learned in our own life, my wife and I, that we have to be very guarded a lot of the times. A lot of people are messed up and we've been burned a few times in recent memory when there was not a single inclination that things would go south. It really fucking pissed us off!

People are becoming increasingly in the group think mode it's a bit sad and incredibly scary.

That's what it means when one chooses to give one's power away to others. I've seen this throughout my life. It's just more openly visible these days. I don't think it's a new thing at all.

Unfortunate that you cut off two people because they weren't true to themselves and fell victim to the group think scenario.

That's not why I let them go. Both of them refused to respond and dialogue. As I mentioned, they ran away, so I let people go do what they wish and move on to other things.

We've learned in our own life, my wife and I, that we have to be very guarded a lot of the times. A lot of people are messed up and we've been burned a few times in recent memory when there was not a single inclination that things would go south. It really fucking pissed us off!

That happens and then one moves on.

Thanks for popping by!

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It's true that groups can be dangerous if you aren't self aware. Especially if the leader or leaders have hidden motives.

But groups can also be a powerful force of good, if those involved have the same goal.

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