How to spot the symptoms of groupthink

Independent thinking is essential to your soul’s growth. Without it, you forgo your life lessons which will take you on the path away from self-actualization — not towards it. You’ll make personal compromises you don’t really want to make, in order to please others. Your personality will become a vessel for what others want for or from you, rather than burgeoning into your true self and purpose here.

Unfortunately for empaths, narcissistic personalities are great at controlling the social setting in work places, community organizations, circles of friends, and families creating a false reality dynamic in which you have to obey and follow along, or you risk consequences.

Empaths, please know, the “bad” energy you feel when you walk into a room is no mistake. Perhaps it is not one person who simply has a bad attitude or who triggers you. It could be that the heavy energy you feel is a symptom of groupthink.

You know if you don’t play along, there will be social consequences. As a result, you try to play the part and fit in. Chances are, this hasn’t worked so great for you thus far and you can only go so long before the pressure to fit in starts getting to you physically and emotionally. You may even feel shame or guilt over the fact that you feel different inside yet everyone around you is enforcing a specific, strict set of rules to abide by.

Groupthink knows no bounds and I have seen it enforced in conservative religious circles as much as progressive atheist circles. It happens in churches, activist groups, the educational system, government, businesses, healthcare system, and more. 

How to spot the symptoms of groupthink:

1. False belief in the inherent goodness of the group. This is the idea that the group can do no wrong, has done no wrong, always has good intentions and goodwill, and anyone who feels otherwise is somehow flawed. 

2. Group “invulnerability”. This is the idea that the group is flawless and impenetrable. Nothing can rock or affect the stability of the group because it always was and always will be strong. 

3. Rationalization.  Despite bad behavior, the members of the group engage in ‘‘hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.” Ignoring problems and rationalizing indecent behavior in order to benefit the group. 

4. Self-Censorship. Suppressing information that does not support the mission of the group, from within. Displaying behavior or releasing information that serves the purposes of the group despite the reality perhaps being vastly different. 

5. Stereotyping those not in the group. Outsiders have groupthink projected onto them. “They’re not like us”, “They must be like this or that”, exhibiting no empathy or compassion for those who are different. Opposition to diversity. 

6. Appointed “mindguards”. These people protect a leader from having to deal with troublesome outside ideas. IE: lackeys working for the master so the person at the top senses no objections. 

7. Unanimity illusion. The group says, “Everything is fine, there are no problems”, “We all feel the same way”, despite others feeling differently openly or covertly.

8. Pressure on dissenters. Tearing down those who feel or are different. Shame, blame, scam, isolate, or defame anyone who expresses dissent. This is usually carried out by the mindguards, or those whom the mindguards have gotten to. 

The truth is, you were born to be different. You were born to fit in where you truly belong, not where you are forced into it. Those who reject diversity have the problem, not you. Hopefully one day humanity can get to a place where diversity is truly celebrated rather than suppressed; where new ideas, people, and information are welcomed and shared freely with curious openness, rather than hard and fast oppression.

Anything that compromises your true nature needs to be examined, processed, and perhaps, ultimately removed from your life or it will keep you sick and stressed.

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