The tribe was all we had. Not having the support of the tribe would mean that you had been ostracized and therefore left alone to your own survival and often your own demise. Some people say and have written that because of that we have a need to conform and to be accepted by others.
Jordan Peterson said that being different, being creative, and unique is not necessarily as glamorous as one might think.
A true rebel. A true dissident is not accepted by most of society. Let’s not forget this. In hindsight, we might look at some historical figures and put them on the pedestal.
However, we must not forget that during their lifetime. they were polarizing figures. No one wants to be in that position where a significant part of the population hates your guts and regard you as a bad person.
I remember the first time I saw some of the comments on one of my articles on Reddit. Wow. That was a really interesting moment for me. It was really unpleasant too. I wrote an article about how incels should grow up and own up their masculinity. My article ended up being quite polarizing. So, I had it coming.
The hate I got was real. I got insulted. I got criticized for my writing style and I am going to be completely honest it hurt me. I did not expect it would but it did. After I read those comments, I had this unpleasant feeling in my stomach. This ball in my belly.
I had it all day perhaps even the next day. It was not comfortable. And then, I realized that there’s might be some truth to the need of humans to be validated and accepted. Eventually, I felt better and I worked on myself to deal/cope with this in a wiser fashion.
Yes, it is very human to want to be validated but there is something even stronger than that. The fear of being shamed and humiliated. I think we all felt that in school to a certain extent. The days where we had to recite a poem in front of the class. All eyes were on us and we were trying our best not to show the “agony” we felt inside.
Going to the canteen and fearing that we might drop our tray and be the laughingstock of the school for the day. God forbid we should fart during an exam and have our reputation ruin for the rest of our school days.
We want to fit in and don’t want to feel the shame and humiliation of being left out because we are different and/or have done something that does not sit well with the norm of the group.
The school days are such a great example because at that time we really worry about what our peers would say about us. So, we might hide our real taste. We might hide our real opinions. We might dress a certain way and act a certain way that is completely inauthentic.
That’s pretty much the life of a teenager. The need to conform is strong in them and unfortunately, it carries on throughout their adult life. Peter Sage said that we worry about the good opinion of other people (GOOP). That’s our main concern. We shape our lives, our tastes, our discussions, our lifestyle based on GOOP.
Truth be told, we worry about people’s opinions but in reality, we are concerned about what we think other people think about us. It’s really just speculation. Furthermore, the reality is, nobody really thinks about us. Why? Because they are also worried about what they think others might think about them.
Do you not see it? In our concerns and worries, we aggrandize our position in this world. Our ego tends to put us in a solipsistic perspective where we think the world revolves around us.
Yes, obviously, the world revolves around us from our vantage point but in reality, everybody is living their lives the same way which means that you as a separate entity occupy little of their thoughts in the grand scheme of their lives.
Nobody really cares. Everybody is busy with their own thoughts, fears, and worries. It’s liberating. Nobody really gives a fuck about us. When we really understand that. We can live a life free of the concern of what others think about us.
Yes, sometimes, people might think about you. You have a workplace, a group of friends, a family, an entourage, different circles, maybe you are a creator and artist, maybe you are a public figure, etc…
Yes, people might have an opinion about you. And perhaps that opinion is not something that fits the image that you want to convey. Living a life trying to bend the image people have of you to the image you want them to have of you is moot and completely ridiculous.
You know why? Because it’s pretty much impossible. And not only that, you will lose your authenticity doing so, and furthermore, you will never be able to have everyone on the same boat.
I grew up very skinny and I got teased. Those were not the best years of my life. After many years, I finally got bigger and fitter. I was so happy and it felt good. Even though I most definitely looked better, there were still some people (including myself at times) that were not necessarily thinking I look fit, big, and strong.
You see, everybody is different. What is good for someone is horrible for someone else. I have been single for a long time and I have been on countless dates.
It’s humbling, to say the least. What I realized is that you can’t be loved and adored by everybody. Some women will be crazy over you. Some women will be quite neutral about you and some women will find you completely unattractive.
It is what it is. “C’est la vie”. As the Buddha said nobody is completely praised or completely blamed. And that’s all good. We need to be ourselves. Our best authentic self and be comfortable being us. As Jim Carrey said :
“Our need to comfort can makes us invisible in this world”
Yes, being authentic can be uncomfortable and more polarizing. At this point, we are not trying to please anybody but ourselves. We are being true to who we are and let the chips fall where they may. We need to develop the confidence to be who we want to be and not let the world and our smaller self dictate our personality, behavior, and character.
We don’t need to act out and try to be “rebellious” for the sake of it. Oftentimes, people do that to be accepted in that way too. They are shaping their behaviors to impress others with their so-called “rebelliousness” but they are still seeking validation in a different way.
We need to be ourselves regardless of blame but also praise. Let’s not seek out praise too much. When we get too caught up in the likes of others we make ourselves fragile because now it becomes like a drug and if we don’t get it, we feel the withdrawal symptoms and suffer.
We need to validate ourselves and stay in our own lanes. That’s crucial for our well-being. What others think of us is really none of our business. Of course, we can take the feedback of others to improve as human beings but we are detached from the feedback. The Buddha said that we should make an island unto ourselves. He also said that as a rock is unshaken by the winds, the water, and the sun so should we be unshaken by praise or blame.