Persons Vs People

OK, minor rant here. This is based primarily on what I have seen during my time watching humanity attempt to muddle through the great game that is Life. Each person is an individual. But that Person will only remain an individual for so long. The more individual Persons you put in one place, the more likely each person is to switch from Persons to People. Persons are a group of individuals, whereas People have passed over to herd (or pack, depending on the mood of the mob) mentality.
Each Person seems to have a threashold at which they give in to the People around them, and it often seems to be tied to their image of self-worth. Individuals who truly have a high opinion of themselves (usualy not the same People who strut around like they are high and mighty, though some of those Persons are included here too) tend to resist giving in much longer. Others, often the preening and posturing ones, seem to never switch over because they can only see themselves in terms of People, rather than as a Person.
The clearest way to see this is in dealing with a person one-on-one, (talking with them, generaly being sosiable) and then try dealing with the same Person when they are surrounded by their Peers. Rarely are they the same person during those gatherings, whether anyone they think they want to impress is around to listen or not.
I'm not immune to this any more than the rest of the teeming masses, though at least my own ideosyncrasies are more in the lines of shutting down until I gan get away from the herd, rather than joining in it. And my personal personality shifts have more to do with observing the reactions of others (an amusement of mine) than in trying to be accepted into the herd. Though that is an obsevation from within, not the most impartial viewpoint to have for that type of thing, so I imagine others may have a different take on me, much less the Press of People presently populating places.

Please, any desenting voices or likeminded views? I've said my speil, so speak.

Forums: 
V's picture

Embodiment

I'm not sure it's a singular switch so much as a gradual slope, but you're right that people are more susceptible to peer pressure when they're around their peers. There's also a threshold above which they're much less likely to speak up--in a group, a class, whatever

Gudy's picture

Embodiment

... why I generally avoid crowds (the other being that I'm generally too introverted to derive much enjoyment from such situations, anyway). My peer pressure threshold seems to be rather high, and being surrounded by people who all seem to be tuned to the same wavelength different from your own is a distinctly odd feeling. It's also educational and occasionally fascinating, but sometimes it's also simply uncomfortable.

Related to the whole affair is the observation that people simply aren't fixed. They change even in one-on-one interactions depending on who they're interacting with. And this isn't restricted to when the other person is from a different social group (parent, child, friend, peer, etc.), but happens even with different people from the same group.

In short, yes, humans are social animals and are largely defined by how they choose to interact with other humans. Smile

Pikachu42's picture

Embodiment

I've got a lot to say concerning this. I've seen it happen far to much in my life, mainly people in my family. E.G I can joke and play with my brother D when we're alone, but when his friends come around he's someone I don't know. At time I don't like this person he becomes. Now, my brother R on the other hand, well he's always marched to the beat of his own drum. Yes, he's been influenced by his peers to some extent, but he's still R and has never been R1 and R2. R2 being the person he would become in a group.
What I've noticed a lot though, is that I've Persons who've become People and you can see how sad they are. Parts of there Person personality (I hope I'm using the tenses correctly)peek out when talking to me (i'm a Person), but when People come around they shut down. I often wonder what happened to them to make the A. change who they are and B. why can't/don't they go back?
I know I thought about how much easier it would be if I was a People, but honestly I don't see the point. I have nothing in common with those people, and certainly don't want to force myself to be something I'm not.

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

He simply must learn to become an astro-navigational droid around groups of people. That would be totally bad ass.

kawaiikune's picture

Embodiment

when you combine that with her other brother, who is D, or likely D1 when alone, and D2 with his peers....

Raigne's picture

Embodiment

I followed the same logic and got the same chuckle from it. Blum 3

NorthwoodsMan's picture

Embodiment

:twss:

Raigne's picture

Embodiment

you didn't see the same joke we saw.

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

those were not the jokes he was looking for.

Gudy's picture

Embodiment

... surprised that his was next, and that it came from you? I tell you, Mos Eisley has nothing on this place... Blum 3

Raigne's picture

Embodiment

conforming is a bad thing. This is trendy idea in the west, but the truth is that every culture on the face of the earth has had some set of rules that members of that culture live by, and humans have conformed to these rules for various reasons.

For example:
It's a popular idea that slave labor was used to build the pyramids. The term slave connotes people who were degraded and filled with so much fear that they felt they had no choice but to obey, but look at the hierarchical structure of ancient Egyptian culture. There were far more people at the bottom than at the top, and when a large body of people are pushed to the breaking point, they rebel. There is something else at work in these cultures that makes people conform without questioning it. In ancient Egypt, it's divine mandate. The people learn through enculturation that that single person at the top is a God. That belief alone is a powerful motivator. People question intangible Gods all the time, but when you have one standing right there in front of you?

In many cases it's like the difference between becoming a freelance graphic designer or an in-house one. As a freelance designer you can set your own prices, choose your clients, and work your own hours, but you get no health insurance, no retirement plan, could have one big job and then months with nothing, and it's a bitch to file your taxes by yourself and convince landlords that you'll be able to pay the rent. In-house you have job security, steady income and benefits, but you make less money and you work for who you're told to when you're told to do it. There are trade-offs.

Also keep in mind that humans are social creatures. Sure there are people who are an exception, but if you take a single person, even an extremely introverted one, and completely remove them from humans, they will bond with animals. If you take away animals, they'll bond with plants. Humans are hardwired to form social relationships and groups. It's not conformity, or herd mentality you're looking at when it happens, it's biology and evolution.

ETA: I'm inserting the obligatory, "You non-conformists are all alike!"

Mith's picture

Supplicant

There's a cracked article on the things parents do that they think will help their children, but are actually terrible choices to make. I am reminded of it, because of the emphasis they put on... not fitting in, but being able to be social, maybe?

Also, with the Egypt thing, the other reason mass projects like that worked, was because of the society at the time, it was, as far as I've seen, not as individualistic as many are today. One got used to working in the fields together, so building a giant mother fuctking tomb was nbd.

Raigne's picture

Embodiment

That's all part of enculturation.

Mith's picture

Supplicant

Yes, and I do feel it is rather important. And totally fascinating...

JeVoudraisCake's picture

Supplicant

Yes, this is just something you need to keep in mind when dealing with humans. We're highly context-sensitive.

Personally, I much prefer myself in small groups or alone. I, too, find it difficult to join in with big crowds: I end up feeling as though I'm alone against a much bigger, stronger and capricious entity. Not fun.

I suppose everything changes everyone.

V's picture

Embodiment

Capriox is a control freak who could really stand to just loosen up a bit. Also, she agrees with everything I've said. Wink

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

Oh but, V, you're not being clear enough! Do you mean everything you said just now, or everything you've said ever? Blum 3

(What I *really* don't understand is all the other Type As out there in the world who go get skunk-drunk. C'mon, people, consistency!)

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

I'm not terribly type-A
but I do enjoy an occasional tipple...or six.

Marri's picture

Supplicant

*raises hand* I'm kind of Type A! Actually, I'd probably consider myself "really really Type A" but... I'm related to my mom and my sister. If there is a type above Type A, they are it.

On the other hand, as I mentioned elsewhere, I've only gotten completely and utterly skunk-drunk once, and then knowingly and on purpose, so does that even count? Biggrin

Capriox's picture

Embodiment

I second everything said by everyone above.

"Persons vs. People" also changes by the issue, too. There's always those couple topics where you have a very strong opinion or a lot more information on it than everyone around you, so you're more likely to resist slipping into whatever the immediate group response is in that area.

TheBoy's picture

Embodiment

Cap's on to something with this...

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