Why Do We Want To Be Part Of A "group"?

Why do we want to be part of a "group"? Is it because when we lived in caves, it was to survive, and that instinct remains in our subconscious today? Banding together makes us feel safe and comfortable.


And it is based around interests now, isn't it? We have a "my group is better than your group" mentality that goes back to the time of the cave tribes. Sports, music, politics, religion. And this is defended with passion. Is it out of loyalty or that old subconscious instinct?


When 911 happened in NYC, people banded together instantaneously to recover from a devastating blow, reaffirming the instinct to come together as one tribe. As I and a friend went from one hospital to another to try to volunteer, we were turned away from every hospital, because TOO MANY people had volunteered already! They were overfilled with volunteers! In times of crisis, the survival instinct comes to the fore quickly.


For those that live outside the group, this is sometimes not by choice. They are shunned or cast out, just like in the time of the tribes, to fend for themselves. Only the strongest survived back then. Now, in modern times, these loners/outcasts survive quite well.


For those that choose to be alone, outside of the "group", this can be for several reasons... one may feel that they don't want to be part of a group, creating a "me against the world" mentality. This can stem from not getting along with others, or being hurt by someone or some negative experience, but it happens in spite of our natural instinct to band together.


For myself, for a year, in my senior year of high school, I became part of a group, and then again, as an adult, several times found a group to "belong" to, and it was an empowering experience. But as a child, I developed a loner lifestyle that comes back sometimes as an adult. I never felt like I fit in, until I was accepted in those groups for who I was, as an individual.

 

When we are accepted for who we truly are, for our true identities, this becomes a completely fulfilling experience.


In my music and film, "X: The Human Condition", I ask the question-
How do those that feel alone, alienated or "different" feel, cope, survive, and conquer their fear, resentment and anger, to heal and heal others?


What are your thoughts?

XTHC XTHC
31-35, M
73 Responses Feb 24, 2010

yes claysu, true.

Subtly, I think we are all aware that we are all the same, we are one.

I would suggest that we group together to feel secure, as in a group we have greater acceptance of opinion and beliefs. The cave mentality is exactly where this need stems from, this is why we have created church groups that have splintered into a plethora of other groups, each having to evolve to suit its current followers so that they remain engaged in the group. From football clubs to political parties humans have always sought the need to feel wanted and that they had a place where those wants were validated. The whole internet phenomena has created a tool for a vast pool of like-minded people to find others who share the same social values and ideas. It is an interesting question. <br />
<br />
The spirit humanity was on show on 911 along with our other side, the side that encourages violence and then follows that course of action. We have groups that believe in the racial extermination of other races and groups that find acceptance in denying others. <br />
<br />
This is just a part of the human tapestry and I feel it is an almost self administered form of therapy. Groups can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on which group you belong to. As a youth I was never a part of the crowd and think that had I have been then I may be a different person now.

I have some ideas about humans and grouping behaviour that i need to update onto a story of mine, so i guess i can let you know about that one, i dont think lonely people can conquer their lonliness, you only have to look around on here, maybe in a cruel sense only some have the strength to persevere while others need help from a 3rd party, and some just simply will never help themselves out of choice and sink deeper into lonliness<br />
<br />
the people who rise above it, there are an abundance of examples of those who will use their new found strength to help others, like how people will observe rock stars who used to be a outcasted geek in school or a chronically disabled guy who gives out inspirational speeches and key self help information to people across the globe<br />
<br />
i try not to relate everything to our primate nature as it seems to be the thing going on in sociological study atm, its all very nice establishing a cause and effect, but it just takes the focus off what we can be capable of with and enlightened, modern mind rather than dwell on what ape instincts we were born with...<br />
<br />
my thoughts as per requested

Well, I come from a Christian perspective...mind you not a "religious" perspective but a perspective that says...God made us to be relational beings. God desires relationship with us and we need a relationship with Him and others. However, we live in a fallen world and sometimes, crazy as it sounds, I think it becomes an issue of supply and demand. What I mean by that is there are simply not enough people looking for a relationship or who are open to a relationship as there are people needing a relationship or a relationship group. So just the fact that I am a Christian woman does not open all doors to social groups within a Christian church, for example. As a matter of fact, I think, and I hate to say this, that often Christian groups are the very hardest to break into...especially if you are different in lifestyle or perspective, etc. I have a hard time finding a group, I confess. I was extremely shy during my school days so I was a loner. And, like you said, those loner tendencies come back to me often in adulthood. As an adult, I've come to realize I'm also an outlier. I am in my late 40s, divorced, no children...I don't fit well in normal society, especially in small town society in a town where I did not grow up. Plus, as a Christian woman, being divorced and not remarried does not exactly make you a desired commodity within a social group. So trying to fit in somewhere has become pretty dicey for me. But I am aware of how much I need others, even though I would rather NOT need others truth be told. If you are alone like me...parents deceased, no close family members nearby and no spouse or kids, you know you have to find a social support network somewhere. Like, for example, I needed someone to drive me to a medical test that required me to be put under and I could not drive myself afterwards. That's a pretty practical need. I think when you are younger, you feel a little more invincible, but as you get older you realize that sometimes you need a helping hand, whether you want to or not. And beyond that very practical part of needing someone, there is also this deep desire within us to be known and understood which I think partly comes from our longing for God but also comes from our longing to have deep and meaningful relationships and experiences. But living in a fallen world can make getting that kind of depth in a relationship really hard...REALLY hard. So many things in life and this world tear people apart....some are great tradgedies like the loss of a child, some are little things like boredom with the drudge of life...you know work...eat....sleep...work. It's hard to stay strongly connected to others. Just plain hard. And yet we do long for it and need relationships. I need relationships. I'm stuck right now. I wrote a bit under the lonely group that fits with this a lot. I wish I could wave a magic wand and we would all find those that really loved us for who we are and really wanted to be with us and "got" us. That would be ever so nice. :)

I knew I'd get here eventually..<br />
<br />
I guess it all depends on what you're looking for. Some come looking for support, others friendship, again some seem to think that this is a freaking dating site.<br />
<br />
Searching ones' soul for me is the only way to find that which I cannot find outside of this. I search for things in others I feel I lack, or in some cases need boosting a little. Getting past that hurt and anger is the first thing to do, that step to take in order to reach past yourself and out into the world. Only then can you possibly heal, learn to survive, conquer fear and hopefully - eventually help others. <br />
<br />
Some, sadly as I have recently discovered can't even help themselves, much less anybody else. Going round and trying to drag another down for the lack of self esteem - writing discussing and making things up as they go along, only to end up more screwed up than they first began.

great stuff guys...this is truly a timeless discussion!

wow

mostly i love being alone,you sure get to know your selfe when you are alone...its all so how i live my life...

groups?!...well maybe for sex,but the more people the more complected it becomes,think about it ,.a room full people all tring to make sense,there egos at the full!....i guess the only thing about a group is that you think there is allays a better chance of servivel in a group or at least felling safe whene you are in a group.....i am not sure about that...its that most people need to be around people for emotional reasons and love ,compassion......The only thing is that it comes at a greet price to so people...

groups?!...well maybe for sex,but the more people the more complected it becomes,think about it ,.a room full people all tring to make sense,there egos at the full!....i guess the only thing about a group is that you think there is allays a better chance of servivel in a group or at least felling safe whene you are in a group.....i am not sure about that...its that most people need to be around people for emotional reasons and love ,compassion......The only thing is that it comes at a greet price to so people...

mostly i love being alone,you sure get to know your selfe when you are alone...its all so how i live my life...

Shadowed,<br />
thanks for sharing.<br />
IMO we are not that different from animals.<br />
I think humans are intelligent, cultivated animals, but animals nonetheless. (mammals to be exact...:)<br />
<br />
Int he animal kingdom, the hunters look for those animals that are weak...that they can kill and eat easily. They never attack the strongest...watch animal planet on TV and you'll see what I mean.<br />
<br />
So with humans it's the same thing. The bullies look for easy prey, so the best thing you can do is look or act like easy prey. Being part of a group is good for that, but not neccessary. Plenty of loners are "tough guys" no one messes with, because they give off that image. (scent)<br />
<br />
Certainly working out is great because muscles deter bad behavior and give off that "scent" of strength. But it's also mental toughness and the way you carry yourself.<br />
<br />
So to answer your question, IMO, the targets are perceived to be the weak ones. Fight back and you are no longer weak but they will test you again and again to make sure you can take it.<br />
It's the way of the jungle... the human jungle.<br />
<br />
I saw a horror film called "The Final" which was about bullied kids fighting back and crippling the bullies. It stuck with me. Worth watching but I have to say the revenge was a bit too much. Almost like Columbine. <br />
<br />
I did write a story on this that I will post on EP, called "Question Marks" on the Virginia Tech murders. Check it out.

XTHC In my experience, the whole stand up to a bully and they will go away thing never worked. I tried everything from yelling back, to not saying a word, and nothing stopped them. When you have heard something everyday for the majority of your life you begin to believe it is true, and then what is there to stand up to? Those that are bullied harshly from a young age often have all there hope and pride practically beaten out of them by the time they reach their teen years, what is there to fight back with?<br />
<br />
It might be a test, a poorly designed and executed test, but a test none the less, and yet even with that explanation there is still one key piece of information missing. How are people chosen to be tested? Not everyone is bullied in school, and amongst those that were bullied there is different levels of abuse. What is it about a person that makes them a living target for these tests?

Posted by XTHC on Mar 17th, 2010 at 4:48PM <br />
julie,<br />
"I am looking for groups that have the same interests as me so we can share and maybe form some type of friendship or common understanding. "<br />
<br />
I think you have found a great place here online...:)<br />
In the physical world, have you tried meetup.com? <br />
No I haven't tried meetup.com and really I wouldn't, at least not now. As I rarely leave the house I have agoraphobia and only leave the house for dr and therapy appointments and to take my dog out. So just when I joined experience project did I ever try to form any group of online interaction with people. I am a crazy yea but I will admit it. I am not really crazy just afraid of this world. I really like this group and the opening you made to it and your comments following people's answers to the questions.<br />
I am me and will not change it or try to be fake I just write and join things that I like or that interest me.<br />
Thanks again for the click. Will be back. Julie

I'm just waiting for things to flow......maybe for something nice to come my way (like a social life or love), I don't want to go searching anymore, I just want to sit on my *** and wait (mostly to busy too anyway) and I just recently found acceptance is evil, I'd say screw it but you kinda need the bloodie thing (sorry if I sound blunt I'm very relaxed and loving it) I can't really explain it other then saying I'm at a cross roads and i really want a map or someone beside me

Shadowed,<br />
If people belong in groups why are some people pushed away?<br />
<br />
My opinion is that this could be a test- a survival of the fittest. However when you stand up to a bully he leaves you alone. Bullies must ALWAYS be stood up to. I have the bruises to prove it, LOL. But its not easy...What do you think?<br />
<br />
What makes us reject someone from a group? <br />
<br />
I think that would happen if you dont feel comfortable with them for whatever reason.<br />
Or not enough in common.<br />
again I'd like to hear your opinion.

Unlucky,<br />
love what you wrote but saying you are unlucky doesnt make you any luckier...:)<br />
What would happen if you called yourself "lucky" just to see what happens? And then if something bad happens, well, since you're "lucky" your good luck will come back soon. If something good happens, then your name becomes more real...seems to me to be a better road to travel on. <br />
<br />
Of course this is my opinion and you can think however you like, But one important life lesson I have learned is that the way we speak to ourselves, the labels we put on ourselves can keep creating the same crap over and over again, or can turn our lives around, a little bit at a time...<br />
<br />
"Be the change you want to see in the world"- Ghandi.

julie,<br />
"I am looking for groups that have the same interests as me so we can share and maybe form some type of friendship or common understanding. "<br />
<br />
I think you have found a great place here online...:)<br />
In the physical world, have you tried meetup.com?

julie,<br />
"I am looking for groups that have the same interests as me so we can share and maybe form some type of friendship or common understanding. "<br />
<br />
I think you have found a great place here online...:)<br />
In the physical world, have you tried meetup.com?

Paradox, you wrote, <br />
"I have been aloner for partly all my life, i was a small and fat kid when i was in elementry school, i got picked on for being small and having blonde hair, for the last year i was a part of a group but it didn't last long, in high school i got into a small group of 4 that lasted till gr.11 and then we started breaking apart i i found my self lost and just put my head in books, i found another group that liked what i liked but they all left all at once and i rarely see anyone anymore, i was in groups but no one saw me or heard what i have to say, so i couldn't get my own words, i chose to be alone as away to say "HELP", it has gotten the help i wanted, but not what i needed, i'm still looking and waiting for that thing to come........but i don't want to wait forever, i believe groups are a way of hidding and just sticking close to what you know, i don't know this makes sense "<br />
<br />
<br />
I think that choosing to be alone as a way to say "help" may not work, as you have said.<br />
What is it that you are waiting for? Acceptance for who you are? Can you please clarify?

I found your story very interesting and true. Being part of a group does make us feel comfortable and safe. I am trying to become part of to feel more "normal" as I have been secluded I guess by choice and mostly by fear of "People" and open places. In high school I was very shy the first two years but during the summer before my third year I decided to change and become "Stoner" or "a bad kid" and changed all my clothes to rock shirts, ripped my jeans, changed my hair and starting hanging with different people, wrote on my clothes etc. But I really didn't really fit there either and was always on the outs of that crowd. When I graduated from high school I never saw them again. I went to college and was really not in any crowd.<br />
I am looking for groups that have the same interests as me so we can share and maybe form some type of friendship or common understanding. It's important to me as was said in the opening story that people have some of the same experiences as they will know where I am coming from when I speak or write about something. J<br />
Being part of a group that has the same interests or th

I am another one who was forced to be alone, for way too long, and it has left me mentally scarred. Why do humans have groups, I don't know, I can't even truly say what it is like to be in one as I haven't been. <br />
I do know what happens to people who spend their formative years alone and then are forced to function in the real world. We get lost and forgotten, left behind for something we can't control. Social Anxiety Disorder is what I was diagnosed with at sixteen, but that is just putting a name to something I have been dealing with since I was in the third grade. <br />
<br />
It boils down to this, are groups necessary for survival? No, I am still here. Are they necessary to be in if you want to function normally in today's world? Yes, because I can't. I am sorry I can't give statistics or even have any corroboration at all for what I just said, but I would rather say what I have seen and experienced than tell you second or third hand information. <br />
<br />
Being alone left it's mark on me, I have no social skills amongst my peers, I grew up with only my parents social coaching and it leaves me caught in a generational void. The only emotions I was shown in school was anger, hate, and fear, so that was really all I understood. I know etiquette and manners well enough, but actual interaction between people is beyond me without a lot of patience on the other person's side. I had a good family to show me how to trust and respect people, but I only have three people my own age that truly have both from me. I can go out of the house and be around people when I want to, but I am always scared someone is going to hurt or attack me in some way. It is hard to trust and respect someone you are scared of. <br />
<br />
As much as I envy those who can come and go in the social circles with ease, I understand that it is natural for people to both want to be together and apart. The tricky part is getting the balance right. The question you didn't ask, and the one I haven't been able to find the answer to is this. <br />
<br />
If people belong in groups why are some people pushed away? What makes us reject someone from a group?

I have found that even though I desire to be a part of a group or tribe, as I was with a dance troupe, I still want to be on my own. To be separate from a group, I can truly be myself.

I have been aloner for partly all my life, i was a small and fat kid when i was in elementry school, i got picked on for being small and having blonde hair, for the last year i was a part of a group but it didn't last long, in high school i got into a small group of 4 that lasted till gr.11 and then we started breaking apart i i found my self lost and just put my head in books, i found another group that liked what i liked but they all left all at once and i rarely see anyone anymore, i was in groups but no one saw me or heard what i have to say, so i couldn't get my own words, i chose to be alone as away to say "HELP", it has gotten the help i wanted, but not what i needed, i'm still looking and waiting for that thing to come........but i don't want to wait forever, i believe groups are a way of hidding and just sticking close to what you know, i don't know this makes sense

God created us to be social beings. He wants us to fellowship with other believers so that we can learn from each other and grow in our faith and support each other in times of need. Everyone needs to feel loved and to have a sense of belonging. We long to have people in our lives who understand us and accept us for who we are. We need people that give us a reason for living. Unfortunately, it's not easy finding a group to fit in to these days. We live in a very judgmental society. The world can be a very lonely place for some people. It's even worse for those who've been involved in a group that they felt a strong sense of belonging to, and then one day that group turns on them and rejects them for no legitimate reason.

Hard to keep up with everyone!<br />
I will try....<br />
<br />
All of us,<br />
Interesting point. This is worth thinking about.<br />
<br />
usedandbroken,<br />
i hope that what you say is true, but please dont use that name for yourself. It makes me feel sorry for you rather than respectful of you. I know you have alot of great qualities because i can tell from your words. Please consider the message you are sending with your name here.<br />
<br />
Josie,<br />
i think you got it right...somewhere in the middle is most healthy!<br />
<br />
AB, <br />
thanks for your sharing. It's very true but be careful to read unreality's post...:)

Unreality,<br />
"once you get into the habit of not socialising it just starts becoming a habit until eventually it becomes a habit thats hard to change. "<br />
<br />
very true. Thats why we must push ourselves to be social. Otherwise we become used to being alone.

Physical,<br />
"My thoughts are to be yourself and the hell with everyone else. Unfortunately,most humans are mindless sheep that flock together in their own little herds and could care less about others unless it affects them and theirs'. I keep my world small and just be who I am and not what others want me to be. Better to be liked or hated for who you are than be counterfeit. "<br />
<br />
Absolutely, agreed...wonderful attitude. Read Teddy Roosevelt's "Man in the arena " speech.<br />
I know you will love it.

Very good. Very thoughtful. Quite a bit of discussion generated and that is good. I think many of us slide between loner and 'groupie' in our lives based on the moment or what feelings are happening with us. I know I've been both. I like both, just not an over abundance of both.

I feel the majority of social problems (depression, loneliness, anxiety, mental illness and so on) may be due to rapidly advancing modern technology which restricts our inheritance of our true primal selves. Everything is too fast and somehow too easy. We are now seeing all around us the evidence of a modern society no longer able to meet our real needs. Family and relationships are breaking down under the pressure and signs of great unhappiness are everywhere. The idea now is very much along the lines of coping with life rather than actually living life. It's sad but probably true. I think I may try joining a tribe, if I can find one!

I think a great deal of people who feel like outcast or loners set themselves up to be this way, being one I know. If you really felt this way and wanted a group to feel included in it is real easy to start one. Simply reach out to others that the more popular groups do not let in. If the loners and outcast move closer together they would not be so any longer. But what I have found to be true is that they do not want a group like that they desire to fit in and be included into the more popular groupings. So in this aspect we ourselves create the loner or outcast that is us.

This is a good story and i totally agree with the early evolution of social constructs effecting how we act and bond together today.<br />
Since I was about 8 I've staying by myself pretty much not completely alone but i hardly talk to anyone I mainly cope by distracting myself with trivial activities and trying not to think about it.<br />
I think this isolation is half self imposed and half wanting to socialise but finding it difficult to know what to do and giving up.<br />
A lot of the time i dont even think about talking to people when i'm out and about, I mainly just think and stay in the background.<br />
I don't know if it's extreme introversion (If that exists) or what.<br />
And this behaviour usually results in people not contacting me thinking i'm boring or uptight or something.<br />
Once i was the most outging person in the world ,you couldnt stop me from talking but i guess once you get into the habit of not socialising it just starts becoming a habit until eventually it becomes a habit thats hard to change.

interesting. indeed, i believe- supported by the science of this age- that collections of people are prodcued, ultimately, out of the very strong and real drive to survive. a group of proto humans with little in the way of strong physical weaopons- no claws, speed, muscle, poisons etc had to collect into groups to survive as both potential prey and predator.<br />
<br />
our biology has barely moved from those times to catch up to our very sterile and humanless world. we are not evolved to work 9-5, take two weeks of rest a year or even live in such huge communities, the latter being a reason why we do not do well in large groups and cities become cold places to live.<br />
<br />
but we all try to make our families outside of the woefully too infrequently supportive biological ones of our childhood. i am an outsider. i've always been treated differently, from coming out so early and and being ostrasized by family and school students and even teachers to having a deep cumpulsion to find the truth and TALK ABOUT IT, leaving many people uncomfortable. it amazes me how much of reality is uncomfortable to most people. some of my desires and experiences are not considered by many to be comfortable or even acceptable. but i have found "family" along the way. and though that family is now only two people, one of them being my mother- i long for more. don't we all?

there is a large concentration for former "outcasts" among the EP membership. This is probably because it is much easier to join an EP conversation than to get accepted into a real-life group. EP provides peer support in situations where, in real life, members feel alone with their problems .

Problem is, we'll never be accepted for who we are by everybody. If you get lucky, you meet one person in your life time who will accept you for who you are. We need other people to survive, it's a part of life, I'm not entirely sure why, I don't question things like that. I know what is, not why it is.

"<br />
So, if you have a chance, tell someone they are a good friend, that you value them, and they are important. It goes a long way for most people. "<br />
<br />
Geetar,<br />
I could not have said it better myself. thank you.

very true Amy...I'd like to suggest meetup.com<br />
Try it out.

hi XTHC ,its not a matter where u look only..sometimes fears or the way we live makes it difficult to make friends..

amy,<br />
I'm glad that you found friends here, but if you can find friends here, you can find them anywhere...even face to face.<br />
It's just a question of where to look...:)

amy,<br />
I'm glad that you found friends here, but if you can find friends here, you can find them anywhere...even face to face.<br />
It's just a question of where to look...:)

amy,<br />
I'm glad that you found friends here, but if you can find friends here, you can find them anywhere...even face to face.<br />
It's just a question of where to look...:)

"I think people that feel alienated heal others by showing them that it is okay to be different. Once they realize that if they don't put theirself out there, they won't be happy, then the change will happen. "<br />
<br />
Thank you for saying this. <br />
My belief is that I, and you, and anyone who feels alone are having this experience for a reason- so that we can share with others, our experience, and show each other that we are NOT alone and that yes, it's ok to be "different".<br />
Does that make sense?<br />
<br />
what do you guys think about this?

I was that person in school that was always alone with nobody to talk to. I had no friends. I think people that feel alienated heal others by showing them that it is okay to be different. Once they realize that if they don't put theirself out there, they won't be happy, then the change will happen. They will most likely be left in the background, or in a corner watching people, or "groups" live their life. I still have yet to find the true passion to go out and find people like me. I just have not found them yet.

i think is also how someone learn to live...maybe was always alone ,maybe was always with others and still feel lonely or maybe,maybe....for different reasons..maybe even fears..<br />
we need to be part of a group like u say 'group'...i feel more comfortable being alone-coz of some fears- but i also feel lonely...though being on ep i feel better and being part of a group of true friends..

Coming from a Biblical point of view, God created us to be social. God created man to have a relationship with him. When God created Adam God knew he was not yet complete but wanted Adam to learn and understand this concept as well. When Adam went to God about feeling out of place God made for him a help mate, someone he could relate better to. God created us to be relational to desire relationship with each other and Him.<br />
People have long since tried to replace God with a multitude of things and to make God like us so we can better understand Him. But we were not designed to totally understand or have that kind of interaction. So we migrate towards each other and like anyone knows like minded people are attracted to each other. We know we need each other we just do not remember why. So we come up with reasons to have people around and to belong somewhere. We know we are suppose to belong but we feel we do not, this goes back to the fall of man and the removal from the Garden. We like to be around those who make us feel happy or safe and secure. We know we are not meant to be alone. Even those who try and live a life of solitude come out everyonce in awhile to be around people again. And monks by the way live in a social community so you can not really say they live in solitude, you can not be in solitude with someone else.<br />
We will always find someone to be in relation with even if it is not a good experiance, we consider it better than the alternative, being alone.

@NaturesSeed: said <i>"I have always been a strong believer that people need people. I think about Genesis. When Adam was in a perfect world with no crime, hate, or anything else that was negative, God looked at him and said "It is not good for man to be alone." It's when we place value on anything else but human life that the great divide starts."</i><br />
<br />
But you left out most of the story: <i>"After God created Adam, who was alone, He said, 'It is not good for man to be alone.' He then created a woman for Adam, from the earth, as He had created Adam himself, and called her Lilith. Adam and Lilith immediately began to fight. She said, 'I will not lie below,' and he said, 'I will not lie beneath you, but only on top. For you are fit only to be in the bottom position, while I am to be the superior one.' Lilith responded, 'We are equal to each other inasmuch as we were both created from the earth.' But they would not listen to one another."</i><br />
<br />
After Lilith leaves Adam (because she refuses to submit to him), God creates a second unnamed companion but Adam refuses to go near her because seeing her created horrified him. Then God creates Eve to be Adam's "wife" rather than his equal and gives Adam dominion over her.<br />
<br />
But that relationship hardly worked out any better. After they were banned from the Garden of Eden Adam cursed Eve and separated from her for the next 130 years.<br />
<br />
So the whole story is about isolation & loneliness & rejection.

That's a pretty cool insight DH (although I think you are doing yourself a disservice by calling yourself "disabled hippie". I mean if that's how we should know you, it paints a sad picture. Is that what you want? I'm sure you have qualities that make you beautiful. I would like to know THOSE qualities.)<br />
:)<br />
But lets stay on topic here.<br />
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If like you say, the outcast would not have survived, but now, through modern miracles, the outcast can survive, then yes, I would agree it's an abnormality, however....outcasts have banded together for survival as well, and succeeded. ..and continue to do so all the time.<br />
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But one has to be willing to risk rejection to find another...

very moving, thank you. I feel your words and I thank you for sharing this. Please remember you are not alone. This is why I am here.

I do not recall ever wanting to a part of a group. I have been 'different' my whole life. It was made clear to me by others since very early in my childhood and I despised the being different, special, unique, etc. lables growing up well into my 20s. I accept it now...the labels, that is, but I do not even care anymore. <br />
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I have wanted to feel accepted by one other person, though, by no one in particular. To know that you are accepted is the one thing I lack; therefore it is the one thing I desire above all that I desire. <br />
<br />
I am starting to think that most of us who did not feel love and acceptance early in life have a hard time or are even unable to be happy with ourselves. When we are left alone, we are miserable, because we have no choice, except to face ourselves. That can be a very scary thing if unwilling to do it or doing it for the first time.<br />
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I have been involved with different groups over the years, but it was never to survive. I thought it would be interesting to be around like minded people. My mind, like others, is interested in many ideas that unfortunately could never fit into one group. I find myself quickly disillusioned and wanting to retreat. It is not that I feel my ideas or way of thinking threatened. The politics of groups can be very trying on individuals. <br />
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So for me, it goes back to being able to share yourself with just one other person. The problem with this is that we all change. Some of us change only a few times in our lives and others are constantly changing. You may be able to accept, totally and fully accept another, and they may be able to accept you, but only for a season. Such heartbreak can cause us 'loners' to retreat deep inside our caves. I try not to dwell on this idea too much. I do not like to have pity on myself and when I do I am aware of how self-centered that is. I just try to help when I can, knowing that I am being the best me that I can be. If I am ever fortunate to find someone who could accept me for who I am then I will be very blessed. And if I do not, I will still be blessed to have been a help for so many lives.<br />
<br />
So how do the outcast heal? Stopping looking at themselves and give of themselves. When you can give of yourself, that is a truly fulfilling experience. I do not believe you can do it, with the expectation of something in return. If you are expecting payment, then you are not giving anything.

Great stuff guys. Really great stuff!

there are SO MANY good thoughts here! i'm overwhelmed, but in the best of ways!!<br />
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i believe that there are benefits and disadvantages to both being alone, and to being part of a group. we need these different stations in life in order to learn what we need to know for the next one, whatever it may be. human connectivity is truly a wonderous and beautiful beast.<br />
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i think a great deal of our groupings has to do with individual perception, personal growth/experience, and attitude. it's a crazy thing, but the world really is what you make of it. i remember feeling alone on many occasions. it can hurt like hell, but eventually, it always opens a new door. i don't really consider myself part of any one group; instead, i try to focus on our global community, to learn and absorb what i can.<br />
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speaking of prehistoric group roots, i have a half-cocked daydream that humanity was once a single heavenly being who committed a great sin of ego, whatever it might have been. our penance: to be cast down to earth and divided infinitely until we could somehow find a way to live with ourselves. maybe we'll figure it out, maybe not.<br />
<br />
42. :)

Its sad that these days people that naturally have a high sense of empathy tend to isolate themselves from the agressive and selfish social relations so common in contemporary society.

I like feeling alone in silence with a true friend.True friends share the silence other worlds.Some inteligent and sensitive people know the art of empathy: that is the key in quality of human condition.Psycopaths dont feel empathy, they only appear to be human, and society today is friendly to psycopathic behaviour.A recent study revealled that most people in powerful places in goverment and corporations are 'corporate psycopaths'.But i have faith that most of us - the silent lambs will one day be brave and expell the wolves from our genetic pool forever and transform the world to something wonderfull that our imagination today cant reach.And my friend you are not alone, for what i sense about you i am your friend forever, i would love to make music with you.

XTHC: the human need to belong in a group is universal, but cultures differ in the way they organise individuals into larger groups. There is a bit of geographical determinism at work, for example, great river civilisations required their members to act more cohesively.

I am a person who feels comfortable w/silence. I do not like to be around other people and noise for more than a few minutes. I get overstimulated by noise very easily and that makes me very irritable and angry. There is nothing I like better than being alone in a quiet place. I have not met many people who share my feelings. I grew up an only child in a silent household. Even as a child I didn't. Like to be around others and I still don't. It's not that I don't like interacting w/ others, it's that I can only do it in small doses.

I am a person who feels comfortable w/silence. I do not like to be around other people and noise for more than a few minutes. I get overstimulated by noise very easily and that makes me very irritable and angry. There is nothing I like better than being alone in a quiet place. I have not met many people who share my feelings. I grew up an only child in a silent household. Even as a child I didn't. Like to be around others and I still don't. It's not that I don't like interacting w/ others, it's that I can only do it in small doses.

I am a person who feels comfortable w/silence. I do not like to be around other people and noise for more than a few minutes. I get overstimulated by noise very easily and that makes me very irritable and angry. There is nothing I like better than being alone in a quiet place. I have not met many people who share my feelings. I grew up an only child in a silent household. Even as a child I didn't. Like to be around others and I still don't. It's not that I don't like interacting w/ others, it's that I can only do it in small doses.

too young,<br />
i am sorry for your loss. Know that you are not alone. We are here as proof of that. You need to find people that you can enjoy being with. I always suggest meetup.com as a good place, but lets try to stay on subject here...:) <br />
Feel free to PM me or any of us...we're here to share.

I have always been set apart and i have always liked it. i was an only child didn't have many friends and i didn't really care. i have just been too shy and didn't really know what to say to others it felt too weird! sometimes in school i envied the "cool" people but it never seemed that important to try and fit in. something strange has occurred for once in my life i keep feeling like i don't want to be alone anymore and i don't know why its so frustrating for years i was so content and now i can't hardly stand it! i find myself being with sort of friends i don't really like much just to avoid being alone it's not been fun! so anyway i enjoyed your story thank you

love you guys!

This was a great post!=D Other than in the evolutionary sense perhaps our first experiences in groups are with our families and our sense of building some of our first relationships that we depend on for survival. When you were mentioning 9/11 and how everyone was coming together then I thought about the power of sharing emotional experiences. Some would call it intimacy; others would call it a strong sense of sharing empathy, but this is what I believe is what really binds any human experience together.

I am very grateful to all of you for lending your thoughts to this discussion.<br />
It's alot to think about, but PRODUCTIVE thinking is GOOD! <br />
Not the kind of over-thinking that makes us feel crappy...LOL

I really like the reasons stated so far. I would also like to add that our need to be in groups (or out of it) is because of our self-esteem and how we see ourselves.

Im a person that needs people. However I also like to be left alone at times too. There's that fear of abandonment, that when we can no longer look after ourselves we need someone else to turn to.<br />
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Then there's the mob mentality issue. How many people feel strong enough to stand up alone..not many.

it's true, people usually need to belong to some group. It is proved that people who don't live separated lives live longer. <br />
But I still kind of like being a bit outsider than to belong to some group.

This is an interesting discussion. For a long time the only group I wanted to join was a group of contemplative monks, people who isolate to contemplate, actually live in "caves" and pray. There is work and meals shared in silence. SOLITUDE.<br />
The discussion here has noting to do with solitude but with social reasons for solitude. I never joined the monastery. I have enjoyed years of solitude and many more years of being somewhat social. I tend to want to be in a leadership position when in a group. It's a personal thing more than a will to power. I do not like being told what and where to do things. I like solitude because I get to follow the natural course of my thoughts, biology, etc.<br />
In keeping with that, I do not like to violate someone else's feeling of autonomy. I encourage it when a person feels in need of someone to control them. When I lead, I ask people to follow the thoughts they have to accomplish the task - this comes in handy when leading middle school students through a social studies lesson, they remain engaged, I facilitate.<br />
Yes we need each other. We help eachother. Some, like myself, need to recharge alone so we are useful to the group.

your story is amazing you see everything so clearly , you are an inspiration and everyone can relate to what you had to say. i totally agree with you about groups but we need to except ourselves for who we are and love ourselves. it hurts when you dont fit in and starts from the time you are born. we need love and our family around us and as we get older we crave love and excetance. being lonely is painful. i feel alone in this world and it is not at all nice, i get by trying to help others in need it gives a sense of self worth it is a struggle. it hurts when no one wants you and you have no one to turn to. we go against ourselves and live in misery trying to please others and using too much of our energy for others needs and forgetting our own needs. we go through life hating ourselves punishing ourselves. i have finally stopped and see things clearly now we have to stop and make our selves happy other wise we will not survive we will not be living just exist.

Kitten’s post made me think of a couple of things. Excuse for going on a tangent here.<br />
The desire to be part of a “family” is not uniquely human there are other species that are even more dependent on family than we are. For example, the culling of elephant herds in Africa destroys family groups causing young male elephants to go insane. <br />
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Kitten’s post also illustrates the differences between proximate causes, our personal experiences with groups and ultimate causes, the incompatibility of modern society and human nature. I only point this out because often people/society fails to grasp important issues of global significance because people can’t differentiate between the two. In discussions you often hear people arguing as if ultimate and proximate causes are contradictory or mutually exclusive, especially when discussing issues of personal experience. <br />
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It may seem purely didactic but in my humble opinion it is one of the marks of intelligent discussion and I’m glad to see that you separate these as well.

This is a well thought out commentary. I have always been a strong believer that people need people. I think about Genesis. When Adam was in a perfect world with no crime, hate, or anything else that was negative, God looked at him and said "It is not good for man to be alone." It's when we place value on anything else but human life that the great divide starts. I think that's one of the reason my mother raised my sister's and I the way she did. She placed value on life be it human or any other. Funny thing about that is, it's because of that way of thinking that I am alone more often than not,.

MtnMig wrote <br />
"our social evolution has outpaced our biological evolution. Our brain is the same tribal brain of 200,000 years ago now trying to cope with a social arrangement that is incompatible with our nature."<br />
Agree totally. This incompatibility is causing all kinds of problems with human interaction. Technical advances are proceeding so rapidly that our biological selves have absolutely no hope of catching up. I believe this is causing a kind of social chaos.

MtnMig is EXACTLY right. I all has to do with evolution.<br />
As much as technology and social trends can change, the brain hasn't changed all that much.<br />
Humans ARE social animals (as the norm), although there are always the exceptions.<br />
I think we need to socialize and be in groups because we need the interaction with other ppl. We need the stimulation, emotionaly or other. It is something we cannot truely gain from being alone.

Thoughtful post XTHC,<br />
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We are a social animal. Studies have shown that people with more social connections have better immune systems and on average live longer, healthier and happier lives. <br />
The tribal or group mentality is also inherent in humans. There have been some very interesting studies that show that we have an innate physiological response to people that are different from us. Behavioral studies have also shown that even very young children form groups with other similar children and more importantly they differentiate themselves from others and are prone to be hostile towards those that are ‘different’.<br />
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I don’t wish to bore everyone but in-a-nut-shell, our social evolution has outpaced our biological evolution. Our brain is the same tribal brain of 200,000 years ago now trying to cope with social arrangement that is incompatible with our nature.<br />
<br />
From a more personal perspective I think many of us feel alienated because we fail to fit the stereotypes that people use to define themselves and find their group. I certainly don’t fit any.