How groups affect us
Have you ever wondered why, when some birds migrate, they do so in a big V shape? Scientist discovered that birds flying in a v shape use up to a 5th less energy and so can travel a great deal further together than they could alone. Others have suggested that holding a v shape allows the birds to maintain contact through their peripheral vision so that none of the birds get lost.
I see this as a very powerful symbol for our lives. We mix with people all the time but rarely think about how their energy affects us. I believe who we mix with has a huge impact on our energy. Like migrating birds, we can often do much more with supportive people around us than we can do alone. Group energy is incredibly powerful; working together as a team or focusing on something positive together can enhance your ability to cosmic order, heal, grow, and evolve. You only have to look at the intention experiment to see the power of group focus.
We live our lives in groups. Some we naturally gravitate towards and others, such as our family or the people we work with, aren’t necessarily those we’d choose to spend our time with, even though we do need to learn how to work within those relationships.
We are a herd species, and the prospect of isolation from a group is a powerful threat. Experiments from the field of social psychology have shown that groups put a lot of pressure on members to conform and exert a powerful influence, not just on how we behave, but what we hold to be true or possible. We can literally deny the evidence of our eyes to fit in with others. Not only that, but we can sabotage our own efforts and under perform in order to fit in and compromise our own values in a way that we’d never dream of doing were we alone.
The old adage birds of a feather flock together and the notion that you can tell a lot about a person by their friends are more than just sayings. Yes, we are all one but, where we have a choice, if we continually mix with people that put us down or have negative views on life or are innately destructive, it can impact our vibration.
When you understand the pressures that groups exert, you can know that you really don’t need to take it personally if you feel that the people around you are trying to change who you are. The fairy tale of the ugly duckling is a reminder of the importance of finding the group to which you feel you belong.
Spend some time thinking about all the different groups you mix with – the ones where you have a choice, and the ones you don’t. Make a note of the different ways that they influence you. For those groups where you have little choice as to how much time you spend with them, and where you feel the group has a potentially negative influence on you, think about the ways that you can better maintain your boundaries.
And outside of that, make a commitment to spending time with people who inspire you and get you. This can have an amazing impact on your life and your ability to create your future.
Find out more about the intention experiment
Read about the ten most important social psychology experiments that show how groups affect us.