Self Help Now: A community blog

Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers advice for maintaining your mental health.

Are All Group Dynamics Like High School?

Written by Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade, Community blogger | Aug 10, 2014 4:50 PM

Is all life really like high school? Or elementary or middle school? An old chum since 7th grade and I were talking about someone who was a bully and over 50 years later, still is one. Then, someone who used to associate with me but stopped for some unknown reason seems to have invited many of my friends, including some who hardly know her and just were curious, to her gala party. But, she didn't invite me. Needless to say, I heard about the lovely event from multiple sources. Oh, well, been there before when the jocks and their molls let me sit with them at lunch and discussed their weekend events which didn't include me. My house isn't as big as hers. (A 5th-grader once told me that is a legitimate reason for exclusion.)  Or, it could be a sense of competition, since we're in the same field, although she's successful in her own right. Who knows? The real question is "why do I care?"

And therein lies the key to perpetual high school life right through to old age. Whether the snobs are in assisted living or on the playground, it feels the same. It's really not much different, either, when gossiping occurs. Whether it's two kids in the back seat on the way to soccer or two senior citizens taking a walk, there's the same sense of the gossiping person trying to feel superior by "knowing" what's going on and acting like a part of it. (Somewhat evil, in my opinion, although I've occasionally slipped.) What about counting birthday or other holiday greetings? That's something made easy by Facebook. Used to be the most popular kids got the most Valentines and whoever didn't felt sad. Is popularity measured by number of FB friends now?

confidence, who get labeled "nebishes," and who get ignored rudely.

People follow the leader everywhere, and it's a certain power group which sways the masses, takes over and controls what happens. It's school, it's work, it's community, and it's countries.

It's not that I'm really complaining  because I accept the realities of life with the smile and smirk of the observer. We individuals blend in when we have to but usually are happinest when we bond with fellow outliers in poking fun and having fun. 

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