black pawn being painted white as the rest of the pawns

Losing Yourself by Conforming to Culture

There are are two types of people. Those that no with the crowd and those who decide to go against it. Both have been a victim of herd mentality because they come to realize why people give in to peer pressure. Belonging to a group of people is an essential need. The problem begins when following the crowd means ignoring your own intuition. They begin to compromise themselves in order to belong.

Difference in Values Creates Conflict

If we are placed in a certain environment or culture in which the values differs from our own, and we are being asked ton conform to this culture in which we don’t believe, we are in immediate conflict. Even if we don’t have much convention in our heart about these values, we conform. We conform because we feel the social pressure of needing to change so we don’t deal with social rejection. We conform, not because we believe in the culture, but because we are afraid to feel pain.

External Conflict Becomes Internal Conflict

So, we’re a part of the group. Everything is good, right? Since we never believed in these values, our new actions betray our own belief system. We became a part of the group to eliminate the external conflict of rejection, but now we deal with the internal conflict of self-rejection. We begin to hate the things we do because they arise because of beliefs we don’t believe in. Instead of being ostracized by a group, we feel guilt.

Identity Change to End Guilt

We come to the end of our evolution. We don’t want to be guilty with our new actions, so we have to make the change to actually believe what the culture believes. The groups beliefs become our own. This might sound like a good thing. We don’t have the external conflict of being rejected. We also don’t have the internal conflict of guilt. The problem is that we’ve lost ourselves in the process.