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The Vulnerable State of Non-Conformity

Dana Corriel, MD asks whether one must "conform" to group-think, if they're to lead in the digital age. As leaders in healthcare, can we ever allow ourselves to stray in opinion?

A word on being a leader, outside of the standard norms of what society considers worthy of being one.

Thinking “outside labels”, so to speak.

I’ve always been an outsider.

And so it’s always been very hard for me to join groups, or be a part of a big whole.

It’s not because I’m not supportive.

Quite the contrary.

I can be the loudest cheerleader in a crowd.

 

After some deep-digging, I’ve realized that the reason I prefer to stay ‘outside’ is partly because I’ve experienced a lot of “group-think” situations in life.

In these situations, it’s expected that you do something, or say something, or act a certain way.

When it’s not sitting well with you, or you’re simply unsure if you agree, you end up looking like the outsider.

To me, groups inevitably end up feeling like “cliques”. Both inside the digital world and out.

 

I’m not cool with that.

I don’t want to have to do something, or think something, just because I’m in a group.

And certainly not because the “clique” I’m in expects me to do it.

I have my own opinions.

 

To me, groups inevitably end up feeling like “cliques”. Both inside the digital world and out.

 

I’m also ALWAYS open to hearing the other side.

And embrace others as the humans they are, regardless if they agree with me.

I think part of this mentality pushed me into medicine (even if I’m now trying to establish what to do in my “rebirth” out of the clinical aspect of the field).

 

I’m sadly seeing more and more of this happen, too, especially on “social” media.

How ironic that word is, in fact – social – inserted into a phrase describing a world that’s become increasingly divisive and less social than ever.

In my experience of real-life social circles, people are more respected, opinions less bashed, and congenial interactions take place.

It’s a warmer, more personal setting and a “safe” space to truly be social.

 

How ironic that word is, in fact - social - inserted into a phrase describing a world that's become increasingly divisive and less social than ever. Click To Tweet

 

Does anyone else experience this?

That’s truly the real crux of this post. To get those of you who experience these issues to speak up.

And to get those of you who don’t feel this way to contemplate that possibility.

I believe that, as a result of this phenomenon, those of us who experience this (being astutely aware of the need to conform in group settings, esp those of us who are HSP’s) become alienated from groups, projects, and ventures; because they dare think differently.

And don’t conform.

 

In my experience of real-life social circles, people are more respected, opinions less bashed, and congenial interactions take place.

 

 

It’s the ironic nature of wanting to be a part of change, but not being able to help make that change because you hold on to your beliefs and refuse to let others dictate them.

So you prefer to go at it alone, pushed by your own values, in the safety of your own space (possibly because there, you can’t be piled on, or judged).

I’d love to connect with anyone out there who’s a leader who’s experienced this. More on a personal level. To hear if anyone else struggles with issues like these.

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