I wrote a comment on the thoughtful post “We Are, Because you Are” by Dennis Pitocco that provided the initial seed of this post. My comment read “You inspire me with an idea which I am giving it the name “group field effect“
Like a magnet creating its magnetic field and attracting others into this field so human “magnets” are. Everyone creates his magnetic field of attraction. The question is what do we attract?
The reply of Dennis Pitocco to my comment encouraged me to share this post. His supportive comment reads;
“Love your thoughts here, my friend Ali Anani, Ph.D. – trust that you are amongst those people who challenge and inspire us all!”
Flowers have their electromagnetic field to attract certain bees. Humans, too have their magnetic field to attract certain groups. The more people join a group, the stronger the electromagnetic field becomes and the more attractive power this field has. This explains the growing influence of a group on each member of a group.
I repeat the title of the post of Dennis Pitocco. I say “We Are, because you Are”.
Do not lock yourself with the same friend for long times. You become like a room with no ventilation. If the influence of the friend is bad you tend to be one.
The influence of the group can be positive or negative. Remember that for each effect of a group there is also a reverse effect. Literature is consistent with this claim.
The two opposite effects in this respect are the Blueberry phenomenon in which interdependent individuals bring out the worst in each other. In contrast, the Michelangelo phenomenon is in which individuals of a group bring the best of each other.
The Blueberry phenomenon has been researched well There are similar research findings on the detrimental effects of bad groups or friends. Psychological scars, developing the bad habits of the group such as smoking and heavy drinking, emotional and mental damage, and many more.
One form of mental damage that individuals suffer from is excessive loyalty to the group that closes the mind to accept other groups with different thinking. We become what the group thinks and not what we think.
There is one major issue that people tend to forget. When an individual develops scars or cracks the strength of her/his magnetic field weakens considerably. This makes the individual more exposed to the bad influence of the group as his influence on the group weakens. This person loses her/his influence over time and it becomes harder for her/him to leave the group.
The opposite effects are true for good friends. You widen your possibilities in life, become more immune to developing cracks or scars, and widen your openness to difference.
It is true…we are, because you are.