Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Social Dynamics

I had this idea that after everyone graduated from middle and high school, and even perhaps college, that there would be this shift away from clique and pack dynamics. I thought that when you "become an adult", there is this transition process where each person can act as a fully functioning unit. I was wrong.

It turns out that this almost instinctive, even animal-like desire to be part of a group, and the pecking order that goes along with it, does not leave us as we get older. All that changes is how it is expressed, mainly in the shift to the work place or in your family life.

Each group has a leader, the alpha male (or female depending on the situation) that decides the direction the pack takes. Below are different classes, usually specialists in different tasks that are needed to supply the pack with various resources required for survival. Finally at the bottom are the sick and/or weak members that are supported by the strength of the rest of the group.

Now that I understand this, my goal has been to become the alpha male in every group that I am in. What's interesting about this is that it is entirely possible, and everyone can do it by adopting certain habits. For example, your posture when with others is critical. Do you slump your shoulders? Do you pull arms and legs tight around you? These things project a lack of openness as well as weakness. Standing tall with legs shoulder width apart and arms by your side is more open and inviting while still being strong and assertive. In situations that require leadership, like planning or preparation, do you hesitate and wait for direction or permission from others, or do you jump in and start running the show? If you want to be a leader, you can not wait for permission to become one, because if you're waiting for permission then you aren't the leader.

I do offer this warning though. If you are not a leader and do not know what you are doing, then stop. Take the time to learn first, then once you have reached a level of comfort in various fields, then start directing others. Do not take control of situations that you are not ready for or your weakness will eventually come out and you will lose your status, or worse. Being an alpha means that there is always others beneath you trying to rise up that you have to guard yourself from. It's not an easy path to be on top, but it reaps the best rewards.

If you want to learn more about this, let me know and I'll expand on it.

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