Lifestyle & Personal Development

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Finding Your Place: Navigating Social Dynamics

Explore the challenges of fitting in and staying true to yourself in social dynamics. Gain insights into navigating human interactions effectively.
Antonius "Ton" Bakker, born May 23, 1961, in the Netherlands, is a writer, speaker, and coach/trainer. With a passion for personal development, he has inspired audiences worldwide.
Antonius Bakker

Navigating social dynamics can often feel like maneuvering through a maze of expectations, norms, and personal identities. Whether we're striving to fit into existing groups or carve out our own space, the quest to find our place amidst the complexities of human interaction is a universal journey. It prompts questions about our likability, our compatibility with different environments, and our ability to adapt without sacrificing authenticity. In this intricate dance of socialization, the desire for acceptance can sometimes clash with the imperative to remain true to ourselves, leading to a delicate balancing act that shapes our interactions and relationships.

Explore the challenges of fitting in and staying true to yourself in social dynamics. Gain insights into navigating human interactions effectively.

Do the people around you like you as a person, or do you sometimes have difficulty fitting in with the environment you want? Do you ever have difficulty finding the desired attitude to adhere to such a specific group of people?

Sometimes trying to find a place within an existing group can be part of achieving a goal. Unfortunately, these goals in life are often "negatively" shielded by people who consider themselves more important than what they stand for. It sometimes seems to me that, for example, if someone has come up with a nice business formula and has made it a success, a cordon of negative employees is placed on the outside of it to ensure that no more "wrong" people. come in. This can be felt by new employees, but also by random new customers. What these companies or groups of people often do not realize is that, in my opinion, they are also turning away many valuable people. This often has everything to do with the “first impression effect.” Translated into English is a well-known statement: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

We often don't even think about the first impression we make in the eyes of others, or we don't even want to think about it. A frequently used statement that I hear more and more often is: “They should take me as I am, otherwise, it wouldn't be necessary for me!” The latter is very extreme, but do you consider daily that you may encounter people in your hometown who could largely determine your future? Are there times in your life when you do everyday things completely thoughtlessly? You don't first look around to see if you see someone you know, or someone you think could be important to you later? Maybe impulsiveness is part of your character that causes you to not think about things much and to keep stepping into “different locks?”

Unnoticed, the things I describe above are part of our daily existence and the route we take in our lives. There are people who have learned to live according to certain norms and values, either from themselves or from the family in which they grew up. They grow up with “pre-programmed” demands on themselves and their environment. It is self-evident to them that they will also have to miss out on things as a result, but they are happy to assume that the attitude and behaviour they choose will get them far in this life. A well-known statement is: “I treat others exactly as I would like to be treated.” In my opinion, this requires a lot from these people, they often must restrain themselves, and in extreme cases, this could even lead to a certain form of fear of failure if they suddenly find themselves in an environment in which they must undertake something that they otherwise would never have done. For example, think of a challenge at a party.

I often see that these people behave very awkwardly and stiffly and feel very insecure when carrying out these unexpected things. Can this also come across badly to others? Yes, because in every group, there are people who have adopted the group attitude but behave very differently at home or in private. These people think of it their own way at that moment and see it as an opportunity to sideline the other person at a moment that goes unnoticed by that person. They remember the noticed situation and later try to unknowingly push the other person into a similarly uncomfortable situation at a crucial moment, within a group of which they are both parts. In doing so, they consciously cause harm to the other person, while thinking they are making a profit themselves. The person who plays the different roles in life thinks that this will move them up a place in the group hierarchy.

As a result, the “victim” can lose his entire orientation on life and even end up in burnout. In my opinion, inflexibility is “deadly” at many times in our lives. But the person I mentioned earlier who adopts many postures in different positions in life also sometimes runs into unnoticed danger because he often experiences a lot of stress from having to remember in which situation he should behave and how. Any deviation from any norm can lead to unexpected twists and turns and damage to our lives. This can happen even if you accidentally forget the name of your manager's wife or fail to give the right answer to the wrong person at the right time. Where am I going with this whole story?

I believe that many things in life are already predetermined, and if that is not the case, the culture we were born into and the attitude and behaviour that we were taught by our parents often guide us through life in a safe manner.

I advise always being yourself, regardless of the situation in life. Many people try to become someone else, but they often forget that it has long been proven that we respond to other people's body energy and vibrations. Others unconsciously look at the unconscious movements in our faces, and therefore also unconsciously know who they are in front of them and then unconsciously respond to that. As humans, we do not often consciously enter our relationships. These are often caused by things that we cannot control with our minds.

This week I had an interview with an old "colleague." This man worked in the organization at a much higher level than me. The man in question even became a professor. In our conversation, he made it clear to me once again how limited we humans are. He said that when he had to give a speech in front of a full lecture hall, often more than a thousand people, he often held up a random photo in the air at the start.

He then asked the audience if they would tell him what they thought could be recognized in the photo. If he received a random answer, he would then say: "But what do you see?" Then the astonished person from the audience gave what he felt was a better answer, to which my colleague asked again, “But what do you see?” He wanted to make it clear that we, as humans, actually only see spots and then give them a meaning.

Fortunately, we humans have been able to make many agreements with each other about the common meaning of things, and as a result, things run smoothly in our lives. But stick to yourself and don't deny your origins. To be understood and to be able to understand, the agreements and views from your past are of paramount importance. If you stick with this, sometimes taking a trip to another side, you will always be supported by those around you. Good luck!

Antonius "Ton" Bakker, born May 23, 1961, in the Netherlands, is a writer, speaker, and coach/trainer. With a passion for personal development, he has inspired audiences worldwide.

Antonius Bakker

Antonius "Ton" Bakker, born May 23, 1961, in the Netherlands, is a writer, speaker, and coach/trainer. With a passion for personal development, he has inspired audiences worldwide.
View all posts by Antonius Bakker

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