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How to remain individual in an over-collective society? (Mini Series 1, part 4)

Click here if you have missed previous posts parts 1-3 of this mini-series.

Welcome to my final post in the “Are we all truly in anything together?” Here I would like to note the difference between healthy and unhealthy collectivity.

Unquestionably, a sense of belonging can provide a strong sense of coping by ‘not being or feeling alone’. Feeling genuinely related to some others in situations of vulnerability undoubtedly carries a strong healing capacity.

Here is what to remember:

· A healthy collective is only one that accepts and nurtures people’s differences!

· On the contrary, an unhealthy collective is one that assumes shared feelings, proclaims ‘sameness’ and by doing so, oppresses people’s idiosyncrasies.

So, how does one remain unique while surrounded by assumed collectivity and a pressure ‘to be or feel the same’?

Here are a few helpful tips for you to consider:

  • Choose a collective you want to belong to.

As mentioned above - a healthy collective is only one that nurtures your individuality and uniqueness. A healthy collective is one where you are free to feel your feelings no matter how different they are from those of others in the group. Be seen, be heard!

  • Own your feelings and your experiences.

Listen to your true feelings, they are never wrong. They just are, they simply exist. If a group does not accept your feelings, it is not a healthy group for you, and you can choose not to take an active part.

  • Don’t be afraid to feel different.

After all, the only thing we truly share is a difference. (My favourite slogan!) When you recognise you feel different to others, try to remember that it is because you are unique, not wrong! Our differences are as important as the spectrum of all colours. And on this note, I truly believe the world would be a sad place if it was all ‘beige’.

  • Celebrate your experience and the varying experience of others.

Talk about your experience and hear about others’ experiences. Be intrigued by difference, not appalled or fearful. Give yourself permission to be as unique as one can be and offer the same to others.

Thank you for joining me in this mini-blog series. I hope you have found something in there that was of interest to you. If you would like to contact me, do not hesitate to message me on LinkedIn, or leave a comment here.

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