“The crowd” is a mass of people who all look the same. They are indistinguishable from one another. They are all conformists to a standard set of rules, whether they be in business or in life.
They are not individuals, but rather express the lowest common denominator of the mass they are embedded in.
They are all “average”, expressing all that the word implies.
It is safe in the crowd. You get to hide out and avoid exposure and recognition. There is safety in numbers particularly when every digit is the mirror image of the next.
It’s warm. Heat, lots of body heat. Everyone is close to one another; existing in each other’s personal space. Body heat transfer through conduction and convection is alive and well here.
It’s stress-free. You never have to be apprehensive about the direction to follow. Just follow the person in front of you; they obviously know where they are going.
It’s risk-free. By being like other members, you can feel confident that whatever you do won’t be noticed and therefore won’t attract criticism.
It’s consistent. There are few ups and downs; activity doesn’t vary much as crowd members are consumed with “the straight and narrow” and perpetuating the momentum of yesterday.
If crowd membership sounds appealing to you, here are the “must dos” to gain entry:
1. Look at what the most popular person is doing and copy them. Emulation is THE key behavior to exhibit if you want to bury yourself in the crowd.If you are inclined to be different, you’re not a crowd qualifier.
2. Determine the really important rules and always obey them. Conformance is critical to survive in the crowd.
3. Never do anything to draw attention to yourself; you want to go unnoticed.
4. Don’t ask questions; challenging the status quo is unforgivable.
5. Never challenge an idea or point of view. It’s very important to support your fellow “crowdsters.”
6. Avoid reading new stuff. This will only fuel the desire to try new things or offer a different perspective on things. Unacceptable!
7. Never hang out with new or crazy people. These people are outside the crowd and you can’t give the impression that you are looking for more than the crowd can offer.
8. Some advocate weirdness as a value they covet in people. Don’t go there. Weirdness = fun and nonconformity. Reread No. 2. It’s verboten.
9. Talk the way everyone else talks. Don’t invent your own words. Cool sayings must be muted. They are the tip of the stand-out iceberg and will freak out fellow crowd members (and draw attention to you and get you kicked out of the crowd).
10.Take shit from anyone who offers it. Another key requirement of blending in. You must let anything thrown your way stick. Turn the other cheek and ask for more.
11. Always say “yes.” Make it your answer to everything even if you’re not asked a question.
There you go.
I guarantee that if you take on this list of 11, you will be a bonafide player in the crowd with many years of slipstreaming others ahead of you.
photo credit: Ryan Gessner via photopin cc