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What your behaviour says about you

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Even relatively minor aspects of our behaviour says a lot about us. My interest in photography, canals, art and history reflects my personality. Behaviour can come across as positive or negative to other people. It can define us as a leader or a sheep-like follower. If you tend to read the most popular newspaper because everyone else reads it. That could define you as a follower. In the UK people often make fun of Sun readers for that reason, but even if you read the less popular Times newspaper, you are still following the crowd. The crowd in that case being others in your own social class.

Even watching a popular soap on television can be a symptom of a sheep-like mentality. If you’re a dedicated follower of fashion and dress like everyone else and have the latest fashionable hair style; it hardly sets you apart as having leadership qualities does it? I’ve never actually seen a executive in charge of any kind of organisation with a Justin Beiber hair style.

Even your holiday destination says something about you. Do you go to that very popular destination, drink alcohol, dress like everyone else and join in the race for the sunbeds? Or do you do something a little more individual?

Where you live obviously says a lot about you and your post code can mean the difference between success and failure. You should be aware of that, but many people have little opportunity to change where they live. Even the names you pick for your children can say quite a lot about you. Very common names or fashionable names can tell people a lot about what goes on in your mind. Naming your kids Justin or Selina right now could be a dead give away. Names can be associated with social standing or class too. In some school classrooms, half the kids have the same names. This comes from our tendency to copy one another.

This tendency to copy one another isn’t always a bad thing. It’s helps us to fit in, even the way we speak will change if we go to live somewhere different. People who emigrate to another country not only learn the language, they try to adopt the culture and even the food. This change in behaviour helps them fit in and failure to adapt and blend in can lead to hostility from the host population.

We have a natural tendency to be sociable. The tendency to copy others and cooperate is a good one. But should we always go along with others? Should we perhaps be cooperative when it’s a joint venture, when our views and needs are being taken into account in order to achieve something collectively? Great things can be achieved when we act collectively and do things as part of a team. The team does need leadership, but should we follow blindly?

Maybe, we should ask whether it’s really in our interests when we are asked to follow the lead set by others. If they are asking us to blindly follow with no thought to the consequences for us, maybe we should go our own way.

We can change our behaviour and the perceptions others have of us, we can redefine ourselves. We can choose what to watch on TV, what newspapers to read, what music to listen to; we don’t have to follow the herd.

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One Response

  1. Pingback: Bank Holiday Monday blues. « Mike10613's Blog

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