Should you prioritize individuality or the group?

creativity or the group








We’re born with weak claws, not much fur, and we like going to the cinema. But in the days before movies and while there were still marauding Vikings, dinosaurs and minotaurs then we humans couldn’t survive without co-operating. The need to be part of a community is deeply ingrained in our psychological makeup. We are programmed to want to be socially accepted.

Yet at the same time we have an innate desire to be creative and there’s a strong relationship between being creative and being socially excluded.

The causal relationship is uncertain. Are creative people drawn to sit outside social norms or is it the other way round; does being excluded by the group makes us reach inward to be creative and explore our own ideas?

The need to demonstrate you’re an individual is as strong  for some people as  the need to belong to a group is strong for others.

Consequently social rejection can be creatively crippling or empowering depending on your personality type.

Probably each of us is drawn more strongly to one side or the other. For your own decision-making and peace of mind it helps to know which side you’re on.

If you see yourself as an individual, independent person- characterized as nfu (need for uniqueness) then being outside the group will free you of the structures of group thinking, social norms and accepted solutions. You will look deeper and further for your ideas. This will be your happy place.

If on the other hand you are an interdependent person you’ll achieve greater self esteem by belonging to a group or tribe. The rewards of fitting in and avoiding social rejection may be greater happiness; The downside could be that you lose the sense of independence that is optimal for creativity and innovation.