Axiom: Don’t fear being an outsider

Within any social group there is a prevailing “party line” that is at least paid lip service to. This arises quite naturally from the mechanisms humans use to forge and maintain groups. To hold and voice an opinion that disagrees with this accepted truth is to risk being shunned, sanctioned and / or labelled as an outsider.

Do not fear this, embrace it.

If your sincere views are outside the norm or contravene the conventional wisdom express them anyway. There are benefits both internal and external to be had, and you should not shy away from taking advantage of them.

Internal Benefits

You will gain immense strength from being true to your beliefs. For the individualist and the alpha there is a deep personal cost to turning your back on your own ideals. Unless it is necessary for self preservation this cost is almost always too high to accept. We will be discussing internal frame in other posts.

External Benefits

Many groups attract people who are not fully in lock-step with all their beliefs, conventions and tenets. These people are drawn (as you probably were) because the group is the closest thing a gathering of like minded individuals they could find.

Until you express yourself you cannot know who else holds similar views, and who will be drawn to you for them. By making your thoughts known you gain the respect of allies and the attention of followers. It was always to these potential allies and peer I spoke, never to the rabble I would never change the mind of.

I can’t tell you the number of good people I have met who were initially angered by my views but came to respect them (and I) after a little time of getting to know me. We still may not agree on those things, but we can still be friends.

Let us not forget by the way that the outsider archetype is very attractive. The outsider is often someone who will not bend to social pressure, will not bow to the same fear and cowardice many other do to fit in. By not mouthing these platitudes you show power and strength.

Understand & Prepare for the Potential Blow-back

A note on “No-Win” Situations: Remember above when I mentioned self-preservation? Sometimes that means you need to shut up. For instance you may want to keep your opinions on over-zealous policing to yourselves when pulled over at a DWI checkpoint. Similarly you may want to not trot out your opinions about the competence of the Homeland security staff when boarding an airplane.

As an outspoken individualist, particularly if you are blogging or expressing yourself in public you need to understand this is the time of the #SJW and their amplification via social media and supplicant politicians. Making the wrong joke or saying something that some professional victim decides “triggered” them can lead to boycotts, national hate campaigns, death threats, accusations of assault and potentially being SWATted.

We will discuss how to become what the military would call a “hard target” in detail another time, but for now you should take steps to…

  • Secure your livelihood. Ideally be self employed.
  • Control your own expressive outlets. Produce your own podcast, create your own videos, publish your own books.
  • Be prepared to be identified.  One of the awesome freedoms of the internet is the ability to create material anonymously or to build a pen-name, but don’t count on it. Only have in your life people, allies and relationships who understand you as you really are. Under no circumstances live a life that can be held hostage.

Remember Your Goal

Expressing your views is not intended to rise to power within a group, nor is it intended to change anyone mind. The purpose of expressing yourself is connect with and grow a tribe of people who feel as you do. You will never change the mind of the herd for many of them have no mind to change.

Do you have a story of connecting with others because you were an outsider? If so, share it in the comments.