So You Want to Fit in with the Crowd?

THIS IS AN ADDITION TO THE POST: I just heard that our own Ryan Adragna is on life support because of something related to his diabetes. PLEASE send prayers and healing energy. Erik, help him, please!

It’s funny how we all want to fit in with the crowd. Most of us seek approval to some degree or another. I did throughout most of my life. Maybe because of my wretched childhood, I was very shy and cocooned myself in a protective layer, making it hard to make friends. Of course I had some, but only a few. I wanted others to like me, especially the popular kids (I was definitely not one of those.) In middle school, I was so embarrassed because I had no boobs and all the other girls did. Hell, some of the boys had bigger boobs than I did! When that dreaded “Square Dancing Day” came up in middle school, I heart was always in my throat, pounding away, and my hand, clasping my partner’s, were cold and clammy. 

Now, I couldn’t give a rat’s ass. I see myself as just as valuable as anyone else. I think that the years of processing how crazy my parents were helped. Plus, raising five hellions was enough to slap the ego out of my ass, making me a more humble person. I figured out that, well, I haven’t figured it all out, and that’s okay. Life’s a journey, and I’m learning just as much as you guys. 

Actually, this subject is what led me to writing my parenting books. I think I explain the premise in this session, but it has to do with we being pack animals who need to feel a sense of belonging to our pack. But there are at least two ways to accomplish that: We can conform to the pack’s standards and beg for their approval, or we can make a meaningful contribution to the pack and earn their approval. 

Read some excerpts out of those books:

Raising Children Who Think for Themselves

Hearing is Believing: How Words Can Make or Break our Kids (Following a few simple directions in this book can wipe out the chaos in your family. It also works with adults.)

Raising Everyday Heroes: Parenting Children to be Self-Reliant

Here’s the poll to narrow down the upcoming Erik-Palooza event. Would you mind taking a second to click on one of the two choices? The top contender in the latest poll was Houston. That has its advantages because we can party afterwards at Erik’s childhood home and visit his gravesite. But Jennifer likes the idea of holding it in Las Vegas because, well, you know, it’s Vegas!

Speaking of self-reliant children, Lukas made me very proud yesterday. He created an incredible website for the company at which he works. (Yes, I don’t like prepositions at the end of a sentence.) It’s a customer portal where customer companies can click on various parts they’ve ordered, the state of the project and a whole lot more. He created QR codes for every part involved in the assembly (they make motors and controls all electric) so the customer can click on it and find out more about that part. I can’t remember all the things this customer portal offers, but it’s a lot more than I thought. It only took him a few hours to develop it, which is remarkable, really. He’s such a tech wizard. I’m sure this will be very helpful to the sales reps who seek new customers for the company. Bravo, Lukas!

Enjoy today’s video and please share it and the blog post on all of your social media. Thanks for the amazing channeling, Jennifer Doran!

Here’s the transcript! Please watch some of the video anyway, so I can get a little of the ad revenue. It’s not much but every bit counts. This month, my ad revenue has drastically decreased so I’m hoping you guys will watch a few videos (at least a few minutes) this weekend, and definitely watch the ones you’ve missed. 

Elisa: Hey there, Jenny!

Jennifer:  Hello, how are you?

Elisa:  I don’t know why I called you Jenny. 

Jennifer: You know what you were probably channeling some of my family members that are over there, they’re the only ones who have ever called me Jenny.

Elisa: Oh really?! This is me channeling them. Hi Erik, how are you doing, my love?

Erik:  Doing great, doing great, love you.

Elisa: Great, I love you too! All right I think today we’ll talk about some of Laurie Givens mindsets. We’ll start out with one, she has this book that I think is one of the best books I have ever read. The Do It Yourself Guide to Conscious Living – Unraveling your mindsets in 21 days and today I want to talk about the mindset of fitting in. Everybody goes though that okay, I mean we raise children, at least in this country to become externally directed, meaning approval seekers, you know as I’ve said before, I don’t know, I’ll say it again, my whole premise and it’s behind all my parenting books that I’ve written is that we’re pack animals and we have to feel a sense of belonging to a pack so you can do one of two things, you can seek the approval of the pack by following the social norms and all that kind of stuff and fitting in basically, or you can you know make some meaningful contribution that will then allow the pack to accept you, like you could be the funny one, or the wise one that helps people with their troubles, I mean there’s all sorts of ways to contribute meaningfully, you could pay them, no I’m just kidding. Now when we raise kids what we do is we make them develop this, not all of us but this external compass instead of being guided by an internal compass, even when you say I’m so proud of you, that makes the kid say “Oh, my Mom is proud of me, what am I doing, I better keep doing it”, things like that or giving directives, don’t do that. I’ve got a book called Hearing is Believing, how words can make or break our kids, it’s old but it’s really good, and when you’re self-directed, a self-directed parenting thing would be like to say I bet you’re proud because that will create inner reflection in the child and the child will say “Am I? I guess I am but why?”. So, he or she learns how to self praise, so anyway, let’s get on with it, I give the mic to you, I’ve been hogging it!

Jennifer: No, no, not at all.

Erik: There’s realistically there is no way to get through childhood without some of that external seeking of approval and fitting in. Even if parents 99% are doing and saying exactly what they are supposed to be, not everybody is. So, there is always going to be that, there’s is always going to be the external. So, as parents you can only try to work on the internal within your home, you have no idea what’s going on outside of it.

Elisa:  Yeah.

Erik:  And you are pack animals, it’s about survival, you need to be part of the pack to survive so to speak. So, that whole fitting in, it’s not necessarily dysfunctional behavior but it can become dysfunctional behavior.

Elisa: How so, give me an example. Well first let me back up and ask, what are the main influences if the parent does almost everything right, what are the main influences that create external direction and approval seeking in a child, the sibs, society.

Erik: Yes.

Elisa: Commercials?

Erik: Yes. All of that. The peers, the teachers, unless you’re raising a child in a vacuum you just can’t have control over everything. So, yes, the peers, the teachers, yes, the T.V, anything else external.

Elisa: Fashion magazine, you’re supposed to all weigh 90 pounds.

Erik:  Yes.

Elisa:  So, what are good ways of fitting in and then there’s the dysfunctional. The non-dysfunctional ways, can you tell me about that

Erik:  The non-dysfunctional ways is just being part of being a member of society, there are certain norms, that if you don’t kind of follow along with then it’s going to cause you trouble, make you be an outcast, so you know there are societal rules that for the most part you need to live by to fit in and so you know you’re not going to you know, if you’re a hunter there is a time and place for that. You’re not going to walk down the city street with the deer you just hunted because it doesn’t work in that setting.

Elisa:  Only if you share the meat.

Jennifer: (laughs) Yeah.

Elisa: (inaudible 5:32)

Jennifer: Yes

Elisa: I bought this t-shirt, I hope I didn’t mention this already, I probably did. I saw this t-shirt in a catalogue, and it said, I love animals and, on the back, it says they’re delicious! Horrible!

Erik:  Yes. So, there’s plenty of non-dysfunctional ways, you have to behave a certain way at work, you have to behave a certain way at school, that maybe as a child if you just want to be out running around in the fields and playing, well you have to learn that that is not acceptable during this time, during this time you have to learn math.

Elisa: Right.

Erik: You have to adjust and fit in. 

Jennifer: Okay, so he’s always so funny with me about, these are generalities. If you want to be a productive member in a pack, you have to behave a certain way.

Elisa: Yeah, you have to be civil.

Erik: Yes.

Elisa: Helpful, you know connected, what other adjectives am I looking for? Contributing, that’s the same as helpful, what else?

Erik:  Conscientious of others, it just makes it easier. It makes it easier to exist in the society.

Elisa: An ability to share. (over talk 6:54)

Erik: When people don’t necessarily fit.

Jennifer:  Oh, I’ve lost you.

Elisa: It’s okay.

Jennifer:  I totally lost you for a bit, sorry.

Elisa: That happens from time to time.

Jennifer:  Okay. I lost my train of thought. Okay, got it.

Erik:  If you don’t follow along with these kinds of general societal rules you just have a more difficult time existing in society. You may have a harder time keeping a job, you may have a harder time keeping friends or close relationships in general.

Elisa:  Yeah. Well, I mean also two things that you need to be able to do in order to fit in is learn to share, learn to negotiate well, learn to communicate in non-violent way so those are important.

Erik:  Yes.

Elisa:  There are some people that a pack doesn’t seem to easily accept.

Erik:  Outliers.

Elisa: Outliers, like some people with severe Asperger’s for example or some people who have a weird birthmark bless their little heart, things like that, it’s terrible and shallow but it does happen.

Erik: Yes.

Elisa:  Why does that happen? (over talk 8:15)

Erik:  Right. With everything there needs to be balance, so not everybody can fit in, there needs to be those outliers, those people that are really at the edges of society, the people that are right at the edge of society and then the people that are way outside the norms of society. We need it, we need it for the different lessons, and there are people who yes come in who despite all of their trying, all of their efforts, they still have a hard time fitting in, that is typically because they have written that into their chart. Maybe they needed to learn something about isolation, maybe they needed to learn something about connections, close connections, so it’s something they chose to write in their chart, and then when the they get here, they’re trying, they might be trying to fit it and they just can’t.

Elisa:  Or maybe they need accept their role, maybe they contracted to be an observer this lifetime.

Erik: Yes.

Elisa:  So, how can we help these people? Say a person is extremely disfigured, okay, how do you help them fit in? What advice do you have for people like that?

Erik:  The biggest thing is they have to want help.

Elisa: Look my appearance might frighten you but I am a lovely person inside and I want you to please give me a chance, something like that I don’t know.

Erik:  In general with that kind of thing, it’s not that they can’t fit in but it will be a much smaller group because there will still be when you go out in public there will still going to be those people who look and stare and talk and stuff, so unless we’re talking plastic surgery or something to fix the disfigurement.

(over talk 10:15)

Elisa:  That too, that gets a lot of stares but so how do they gain a small circle of friends at least.  What can they individually do?

Erik:  A lot of times there will be a close family connection, so if you have a close knit family, that’s possibly then when you get friends to the outside but if somebody’s truly come in with something like this, where they are supposed to be learning about isolation, they may not even have that. There may not even be the close family and that often times tends to make people remove themselves from society.

Elisa: Like recluses, sort of.

Jennifer:  Yes! Thank you, that was the word. Yes, like a recluse, yes.

Elisa: Okay, well, it’s so sad. Why would people pick the lesson of isolation?

Erik:  Sometimes we just want to learn about that because it’s so hard to be here anyways, it’s so hard to choose to come into life and then to come in and choose a life with isolation, to choose a life where your family isn’t necessarily supportive and you have a hard time keeping friends. There is so much internal growth and soul growth that can be experienced there because you are relying on yourself and very few people. There are some people who come in and choose this because maybe they’re looking to experience the other side of the coin. So, maybe if they were somebody in another lifetime who really made people feel bad about themselves or isolated people or shunned people, we might come in and try to learn the flip side of what that experience is like.

Elisa: I can imagine that if you come here to learn the lesson of isolation, then you probably learn to be self-empowered, and also to hopefully develop some self-love.

Erik: Yes. Absolutely!

Elisa: The importance of connection, that we are all one, so those 3 things I think would be biggies.

Erik:  Huge!

Elisa: All right what about somebody with not a physical abnormality, but just they act different like an Asperger’s or Autistic kids, you know like that, people with schizophrenia, that have a strange affect, what can they do?

Erik:  There is more help in that arena then there is with a physical disfigurement.

Elisa:  Yeah.

Erik:  A big, big key there is to hopefully have come into a family who is very open to this and not ashamed by this, of course it doesn’t always happen, but that is great. If you decide that you’re going to come into a life with this type of an experience, it’s better to choose a family whose very open and doesn’t take it personally, like it’s a personal failure, but of course that’s not always the case, but there’s also so much research and so many school and so there’s a lot of options, so much mental health help, not enough by far there’s not enough mental health help, especially when you are speaking of more the schizophrenia  because the Asperger’s and stuff doesn’t necessarily fall into that same kind of category, but there’s a lot to be done. If you’re an adult, especially who struggles with some of the Asperger’s, maybe on the Autism spectrum and you didn’t have a supportive family, you can reach out to support groups now, for adults.

Elisa:  You can get social skills training.

Erik:  Yes.

Elisa: I believe that you can.

Erik: Yes.

Elisa: I mean there are some people that are, I don’t know how, but they are energy vampires and that can turn off a group or the ones that just don’t know personal space and they’re like right in your face when they talk to you.

Erik:  Yes.

Elisa: Would social skills training work with that? Why do people come in with that? More the mental and behavioral aspects that alienate them from the pack?

Erik:  To come in with some sort of, be careful how you say this,

Jennifer:  I’m trying, I’m trying. I’m not always the best with wording things.

Erik:  If you come in with a mental illness or you come in with Asperger’s or being on the Autism spectrum it is a very different experience here. Seeing things, the energy here, the heaviness of it, it’s very different. Most everybody suffers some sort of a mental instability or something like that at least at some point in their life, whether it’s anxiety, panic attacks, truly, truly people who suffer with these types of illnesses it’s a totally different experience, it’s like seeing a totally different world.

Elisa: So, why would they want to do that?

Erik:  Growth. Knowledge.

Elisa:  Some of the same? Self-empowerment, self-love, I don’t know.

Erik:  Compassion, understanding, any number of growth experiences and it’s not just that, it’s the family and the people close who had maybe a family member like this who also learn, one of the big ones is compassion. If you’ve come into this life with a child who struggles in this area, compassion is always on the list of things that you’re trying to learn.

Elisa: And humility, but also the fact that you can’t control all outcomes, they probably have the lesson of surrender.

Erik:  Yes.

Elisa: All right, now we talked about the functional things, but what about they dysfunctional form of fitting in?

Erik:  Oh yeah, the dysfunctional form of fitting it, people doing things that’s morally against how they feel, and a lot of times this is in the teenage years you start seeing that come in, that is really dysfunctional, it can get you into a lot of trouble. So, that’s one of the big ones is really doing things that go against your morals and your values.

Elisa:  Like promiscuity, drugs, alcohol.

Erik:  Yeah.

Elisa:  Joining a fight club or a gang, I don’t know, what else, there’s so many ways or dressing provocatively.

Erik:  Yes, sneaking out, stealing all those kind of stuff, that is kind of like the time when you start to, either you go one way or you go the other, either you fit in just to get by and live in a society because we all have to make some sacrifices or you go to the other extreme where you just become a people pleaser, and that situation, almost everybody knows that you never quite truly know where you stand with them, you say something and they’re just going to agree with you, they lose their personality, they lose their individuality and that is palpable to other people so you just never quite know what’s going on.

Elisa:  Absolutely! They don’t allow themselves to be their authentic self because they think that if they are that they will not fit in.

Erik:  Yes.

Elisa: Why do they make the turn one direction and then why do some make the turn in the other direction?

Erik:  It’s free will decision.

Elisa: Are there any determining factors though? Is there something involved in parenting for example?

Erik:  Actually, by then most of what the parents have done is already done, at this point it becomes the individuals free will choice. The parenting would be important up to there, it’s like that 14, 15 somewhere in there, where pretty much the influence of the parents has kind of set the stage. That would be a big one which would determine which way the person goes.

Elisa: Well, I think it’s really weird because I bet you if you had really dogmatic parents, that could make you either oppositional disorders and do the stealing and joining gangs but also.

Erik: A bit more brainwashed, a bit more compliant.

Elisa:  Yeah but you have to have real dogmatic if they’re brainwashed by their parents like Stockholm syndrome, right, (inaudible 20:07) is that true?

Erik:  Yes, everybody’s got their own individual free will, as close as you could get if you took 2 people in separate families that had the exact same experiences the outcome would be different.

Elisa:  Oh, interesting! We have spiritual contracts and free will.

Erik:  Yes. Yeah because based on what the soul already knows from other lifetimes, even if they had the same experiences in this lifetime, it would still change the outcome.

Elisa: Okay, what advice Erik, do you have for parents to avoid any kind of dysfunctional fitting in?

Erik: Allowing your kids to express individuality from a young age.

Elisa:  Oh yeah.

Erik:  Is good, yeah if you let your 2-year-old dress themselves they might look like a little lunatic, but who cares, let them have some ability to make decisions, if you do everything for them then when they’re faced with decisions out in society they don’t know how to make them.

Elisa: They don’t know who (inaudible 21:18) their parents?

Erik:  Yes. 

Elisa:  Be okay with who they are people and that’s true for everybody, be okay with who people are.

Erik:  Yes. Give them opportunities to make decisions, give them opportunities to fail, you know if you see your child, as long as they’re not going to hurt themselves or cause harm to somebody else, but if they’re making a decision that you can see, well maybe they should do, let them do it, let them experience what that’s like so that they can get their equilibrium back to okay where do I go from here? A lot of times right now especially, parents want to take over and do everything.

Elisa:  I know, helicopter parents.

Erik:  Yes, and that does not work out well.

Elisa:  It doesn’t prepare a child for the adult world, and they become confused about their own identity. What is my authentic self? So, I really think that’s super and I write a lot about that in my other book, Raising Children to Think for Themselves, so yeah, parents you all need to be okay with who your kids are, let them wear a feathered headdress to school if it’s allowed etc.

Erik: Yes.

Elisa:  Let them play with other people, other kids free form too so they can learn and this helps shape their authentic self right, so they can learn skills like leadership and how to deal with failure and negotiating and frustration and disappointment, don’t save them from everything, instead if they do fail or show frustration, show disappointment or whatever fail in anyway, don’t admonish them, instead talk to them and turn that into a valuable lesson. Show them how these are stepping stones to success, they’re nothing to be ashamed of, they’re valuable tools. Any final messages, Erik?

Erik:  We don’t come here to be perfect, we need to experience the ups and downs of life, and again failure, because it’s not really a failure it’s just an opportunity to learn a lesson, you only fail if you don’t learn and grown from it, what looks imperfect is actually beautiful.

Elisa:  It is, imperfection is perfection.

Erik:  Yes.

Elisa:  In a sort of weird way.

Erik:  Yes.

Elisa: Thank you Erik, I love you. Thank you, Jennifer.

Erik:  I love you too.

Elisa: You guys need to check her out and you have an event coming up?

Jennifer: Yes, the last weekend in June.

Elisa:  Yay! It’s my house, it’s going to be fun!

Jennifer: Yes, last weekend of June and it will be Jamin and I doing the event again, it should be a lot of fun.

Elisa:  Awesome! So, I will post about that when the time draws near so you all follow the blog and subscribe to the Channeling Erik Facebook page too. Anyway, uh oh I froze.

Jennifer:  Thank you.

Elisa: Bye.

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Featured image courtesy of Conscious Resistance.

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