Group Mentality or Shining Star? (Vent)

  1. Good afternoon -

    On my way out the door to get a much needed massage.

    Just had to vent for what its worth-

    I certainly remember what it was like to be in high school but I thought people would have found themselves at the end of a four year degree.
    Not such the case. Fortunately many of my friends are outside of school and are worthwhile. It bothers me slightly that I can sit at a table during a 45min break and see 10 of my fellow classmates come and sit at the table in front of me and beside me but none of them are brave enough to sit with me. I don't miss much because I hear their conversations and they are talking about questions on the test we just took. Did you put that? or what did you get for question 5? I really hate the group mentality. It does nothing for interpersonal skills especially when you agree with the members of your group and not develop a mind of your own. Granted I am 15 yrs older than they are but a simple hello would be fine. I get lots of smiles but no attempts at conversation. It's quite frustrating. Even the people I work with as a pct can talk intelligently. I get alot of rude remarks from the students at school and when I do try to communicate with them, I ,ignored or my questions aren't answered. I realize they are overgrown adolescents but PLeeeeease....Is that what I have to look forward to when my kids get older??? Anyone have any thoughts on group mentality and following the buffalo off the cliff? One says one thing and they all follow-
    Geeeesh!!!!HB
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   Super_RN
    i don't miss much because i hear their conversations and they are talking about questions on the test we just took. did you put that? or what did you get for question 5? i really hate the group mentality. it does nothing for interpersonal skills especially when you agree with the members of your group and not develop a mind of your own.
    [font="comic sans ms"]i don't really see that as not developing a mind of one's own. i see it as test anxiety and perhaps reassuring themselves. i can assure you that i have a mind of my own and even now i will question co-workers about tests. for example, i just got recertified in acls and another co-worker and i were taking the pre-test. we questioned each other on many things, giving each other insight on our perceptions of the situations. yes, i am young, so you might tend to think i'm part of the group mentality, but all of my co-workers are at least 12 years older than i am.

    maybe you could try to change the subject to something that doesn't have to do with school or nursing and involve the rest of the group? i am not sure if you are looking to go that route from reading your post, but it is just a suggestion. i hope things work out better for you! school is stressful enough without the added burden of "socializing".
    :melody: super
  4. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    I never base a person's attitude or mentality on their age.

    I pretty much stick to myself, however.
  5. by   AngelaSPN
    why don't you go up to their table and join in on the conversation?? when you are sitting by yourself do you think you look approachable?? sometimes you just have to show people that you are interested in having a relationship with them and not just expect them to come to you.

    ETA: i am one of the youngest in my class and we are all pretty close. i have no problems hanging out with the fifty something year old in our class or my fellow 22 year olds.
    Last edit by AngelaSPN on Dec 7, '05 : Reason: To add on
  6. by   tencat
    At 36 I'm not so old that I don't remember what I was like at 20. I think that's the key to getting along with those at the edge of adulthood. I remember getting married, taking neat trips, going out with the girls at 3:00 A.M. for pie at an all night diner. I remember that I was desperate to get out of college and SEE the world. I'm the 'old' lady in my clinical group, and most of them are in their early 20's. I sit with them at lunch and we chat about tests and homework because we all have that in common. We also chat a lot about what happened in the morning during clinical, sharing ups and downs. Sure the 20ish students (for the most part) don't have kids or a mortgage, but there's a whole world of things to talk about that we can all relate to. Don't be shy!
  7. by   Jerico
    Quote from hbncns35
    Anyone have any thoughts on group mentality and following the buffalo off the cliff? One says one thing and they all follow-
    Geeeesh!!!!HB
    I thought it was lemmings....


    Group mentality is a VERY interesting phenomenon. Ever notice how they get out of sorts when you interject something that isn't within the "group think"? I think group mentality is enhanced by all the "we have to work in a group" situations in nursing school and high school these days.

    Who LIKES group work????

    The ones who don't want to think for themselves.:kiss
  8. by   nurse4theplanet
    I have to go with tencat on this one. Sometimes when we appear shy or withdrawn others find us unapproachable or even think we are loners that would rather not be part of a group. At LEAST they smiled and acknowledged your existence. I know where you are coming from with the group mentality theory. I am in a "click" so to speak only by design, not by choice. I am 22-married, and have about twelve really close friends in my class of 50, me being the youngest and my oldest friend being over 50. We are all so different in age, experience, gender, some have kids, some don't, some are single, divorced, or married. But we find common ground in nursing and we openly invite anyone from our class to sit with us or talk with us...that is how WE met each other afterall However, it seems like there are other "clicks" in the class that look down their noses at us, call us stuck up, and refuse to speak to us. They stick together, and whisper behind our backs, and sit on the opposite side of the room. They don't smile or even look at us outside of class. You can really feel the tension. It is very sad and petty. We have discussed it as a group several times and for the most part everybody agrees that we should take the higher ground and be polite and continue to be inviting...not stoop to their level you know.

    My advice would be to spark a conversation with this group and see how well it is received. If they continue to alienate you or be superficial then you don't want to be a part of that anyway.
  9. by   hbncns35
    Angela,

    That is good that you are able to be agreeable to both 50somethings and 20somethings. However I was sitting by myself because I was studying. I am sure they did not want to bother me if they were looking for a conversation and I was involved with my notes. That is a clear sign I did not want to be bothered.( I was only looking for an acknowledgement.)And there are times I join the group and talk about whatever. I do not like to talk about tests before or after them. Just a personal preference. I do talk about other subjects that may be in common but I do feel that more enriching conversations do come from an older group, not to say that younger one's don't have anything to contribute, they most certainly do. I try not to put people in a general category because everyone is different. There are just some stages in life that have more in common with each other. I keep an agreeable attitude with all of my classmates, I just don't pal around with any of them. Most of the people I tend to talk to more often are in other grade levels and tend to be more interesting and mature. I guess I just got stuck with a dull, cliqey class. I don't find the majority to be interesting. They are just developing themselves and they show great promise in doing so, I just have never be one to follow a group around although I am a great team player just don't put me in a position where there is gossip, because I don't play around with that either. Cheers - Thanks for the comments!!!
  10. by   tencat
    Well, I think I missed something here because I'm not sure what exactly you were venting about.....
  11. by   hbncns35
    Tencat -

    I vented, I learned and I consolidated. I agree that there may be some things I am not doing in the situation that I could employ(approaching them instead of thinking they can) Maybe they are not used to taking the first step? I still don't like being attatched to a single group. I enjoy being nice to everyone. It's amazing how different they are when they are alone. No one to validate their insecurity - they are on their own. Interesting. I still wouldn't jump off the cliff if they did. And I think tommorow I will invite myself to one of the study groups..........................I'll keep em focused.
    HB
  12. by   P_RN
    All my life I have been painfully shy. "Fight or flight?" I always took the flight. I remember in my 3rd try at nursing school I was between 10-15 years older than some or rather most of my classmates.

    One day a fellow student named E. said "You know I aways thought you were Stuck-Up because you never talked. Wow my impression of me and her's were on opposite poles. I'm still shy, but now I know that a smile and a "how are you?" might just get a friendship started.

    If you're studying, perhaps a "y'all excuse me for not chatting, but I really have to re-read this chapter." After all it was in a public place and while they obviously were inter-acting with each other, did you try to acknowledge them?
  13. by   nurse4theplanet
    Quote from hbncns35
    Tencat -

    I vented, I learned and I consolidated. I agree that there may be some things I am not doing in the situation that I could employ(approaching them instead of thinking they can) Maybe they are not used to taking the first step? I still don't like being attatched to a single group. I enjoy being nice to everyone. It's amazing how different they are when they are alone. No one to validate their insecurity - they are on their own. Interesting. I still wouldn't jump off the cliff if they did. And I think tommorow I will invite myself to one of the study groups..........................I'll keep em focused.
    HB
    I commend you for your ability to view both sides of the situation. It is a little confusing however, that you seem distressed because you were studying alone in a public place and they smiled but sat as a group and chose not to disturb you. I don't really understand why it would bother you especially since you have made it clear that you prefer to not be part of a group. I assume your feelings are coming from this as well as other incidences that have occurred, and I know its hard to convey certain feelings and events in writing sometimes. Either way, good for you and hopefully you can each bring some enlightenment to one another. My 50-something friend says we keep her young and she keeps us 20 and 30 something's grounded when we get overly emotional or veer from the subject in study group!:kiss
  14. by   nurse4theplanet
    Quote from P_RN
    All my life I have been painfully shy. "Fight or flight?" I always took the flight. I remember in my 3rd try at nursing school I was between 10-15 years older than some or rather most of my classmates.

    One day a fellow student named E. said "You know I aways thought you were Stuck-Up because you never talked. Wow my impression of me and her's were on opposite poles. I'm still shy, but now I know that a smile and a "how are you?" might just get a friendship started.

    If you're studying, perhaps a "y'all excuse me for not chatting, but I really have to re-read this chapter." After all it was in a public place and while they obviously were inter-acting with each other, did you try to acknowledge them?
    I know what you mean here. I have been horribly shy my whole life and it takes a long time for me to 'break the ice' with new people. Once I feel comfortable around somebody I come out of my shell drastically, and they tell me, "I always thought you were such a stuck up b****! But now that I know you I can't believe I ever thought that!" I can't get too upset, seeing as how I probably contributed to the icy appearance. They never believe me when I say I am shy.

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