I think that I know why birds of a feather flock together....I think it's so we don't have to question our reality. If we are with people who are like us, we feel special because they want us (themselves) to feel special. They praise us because we are like them. All of our nifty ideas are ideas they have in common with us. They feel comfortable because we validate them. So in essence they are just giving themselves a royal pat on the back in a passive aggressive way.
It sounds kind of lame to be so self congratulating. But really, it saves a lot of time. Because you go around in a circle stating how smart, and enlightened and funny and clever someone is. You laugh super hard at their joke...the way you'd like someone to laugh at YOUR joke. And then wow, a couple minutes later people are laughing as hard at your joke...cool!
I hang around with people who are a lot like me. And sometimes after we finish a phone call, my ears are kind of ringing because we've just gone the rounds on the game of "no YOU'RE the best, No YOU'RE THE best, NO YOU'RE THE BEST" until one of us screams uncle, or our phone dies.
Afterwards, when I should feel pretty good about myself, instead I can feel kind of empty...like the way you feel after eating a jar of Nutella...when your stomach aches, but you don't feel satisfied, and you rationalize that you should feel satisfied because there is protein somewhere in that container...but deep down you know that is bull, and that the contents of that jar have about as much sustenance as an episode of The Real Housewives. Your gut is telling you something that your brain just didn't have the power to convey...and that is: you are full of crap.
That's where hanging out and talking with people who don't share a lot of your same view points can be enlightening slash terrifying. You'll get more sustenance, but you are going to have to swallow that broccoli to get it, and there is no sugar coating it. It can weird you out, because you're so accustomed to being told you're right, that then to have people adamantly disagreeing with you, with as much passion as your like-minded friends agree with you, your head can start to spin...who is really right?
That's where the temptation comes in to just crawl back to the dugout, and sit with your jar of Nutella. Who needs those broccoli heads anyhow? Life was much sweeter before they came along...and it will be much sweeter after they are gone! It can be an ego-killer for sure. But here's what I am thinking...maybe the ego is something that needs to be whittled down regularly just for it's own health. Maybe the ego is like a cat's claws, its usefulness jeopardized if not filed down regularly.
I think that being told you're full of crap can be kind of enlightening...because it forces you to think about why you really do feel strongly about what you believe in. I think that talking about it, saying it out loud can cause you to see the holes in your argument, or the other side to the coin that you hadn't noticed was there. Not to say that you should give up Nutella, but maybe just that there are other things out there that may satisfy as well.
In a round of about way, this is all to say that I feel kind of crappy about myself right now...but in a way, it is liberating because I know that I am giving myself more nourishment than I have had for a while. The discomfort is more about the realization of old ways and habits that no longer serve me. Unfortunately I still have the stomach ache associated with those old habits. I don't think it's ever too late to change. Of course that always soothes the ego of someone who needs to change and should have before now.