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  1. #1
    half-nut member briochick's Avatar
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    Default pack mentalities in people

    I'm just sort of mulling over these thoughts so they may only be half formed.
    Has anyone else noticed a rather pervasive pack mentality (dominants, submissive, levels of dominance, fights for dominance) among people? Especially extroverted types? I feel like in the last year I really have.
    Like, I would say that my brother is an alpha male, or close.
    My father...wants to be. I think he's the dangerous kind, a partially dominant male who wishes to be alpha. He and my bro used to butt heads all the time. But now my father bends to my brother, not vise versa.
    My sister is dominant until you stand up to her and assert dominance, then she fawns. I find it kind of offensive but it serves my point.
    This last year at work there was a power play among the new teachers that I wasn't even aware of until I'd been shoved to the bottom of the dominance train. And then they expected me to be submissive even though *I'd* never conceded dominance. Most people seem to cede to this subtle tendency. Especially women. Especially E women. It irritates the crap out of me. Now, some women I've met have no problem being told what to do and being bossed about.
    I do. I have no desire to dominate or to be dominated. I feel a bit outside the order of things. Unfortunately I think that leads a lot of people to think I'm a ubersubmissive, like an ISFJ, because I don't fight at all for dominance. Then they can't figure out why I dig my claws in when I start being bossed about.
    But, lately, I feel I've been learning to play by the rules of the pack, so to speak. You know, identify the pack leaders, whether male or female, alli myself with some faction, assert support of the dominant, submit, or involve myself in subterfuge. It's depressing, quite frankly, but that's beside the point.
    We're people, individuals. We have evolved brains. So, why is it that we respond this way? And, why do I find that I have to respond this way if I don't want to be a lone wolf? Isn't it odd?
    -Brio

    "I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life; I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well."
    -Teddy Roosevelt
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  2. #2
    HAHHAHHAH! INTJ123's Avatar
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    this behavior disgusts me as well, I see it all the time and it seems paradoxical to the ideal that all are equal wouldn't you say? So do you feel that they have placed you as the omega in their system?

    but often times I find myself in a leadership position not because I want it, or made myself so, but because the group looks to me as it, and there is an apparent need for it, a democratic vote of who to look for leadership in the particular situation.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by briochick View Post
    But, lately, I feel I've been learning to play by the rules of the pack, so to speak. You know, identify the pack leaders, whether male or female, alli myself with some faction, assert support of the dominant, submit, or involve myself in subterfuge.

    The only way to relax in your own warm sunlight, is to never walk in the cold shadow of another.
    You always have a choice.

  4. #4
    half-nut member briochick's Avatar
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    I agree, I do think it's paradoxical.

    I would say that, yeah, women (initially) tend to mark me like an omega. The problem is that I'm not the lowest of the low, submissive. I mean, normally if someone tells me what to do and it doesn't go against my morals and won't really put me out than I'm happy to do it. I just don't generally think in terms of a social ladder, or pack.

    I think an advantage is that men don't do that with me. Or, if they do see me as an omega they respond quite differently. They either ignore me or, I'm finding, are more gentle with me than women are (even my father and brother, who are not by nature nice guys). I'm not sure how that plays into pack mentality, though I think that perhaps a good bit of my dead love-life could have to do with not having a place within the general pack mentality of groups (church, clubs, school, work, pick one).

    Now, the research I've done says that the omegas are pretty much shat on by the rest of the pack. This isn't usually the case with me. Instead I'm ignored, left to fend for myself. I'm not bullied, usually, or picked on. Except by betas...who may see me as a challenger (which I spent months mulling over. Me? a threat to be put down? seriously?!).
    An example is that at my last job I inadvertently challenged the alpha female (queen bee). A submissive (my good friend) ....ooooooh O.o I just realized there *was* an omega at my last job. Poor lady. Ok, back to the example, a submissive told me what I'd done. The next day the beta (I used to call her "the enforcer") challenged me. I stood up to the challenge. The alpha gained some respect for me. The beta then hated me.

    It was frustrating to have to work within such confines though, where each woman had a rank, down to poor K, who no one liked, or respected, or listened to. And then there was me, and I never could figure out where I fit in their little pack. Most ignored me, a submissive befriended me, a dominant informed me, sometimes the alpha listened to me, and the beta hated me.

    Do you think it's instinct? Something we can't escape? Maybe that even you or I conform to despite our own disgust of it?
    All this is brought up because I'm now in a "group" with three dominant women and one submissive (who's basically protected by her mate, who is the alpha), which leaves me, who isn't dominant at all, but doesn't take too keenly to being challenged/ignored. The men in the group seem to like me well enough though. Perhaps I see a tendency in them to protect ones who aren't dominant.

    Is that normal?
    I wonder if any one type is more or less likely to participate in "packs" or to be alphas or omegas. I can see INFJs as not in packs at all. They're like SUPERsubmissive, but not.
    -Brio

    "I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life; I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well."
    -Teddy Roosevelt
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  5. #5
    HAHHAHHAH! INTJ123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by briochick View Post
    I agree, I do think it's paradoxical.

    I would say that, yeah, women (initially) tend to mark me like an omega. The problem is that I'm not the lowest of the low, submissive. I mean, normally if someone tells me what to do and it doesn't go against my morals and won't really put me out than I'm happy to do it. I just don't generally think in terms of a social ladder, or pack.

    I think an advantage is that men don't do that with me. Or, if they do see me as an omega they respond quite differently. They either ignore me or, I'm finding, are more gentle with me than women are (even my father and brother, who are not by nature nice guys). I'm not sure how that plays into pack mentality, though I think that perhaps a good bit of my dead love-life could have to do with not having a place within the general pack mentality of groups (church, clubs, school, work, pick one).

    Now, the research I've done says that the omegas are pretty much shat on by the rest of the pack. This isn't usually the case with me. Instead I'm ignored, left to fend for myself. I'm not bullied, usually, or picked on. Except by betas...who may see me as a challenger (which I spent months mulling over. Me? a threat to be put down? seriously?!).
    An example is that at my last job I inadvertently challenged the alpha female (queen bee). A submissive (my good friend) ....ooooooh O.o I just realized there *was* an omega at my last job. Poor lady. Ok, back to the example, a submissive told me what I'd done. The next day the beta (I used to call her "the enforcer") challenged me. I stood up to the challenge. The alpha gained some respect for me. The beta then hated me.

    It was frustrating to have to work within such confines though, where each woman had a rank, down to poor K, who no one liked, or respected, or listened to. And then there was me, and I never could figure out where I fit in their little pack. Most ignored me, a submissive befriended me, a dominant informed me, sometimes the alpha listened to me, and the beta hated me.

    Do you think it's instinct? Something we can't escape? Maybe that even you or I conform to despite our own disgust of it?
    All this is brought up because I'm now in a "group" with three dominant women and one submissive (who's basically protected by her mate, who is the alpha), which leaves me, who isn't dominant at all, but doesn't take too keenly to being challenged/ignored. The men in the group seem to like me well enough though. Perhaps I see a tendency in them to protect ones who aren't dominant.

    Is that normal?
    I wonder if any one type is more or less likely to participate in "packs" or to be alphas or omegas. I can see INFJs as not in packs at all. They're like SUPERsubmissive, but not.
    In a wolf pack I think the omega is viewed as the playful one, this might be the reason for the gentle behavior towards you, they might see you as playful and non threatening, someone who they can let their guard down with.

    I think extroverts are most likely to participate in pack behavior.

  6. #6
    half-nut member briochick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTJ123 View Post
    In a wolf pack I think the omega is viewed as the playful one,
    Really? Where did you learn that? I read "pressure valve" on one website, but most said babysitter and bottom rung of the pack. One even said that wolf packs tend to starve and kill their omegas.
    -Brio

    "I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life; I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well."
    -Teddy Roosevelt
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  7. #7
    HAHHAHHAH! INTJ123's Avatar
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    HowStuffWorks "What is a wolf pack mentality?"


    "On the bottom rung of the ladder, you have the omega wolf. As the name implies, the omega wolf is the weakest and the least cared for in the pack. Bullied by other members, the omega wolf will receive the brunt of the aggression in the wolf world, particularly during inter-pack fighting [source: Busch]. Sometimes, this antagonism climaxes to the point that the omega wolf will leave the pack and go it alone. Aside from being the pack's punching bag, the omega wolf also instigates play among the wolves to ease tensions."

    I've seen documentaries on wolves and stuff too explaining this.

    I think it depends on what kind of pack it is, if it's an especially aggressive/vicious pack then yes they will torment the omega to the point of making it a lone wolf or starvation or whatever.

  8. #8
    half-nut member briochick's Avatar
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    Great. So how do you think that could be applied to humans?
    -Brio

    "I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life; I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well."
    -Teddy Roosevelt
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  9. #9
    HAHHAHHAH! INTJ123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by briochick View Post
    Great. So how do you think that could be applied to humans?
    I don't think it's always the case with humans, but it often is. Depends on the type of pack I guess. The usual omega is the joker, the clown, the least serious. The alpha is often the most serious, these titles of dominance are not from physical confrontation(mostly) it's usually a mental thing, psychological warfare. If humans can learn to balance these qualities themselves then a more balanced less hierarchical/more cooperative pack could be formed. I think mbti could be a great tool to use to achieve this balance, rather than to keep accentuating your strengths, one should use it to strengthen their weaknesses after identifying them.

    The pack as a whole though is balanced through these individuals acting as one unit. So who am I to say there needs to be change at all, it's all a question of whether people like being told what to do and be put in their place, if they like acting and behaving as animals. Maybe this is just the natural way things are, but I think history shows it often undermines important people because of the social roles placed on them by others, and if that changed society might prosper.

  10. #10
    Ginkgo
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    Quote Originally Posted by briochick View Post
    I'm just sort of mulling over these thoughts so they may only be half formed.
    Has anyone else noticed a rather pervasive pack mentality (dominants, submissive, levels of dominance, fights for dominance) among people? Especially extroverted types? I feel like in the last year I really have.
    Like, I would say that my brother is an alpha male, or close.
    My father...wants to be. I think he's the dangerous kind, a partially dominant male who wishes to be alpha. He and my bro used to butt heads all the time. But now my father bends to my brother, not vise versa.
    My sister is dominant until you stand up to her and assert dominance, then she fawns. I find it kind of offensive but it serves my point.
    This last year at work there was a power play among the new teachers that I wasn't even aware of until I'd been shoved to the bottom of the dominance train. And then they expected me to be submissive even though *I'd* never conceded dominance. Most people seem to cede to this subtle tendency. Especially women. Especially E women. It irritates the crap out of me. Now, some women I've met have no problem being told what to do and being bossed about.
    I do. I have no desire to dominate or to be dominated. I feel a bit outside the order of things. Unfortunately I think that leads a lot of people to think I'm a ubersubmissive, like an ISFJ, because I don't fight at all for dominance. Then they can't figure out why I dig my claws in when I start being bossed about.
    But, lately, I feel I've been learning to play by the rules of the pack, so to speak. You know, identify the pack leaders, whether male or female, alli myself with some faction, assert support of the dominant, submit, or involve myself in subterfuge. It's depressing, quite frankly, but that's beside the point.
    We're people, individuals. We have evolved brains. So, why is it that we respond this way? And, why do I find that I have to respond this way if I don't want to be a lone wolf? Isn't it odd?
    I can't tell you whether your behavior is "odd" or not, but I can say that I exhibit the same tendencies.

    I don't look at a group of people and categorize the individuals based on a hierarchy of any kind. On the contrary, I analyze individuals based on their character, behavior, and morality. I also enjoy challenging authority, whether it be for the sake of my values or not. I feel that there should be a system of checks and balances within any social group, and I delight in keeping the authority figure on his/her toes.

    Unfortunately, my habits also include being passive and "non-assertive". I classic example of this would be as follows:

    I am standing in line, waiting for my food in High School. Suddenly, some sort of delinquent cuts in front of me without asking. He sublimely slips in. In a few moments, he beckons some of his friends over so they can cut in line too. At this point, you can imagine that I'm pretty pissed off, but because I don't want to cause a scene or risk getting into a physical fight, I stay silent.

    To cope with this, I have created a facial expression that makes me look like I am either an asshole or I'm just having a bad day. By using this masquerade, I find that no one cuts in front of me.

    It's interesting that you would mention the wolf pecking order. In fact, I actually view humans as wild animals sometimes. They often behave without compassion, caring, or even regard for De Facto social rules.

    They have selfish and prideful motivations, which is one of the reasons why I hold a seed of disrespect for many authority figures.

    EDIT: For the record, I'm not always this cynical.

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