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The "gang" mentality

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Many of us, those with and without MI, will be confronted with the "gang" mentality. Age has no barrier to this especially in cyber world. We felt it in the school yard, in the workplace and now in social media. Why does it exist?

Gangs have strength by numbers. Often there is a leader and that leader find comfort and security with his/her brood hanging around. With cyber world there might not be a leader, more often than not there is more of a 'feeding frenzy' amongst those that have a common cause- to denigrate and  destroy.  These groups more often than not are no longer interested in remedy, to keep the victim within their group, no longer believing that person has anything left to offer them anything significant that they themselves can provide.

We all know the scenario. Gangs in school were made up with miss/master popular, the kid that didnt have to do much to be so. All he had to do was be the master, the attractive cool type, that seemed to have it all just by being himself, He would always be in the middle with his disciples flanked on either side jostling for his attention. Who were their targets? More often than not their target were kids that didnt fit in well with others, looked different, weren't "cool" and came from well structured caring households. The kids that weren't let loose on the streets, had little self esteem and displayed their fear of them. Natural targets.

Social media. Facebook, twitter and the like. Evidence of the 'gang' feeding frenzy- you dont have to look far. Early 2014 actress Charlotte Dawson bowed to the pressure.  Faceless cowardly gang member didnt even know each other, but they boarded the bully bus together in a shocking display, public display at that, frenzy that had fatal consequences.

Protection? Well even this 58yo male with a security and prison officer background found it just too hard to survive in 2 motoring clubs against the 'flow' of the frenzies. In my case both clubs knew of my struggles mentally as I'm 'out there' with my life and what bothers me. Those that can hide their issues may well be better off, the quiet type, the reserved. But in my case why should I hide anything to be "one of them".

T'is why I'm here. I'm one of you.  But I feel a loss not maintaining some sort of mild friendship with some of the clubs members. I'm an outcast, I'm not in the "clique".

Since distancing from the clubs I'm happier. And that's the bottom line. How do you fare with clubs/groups? How do you survive in them? 

13 Replies 13

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

White Knight,

 Awesome post, thanks for sharing your insight and experience. Basically, the "gang" feeds off of perceived victims, and the "leader" feeds off the attention and perceived "respect" of the cohorts.  None of it is real or lasting, no matter how powerful or strong they become, the ending is always the same. The "gang" eventually destroys itself, tears itself to shreds and comes apart at the seams. The binding agent is fear, and fear can only sustain itself for so long.The conditions change and fear eventually overcomes the individuals that comprise the gang.

 Once we learn to see how this works, step by step, we won't look for the company nor approval of the herd any longer. The herd weakens us as individuals, makes us dependent on the herd, which is dependent on fear, which is a temporary condition.

The only real strength comes from within the individual, from mindfulness, and like minded beings. Mindfulness is eternal, it does not need to be bound by anything simply because it just "is". It is our nature, it can not be bound nor unbound.

We can be mindful and part of a group, we can be mindful as individuals. It is not based on fear, greed, love, hate, nothing. It is the condition at the core, unchanging.

In simple terms: we can and should always walk away from situations where we are being outcast or bullied. Just walk away. If we stop feeding the fear that drives the group to act this way, the fear dies and the group dissipates. It no longer serves a purpose. Starve it. Just walk away.

All my best to you.


Hi thesteve,

I couldnt think of a more apt reply. Made a whole heap of sense to me. "walking away" is hard to start with from a group or from social media, real hard. Some contacts on FB I know I wont hear from again but then again, they werent real friends. It's greatest value was posting pictures to family etc. But I can email them anyway.

The tyrants like Gaddafi, Hitlar, Hussein and the like never last long either- right along the lines you mentioned.

mmm, feeding them, didnt really think of that. Starving them by walking away. Logical but often logic is missing in all of us.

Hope readers get something out of this post. I believe a good percentage of persons with mental illness has social barriers often caused by the 'gang mentality.

We have been mislead in the west by so-called "leaders" and "news networks" since the day we were born (nothing more than code for "bureaucrats" and "propaganda") that the only way to win a battle is with force, to confront it head-on.Sometimes, we are lucky to get an excellent teacher or two at school who can give us these life lessons; sometimes a parent; sometimes a friend; but many times it is life experience and paying attention to what is going on around us, what is truth and what is not, pain and suffering, that teaches us best.

Often times, we simply need to leave things alone (ie: don't feed the beast) in order to see a natural transition come about. Walking away is very appropriate in many situations, it takes extreme courage and faith. But it is a tool we need to keep in our kits for the appropriate situation.

Many people in the world could use this lesson right now. It is important we don't get caught up in all of the "noise" around us at present, I think as humans we are at a pretty critical juncture in our short existence.

Community Member

Great post!

I have a confession to make. Before social media was around I was just another kid at school when I was younger. As I grew into womanhood and had 4 wonderful children, I was just another mother. Then I joined Facebook, joined a few Bipolar groups, pages etc. And started feeling more and more at home. Then with my grandiose feelings that come along with mania I thought I could save all of these people. So i made a group of my own.

I became the Founder and owner and brought other Bipolars together for a more positive approach to the mental health disorder. I ended up with 5000 members at which point I made the group secret. I had a team of 10 admins from all over the world covering different time zones. Well this is where my confession comes in. 

I became that leader. My ego grew so huge as to all the compliments and feedback I got just by helping people stay positive that it became a problem. I then had my admin team underneath me, and we became the 'gang' and all of our egotistical natures got so huge the group exploded and caused havoc. I created this havoc, me! .

My group fell apart and I was left feeling so empty and guilty of the person i had become. I did not like that person at all and now I do not even own a Facebook account anymore. Now two months later after forgiving myself, feeling lonely and no one to talk to I found this site. Now I can go back to being just another person, but with the encouragement i need to feed my soul not my ego 🙂

Hi EM,  thankyou for your reply.

It's even better now that you have created a "confession section. lol."

Seriously, you tried and you lost your way. That's ok now. You can contribute here anytime and you are so welcome.

I've found that by reaching out here I've learned so much about myself to. A friend told me today- "clubs have that gang mentality...I have seen a club without one."  Wonder if they is the case, that common?

Community Member

Hi white knight, I just got around to reading this.

 I feel like the problem I had was that I tried to change myself to fit in with the popular kids, I found myself desperate. At one point one of them was asking for money and I almost gave them some.

There was this one kid who chucked food at me and insulted me. He then tried to ask me for money and then tried to add me on FaceBook. I did neither for him. He tried to make me feel like a bad and rude person.

Hi LiamC,

you did well. Dont feed these people that will drain you of anything they want.  There is a large percentage of people to stay clear of in life. Select your friends wisely and use the same amount of wisdom pushing the bad ones away.

White knight, I think it is common on both sides of the fence. There are so many organizations in every facet of life. Schools, business, charities, politics, religion and so on. And unless we are in some way connected with the faculty of these organizations we may be unaware of what is going on behind the scenes and think we are in a safe place. On the other hand there are so many organizations out there who are indeed what and/or who they say they are. For the most part we will never know.

@Liam, great job on standing firm footed and not giving in to 'him' 🙂


Couldn't agree with you more about selecting friends wisely and pushing bad ones away. What do you do when the bad ones don't want to leave? It is my experience that the bad ones often want to make your life unpleasant. Any thoughts?