Previously: We survive through scapegoating. We identify a problem child in our midst and the group rallies around the expulsion of that person. In other words, we find a collective, shared identity when we work together to kick someone out of the group. This gives us a false sense of closeness. It gives us the illusion of bonding. Once a person is kicked out, we all breathe a deep sigh of relief. We feel peaceful, for a time.
So, what do we do about this? What can we do? How do we avoid being the types of people who are content to conspire in order to experience peace?
It’s very difficult to see ourselves as part of the problem. Why? Because it’s too easy to live as victims. The natural human instinct is much more likely to push us into seeing ourselves as victims rather than as people who can cause harm. (Side note: When it comes to issues of abuse and the like, some of us are legitimately victims. These issues must be wrestled with in a different way than the group dynamic I’m describing over the course of these blog posts.)
When our group was having problems I certainly didn’t see myself as a person taking action against another person. I saw myself, as most of the group did, as a victim of someone else’s poor behavior. We thought he was causing conflict and that this was causing problems for us. Thus, we’re victims, and so he needs to go. Even if I was aware of the Scapegoat Mechanism I couldn’t have applied it because I was a victim!
What do we do about this scenario?