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The Psychology Of The "little" Person. Part 2 - Society
The Psychology Of The "little" Person. Part 2 - Society

Video: The Psychology Of The "little" Person. Part 2 - Society

Video: The Psychology Of The "little" Person. Part 2 - Society
Video: Generation Boomerang: Why Won't Young Adults Leave Home? (Society Documentary) | Real Stories 2023, March

Doctor of Psychology, Professor Sergei Garkavets reflects on the psychology of the "little" person. These people seek to remain invisible, but the "black swans" of social change sometimes praise them very highly. What happens to conformists at the height of their popularity? Continuation. Read part 1 on bosses, robots, and conformists.

Security guarantees

In the essay "Friendship", the famous psychologist Igor Kon wrote that during the Great Patriotic War, soldier's friendship became the standard of ideal human relations, and military comradeship became a real brotherhood. However, it turned out that after the war, in a clash with the Soviet corrupt bureaucracy, the blood-tested friendship at the front gave way. The former heroes were defeated by the "little" man sitting inside, they could not show civil courage, support their comrade, who rebelled against social injustice. Indeed, civic courage is the exclusive lot of a “great” man.

The less educated a person is, the more he shows conformism in the conditions of everyday life and everyday life

A competent, correct and inclined to consensus with others is more capable of influencing others and less susceptible to outside influence. But the "little" person, even being "in the mantle", tends to follow abstract, "bookish" or intellectual patterns.

A “little” person experiencing fear (a high level of anxiety) has a need for dependence, and therefore he needs someone or someone who will guarantee safety. And under constant stress (financial problems, problems at work, defects in appearance, etc.), when the focus of attention narrows, the level of critical thinking decreases. Such a person, according to the psychologist J. Darley, becomes much more susceptible to illogical arguments and doctrines.


It is easier to flirt with him, you can promise anything you want (“cheat on populism”), offer a new illusion, exploit his faith and hope. Moreover, in the so-called “patriarchal” political culture, the level of conformism is much higher than in the culture of “activist”.

According to the American political scientist G. Almond, the less individualized consciousness and behavior of a person is, the more he is inclined to manifestations of conformism

Do we need freedom?

In a “little” person, even selfishness produces like a weather vane. ME Saltykov-Shchedrin wrote about this in the satire "Cultured People": "… I wanted something: either the constitution, or the sevryuzhin with horseradish, or to rip someone off. It would have flashed through my head first, flashed in my head, and to the side … And then, having proved to be well-intentioned, you can dream about constitutions at your leisure."


Erich Fromm argued that most people do not want freedom, because it implies responsibility, and for the majority, responsibility causes fear. The "little" person is not only afraid of responsibility, but he ignores it whenever opportunities arise for this.

The reasons for corruption lie not only in the fact that there are those who extort, but also in the fact that there are a huge number of people who are ready to give a bribe

The danger of "black swans"

The most dangerous situation is when a “small” person acquires the opportunity to fly up to the highest levels of the social hierarchy. This is when "from rags to riches" or "there is nothing worse than a freed slave." This often happens in times of social upheaval, when extreme social elevators or “black swans” lift up people who are random, completely unprepared, but ambitious and devoid of any moral principles.

The “little” person, as it were, acquires wings in order to soar and delight. But the problem is that such individuals, without becoming socially mature, remaining irresponsible, who understand freedom as the right of the strong to do "what I want", turn into guides for those who are ready to follow them into the abyss. It's like in a flock of doomed lemmings, when an old and blind female leads her entire brood to the abyss.

Unfortunately, today such "small" people are not uncommon among the leaders of states, parliamentarians and officials of different ranks

The crowd is looking for a victim

However, not everything is so bad with "little" people. As Anton Chekhov said, “only ordinary, herd people are healthy and normal”. Especially when they are together, like twigs gathered in a heap. You cannot break them, you cannot break them … But a bunch of "little" people gathered together always becomes a crowd, and, as Sigmund Freud noted, "in a crowd, every feeling, every action is contagious, and, moreover, to such an extent that the individual very easily sacrifices his own personal interests to collective interest."

A crowd of “little” people always needs a leader, and woe to them when the newly-born leader turns out to be the same “little” person who, rising above them on his “black swan”, offers a new illusion that they naively believe in.

Philip Dick wrote in The Stigmata of Palmer Eldrich: “Sacrifice is needed. And nobody wants to become one. Our whole life is based on this. And that's exactly it. " But this is when it comes to a separate individual. When the sacrifice is massive, each "little" person acquires an illusory greatness in the eyes of people like him, which feeds his faith in the correctness of the actions being performed, including sacrificial ones. Their guides shout to them that they are making history, and in response the crowd of "little" people is even more exalted. The entire history of mankind eloquently testifies to this.

How to defeat the "little" person in yourself?

There are also loners who in every possible way seek to leave the memory of themselves to their descendants. Herostratus is an example of a “little” person who was one of the first in human history to gain imperishable greatness by committing a serious crime, which has become a household name, synonymous with absolute inferiority and degradation.

A natural question arises - is it possible to defeat the "little" person in oneself, is it possible to minimize the manifestations of herd conformism at the individual level?

The answer can be found in many books on the psychology of personal growth. Of course, you can become a nonconformist and preach the illusion of a minority, but this also will not raise you in the eyes of others, however, as well as in your own.

Most of us remain "little" people, because in order to realize that you are not "little", you need not just an understanding of your own "inferiority", but you need to do really great, courageous deeds, go against the will of dictators, authorities, the majority, the crowd, that is, to do things that "make a person."

As psychologist Alexander Asmolov notes, there are people who are ready to accept changes, and there are those who by any means run and defend themselves from them

The psychotechnology of the ostrich, when the head is hiding in the sand, remains absolutely in demand today and most of us try to hide our head not only from others, but also from ourselves.


Alas, this is the norm today, since security has become an absolute value, “and for this ideal to be justified, conflicts and crises are always needed”.

Just like many years ago, few of us are capable of standing out from the masses and taking up the challenges of our time. But there cannot be many such personalities, since this is an exception to the rule. This can really only be done by “great” people who know how to trust, tell the truth and not change themselves, courageously go beyond the conventional norm, personified by the majority, to which the overwhelming majority of us belong.

But for all that humiliates most of us, it is still possible, while remaining "small", to preserve our human dignity, not to commit base deeds. Even in everyday life, a “little” person always has the opportunity to perform real human actions

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