Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Imagine you have a manager. Specifics of your work require close daily collaboration and your work is mutually dependent, even if you are junior to that person. Imagine you have worked together for many years, learned to respect each other, learned to have a gut feeling for what is possible and not, learned to forecast your manager’s reactions quite correctly and developed a certain feeling of loyalty towards that person.

Imagine your manager asks you to accomplish certain task or participate in certain project,which is highly relevant for the manager and the company you work for, however, it contradicts some of your personal principles or beliefs.

Would you stand your ground? Or would you sacrifice your principle towards benefiting the company?

How do we deal with situations when a feeling of loyalty towards some group or employer confronts your personal beliefs and principles?

Human as we are, being part of the group is a necessity for the most of us. It is a part of our human nature – chances for survival, food and pairing were higher when you were a part of the group. Humans form groups instinctively even today, after agricultural revolution rendered tribe loyalty unnecessary and industrial revolution stressed the importance of an individual – tendency to form groups is too deeply rooted in our behavioral patterns. All in all, the only thing that has changed is that we can choose the group we want to belong to more freely.

But what happens when group’s morality unexpectedly contradicts personal morality? Where do you find courage to stand your ground, even if you might end up being fired or being labelled as an outsider? What is it that makes some people choose to defend their opinion and live up to their principles, and other – to adjust, adapt and give up some personal principles just to continue being part of the group?

I think the courage to stand your ground comes from the level of personal development combined with your life experiences. What do you believe in and have your values been tested? Are your principles just some statements you noted down or did you figured them out during some turbulent times in your life? Do see your life as a continuous row of choices you are making, or do you see life “happening to you”?