The smaller details in the patterns reveal the bigger picture: Wondering why people seem so supportive of some people, no matter how trivial their complaint or accomplishment? And others get so little support it's ridiculous, no matter how severe the problem?
in a group actually get "groomed" to be supportive of the person who
complains the MOST, and who is constantly making announcements about themselves. They are being conditioned with little social signal rewards, over and over.
At the same time, the same people are getting "groomed" to be
UNsupportive toward people who DON'T complain, who don't boast, and who
don't make continuous announcements.
They don't realize it,
it's not on purpose, they're just being subconsciously trained that when
they are supportive toward one person, they will receive a small
reward. When they are unsupportive of that person, they will receive a
small "punishment" (like those psych. experiments with the small
electric shock). When they show support or respect toward a person who
they are "supposed to ignore", who's been designated as a scapegoat or
target, low person on the totem pole, they ALSO receive a small
If they diverge from the expected behavior, they receive an ABSENCE of reward, and an increase in "punishment".
Let's say there's a pair of office "buddies" who pal around together,
but one of them (Jules) is decidedly the dominant one, the "star" of the
pair, and the other (Sal) is the "sidekick" (in the dominant one's
mind.) When Jules talks, it's usually either about hs ailments, his
boat, his kids' sports teams, or his adamant, absolute views. This
doesn't really "make him a bad guy"~ but notice when SAL starts to
speak, JULES talks over him. Whatever Sal is talking about, Jules pipes
in and over. Jules wants ALL EYES ON HIM, all the time. If Sal is
limping because of the bike accident he got in this morning, and you ask
him if he's alright, when he starts to tell you the story Jules will be
standing there filling in the details. If you stand there any longer,
Jules will be telling you about the bike accident he was in last summer.
If Jules is talking about something and Sal pipes in, and you say
"What did you say, Sal?" Jules might wait for him to say a couple of
words, but soon enough he'll be interrupting and diverting your
attention back on himself.
You get USED to this, it becomes
"normal". The built-in adaptation to the environment we have in our
human brains takes over and tells us "this is the way it is; Jules is
the one to pay attention to, Sal is the one to ignore, and it's okay,
everyone does it." If Jules is speaking and Sal starts to talk, everyone
ignores Sal and keeps listening to Jules. If Sal is talking and Jules
starts to talk, everyone AGAIN ignores Sal, and turns their attention to
Jules has groomed the group to be USED TO supporting
and listening to him. Jules has also groomed the group to be USED TO
dismissing, ignoring, and disrespecting Sal.
This is how it's done.
LITTLE THINGS, ALL THE TIME. STREAMS OF THEM.
Jules cuts his finger on a piece of paper and the world stops; Sal gets
hit by a car and everyone says "poor Sal" but goes back to what they
Jules doesn't go to the hospital to visit Sal more than
once, but when Sal gets out, he drives Jules around for a week because
he can't drive his stick shift with the paper cut. No one notices the
Jules is upset because the electric company messed up and
now he has a late payment on his bill, everyone is sympathetic and up
Sal is upset because he was mugged on his way to work,
they punched him and took his whole wallet; everyone says "oh that's too
bad" and then "But you need to look on the bright side and quit
complaining, at least you're alive!" and go back to what they were
The entertainment, advertisement, and political science fields know all about it, and do it on purpose, every day.