How to Unplug the Go Along App: Differentiate!

The Go Along App loops these messages: "All aboard." "All together now." "Be like folks." "You think you're better than others!" "Just go along to get along." "Everyone's upset about it; don't think you can escape." "How come you look happy when so-and-so is so upset?" "You'd better try hard to fit in!"

The Go Along App herds everyone into the same mindset, struggle, and gossip flow. Anyone caring about outside complexities is made out to be an "outsider." The top question can imperceptibly shift to "What does the system want?" rather than "What do I really want?"

To unplug the Go Along App, Differentiate! Quietly and calmly let the differences shine. Control when and when not to let the inner longing to belong rule. Stay kind and friendly while enjoying being different. Take time, find a friend, do an activity--outside the system.

Over time, this Go Along App will drag the system to the level of the least functioning member. Over time, this Go Along App will sabotage all attempts to disable the powers of systemic anxiety. Keeping these two effects in mind will help guide and motivate to continued vigilance.

To disable the fifth app that powers systemic anxiety, differentiate. Dream of a place where all adults live in happy, respectful differentiation. Fill the dream with pictures of connecting without confining, of difference without disgust, of listening without fear.

If the Go Along App simply cannot be undone in one arena, perhaps try creating another arena in which to practice differentiating. Ask someone to role play the demanding voice, someone who can give positive feedback after role play. I can differentiate in small steps and let the practice seep into my way of being for bigger steps.

Some of the ideas in this article came from: Friedman, Edwin H. A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix. New York: Seabury Books, 1999, 2007.

Copyright 2015 Wilma Zalabak