"I've been out of highschool for too many years for these types of games."
Yeah. You nailed the dynamic!
IMHO, some social groups develop touchstone beliefs which are used as social glue. Affirmation of the touchstone belief is seen as the measure of each individual's buy-in to the group. Sometimes they're harmless, like sports boosterism -- "The Bulls are the best" one guy says, and everyone else echoes, along with some excuses for past losses, etc.
In your case I suspect that there are one or two guys in leadership roles who are keeping the touchstone myth going: "LR is a bitch, always was a bitch, and always will be a bitch." Everyone else is obliged to either affirm the myth or risk taking a downgrading in the group hierarchy.
You are EXACTLY right: it is juvenile, tribal-clique behavior. Irrational, hurtful, hypocritical, and mean as a bag full of blacksnakes. And it is extremely hard to confront in a group context. If you and Maca and GG were to sit down with the group and try to hash things out then I would predict one of two immediate outcomes:
1. The leader(s) and their major sycophants will immediately challenge every point you make. They will use emotional, irrational arguments designed to provoke an angry response, and when you finally can't take it and blow up they will fold their arms and say, "See? We're right."
2. The group will outwardly agree to some of your points. Watch the unofficial leader(s), though: their eyes will be masked, they will be holding back. As soon as you are gone they'll say, "OK, this proves it: see what an utter bitch she is?" It will be completely irrational, but it will be a litmus test and anyone who disagrees will take a group thrashing.
Again IMHO, if you really need to tackle this you might think about cutting the best of the cattle out of the herd. Talk to the most sympathetic and open of the guys individually. Get them away from the leader(s) and the sycophants and try for a rational and emotional connection.
This group dynamic is really snotty. I am incredibly fortunate in that there are several conscious minds in my workgroup. When the group-think gets going there's one guy in particular, Steve, who gets a kind of bored, sleepy look on his face. When the group-thinkers have all grunted and beat their chests about whatever irrational myth they're affirming then Steve chimes in with something slightly off-topic and funny as hell that deflates the whole thing.
Anyway. It sounds like Maca is golden. Lean on him.
Don't depend on GG. But I might suggest that his apparent weakness is understandable: there are millennia of chimp-style social reflexes working in the lowest levels of his mind, and we all have those reflexes -- the good and the bad. (I love the post-coital reflex, for instance, because it generates such wonderful pillow-talk sessions.)
Be kind, be generous, but don't rely on anyone for things they are not yet conscious enough or aware enough to provide. Help them grow if they can, maybe.
Oh, hell, what I've written sounds all high-minded and self-confident, doesn't it? It's not. Take it all as tentative guesswork and half-baked goofball analysis.
I'd love to read more as the situations unfolds, though...
Last edited by EugenePoet; 03-13-2010 at 07:32 PM.