Here`s something I noticed:

One thing I have learned in the past two or so years is that for some strange reason when a group of people is in a stressful situation and they know they can`t do anything about it? They become very happy, friendly, helpful, and the overall mood is great. It might just be us Dutch people, it might be a general thing, I don`t know. I do know that I`ve experienced this several times, and it got me thinking.

A specific example: roughly 1,5 year ago, I had an exam at school. In fact, it was one of the last exams me and my classmates had as students at this school before we all went to do our internships. The exam went horrible for all of us. We knew that. Most of us had given up studying to begin with. (We had to know 1500 kanji, in case you`re wondering why). So we all went into the exam, and then left it again, knowing that we failed horribly. In fact, it was a computerised exam so we got our results immediately and most of us were somewhere in the 20% score range.

But in the cafeteria, where we all gathered? The atmosphere there was absolutely amazing. We were all cheery, we were literally leaning on each other and making jokes and shouting and laughing and just generally having fun. We just laughed about the exam. We cheered on the people that joined us when they explained they, too, had failed.

I know several examples like this. For some reason, whenever people are put in a situation like this, we apparently get very cheery.

There`s probably someone out there who`s already researched this, there`s probably reasons for this behaviour in books and magazines and the like. I`m not (yet) looking for those answers.

I like to think that this is a way of bonding. It`s a way of creating a group, of realising that hey, we`re not alone, we`re all failing and we`re all miserable, let`s just make the best out of it.

And I like that it happens. I like this phenomenon, even if I do not know the proper name and reasons for it. Because I have, unfortunately, been in a lot of situations that could have been very bad and dramatic and straight out of a Korean drama. But sometimes they turn into a happy event like the one I described, and I much prefer it like that.

So what about you guys? Did you ever notice this happens? Have you ever been in a situation like this? Or have you ever noticed anything else strange in human group behaviour? Let me know in the comments!

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