Always keep your own ideas and preferences in mind. Because we tend to distort our memories to fit the group's, you want to be sure you can stick to your own story. You don’t have to write down your thoughts, just keep them at the forefront of your mind when you enter into discussions with people who you know will express beliefs or ideas contrary to your own.
Recognize how much it hurts to disagree with others, especially when you are a very lonely minority of one. There’s no denying that it’s easier to go along with the group, and it can be painful—if not isolating—to do so. On the other hand, consider how much it hurts to give up your values when you’re being urged or coerced to go along with others who you think are leading you in the wrong direction.
Be aware of the pull to look or behave like those whom you perceive to be of higher status than yourself. Those Jimmy Choos will harm your feet when worn on a regular basis, and even though you see everyone else prancing around in high heels, you can reassure yourself with the knowledge that you’ll be less likely to pay the price in terms of your long-term health.
Find others who agree with you to help you feel better about yourself. That tendency to conform will often lead like-minded people to stick together. Although this can create rifts in society as a whole, on a smaller scale you can at least prevent yourself from feeling like a complete social isolate when you're a minority of one.
Use your individuality judiciously. It’s probably not a great idea to voice disparate political, religious, or social values in situations where you know you’ll be shouted down or ostracized. It’s probably also not wise to state opinions that you know will offend someone. If a group is going to vote on a potentially divisive issue, such as when work-based committees must decide on hiring decisions, ask for a secret ballot.
Determine when standing out from the crowd will be beneficial. If you know everyone in your group wears black to every single social event, and you’d like to be noticed, wear the color that you truly feel looks best on you.