When sharing ideas or opinions with others, people will only go as far as they dare to go.
There is a risk that being too open, that taking a position which isn’t common agreement may lead to opposition. And opposition can be difficult to deal with as it can become a competition. Which in turn can be lost, leading to uncomfortable consequences.
To avoid this, people seek to find a good mix between their expression of their individuality and their wish to belong.
Many factors are influencing the ability people have to chose between both. There is the individual courage, the importance they give to the matter and their current sense of belonging. There is also the way the members of the group behave. Are they open, do they welcome ideas, do they show anxiety in front of new ideas and seek to control individuals?
It never is either only the individual or only the group. It always builds on how both influence each other.
But the group might feel threatened by the individual. In such cases, there is a risk that attention focuses on the so-called “black sheep” leading to its exclusion.
When such a risk is perceived as real in a group, political correctness might become the default behavior of the group members. That is the situation, when belonging to the group is valued higher than contributing to the group. The risk of exclusion has become more frightening than the belief to be able to have an individual position within the group. When they give up the idea to have a position which corresponds to their values, political correctness becomes the solution.