To me, a good analogy would be soft and loud music playing simultaneously. Say there is some mild music leaking from your neighbors house. It is possible to hear it only when the room is totally quiet. Then say you switch on the television at a moderate volume, the sound from your neighbors house is drowned. At the next level, you could put on headphones and blast some loud trance/rock music. Now even the television sound is drowned. You can once again quieten the place enough to hear the faint sounds again coming from outside your house.
I guess in a similar way, social gravity(societal influence, especially when you are in a heavy social situation) dominates our thought patterns and perspectives. It is difficult to regain your original thoughts when there is no much noise. Once alone, in a quiet place, the original thoughts return just like the faint sounds.