What if you understood the basis and root of your adversary’s strong opinion? Would that be helpful?
The bubble in which we live, governed by filters we create and our lack of curiosity about the unknown are forms of self defence. We’re defending the self, keeping everything “OK” because that’s a safe, low maintenance place to be. In other words, not being curious about our adversary’s opinion because we might be proven wrong.
I often catch myself becoming angry when I don’t feel heard, but upon investigation I’m choosing to ignore the fact that I live in a bubble that filters out anything that doesn’t align with my values or opinions. That’s the trigger to my upset.
Our sources of information today are created from algorithms that have been formulated based on our behaviour and our digital blueprint. I don’t see posts or articles on grilling lamb and making sausages because I’m vegan and Google and Facebook know this. I don’t see anti-gay rhetoric because my digital DNA clearly indicates I’m a supporter of LGBTQ rights. I see very little about sports or ultraconservative content because you not only receive information from who you hang out with, but also from what Facebook, Amazon and Google thinks you want to hear.
Here’s the problem. I’m predominantly being served information that supports my already existing bias. Consider what’s become known as “confirmation bias,” the tendency people have to embrace information that supports their beliefs and reject information that contradicts them. I might not agree with opinions from Fox, Breitbart, and Politico, but if I don’t hear them, I don’t have a chance to understand the basis for others’ opposing opinions. Confirmation bias is faulty thinking. You are forming opinions with only the data that supports your already existing bias.
When was the last time you read an article or book with a strong opposing view to your own?
The reason it’s difficult to learn something new is that it will change you into someone who disagrees with the person you currently are and we’re not wired for that. The alternative is to sign up for a lifetime of challenging what the self believes and to me, that sounds to me like a beautiful constraint.
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