This topic has been nagging at me for a while and I just can't seem to be satisfied with just letting it go and doing better things with my time but hey with all the time I've been wasting not doing more entertaining things with my life as a result of headaches and low energy and inconsistent weather I might as well get it out of the way.
@ Blue Leafeon : (10 July 2016 - 12:11 PM)And in this instance, I say "we" because I'm guilty too.
@ Blue Leafeon : (10 July 2016 - 12:11 PM)Or that our opinion is, in fact, an opinion and not a fact.
@ Blue Leafeon : (10 July 2016 - 12:10 PM)The problem isn't different opinions. It's when we're so self-centered we refuse to acknowledge anyone else's opinion just might be true.
@ PedroLight : (10 July 2016 - 10:44 AM)People getting along is hard, as everyone haves different opinions. Maybe it's better that way.
@ Blue Leafeon : (10 July 2016 - 10:39 AM)I just want everyone to get along. Not that THAT will ever happen.
@ Blue Leafeon : (10 July 2016 - 10:38 AM)I don't like political crap, either
(shoutbox, so read from bottom to top)
Well, to start off, I'd like to mention a concept known as actor-observer bias
. In short, (because you are not going to read that citation and neither am I)
everything you do yourself is going to have more excuses involved for why you do something, whereas everything someone else does is going to have you presume they did that because that's just how they are. (This mentality can be reversed in some situations, especially when low self-esteem and guilt is involved.)
This is essentially the details in what goes into being self-centered, and is also why empathy is supposed to be about putting yourself in another's shoes, to attempt to pretend the other is you, the actor, instead of looking at them as someone else. Humans are supposed to be so self-centered they cannot see anyone as a real person that they can't think of as being themselves.
That will also be the only psychological term I will be using, because while I could absolutely be a condescending smart aleck about it, I only want to use information that I can personally attest to.
Now the point I will address is as to if this is truly the problem as Blue Leafeon describes. I think we must recognize that a self-centered nature is a necessity for individuality to sustain itself, that it is a defense mechanism and a very important one. This is because we are vulnerable to social influence, also known as culture.
There are two sources on which people will develop their beliefs and behavior on, those being:
- Culture - Behavior that works off of second-hand information; imitation and faith
- Experience - Behavior that works off of first-hand information and the foundation of resistance to the former, if contradictory
Now, if you are to ask me, keeping in mind that I am very much outside of the norm and an extremist in thought(because of my particularly high resistance to social influence), the reason why the human tendency to avoid listening to someone else is actually exacerbated as a flaw is primarily because they actually allow too much social influence to affect them, and have come to a point where their trust is primarily in second-hand information because they don't have enough first-hand information to work off of. As politics are the apex of social games (conveniently sorted out with labeled teams) and almost all morality is formed from second-hand information, this shows itself at its worst there more than anywhere else.
Let's have a look at this video's information for a moment here. (YT please stop putting this shit on my front page I never watch them and you should know that) It has 204,897 views in the span of 4 days, and while YouTube has had far dumber things with way more views, that does not detract from the fact that a great number of people have in fact bothered to show interest in this kind of video. The video is titled "How to Recognize a Terrible Anime (in just one episode)"...meaning that it presumes that you are ill-equipped to actually do that by yourself (first-hand information) and thus need to have the way your beliefs are formed dictated by someone else. This can and will happen. The video has 7,536 likes and while I'm not going to bother reading the comments, chances are there are all kinds of people within the audience that aim to support the creator of these videos, Digibro, within a flame war because it also happens to have 2,091 dislikes, and from there I will bring up the next point of what makes social influence so powerful.
Chances are, the fans and haters of this YouTuber spend a whole lot more time talking shit about the other group within their group than they do talking shit toward each other. This will cause an overwhelming amount of second-hand information to enter some kind of insular circulation in which it will become repetitive and thus have a greater chance of entering memory as a concept worth keeping in mind, as well as reinforcing the importance of it each time they both meet resistance from the opposition and each time that provocation causes more repetitions within your own group beliefs. Why do they talk so much shit about the matter? Because there is no mental defense more powerful than a genuine sense of ridicule when the opposition has been encountered.
Now let us take a moment to observe this comment chain. There is only one person in it that is on the offense whereas everyone else is on the defense, as the kind of people who already watch the videos Metatron presents are the ones who would tolerate or like his look anyway. You may happen to find dIRECT0R to be an asshole, but I do believe it should be clear that most of the defense does not exactly look to be particularly respectable individuals, the one that does, is the one who, at face value, appears to have no acknowledgment of the offense at all. Reading just a little between the lines will make it clear that they are ridiculing dIRECT0R's statement nonetheless with how this comment chain is about appearance. In social contexts, humans tend to recognize that the one who does not falter at the sign of criticism is the one who has control over the situation, and the reason for this is because they are the ones who seem to be presenting more effective resistance to social influence. (I do not personally agree with this in terms of the actual consequences, because presenting no defense at all after noticing someone is how you get influenced to begin with.)
The third and last factor I will be speaking of in this first post (because you all know how it is with me and walls of text, I could definitely write more, but I probably lost your patience ages ago) are the relevance of labels to this entire phenomenon. If social influence is the attack, the label is the weapon designed for that purpose. This is because when you are put into a position where you are labled, someone else is deciding who you are. Now if we would go back to dIRECT0R's first comment that started the chain above, we would recognize that the first label he uses is a statement that claims Metatron is a weirdo and is thus avoided by a greater populace. Metatron himself is relatively fine with this in that he finds this label acceptable in favor of having to oblige to further social influence that would cause him to be something he doesn't want to be, however, it is clear that he has bothered to put up a defense regardless in order to ascertain himself of this. (Incidentially, part of why I write out these walls of text is so that I essentially have an archive to look back to to see how I personally think about things relative to a later point in time. They are walls indeed.) For the most part, the rest of dIRECT0R's statements are more descriptive than they are dictating, but then we come to another label that people simply cannot really fight against in the last comment of the chain, the claim that Metatron's fanbase are sycophants.
For as long as Metatron's supporters continue to come into the defense, they cannot convincingly invalidate this claim of their sycophancy, and it is at this point that it is clear the label is a weapon that is used to take control, and it is especially dangerous when circumstances hold that must have you refrain from coming to the defense of your self. It is those circumstances, being part of a certain group and not really being able to fight against it, that will cut deepest into the sense of self. At best, people can simply convince themselves someone isn't worth listening to, using a label that will help them in ridiculing the opposition, which on the internet, most frequently and iconically presents itself in the form of declaring someone to be a troll. However, this is not a viable option in situations where you are in direct opposition toward a person or group of respectable status, because when you try to use that means of assault, unless you have sufficient support from the group that is around you who is of similar respectable status, you will simply be ridiculed yourself, and your defense will not hold within the social context. Because politics form the conditions in which that does become a viable option, we end up with the situation where there is much shit flinging to be had, and because it is simply more comfortable, granting a sense of belonging (the reverse of ostracization) within the group that does not hold the beliefs your group is prepared to ridicule with good standing, you end up with a whole lot of talking shit indirectly instead of toward the face of the one they actually want to lack association with. This will of course form more developed opinions about the opposition without the opposition having a say to grant this development a new direction, and thus hatred grows and blinds itself, crushing your trust further and further for that opposition until they are no longer worth seeing beyond the fabricated image your group has manufactured through insular development.
As a result of this I personally believe that rather than putting the blame on self-centeredness, we should be well aware of the weaknesses of that very self-centeredness, so that we can make sure to avoid social influence that will strike into our hearts and change us for the worse. This is more of a problem with group mentality than it is with individual mentality. This isn't to say that I think all social influence should be avoided, because you can't, even I can't, and even I don't want to avoid all social influence, I just want to make sure that what I'm letting myself be is a direction I can trust and from a source that I don't mind being influenced by.
To sum it up, let's review the points made in this fortress of language:
- Actor-observer bias will cause people to be self-centered no matter what. They have to be, otherwise the problem would be even worse than it is now.
- There are two sources that influence belief and behavior, culture and experience.
- Humans oftentimes lack sufficient first-hand information and thus allow for second-hand information to form the foundation of their beliefs.
- Second-hand observation from the group that you find to be of greater credibility with what you already know will further reinforce the strength of your beliefs.
- This second-hand observation(let us recall the first point made, this means that you refrain from even considering another as an actor like yourself) when met with opposition will only serve as a provocation to go even deeper into the group's own resistance toward the opposition within themselves. This removes even the benefit of gaining new information to potentially see that the opposition has a point worth listening to.
- A genuine sense of ridicule toward a particular party will provide a stronger defense than anything against social influence from that source. (Likewise: a genuine sense of trust will grant the greatest weakness against social influence from that source.)
- To use a label toward someone is to declare their identity. It is particularly effective when you do not provide an opening for their input.
- Upon success, the label will in fact cause someone to take that into being part of themselves.
- Understand just what it means to have strength in numbers in social contexts and why it makes people so stubborn.
Unless we come to the defense of our thoughts on a matter, we will falter and sublimate into something else, and that something else is what will add to the forces that decimate our trust in our own judgment in favor of trust formed through community. That's why we don't all get along and why we may not necessarily want to, such a passive attitude leads to making no difference but what others may do to you.