Multiple Jumps In Logic Expose Ulterior Motives

A recent conversation got me thinking about a type of interaction with people that can go south very quickly. It happens when one of the people in a discussion hears something you say and replies with a statement that makes multiple false or unfair assumptions. It is confusing but I think we can break it down and understand the tactic a bit more.

A hypothetical example:

Anne: Did you hear that speech by (Bernie Sanders/Donald Trump) the other day?
Clarie: You really need to think carefully about who you're supporting there because he's
going to lead our country down the wrong path!

Have you ever had one of those situations? Those conversations where you just bring up a topic and someone makes a bunch of assumptions about you.

In the example above Claire assumes Anne:

  • agrees with the speaker
  • hasn’t thought about it in depth
  • is blindly and stupidly following
  • guilt by thought association
  • has nefarious purposes behind bringing it up
  • trying to infect others with an evil idea

It’s so loaded with assumptions. Where do we begin to even start healing the conversation?

I think the point behind using that position is to turn the other person into an enemy and give justification for attacking. If you back down the person will claim status and dominance. If you keep discussing there’s little chance you can recover because if they realize how awfully they are treating the other person they will be ashamed. It’s a projection and nefarious to use that tactic which they are accusing the other of!

I recently tried to explain that the multiple steps in logic to the other person I was speaking with. They were of no avail in trying to remedy the situation but it was interesting for me so that I could think of a way to handle it. The way I came up with was to explain the errors and ask for them to correct themselves. Since they did not I left the conversation. I don’t believe that progress can be made with someone who wants to turn me in their enemy.

In our society people are not often enough encouraged to discover more about their feelings so it’s a mystery to them where their emotions come from. It’s so easy in a state of ignorance to jump to conclusions and assume that the problem lies elsewhere, in someone else, or in a whole different group. That is the sad part about hearing people go down that path, the path of negativity, and confusion. I hope that more people can gain self knowledge so they can understand better where their feelings come from and not project “badness” onto others.

If we can take the moral component out of our discussions I think it’s easier to come to an understanding. It’s really too bad that people spend so much time in conversations positioning, avoiding intimacy, and preventing agreement. That way of talking has been the default position of humanity for so long. It blocks connection between people and leads to more relationship problems. We can resolve that problem by much effort of will, journaling, and healing techniques but few will do that.

Thankfully, due to The Internet, people are catching on to looking within. For us to make more of an effort to understand ourselves we will be able to make conversations easier, beneficial, and much more satisfying. It’s better all around to maintain positivity and to have more reasonable folk around us.

Author Tony Crowe, Salt Lake City, UT
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