Defensiveness arises when we suspect we may be wrong

In my experience, those who become defensive and angry in a discussion are those who aren't sure their position is correct. They respond with anger when they're afraid of being found out, when they're afraid they might be wrong. That's always been a good reminder for me when I find my ire raising: something's not … Continue reading Defensiveness arises when we suspect we may be wrong

Why there will be different answers to these questions, and why that’s ok

Each of my writing classes was subjected to the following experiment. I’d divide the students into three groups, have all of them close their eyes, then, one group at a time, they’d open their eyes to read three words on the board. The first group would read this: After they closed their eyes, I’d erase … Continue reading Why there will be different answers to these questions, and why that’s ok

Don’t be afraid of my opinion, because I’m not afraid of yours

I’m fascinated by how many people are terrified to allow someone else an opinion contrary to their own. If someone says/writes/believes something differently than we do, we’re struck with an almost primal need to purge that difference. For some reason which I can’t figure out yet, we’re terrified by differences. The obvious examples are terrorists … Continue reading Don’t be afraid of my opinion, because I’m not afraid of yours