Why Good Manners Are Bad for You
It's not always best to be polite. Steering around the truth to spare someone's feelings can cause confusion and even have dire consequences when a person's safety is at risk.
What's the Latest Development?
When we are forced to point out someone's mistake or bad choice, we resort to 'politeness strategies', says a new psychological study. That means being vague or evasive in order to spare someone's feelings. While being polite can smooth over potential conflict, it can also make professional situations less clear. "Examples include a nurse failing to spell out a doctor's potential error to avoid embarrassment, or an air controller lacking assertiveness with a pilot in trouble."
What's the Big Idea?
Navigating vague statements with subtle meanings taxes our brains more than understanding a simple, direct sentence. This ultimately leaves us in doubt about the true meaning of the polite remark while distracting us from the task at hand. "Politeness can become problematic when it causes us to sacrifice clarity," says Jean-Francois Bonnefon, of the University of Toulouse in France. "This confusion is especially likely to occur in high-stakes situations, the very situations in which we are most likely to use politeness strategies."
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Is it "perverseness," the "death drive," or something else?
A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.
- Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
- The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
- According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.
- It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
- Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
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