Saturday, September 25, 2004

Not Getting It

I can be such a lucky duck. As you've seen, the whole issue of basic disagreements between left and right has been bothering me. So I was down in the basement opening all those boxes of books we've had packed up for so long, and fell across one that spoke directly to my dilemma.

"Not getting it" occurs when people hold conflicting opinions or desires regarding the same value. It has three elements: misunderstanding, self-hugging, and everyday tyranny.
  1. Misunderstanding refers to the confusion people experience when they try to understand ow another person experiences, likes, or dislikes something much different than they do themselves. For example, some people have a hard time understanding why a workaholic spends so much time on the job.
  2. Self-hugging refers to people's automatic assumption that their goals and values are best, not just for themselves, but also for other people as well. A good example of this is the heterosexual parent who keeps encouraging a homosexual son to date women.
  3. Everyday tyranny refers to the use of pressure tactics to try to get someone to change his or her basic goals, values, or lifestyle. One example is a parent who refuses to pay for college for a child who chooses a career against the parent's wishes.
...self-huggers misread what other people want from life. They never get it - other people pursue different goals in life, not because they have settled for inferior pleasure, but because they have different natures....

Who Am I? The 16 Basic Desires That Motivate Our Actions and Define Our Personalities by Steven Reiss, Ph.D.

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