Episode 28 - Manipulation: Am I wrong or are they? (III)

Intro
Hello my dears! My name is Johanna, and I welcome you to the Johanna Draconis - The Deconstruction Of C-PTSD podcast.
In this episode we will talk about an age old question: Am I wrong or is everyone around me? No matter how sure we are, if everyone around us disagrees with us - doubt usually settles in.
And not without reason, who never was convinced of something and it turned out to be wrong? Doubt is very helpful for checking our behavior and correct them if needed.
But of course it is also used by those who want us to believe what their version is. No matter how far off reality it is. So, what is a good way to test if you are right? Well, lets try to find out.

Preamble
There are so many jokes, stories, movies, you-name-it that deal with the premise, what if you are right/wrong while everyone around you is wrong/right. And for good reason: There is no clear answer.
But through constantly asking the question we get closer and closer to a real answer. Because we might never have THE answer to it, but this way is the closest to getting it.
But there ARE ways we can be pretty sure we are right, I would say to 95%, as statistically there are always 5% who deviate no matter the question. So what can we do to be sure?
First we will talk about one of my favorite experiments regarding this topic, then about group pressure and standing your ground, then how to check the logic step by step and then we ask for a time out.

A simple experiment
There is this absolutely wonderful experiment to this topic. A person who is auditioning for a role is set in a room full with other people auditioning - of course he is the only one there for that reason.
The others ones are - naturally - actors or at least playing their part. He was instructed to learn the lines on the sheets he was given, which he does. After a while thick smokes come from a door leading to the room.
Now this is of course a strong warning sign, but when he looks around, no one else responds to the smoke, so he continues learning the text. When the smoke surrounds them up to their stomaches - the same.
He keeps looking at the other, but since they don’t do anything, neither does he. Even when the smokes almost blinds him and is unable to see the hand in front of his eyes - he stays as he is. Not daring to step out.
Now the interesting part is: Once you learned about this - it is unlikely to happen.On contrast, if the test person is alone in that room, they almost always immediately jump up and alert someone about the smoke.
The same social mechanic, that let the test person stay seated, is the same one we endure crazy things without a blink of an eye - as long everyone around us is OK with it.

Group Pressure and standing your ground
Which leads us to to the first segment. Just because everyone around you thinks it is okay doesn’t mean it is. No news here, but if everyone around you thinks the answer is a different one, it is worth to check it.
So first it is wise to determine the level of expertise the room has… and how high your expertise is. Let us say you barely ever baked before and are surrounded my semi regular bakers.
If that is the case, they are most likely right. Except you got your information from a professional baker as in a secret trick many people don’t know… then it is up for debate. But if it worked for you, it likely is good.
So the important part is where the SOURCE for your statement is coming from. And just to be clear, if it's about your life, emotions, feelings, etc. YOU have the highest expertise. No matter how old the other person is.
Though even an expert is wise to at least listen what the other person has to say, sometimes even the expert is wrong. Usually with relationships and rose tinted glasses. But I would stick to the 5% rule here too.
That is the essence of it: Listen to what they have to say, their arguments, if they just complain and downgrade it, then it’s not worth listening to. Take in their arguments and think about them.
Though you should probably clear the argument first off all the side parts and false additions from it. Then check if it is worth investing time into it.

Check the logic step by step
Then there is the most crucial step for answering the question who is right and who is wrong: To check your own logic step by step. Because even if they are wrong, doesn’t mean that you are right.
There are many positions you can take to most things… and even more if you add all the false positions you can take. The same time it means even if you are right, they can be right too… so now what?
So independent from the opinion of those around you, you need to internally check. Starting with the source: Is it reliable? It is still up to date? Does it apply here? Could it have become unreliable?
Next your conclusion: Does it apply here? What proof can you provide? Did you overlook anything? Anything that backs it up? Could you be biased? -  Just follow your logic and line of thought.
Now to the other person. First and foremost you should get the basics out of the way: Do they have an agenda? Are they biased? Do they want something? Do they gain anything?
Then of course the same with their source as with yours: Is it reliable? Is it still up to date? Does it apply here? Has it become unreliable? And the same of course with their conclusion.
Does it apply here? What proof can they provide? Did they overlook anything? Anything that backs it up? Are they biased? And remember emotions don’t count. You are not responsible for them.

Ask for time out -  a trap
If you are in doubt just ask for a time out. This will make any form of manipulation hard to affect you. Also it gives you time to look things up and form an informed opinion.
This is also a bit of a trap, if someone refuses to give you time to think and come to a decision, then there is something wrong. Quite a red flag. Depending on the circumstances.
In the heat of the argument of course, that may slip, but it shouldn’t be the real opinion. Take your time. Also: It is OK to say “I don’t know”, because you will find it out.
Because just because YOU don’t know the answer, doesn’t mean the other person is right. Take the time to think and form an opinion. There is a lot to think about - after all.

Personal Words
This is the first year when I am in complete chaos before Christmas. We had a lot of family drama, hospital visits, visits, organizational chaos and so on. Which for the first time made me be in total chaos.
Well for my standards at least. I am wrapping up the last things, hopefully what I ordered will be here in time. Well at least the year stays consistent this way and ends as it was.
Though I am sure I am not the only one, that has a bit of chaos going on before the holidays. They always seem to be so~o far away and suddenly you have several deadlines you have to take care of.
But I absolutely love the lights everywhere and the Christmas markets. They are an absolutely wonderful thing. I just can’t wait to have all my things done and relax. The last weeks were a wild ride indeed.
I hope you have all your deeds done before the fest and don’t have to rush for anything anymore before the holidays.

Outro
That was it for todays episode, I hope it made things clearer. It is a topic you can write books about… or produce movies. Or a whole line of movies. I tried to cover all the important points.
As usual, if you have any questions or feedback and the like, please let me know at contactme@johannadraconis.com.
More information and transcript you can find as usually under johannadraconis.com/Podcast and links are in the description.
I hope to see you next time. Watch yourselves and have a wonderful time.

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The Deconstruction Of C-PTSD ~ Episode 28 - Manipulation: Am I wrong or are they? (III)
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