Wanted urgently : Friends Who Disagree

October 4, 2009 at 8:17 pm | Posted in Lifescape | 1 Comment
Many people make the mistake of surrounding themselves with people who think exactly like them and reinforce every idea or prejudice they have. This is a bad mistake and will often end up distorting the reality you see. One may end up with a “fan club” that just reinforces your prejudices.

So do a quick test right now. Make a list of your closest friends/acquintances/advisors. Then make a separate list of those who think totally differently from you, but are worth listening to anyway. Look at the intersection of these lists.

You may be surprised.

clipped from www.clas.ufl.edu

http://www.clas.ufl.edu/users/chazlett/images/argue.jpg
clipped from ravimohan.blogspot.com
Why do you need other people?
Every time you have a new idea, you need people you can bounce it off.
Even Einstein needed people to bounce ideas off. Ideas get developed in the process of explaining them to the right kind of person. You need that resistance, just as a carver needs the resistance of the wood.
you need people with a complex combination of characteristics.

They should

  1. have firm (but not rigid) opinions on their own
  2. have logical reasons for those beliefs and be able to articulate them clearly
  3. are driven by ideas and not ideology
  4. not attach their egos to their opinions.
  5. be willing to concede a valid argument even if it forces them to possibly re-examine their beliefs
  6. know how to listen
you may occasionally find that one of your ideas isn’t as hot as you think it was or that one of your deeply held convictions is just plain wrong. This is dificult for some people because they make the rightness of their ideas a validation of their worth as persons.

1 Comment »

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  1. I totally agree.


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