How People React to Things They Dislike

Update: Moved to Avoidance investigation page.

There is a very natural and predictable sequence people perform each time they encounter things they don’t like. They don’t move through all these steps 100% or in this order. This is the usual order you will move to if you persist in pushing an idea people dislike.

It makes it very difficult to discuss any important ideas with people and it’s a reflection of the vapid and wicked culture we are embedded in.

Disbelief#

The first step is very primitive: Just deny what comes to your senses. The thinking is like “If I don’t see it it doesn’t exist.” It’s just an emotion, a natural reaction. They don’t have to be aware or say that it’s occurring.

Dismissal#

When in doubt people can just dismiss an idea. It’s the verbal denial and subsequent to their disbelief.

Other terms for this are deny, negate, and reject.

  • “No”
  • “That’s not true”
  • #FakeNews
  • “Shut up”
  • “That’s stupid”

Mock & laugh#

Smiling, laughing, sneering, and weird stares are another primitive attempt to discourage you from continuing.

  • “That’s ridiculous”
  • “You don’t really believe that”
  • “You can’t possibly believe that. Haw haw haw! 😆”
  • “You’re kidding!”
  • “Oh you’re one of those conspiracy theorists”
  • “That’s crazy”
  • “You’re nuts, heh!”
  • “You must be popular with the ladies!”

Ignore & withdraw#

They just pretend they didn’t hear it and go away. It’s an effective escape.

The thinking is like “If I don’t engage in speaking about this idea it doesn’t exist!”

Victory through silence and running away! 💪

Redirect#

*points yonder* Squirrel!
*yawn* I’m bored. Did you hear about that new vampire TV show with a powerful independent female heroine? 😉

Minimization#

Reluctantly the person thinks you might have a point so naturally it must be countered by saying while it might be true it’s not really that important. It’s boring, irrelevant, and nobody really cares about things like that.

Appeal to emotion & moralization#

There are tons of fallacies where the person spews out nonsense to slide away from the conversation. In the process they must let you know you’re a real bad person. Also known as consequentialism.

You’re a bad person for talking about that. You’re fighting and you are making people upset. They have no control over themselves. You are forcing them to become hostile because bad words.

  • “You know when you talk about Trump your aunt gets upset. To keep the peace you should not bring it up.”
  • “If you want to keep a gun then you support children being killed. But if you really care about children you will support gun control.”
  • “It’s not about race! Are you a Nazi? Do you support white supremacy? You should just judge by a person’s character.”

Basic form:

A is bad, B is good, therefore B is true.

Rationalization & intellectualization#

The person you’re speaking to now realizes you might have some actual mind-muscle behind your idea and it can’t be wished away. It’s uncomfortable. The low energy tactics of getting the idea out of their mind have failed. They must now weave simple or elaborate stories together to negate the idea.

What’s the difference?

  • Rationalization: The opposite view is actually justified due to excuses
  • Intellectualization: Stories and lectures distract and ‘explain’ things

It helps relieve anxiety of difficult ideas.

Anger#

Words aren’t working. Time to put on the mean face.

  • “You’re pissing me off! 😠”

Recruit allies#

Either during the conversation or after others can be drafted to fight for one of the sides usually to get more chances to repeat the above steps until people are frustrated and withdraw.

Threats#

Threatening to leave the party is usually as far as it goes. But if you persist or insist from there it can escalate.

Violence#

We don’t agree so naturally we must ball our fists and hurl them at one another’s faces. Whoever wins has the superior idea.

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