Always having problems with other people? YOU must be the problem!
Does this sound familiar? People are regularly told they need to mold themselves around the values of others. It is very common to assume individuals who are in frequent bad relationships, and have issues making and keeping friends and lovers, must in fact be “the problem”.
This is a logical conclusion to draw. If most people can get along with others, while one person cannot... that person must be “the problem”. But as rational as this assumption might seem on the surface, it can also be a very dangerous form of herd mentality. In addition, there is a bit of victim blaming going on as well.
Blaming the victim is often a form of either denial or avoidance. Fear of the dark.
Confronting a complex problem directly and validating its existence can threaten the “comfortable truth” we all enjoy living in. If we walk by a homeless person on the street and tell ourselves “It’s their fault their homeless” we feel better. We might assume they are lazy, on drugs, and/or made bad decisions in life to end up that way. Thus, it allows us to avoid feeling sympathy and ignore the systemic problems in society that unfairly favor certain inherent human traits over others.
People don’t sleep well thinking their situation is largely based on luck. People don’t like to believe that something as simple as being born to different parents or as a different race could dramatically impact their situation in life and even who they are today.
The problem with the belief that one individual who consistently fails to play well with others is “the problem” is it follows the false logic that consensus means truth. In other words, whatever the majority of people support is inherently correct, moral, virtuous or true. However, history has proven time and time again that the majority can be wrong, and one individual can be right. But once again, it is much easier to cast out the one “odd ball” in the pack to continue living in our “comfortable reality”.
Wise people understand there are few “absolutes” in life. Anyone can be wrong. Much of the ideas and behavior considered morally and socially acceptable 300 years ago is viewed differently today. Yet, people were just as arrogant about their beliefs back then as they are today.
Does anyone live a full life without engaging in hypocrisy at some point? Learn more.