Why Labeling People as ‘Wrong’ Misses an Amazing Opportunity

A man changing his pants.
Ever thought about why changing your mind sometimes feels like an organ transplant?
 
In the case of folks with AuDHD (autism x ADHD), a high level of cognitive inflexibility can lead to defensiveness, anxiety, depression, isolation and serious relationship problems.
It’s important to understand that a person isn’t ‘wrong’; information can be uninformed, misinformed, or incorrect. But remember, this is about the information, not the person who uses it.
When we personalize information and perception, we end up defending our thoughts like we’re defending our lives. That’s what drives hate crimes.
Take dropping a tea cup; if it shatters, how you react depends a lot on how much you’ve personalized the cup. Saying things like “It’s my cup,” “I love this cup,” or “I’ve had it for years” means you’re likely to get angry or sad when it breaks because you’ve become a bit dependent on it.
In my house, a glass or plate has broken many times, usually while doing the dishes. My response has evolved into something like:
  • “Are you okay?”
  • “What do you need to clean it up?”
  • “Do you need to take a break?”
  • “Can we review what happened to see if there’s a way to prevent this in the future?”
  • “What did we learn that can help us move forward confidently?”
Changing your mind shouldn’t be like an organ transplant; it can be as simple as changing pants. Your beliefs don’t need to define you, but we’ve been conditioned to act like they do because it’s easier to manipulate emotions that way.
This can also lead to shame, as you believe being ‘wrong’ about something indicates a personal defect. You end up not speaking up for fear of being ‘wrong.’
Speaking up can also be a great way of getting information to make sure your understanding of something is up to date as possible. Someone always knows more, and thank goodness for that, because you can learn from them instead of being jealous of or feeling in competition with them.
As a lifelong student, it’s important to realize that while you learn from others, there are others learning from you. Are you validating their self-imposed limits, or showing them how to liberate themselves?
Beliefs should be easier to change after some critical thinking of course, instead of just going along with others submissively.
I’ve come to appreciate the temporariness of most everything in my life (always a work in progress), and it’s taken a long time to learn this, but it’s worth it.
Ready to release the hold old thinking has on you and start seeing your beliefs as a pair of pants you can change? Let’s rethink and reshape our views together, starting now.
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