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Old 01-31-2014, 10:33 AM
 
Location: On the "Left Coast", somewhere in "the Land of Fruits & Nuts"
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Obviously living in "denial" isn't anything new, but there are signs it might be an increasing 'strategy' for dealing with "cognitive dissonance", aka, discovering that our beliefs don't match up with reality.

And perhaps that's not so surprising at a time when openly expressing age-old prejudices and just plain human nature (jealousy, resentment, anger, etc.) are becoming 'unacceptable' in an increasingly "civilized" western culture.

For example I often notice it here in some of the "international" threads, where folks in many recently 'westernized' countries, will casually dismiss any charges of lingering prejudice, or human rights issues in their own countries ("that was the old days")… even when it's still recently in the news! And then of course we have the 'Paula Deens' even here ("I didn't mean nuthin' by it… but I ain't gonna change!"), and the infamous 'Southern Strategy', whose very premise is, "go ahead and appeal to racism, but just don't use the N-word"! And one could even argue that "passive-aggression" is just another form of 'denial' ("no, I'm not angry")!

So whether it's in the news or in your daily life, do you see a lot of examples of living in "de Nile" these days?

Bill Maher: Denial is the new racism

Bill Moyers Essay: When Congressmen Deny Climate Change and Evolution
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Old 01-31-2014, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Somewhere
8,071 posts, read 5,084,477 times
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It's very easy to see others live in denial but what about ourselves? Self awareness is difficult. Making others aware of their faulty thinking is even more difficult. If we don't understand our own biases we cannot empathize with others. We will find them defective and they will annoy the hell out of us.

I am aware of some of my flaws and catch myself often when I am having cognitive biases. I am not that great at persuating people to change. I think the formula is being empathetic and non aggressive. I just haven't mastered that. If we don't connect to people they will not listen to a word we have to say. If we don't see ourselves in them we are unable to forgive them and we will be judgmental.

I used to be very opinionated which got me into a lot of trouble. No amount of feedback made me changed. I would get defensive and attack back. Some of my views I still hold but there were cases where I was just wrong. The thing that made me change was actually a thread in this forum "the Jodi Arias thread" I realized one day that logic was not on my side and I was being extremely biased. Then I read more about violence, cognitive biases and communication. I think one member's post helped me a lot because he was extremely intelligent but still empathetic and not aggressive (some Mark guy)

I have also noticed that when I use empathy people open up more. The problem is that I forget or get too emotional (angry) and go back to my old ways
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Old 01-31-2014, 12:25 PM
 
254 posts, read 240,224 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mateo45 View Post
Obviously living in "denial" isn't anything new, but there are signs it might be an increasing 'strategy' for dealing with "cognitive dissonance", aka, discovering that our beliefs don't match up with reality.

And perhaps that's not so surprising at a time when openly expressing age-old prejudices and just plain human nature (jealousy, resentment, anger, etc.) are becoming 'unacceptable' in an increasingly "civilized" western culture.

For example I often notice it here in some of the "international" threads, where folks in many recently 'westernized' countries, will casually dismiss any charges of lingering prejudice, or human rights issues in their own countries ("that was the old days")… even when it's still recently in the news! And then of course we have the 'Paula Deens' even here ("I didn't mean nuthin' by it… but I ain't gonna change!"), and the infamous 'Southern Strategy', whose very premise is, "go ahead and appeal to racism, but just don't use the N-word"! And one could even argue that "passive-aggression" is just another form of 'denial' ("no, I'm not angry")!

So whether it's in the news or in your daily life, do you see a lot of examples of living in "de Nile" these days?

Bill Maher: Denial is the new racism

Bill Moyers Essay: When Congressmen Deny Climate Change and Evolution
Yeah, you'll find many people in denial about many things. It's pretty common. Your example about racism is a good one. Few white people are racist to the degree of being Klansmen or Skinheads or even wanting to harm unknown black or brown or red people. But most have some small level of racism in them. It would be hard not too. Light-skinned brown people like myself have it to some degrees throughout Latin America too.

Ethnic Black-Americans have it as well among each other (and black Africans whom they caricature in degrade with statements frequently--at least as children). There can lead to physical fights. Actually, young, darker, black women will physically assault some light-skinned black women out of jealousy and/or disdain for them simply looking the way they do. But they will justify it with, "She thinks she's 'all that.'" The denial game you spoke of.

Don't get me started with the skin tone politics inside Black-America. I've had young Black-American women reject my advances because as they stated to me, "I don't date light skinned guys," or "Light skin went out of style in the '80s."
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Old 01-31-2014, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Princeton
1,078 posts, read 1,053,486 times
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Being in "denial" is simple stupid, it only holds you back, no PC here. If you have a drinking problem, then you have a drinking problem, you need to ratchet down and go to meetings, if you made a mistake, be the "First" one to acknowledge that fact and move on, the examples are endless. A person can't live their life in a bubble, deal with life's everyday problems and try to keep a positive attitude while you're dealing with the struggles of everyday life, don't sugar coat anything. Good people will sense this quality in you and will pull to you because of your leadership skills and in the end, they will thank you for being a good listener and for being strong.
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Old 01-31-2014, 01:57 PM
 
Location: On the "Left Coast", somewhere in "the Land of Fruits & Nuts"
8,367 posts, read 8,276,297 times
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Another common form of denial seems to be "talking out of both sides of their mouth", aka admitting, "yeah, I have my flaws… but I'm working on them!"

Which is kinda like saying, "no problem with my prejudice, anger, greed, narcissism, substance abuse, whatever… as long as I can say that I'm 'trying' (after all, nobody's perfect)"!

Or in the immortal words of Yoda, "Do or Do not. There is no try."
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Old 01-31-2014, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Howard County, MD
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It's not new at all, it's been the established norm in this society for ages. "Mental strength" to these people means just "getting over it" "stop complaining" "take control", get bull-headed and push your way through life, no matter the sort of cynical ugly person you become in the process.
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Old 01-31-2014, 03:45 PM
 
Location: Somewhere
8,071 posts, read 5,084,477 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mateo45 View Post
Another common form of denial seems to be "talking out of both sides of their mouth", aka admitting, "yeah, I have my flaws… but I'm working on them!"

Which is kinda like saying, "no problem with my prejudice, anger, greed, narcissism, substance abuse, whatever… as long as I can say that I'm 'trying' (after all, nobody's perfect)"!

Or in the immortal words of Yoda, "Do or Do not. There is no try."
But that's not denial by definition. That's just not willing change or being unable to do so.

Denial would be minimizing the impact of the negative behavior. Like saying "my racism doesn't really hurt anybody" One example would be those who believed segregation was good for black people. Like saying "I don't trust them, and they feel more comfortable among themselves anyway". They are ignoring the fact that those black institutions would have limited resources since most blacks have less wealth because so many were slaves not too long ago.

I have a friend who is a racist by her own admition. She thinks her attitude is not that harmful and jokes about it. Several people have confronted her, the problem is that we get outnumbered by the large population of racist people in Miami, so she will always find reinforcement in her racist circle(family, coworkers). The funny thing is that younger generations of her family are leaning liberal and she gets very annoyed by her newphews nieces liberal views. We need to check in a few years to see if those younger generations keep their views. I really hope so.
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Old 01-31-2014, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Texas
42,262 posts, read 49,821,133 times
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Denial as a coping mechanism is as old as time.
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Old 01-31-2014, 03:46 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
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Denial is a very old way of coping, nothing new about it.
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:08 PM
 
Location: On the "Left Coast", somewhere in "the Land of Fruits & Nuts"
8,367 posts, read 8,276,297 times
Reputation: 5906
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugah Ray View Post
But that's not denial by definition. That's just not willing change or being unable to do so.

Denial would be minimizing the impact of the negative behavior. Like saying "my racism doesn't really hurt anybody" One example would be those who believed segregation was good for black people. Like saying "I don't trust them, and they feel more comfortable among themselves anyway". They are ignoring the fact that those black institutions would have limited resources since most blacks have less wealth because so many were slaves not too long ago.

I have a friend who is a racist by her own admition. She thinks her attitude is not that harmful and jokes about it. Several people have confronted her, the problem is that we get outnumbered by the large population of racist people in Miami, so she will always find reinforcement in her racist circle(family, coworkers). The funny thing is that younger generations of her family are leaning liberal and she gets very annoyed by her newphews nieces liberal views. We need to check in a few years to see if those younger generations keep their views. I really hope so.
Good one, arguing over "definitions" and "semantics" as a form of 'denial'!
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