Sacred Disorder | Cliff Bostock's blog – 'Finally, I came to regard as sacred the disorder of my mind' (Rimbaud)

Debbie was right!

During the ’80s, when I was editor of Creative Loafing, the publisher, Debbie Eason, used to tell me something that annoyed the hell out of me: “You need to say two nice things for every negative thing you say.”

Being a natural-born critic, the advice drove me crazy.

It turns out, however, that it was excellent advice, according to an interesting article in the December issue of Psychology Today. The article pertains to a study of the way we judge people on two axes — competence and morality — and how we end up objecting to people who threaten our own egos. The article concludes with this advice:

Monin says all these lines of research “are about others’ exemplary behavior making you feel like a schmuck.” There’s a perfect defense, though: self-affirmation. Participants who first wrote about qualities they liked in themselves became more generous in their judgments of rebels’ intelligence or morality. “If I make you secure in the fact that you’re a great tennis player or a reliable friend, then you can probably feel OK when I point out that you don’t recycle enough,” he says. “Otherwise you might lash back.”

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