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A Stanford psychologist on the art of avoiding assholes

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https://www.vox.com/conversations/2017/9/26/16345476/stanford-psychologist-art-of-avoiding-assholes

vox.com

A Stanford psychologist on the art of avoiding assholes
The world is full of assholes. Wherever you live, whatever you do, odds are you're surrounded by assholes. The question is, what to do about it? Robert Sutton, a psychology professor at Stanford University, has stepped up to answer this eternal question.

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An asshole

An asshole is someone who consistently makes the people around feeling humiliated, de-energized, disrespected, or oppressed.

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Take responsibility

Some people are so thin-skinned that they think everyone is offending them when it's nothing personal. Other people are objectively treated like dirt everywhere because they're doing somethin...

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Consequences

Mean-spirited people need someone in their life to tell them they're contemptible.

In the very short-term, it might seem to your advantage to let someone feel like dirt. However, in most situ...

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How to deal with assholes

  • If the person is unaware that they act like a jerk, have a backstage conversation and gently inform them that they've crossed a line.
  • If someone is treating you like dirt because they ...

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Dealing with your peers

Your chances of getting rid of assholes that are colleagues or peers are higher. A simple strategy is to freeze them out. Don't invite them to events or gatherings. Shun them politely and smile if ...

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Check your own tendencies

  • Sleep deprivation can turn you into your worst version.
  • If you're tired and in a hurry, you are more likely to misbehave.
  • If you have an excess of power in a situation, you're ...

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What Vulnerability Really Is

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Accept who you are

When someone admits they are bad at something, they will probably be more respected.

Accept who you are, faults and all.

Taking responsibility

When you take responsibility for your problems, you're in control of the solution. When you blame others, you’re handing over control to someone else. And you cannot control them.

Taking up responsibility shows that you accept reality for what it is and set out to work with what you have. 

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The Way We See The World

Each of us looks at things differently, and it's largely based on our thinking patterns, education levels, inherent bias, self-identity, and real, first-hand experiences.

Higher Mind Vs Primitive Mind

Human beings tend to have two kinds of conflicting mindsets:

  • The Higher Mind, the conscious truth-seeking mind, has made human beings an advanced civilization.
  • The Primitive Mind is our hardwired, thousands-of-years-old survivalist part, the one that's still stuck in the dark ages.

The Psych Spectrum

Our Higher Mind and the Primitive Mind always have a tug-of-war like conflict. The degree of the conflict can be placed in a spectrum, which is called a Psych Spectrum.

If the Higher mind is in control, we are placed higher in the Psych Spectrum and have the Primitive Mind under check. If we are placed at a lower degree in the Psych Spectrum, then the Primitive Mind is under control.

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Chasing after the next goal

In our consumer culture, we end up buying more and doing more. To be satisfied is almost considered an offense because it means you're not chasing after the next thing.

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Missing out on life

Taking secularization into account, the idea that we don't live in order to obtain some kind of salvation in the afterlife leads to the belief that we have to achieve everything we desire in the here and now.

If we miss out on anything in this life, it is seen as some kind of existential failure. Carried to an extreme, it is tragic because it's rarely a recipe for a good life.

The joy of missing out

We gain from it the chance to engage in activities and experiences that are deeper and more meaningful. Because the mentality of fearing that we will miss out makes us always worried that something better might be waiting for us.

And moving through life, where everything becomes a means to the next thing, prevents us from understanding that certain things are inherently valuable and meaningful in and of themselves.

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Principles of persuasion

  1. Reciprocation: People will be nice if you are.
  2. Consistency: It’s easier to get people to comply with requests they see as consistent with what they’ve already said.

Not fitting in

Not fitting in

Some people credit their creative successes to being loners or rebels.

Research conducted discovered that rejection and creativity were related, but only when participants had an independ...

Circumstances that promote creativity

  • Creative types of people, such as artists and writers, are more likely to be considered "odd or peculiar" as children.
  • Being considered "weird" in your culture can also raise an element of creativity called integrative complexity. Outsiders are less concerned with what the in-crowd thinks, so have more leeway to experiment. They are freer to innovate and change social norms.
  • Unusual experiences may boost creativity. People often report having breakthroughs after extreme adventures that interferes with rules and expectations.

Dissenting viewpoints

Unusual viewpoints can boost the decision-making power of a broader group.

Experiments reveal that people are more willing to conform when they are in a group for fear of being seen as peculiar. However, when someone is willing to stand out, the dissenter appears to give the others permission to disagree.

Cover The Basics Before Launching

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Make a Schedule

The struggle to establish a side hustle includes converting previously nonwork time to dedicate to it. 

To lessen the impact, create a schedule considering your situation and tendencies, like your most productive time of the day and what activity would create less damage if sacrificed.

Find a Support System

Having people that you can vent to or ask for guidance is key to making any venture a success. Even if you choose to fly solo, surround yourself with people you can talk to, bounce ideas off of, and get genuine feedback from.

Scour your network for people in the same industry, reach out to mentors, and even ask close friends or co-workers for their honest opinions. 

Sleep stability

It's the key to a good night’s sleep. It means pinning your bedtime to the same time every night, even on weekends, and waking up at the same time every morning, even on weekends. ...

The "8-hour sleep" myth

8 hours of sleep/night is a useful goal, but it’s not true that everyone needs that. 

A lot of people get obsessed with this goal of getting 8 hours of sleep every single night, and because they’re someone who just doesn’t need that much sleep, or they can’t reliably sleep that long, they get anxious about it and that actually creates issues with insomnia.

Basic sleep hygiene

  • not drinking caffeine after midday;
  • not exercising too late;
  • not drinking alcohol before bed;
  • eating sensibly;
  • leaving mobile devices outside the bedroom (artificial light disrupts the brain).

If doing natural things like this doesn’t work, then it might be wise to consult with a specialist or a doctor.

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The Uberman Sleep Schedule

  • According to the Uberman research, Sleep follows the 80/20 Rule—that is, 80% of your recovery comes from 20% of the time you’re asleep.
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About willpower

  • Most people think of self-discipline in terms of willpower only, which is wrong.
  • Individuals who are able to follow the set rules of self-discipline also tend to be the ones who enjoy the routine.
  • To succeed in your self-discipline routine, your willpower must be trained steadily over a long period of time.

Natural instincts

  • Disciplining people through shame and guilt works well in society, and natural impulses/ instincts being suppressed by religion and philosophers.
  • The curbing of our natural instincts is a method employed to protect us from our over-indulgence and from our own natural desires.

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The signs of burnout

  • You dread going to work in the morning.
  • You show up late or find reasons to leave early.
  • You feel bored or don’t want to engage with the work when you’re there.
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Find friends outside of work

If your only friends are your friends at work, it'll be more challenging to avoid work on evenings and weekends. If you do have coworkers as close friends, consider setting some boundaries around work talk.

Try to avoid getting drawn into office drama, as it will increase the time you spend talking and thinking about work.

Speak up

Speak up when your workload is too much. Tell your boss if you are stretched too thin or when you regularly work too many hours. Talk about what you can reasonably get done in a week.

Also, don't say yes to everything. If you have a hard time saying no, don't respond immediately. Instead say, "Let me get back to you", or, "Let me think about that."

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Depressing News

We are living in strange, moralistic and masochistic times, with massive problems that need to be confronted, daily.

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Protect Your Brain

We need to protect our brain from negativity, hatred, and racism that we see all around us.

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Forgiveness

Our daily lives are filled with ugliness, and forgiveness is the key to survival in this age.

Instead of trying to fix everything, just remain calm, forgive and move on. This is one of the surest ways to get your happiness back.