Resumption of a Thread with "Simon" from SMEAC Thread

re:"Indeed Jim, that’s a good, but not an easy question. I’ll try to answer openly from a psych/NLP perspective, though by definition its going to be subjective – nobody should expect the perspective to be worth anything at all other than in a personal context, its an opinion.

Assessments of behaviour are largely subjective, and for any given behaviour, an assessment will be the result of an interaction between the observed behaviour and the map of the observer, so it’s not reliable. The observed behaviour might well be the result of (for example) poor education, low IQ, low EQ, social impairment etc etc.

If on the other hand an individual repetitively and knowingly takes up a position of claiming better knowledge, claiming better qualification, claiming to know better people etc etc to put other people down, and does this habitually (or with the appearance of it being habitual), then a reasonable person is entitled to form assessments of that person and to respond in the way which benefits the observer best.

And so to the question. If a person is rude and arrogant because in the opinion of a reasonable observer they get some benefit from being rude or arrogant (bearing in mind that all behaviours are learned), then the observer is entitled to make an assessment and to behave in accordance with that assessment (in my own case, my response is generally to shun the person and exercise my choice of freedom of association). It srikes me as being irrelevant for all practical purposes whether the observed person is behaving with an intent to offend or does so through insensitivity or lack of thought (the Napoleon Bonaparte maxim applies here: "never atttribute to malice what is adequately explained by incompetence"). The potential to offend is the same, though the observer may choose to make allowances.

So yes. And no.

Sorry for the convoluted response to your good question, having to think on my feet at this time of the day is always a bit difficult."


lets assume for the moment that this isn’t an opinion that might be offered by some clinical psychologist in private practice, who may form "assessments" based on psychological testing rather than actual observed behavior in an interaction. lets also assume you have no knowledge of the person’s educational background or motivation of acting this way(other than what you might conclude from a conversation with them).

very simply put, suppose all you have to go on is any "mindreading" of their intent based on your interaction with them, plus the verbal and nonverbal behavior presented to you in the moment

now within these parameters, do you make a distinction between this behavior and the person?


Resumption of a Thread with "Simon" from SMEAC Thread

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