I’m Right and You’re a Jerk
How is social shaming different from bullying? Though I find most folks friendly and courteous amid all the anxiety and frustration, social shaming is rampant online or in public spaces. It thrives in the moral certainty that we’re right and they’re jerks.
Does shaming change behavior? Perhaps, with large corporations whose business depends on public image, or people who violate the norms of those they care about. Individuals called out by strangers tend to get defensive, hostile, aggressive, and increasingly blatant. Sometimes someone gets shot.
Remember Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher and William L. Ury (1981)? It enjoyed a brief popularity before we decided civil disagreement was a sign of weakness. This relic of a different era outlined a four-step approach to negotiation:
6/1/2020 07:44:49 am
Thanks for the nice reminder of a clear problem solving approach. Unfortunately, it seems we do not have current leadership or media with an agenda willing to “Separate the people from the problem" - labeling "people" as the problem keeps our attention focused where the sellers want. And "insisting on using objective criteria" is very difficult when even basic facts are contested as "fake". I would pose that fundamental to the 4-step approach to negotiation is the assumption that the people involved wish to negotiate. I would debate that assumption when applied to certain members of our political leadership, the media that keeps giving that perspective air time, and the populace that blindly accepts those sources of information.
6/1/2020 05:29:58 pm
Dennis, I appreciate your thoughts and largely agree. I suspect we suffer from having so many different sources of information and misinformation now that we (including me) can choose the ones we most agree with, compared to the days when everyone watched the same evening news. Unfortunately, I've seen somewhat similar behavior (online, particularly) from some people I suspect I agree with on many specific issues, who reject any stance that acknowledges the humanity of those who believe or vote differently.
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I'm a historian who writes novels and literary nonfiction. My home base is Madison, Wisconsin.