I have noticed a very common trend, especially true on social media, but also prevalent in interactions offline, which is too seldom if ever, admit when you are wrong. I have seen countless times, when people either block someone, stop talking to them altogether, or simply change the subject to something else. So why is it nearly painful for human beings to admit when they are wrong, to the point of continuing to live the lie they know is wrong?
We live in an era of social/insular bubbles, confirmation bias, thoughtcrime policing (see 1984 by George Orwell), echo chambers, comfort zones, blissful ignorance, and the court of public opinions. Everyone wants to be right (even if they’re wrong) and will search high and low for any remote sliver of proof that confirms their biased subjective opinion. It’s as if people think they might die by saying, “I’m sorry,” or “I was wrong!”
People don’t want to have to change, they will fight to maintain their perceptions, rather than allow the truth to change them. Change is scary I know, but as I always say, if there is no change there is no growth, nothing positive comes from sitting in one’s comfort zone. While change might be scary, stagnation, living a false life, and willful ignorance are terrifying!
The truth is that there’s no incentive to be wrong today, no reason to ever have a need to admit being wrong, no reason to ever change and by proxy grow as a person. Social media and the accessibility of the internet have seen to it that no matter what it is you believe or think, regardless of how ignorant, can easily be substantiated. You’ll find websites and Youtube videos, and via groups on social media, you’ll find many other ignorant individuals who believe and espouse the same. Wrong or not, you’ll find your echo chamber, your new friends who you’ll form that insular bubble, websites and such that promote your ideal and confirmation bias; you can easily remain blissfully ignorant, seated in your comfort zone amongst the court of public opinion.
Today, information may be free, but misinformation and bias are freer and more prevalent.
When I left my life of hate behind me, I admitted I was wrong, about everything, and everyone, and have spent the better part of a decade telling people how sorry I am and trying to right those wrongs. While I was still a racialist extremist, I did exactly what I’d mentioned above… I formed friendships with others who believed as I did, I found websites showing “Facts,” about what I believed, I judged others and had hundreds of others agree with me about my assertions. The change was scary, even after I’d left all of that behind me, I was scared and confused and untrusting of myself to make decisions on my own… it took time, it took courage, and it was 110% worth it!
People today lack that courage; they lack their own convictions, substituted with the convictions and beliefs imposed by external influences, media, people, groups, and peer pressure. They assume and they generalize, they believe their subjective opinions are universally acknowledged and objective truths. They hold their opinions to the standard of truth and find others who do the same, formulating their own opinion-based court of popular opinion, judging others, and shaming them for not having the same subjective opinions.
This is not only ridiculous, but it is deplorable and dangerous to anyone in contact with them!
Rather than admit they just might be wrong, they’d rather demonize others who might be right, they’d rather seek to defame and destroy, dox, and cause absolute harm to others… all so that they don’t have to hear something they may not like. This is the epitome of terrorism, without physical violence (though often it does escalate into violence as well), whereas one person is called something from out in the left-field and immediately is lept upon like a gazelle in a den of lions. In the end, the person who might be wrong, whose opinions are in fact, subjective, feel they’ve won and that their ideas hold up because a person (who was probably innocent of their slander) was destroyed to substantiate them.
This is inhuman behavior when one places their personal subjective opinions above the health, happiness, and well-being of another, simply because of differences in opinion. This is animalistic at its core, whereas the pack of animals is formed out of shared necessity (in this case to substantiate a grouping of opinions), and those who are different in opinion are attacked by the collective group think of the pack.
…but this is also cowardice in its purest form!
All of this is done as to not have one’s opinions and beliefs challenged, to not have to potentially admit to being wrong, to not potentially need to change. Rather than rationally sitting down and freely talking with others of different opinions, they resort to feelings of being slighted, feelings of this person being the antithesis of their perfect and infallible yet wholly subjective opinions. Rather than listening with their ears and minds, they’d rather hear what they want to hear, they’d rather allow their feelings and emotions to destroy any semblance of humanity they felt towards that other person. They listen with the intent to respond and not with the intent to genuinely hear…
Change is scary, but the opposite of change, struggling against change, is to sacrifice your humanity!
I would rather live an uncomfortable, even painful truth, than a comfortable and blissful lie. The fact is change isn’t comfortable, it is hard, it will make you cry, it might even hurt, but it is only through this struggle, this search for truth, that we can grow and become better versions of ourselves. I went from being a Neo-Nazi leader, from being a household name in the occult to have friends of every race, religion, gender, sexuality, age group, socio-economic class, and nationality; to being a proud Jew and member of the Reform Jewish community.
My life today, as it is, was worth all of the pain and discomfort I went through to change, all of the questions and doubt, it was all well worth it. If you saw my Facebook, you’d see I have occult friends from my decades involved, Christian friends, Jewish friends, gay friends, trans friends, black, Latino, Asian, and white friends… thousands of them, who all remained friends even as they know my changes I’ve made. I love everyone, I’m friends with everyone, I get along with 99% of the people I meet… because I know that what opinions I hold, could be wrong… and I’m now afraid to admit that!