Have you ever been told this?
- “Just because you can win every argument, doesn’t make you right!”
- “It’s useless to argue with you!”
- “I cannot argue as well as you do, but I KNOW I am right!”
Even if you are an analytical, “evidence based” person? Someone who worships critical thinking and reason!
In your mind, you think their inability to argue is because their ideas are illogical. So let’s admit, they deserve to lose. Emotions cannot compensate for logic!
But in your heart, you also feel they might have a point. But you cannot see it.
Here’s the thing. The only difference between you and them is:
Your mental models are extremely clear. Their’s are not. But both are still mental models!
A mental model is just a representation of how we think the world works. How we connect the dots of reality to form a “causal chain” of assumptions.
‘Logical’ people can just connect and explain all dots in their model — so it seems right.
And just because others cannot connect and explain all the dots, their entire world view gets trashed.
We confuse clarity with ‘rightness’. It is like saying “My dream is crystal clear. So it is REAL”
In the above diagram, person #1 might be grudgingly forced to consider the world view of person #2, but will dismiss person #3 outright — even if #2 and #3 share the same world view! Just because #3 is not able to ‘join the dots logically’. So #1 becomes ‘objectively right’, and #3 becomes an ‘irrational fool’
That’s where the arrogance of ‘logic’ arises. And other people end up feeling insulted or frustrated. Especially if they have a different world view but are unable to explain or articulate it. They genuinely cannot agree with you, but cannot explain why. That inability ends up trashing their entire world view. And that hurts! Communication breaks down.
To your credit, you can really see each and every step, each and every ‘why’ of your argument with crystal clarity. “What’s there not to agree?” you wonder.
As you can see, there is no question of you opening up to their world view, because there is no need to. You already know you are right. Not out of bias, but out of ‘logic’.
And the more clear your world view is, the more sincerely ridiculous, “illogical”, “irrational”, “nonsensical” everyone else’s worldview seems.
Your clarity becomes your handicap.
A useful realization for ‘logical’ people is that a mental model is just a way of looking at the world. It can never encompass entire reality. So it can never be reality — no matter how much of it you can explain and how clearly you can see. Just because you connect the dots a certain way, does not mean they are the only way they can be connected.
More so when it comes to subjective discussions around opinions, values, relationships, morality, ethics, ways of working and so on.
So when we meet people with different world views, rather than pointing out the ‘gaps’ in their reality, it is useful to help them investigate and connect the dots.
There are too many benefits:
- You end up with a totally new way of looking at the world. With all the new meaning and connections that go with it. Without any need to agree to it.
- They feel much more understood, and are now able to articulate their world view better. Courtesy of your analytical help.
- The relationship between you both goes up 10x!
- You become a great bridge between people with totally contrary world views.
But being able to see others’ world views closely demands seeing our own world views as world views — not reality. And the more intelligent, diligent, analytical we are, the more emotionally challenging it will be. Because the more clearer our worldview will look! (like some of those hyper real dreams which we aren’t sure was a ‘dream’ or a ‘memory’)
So we might slip back into the comfort zone of ‘logic’ to prove our world view as real and wonder why others are not able to see the obvious. But that’s a subjective choice, not a logical conclusion 🙂