Are you a victim of this psychological blooper?

. 1 min read

A few days back I noticed a fun little psychological instance in action. It's interesting because I reckon so many people do it without realizing the detrimental effect it has on their psyche. It's also interesting because I do it from time to time myself. I actually used to do it a lot more often before I first listened to a lecture by Jordan Peterson during a roadtrip. (It's funny; back then I think I asked my partner who had downloaded the lecture time and time again what the name of the speaker was - and now Jordan Peterson is such a household name that I can't believe it didn't stick the first time.)

Peterson conducted an experiment with himself sometime in his past: he would try his best not to say things that made him weak. And by "making him weak" he referred to that feeling you get when you're not 100 % sure you know what you're talking about, or when you're trying to sound cool by recounting someone else's ideology as your own without clarifying the source. He soon noticed he couldn't say almost anything anymore.

So, let me ask you: do you present someone else's ideas as your own? Do you try to sound educated and an intellectual by speaking about an ideology that wasn't your idea, while letting the listener think it was? Are you trying to sound like an expert on a subject when all the expertise you have is what you read on Wikihow after being asked about a specific subject?

Stop saying things that make you weak - things that immediately signal to your brain that you shouldn't be presenting the things that way; that you should perhaps say what you think, not what you read in a philosophy book; or that you should at least start your speech by declaring whose ideas you're about to talk about.

See how that makes you feel.