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Trusting Likable People Too Much
"We're inclined to make whatever narrative works"
Even the most smart and observant of us can be deceived. What we may not realize is that at times we can unwittingly play a role in that deception.
"When we like someone, we're inclined to make whatever narrative works to reaffirm our fondness for them. And it's almost like we're immune to whatever else.
"It makes me sad that people who bear the brunt of that are oftentimes the very human beings we say we're here to protect."
Maybe you will never witnessed this taking place or experienced it yourself yet it’s happening though, right now, many places and there is a long line of people who would be willing and eager to detail their stories and the impact it’s had on their lives and likely of those close to them.
Let’s briefly break down what Hughley said in an interview.
“When we like someone…”
Liking is trust and extending the benefit of the doubt. It’s how our minds operate and aids us in social interactions. What we don’t see or don’t believe that we’re seeing makes us susceptible to being misled. Logical.
Are you familiar with the halo effect? The following is one definition of it to consider.
“The halo effect’ is when one trait of a person or thing is used to make an overall judgment of that person or thing. It supports rapid decisions, even if biased ones.”
That can definitely be problematic when we like someone or something to the point that we only assume the best about them, even when there might be trouble present.
Next, “…we're inclined to make whatever narrative works to reaffirm our fondness for them.”
This is easier to do than we realize. Maybe someone has done it for you. Or maybe you’ve noticed how this happens and come to realize that we can craft rationalizations and excuses for misbehavior and violations of another person’s peace and well-being.
Then, “And it's almost like we're immune to whatever else.”
Our minds reject believing what we don’t want to believe. It’s emotional and psychological. It means we can bring ourselves to disregard facts and truth that will contradict what we want to believe. We won’t “see” it, “hear” it or consider what would be helpful in learning the reality.
Finally, "It makes me sad that people who bear the brunt of that are oftentimes the very human beings we say we're here to protect."
The “people” Hughley is talking about are those who are negatively, painfully impacted by the strong support and defense of likable people doing wrong.
We might think, “I would never do that” and consciously, maybe you wouldn’t yet that’s where deception comes into play. We can be of admirable, honorable character and fall victim to understandable deceit. Yes, that’s true.
What’s also true is there are people who will, for different reasons, some understandable and some immoral, choose to be deceived and choose to enable likable people as they victimize others in numerous ways, many shocking and criminal.
Michael Toebe writes “Reputation Notes” and is the founder and specialist at Reputation Quality, a practice that serves and assists successful people and organizations in further building reputation as an asset and responsibly, ethically protecting, restoring or reconstructing it.
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