Recognizing Cognitive Dissonance

I’m afraid that many people conflate being kind and accepting of others with accepting their ideas, opinions, and actions. Everything newsworthy, our problems, and all things political have lately been boiled down into a binary viewpoint. Either you agree or you don’t (you hater), which is it?

In my humble opinion, this oversimplified process is primarily inspired by intellectual laziness. The rest is a militant form of ‘virtue signaling’. Virtue signaling is also a product of laziness but holds an element of insecurity that can’t be overlooked.

If two kids are discussing the outdoor temperature and one is reading a Fahrenheit scale and the other is reading Celsius, their numbers are going to be WAY off. They might argue all day long to no avail. That’s why adults add defining factors beyond the binary numerical findings to avoid confusion.
Incidentally, the kids could be both factually correct or one or both could even have read their thermometer incorrectly. To find out takes a little effort and analysis.

Why then do intelligent, decent, adults accept and project an “either/or” opinion on anything?
As adults, you would think they have noticed that all real-life situations have many, if not hundreds, of variables.
Those who insist, or infer, that any disagreement with their personal perception is ‘hateful’, because their ‘facts’ sound and feel so ‘good’, also have another problem besides their enforced ‘virtue signaling’. It’s called ‘cognitive dissonance’. Yes, it is a mental condition, and everyone might be wise to understand it.

People who have cognitive dissonance are those who don’t want any disruption to their over-simplified ‘feel good’ world view. They have internalized it and any reevaluation, even when presented with new mitigating information, is just too upsetting. IMHO, they’re also lazy. Deconstructing such an internalized opinion is hard, not to mention, humbling. Instead, people like that must make “square pegs fit into round holes” in order to maintain what has become “their essence”.
To do that, people with cognitive dissonance make it their mission to dismiss and vilify all assaults on their comfortable conclusions. They use vague one-size-fits all terms like ‘mean’ or ‘nice’ and turn any honest discussion quickly into a complaint of an assault on themselves. Instead of explaining their views, the discussion is turned immediately to the topic of the other person’s bad manners or ‘unfair’, possibly racist or inhumane, intentions.
Why wouldn’t they passionately defend themselves, after all, they have defined their own ‘goodness’ {their own human value} through “group think” acceptance and feeling ‘good’ about themselves by using a childlike oversimplified template of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. It’s an easy-peasy process for those who crave validation.

This brings me to my initial point. I’m struggling with some ideas often presented. They’re over-simplified and seem not to have been thought through.
Some are:

“Respect and love everyone.”

Does that mean I should respect and love Vladimir Putin?

“Black Lives Matter”

Duh, we know that. Who are you talking to exactly? Oh, all those ‘bad people’ who are everywhere. I get it.

“Dogs are better people than people.”

Well, some are, and some aren’t still most of them are loyal, brave, and loving BUT would you put them “in charge” of anything? Give me a break. {BTW-People are predominantly all those things too.}

And the worst are suggestions that we must agree and embrace all people’s ideas and actions in order to be “inclusive”.

No, we don’t. We should be kind and decent to each other without giving up our values and betraying other virtues in the process.

As this is an opinion piece, spare me the “You don’t have a Psychology degree.” or ” You’re mean.” comments. I don’t define myself through the filter of my own or other people’s opinions because all of those are (and should be) subject to change. (No cognitive dissonance here. lol)

News Flash…Good character has concrete parameters and isn’t a matter of opinion.
Have a nice day y’all!