“This Is Why You Shouldn’t Be NICE” – Jordan Peterson


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this took me like 30 years to figure out if you ask a disagreeable person what what he wants say or she wants they’ll tell you right away they know it’s like this is what I want and this is how I’m going to get it but agreeable people especially if they’re really agreeable are so agreeable that they often don’t even know what they want because they’re so accustomed to living for other people and to finding out what other people want and to trying to make them comfortable and so forth that it’s harder for them to find a sense of their own desires as they move through life say what you think tell the truth about what you think there’s going to be things you think that you think are nasty and harsh and they probably are nasty and harsh but they’re also probably true and you need to bring those up to the Forefront and deliver the message and it’s not straightforward at all because agreeable people do not like conflict not at all they smooth the water where conflict emerges the problem with that is it’s not a very good medium to long-term strategy as lots lots of times there are things you have to talk about because they’re not going to go away if you’re harmless you’re not virtuous you’re just harmless you’re like a rabbit rabbit isn’t virtuous it’s just can’t do anything except get eaten it’s not virtuous if you’re a monster and you don’t act monstrously then you’re virtuous but you also have to be a monster you’re going to negotiate for a raise or a or a status shift you better have your resume at hand all polished up and nowhere else you’re going to look for a job and you better be able to get one because otherwise you’re just you’re weak and you will not win the negotiation and if you’re too agreeable so your conflict avoidant you will make less money across time that’s already been well established and that’s because you don’t have teeth not enough and so in the little micro contest that you’re going to have every day you’re going to incrementally lose to people who are more aggressive who have bigger teeth and that’s what happens so don’t let that happen one of the things you have to be careful of if you’re agreeable is not to be exploited because you’ll line up to be exploited if you are not capable of Cruelty you are absolutely a victim to anyone who is and so part of the reason that people go watch anti-heroes and villains is because there’s a part of them crying out for the incorporation of the monster within them which is what gives them strength of character and self-respect because it’s impossible to respect yourself until you grow teeth and if you grow teeth then you realize that you’re somewhat dangerous and or maybe somewhat seriously dangerous and then you might be more willing to demand that you treat yourself with respect and other people do the same thing and so that doesn’t mean that being cruel is better than not being cruel what it means is that being able to be cruel and then not being cruel is better than not being able to be cruel if you’re competent at fighting that actually decreases the probability that you’re going to have to fight because when someone pushes you you’ll be able to respond with confidence which is very much equivalent to a show of dominance is going to be enough to make the bully back off and so the strength that you develop in your monstrousness is actually the best guarantee of Peace your being is limited and and flawed and fragile um you’re like the genie which is genius in the little tiny uh lamp you know this immense potential but constrained in this tiny little living space but the fact that you have limitations means that the plot of your life is the overcoming of those limitations and that if you didn’t have limitations well there wouldn’t be a plot and maybe there would be no life and so that’s part of the reason why perhaps you have to accept the fact that you’re flawed and insufficient and and live with it and consider it a precondition for being it’s a reasonable idea but if you only know how to behave you’re just a domesticated house cat or or a lap dog you have to push beyond the Persona and that’s what the integration of the Shadow does from the union perspective it’s like to pull that monster that’s being edited out of you pull that back in and to allow that to reveal itself within your increasingly sophisticated way of being and then you’re not just a Persona and one of the things I tell agreeable people especially if they’re conscientious is say what you think tell the truth about what you think there’s going to be things you think that you think are nasty and harsh and they probably are nasty and harsh but they’re also probably true and you need to bring those up to the Forefront and deliver the message and it’s not straightforward at all because agreeable people do not like conflict not at all they smooth the water the problem with that is it’s not a very good medium to long-term strategy right because lots lots of times there are things you have to talk about because they’re not going to go away and the advantage to having a well-socialized disagreeable person is that they really don’t let much get in their way it’s really useful to investigate the viewpoints of people who have opposing views to yours because they’ll tell you things not only will they tell you things you don’t know they’ll also tell you how to see the world in ways that you don’t see it and they’ll also have skills that you don’t have that you could develop so for example if you’re an introverted person it’s very useful to watch an extroverted person because the extroverted person has ways of being in the social world that aren’t natural to you that you can use this to improve your toolkit and if you’re disagreeable one of the best things to do with disagreeable people especially if that’s alienating them from other people for example because it can get the person to do something for someone else once a day just as a practice and learn how to do it maybe you can wake the circuit up you know if you think that it’s lying dormant in you which is probably right you know I think we have a very wide range of propensities within us some are switched on but I think that if you put yourself in the right situation or walk yourself through the right exercises you can switch some of these other things on as well but it takes work and and dedication and discipline you know so if you’re hyper extroverted you should probably learn to shut up at parties now and then and listen just to see what’s going on to see if you can manage it and if you’re introverted well then you should learn how to speak in public and to and to learn how to go to parties without hiding in the corner and saying nothing to anyone knowing if you’re agreeable then you need to learn how to be disagreeable so people can’t push you around and if you’re disagreeable you learn you need to learn how to be agreeable so and the same thing applies even in the conscientious domain it’s like if you’re too conscientious you need to learn to relax and let go a little bit but as a as a basis for negotiation between adults it’s like sorry it’s it’s insufficient you have to you have to be a bit of a monster so that you can say no and so a lot of what you do in in psychotherapy is treat people’s anxiety and depression that’s a huge chunk of it help them straighten out the way they think that’s a huge chunk of it but another chunk of it is well let’s toughen you up you know let’s put you in a position where you can bargain let’s teach you how to assert yourself and stand up for yourself and that’s assertiveness training and it’s a huge chunk of psychotherapy and you need to you need to learn it it’s like because part of how you regulate your interactions with other people is to negotiate and you cannot negotiate unless you can say no you can’t do it and it causes conflict to say no and if you don’t like conflict which is basically the definition of being agreeable then you can’t tolerate the conflict and so then you can’t negotiate on your own behalf and so then you keep losing and you’re bullied and you know it’s it’s not good then you get resentful and and it’s really not good so you have to develop your inner monster a little bit you don’t make men safe by making them weak in fact they’re much more dangerous when they’re weak because they’ll stab you in the back when they get the chance or take advantage of you when you when they get the chance you make men safe let’s say by making them strong and then by making sure that they’re disciplined

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6 Comments

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  1. I’m not gonna take this video as a personal attack, because I’ve been there and done that; of being sweet, nice, professional, and on and on regarding this video.

    This video it’s true. Now I’m learning in life to stand up and if I don’t like something that may affect my well being, I speak up and stand up to not be used like a punching bag for someone else’s stress life release on me.

    Some great white shark teeth definitely a most. Even in personal affairs, nobody likes Mr./Misses. too nice, we get eaten alive. So thanks, for this valuable advice in my opinion.

  2. This video is a thought-provoking and controversial one. While it is important to be kind and empathetic towards others, Peterson argues that being excessively nice and accommodating can lead to negative outcomes and resentment.

    Peterson's views may challenge some viewers, but they also encourage critical thinking and self-reflection. By questioning the notion of "niceness" and exploring the potential downsides of being too agreeable, he prompts his audience to consider the importance of setting boundaries and standing up for oneself.

    While some may disagree with Peterson's views, this video serves as a valuable reminder that it is important to question conventional wisdom and consider alternative perspectives. By engaging in thoughtful discussion and debate, we can gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us.