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It’s Easier to be Self-Righteous When You Avoid Communication

Posted Jan 21 2013 12:01am

communication, improving communication, communicating, interpersonal communicating, vulnerability, avoid communication, self righteous, complicated, selfrighteousness

The longer you can go without input from someone else, the easier it is to convince yourself that your point of view is the only one that really matters. We all love nurturing our own beliefs.

We go over & over & over something that bothers us and slowly build up greater certainty over time that we are right. Who wants the messiness of another point of view?

Communication requires work. Communication requires vulnerability. Communication requires the complicatedness of incorporating at least 2 points of view.

Self righteousness is all about maintaining one point of view. Self Righteousness is all about being impervious. Self righteousness is black & white and therefore simple.

It’s easier to be self-righteous when texting. It’s easier to be self-righteous and not answer the phone. Who wants the uncertainty & confusion of listening to someone else?

Oh, how we love to hoard our own ideas about what happened. Often in therapy I make suggestions of another possibility or way to look at something. Therapy is not about the self-indulgence of being self-righteous. (Most people have friends who can help out with that.)

Communication is a risk. You are opening yourself up to understanding things in a different way.

Communication that has depth over time means it’s possible to influence someone else or to be influenced by someone else. This is why I miss doing group therapy. Groups offer so much more in healing because of the quality of communication. The possibilities for new connections to yourself & others are powerful forces. People in groups share a humbleness about life’s struggles.

My experience in real communication is that there is often humbleness because there is vulnerability.

In previous posts I’ve mentioned that most couples have what I call parallel monologues instead of true dialogue. A monologue is a way to be self-righteous, it’s how to maintain the status quo in your head. “I love it when I can do both sides of the conversation because then I’m sure to be right!”

Self righteous dumps are frequent in relationships. “I’m not going to give you the respect of asking what happened, I’m going to enjoy the deliciousness of assuming I know instead. Then I’ll just blow you away with all my hoarded, distorted truths so you feel bad and don’t bother me anymore.”

Communication combined with openness & vulnerability can add so much depth to every relationship, if you are willing to make the time for it.


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