Harj Taggar on how, in conversations, human motives get in the way of truth seeking

Harj Taggar wrote an interesting post on the motives (intentional or not) that we might have during “intellectual” conversations.

When talking about ideas, we might think that the goal of a conversation is to get closer to the truth. But in reality, human nature often “gets in the way.”

How? Taggar shared a few examples:

  1. The drive to be liked
    With family you may avoid going for the truth in order to protect the relationship. Something similar happens with a meek person — who agrees with everyone so they’ll be liked. Politicians also need to be liked, but they may be more skilled in adding some truism to the conversation to sound profound.

  2. The impulse to win the argument and sound smart
    There is the chronic debater, who tries to win the argument at all costs. “They care what you think about them, but their identity is wrapped up in seeming smart rather than being liked.”

  3. The urge of tribalism
    There are people “who care only about figuring out if you believe the same things they do.” The worst variation of this is people who act as “You’re either with us, or against us”. But there also are people who strongly prefer to be around others that think like them.

Incidentally, it could be that “the drive to be liked” is just a particular case of tribalism.


Category  Life Wisdom
Tags  Human Interactions · Human Nature · Harj Taggar
Source  Conversation and Ideas