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Harj Taggar on the human motives in conversations


Harj Taggar writes about our motives while having “idea” conversations. Read his essay here.

My summary —

We may think that the goal of a conversation is getting closer to the truth. But in reality, human nature often “gets in the way”.

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 try to sound profound).

Then 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.”

Finally, 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 it could just be people who (strongly) prefer to be around others who think like them.

In a nutshell — besides seeking the truth, one should also accounts for the urge of being liked, sounding smart, winning, and good old tribalism.


In Towards Greatness
Tagged with Human Interactions · Human Nature · Harj Taggar
via Conversation and Ideas 🌐