Why some interpret other people's thoughts, replacing them with their own, always choosing a thought they don't like?
- Anonymous2 months agoFavorite Answer
We assume that another person thinks or feels about things as we do, when in fact they often do not. So we often use our own perspective to understand other people, but our perspective is often very different from the other person’s perspective. This “egocentric bias” leads to inaccurate predictions about other people’s feelings and preferences.
In 15 computer-based experiments, each with a minimum of 30 participants, the psychologists asked subjects to guess people’s emotions based on an image, their posture, or a facial expression, for example. Some subjects were instructed to consult their own feelings, while others were given no instructions, some were told to think hard or mimic the expressions to better understand.
People told to rely on their own feelings as a guide most often provided inaccurate responses. They were unable to guess the correct emotion being displayed.
The second set of experiments asked subjects to make predictions about the feelings of strangers, friends, and partners. (Strangers interacted briefly to get to know one another before hazarding guesses about the preferences of the person they had just met.) The experiment was to see if people had some meaningful information about each other, like how spouses could make accurate judgments about the other’s reactions to jokes, opinions, videos, and more.
It turned out that neither spouses nor strangers nor friends tended to make accurate judgments when taking another’s perspective.
“Imagining another person’s perspective doesn’t actually improve our ability to judge how another person thinks or feels.”
Experiments found no evidence that the cognitive effort of imagining oneself in another person’s shoes, studied so widely in the psychological literature, increases a person’s ability to accurately understand another’s mind.
If anything, perspective taking decreased accuracy overall while occasionally increasing confidence in judgment. Basically, imagining another person’s perspective may give us the impression that we’re making more accurate judgments. But it doesn’t actually improve our ability to judge how another person thinks or feels.
Blanket statements and generalizations.
Malignant narcissists aren’t always intellectual masterminds – many of them are intellectually lazy. Rather than taking the time to carefully consider a different perspective, they generalize anything and everything you say, making blanket statements that don’t acknowledge the nuances in your argument or take into account the multiple perspectives you’ve paid homage to. Better yet, why not put a label on you that dismisses your perspective altogether?
On a larger scale, generalizations and blanket statements invalidate experiences that don’t fit in the unsupported assumptions, schemas and stereotypes of society; they are also used to maintain the status quo. This form of digression exaggerates one perspective to the point where a social justice issue can become completely obscured.
If you bring up to a narcissistic abuser that their behavior is unacceptable for example, they will often make blanket generalizations about your hypersensitivity or make a generalization such as, “You are never satisfied,” or “You’re always too sensitive” rather than addressing the real issues at hand. It’s possible that you are oversensitive at times, but it is also possible that the abuser is also insensitive and cruel the majority of the time.
Hold onto your truth and resist generalizing statements by realizing that they are in fact forms of black and white illogical thinking. Toxic people wielding blanket statements do not represent the full richness of experience – they represent the limited one of their singular experience and overinflated sense of self.