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Most people are stupid. That’s not an insult but a fact. A fact that acts as an obstacle, an impeding factor both in dating and in life. Especially in dating, my counterparts remind me of that all too frequently. Considering my pickiness, my high standards, my quirks, my geographical location, and other factors, there’s not much left in the already small pool of potential partners. And when I then actually match, meet up, and vibe with somebody, it feels like winning the lottery. Unfortunately, as I said, most people are still stupid. So anything can happen that destroys this short illusion of happiness. Unforeseen events are often leading to dire consequences.
So before we blame the (perceived) downfall of society on the dating culture, TikTok, or whatnot – be mindful of this simple truth. Check yourself before you wreck yourself. I usually don’t like to generalize and put all men or all women in a box. But I hesitate less when it comes to the entire human race. Of course, we have to be clear.
It’s important to understand that everything in life exists on a spectrum. When we talk about human traits or characteristics, there will always be a range of variations. While there may be statistical tendencies within a population, there will always be outliers or edge cases. These anecdotal examples, while interesting and unique, do not represent the entire population. It’s important to avoid generalizing and putting everyone in a box based on a few examples.
When it comes to intelligence, for example, there may be statistical tendencies, but that does not mean that everyone falls into those categories. Some people may have exceptional intelligence, while others may struggle with certain tasks. The same goes for other traits such as personality, interests, and abilities. It’s important to recognize that each individual is unique and should be judged on their own merits.
I’m better than you. That’s what many of us think. We (homo sapiens) are masters at avoiding cognitive dissonance. We like to think things that make us feel good. In order to do so, we often have to put on blinders and ignore parts of reality. We view reality through our own rose-colored glasses.
Evolutionary benefits of cognitive dissonance
Cognitive dissonance is a psychological phenomenon that occurs when there is a discrepancy between a person’s beliefs or attitudes and their behavior or experiences. This inconsistency creates a feeling of discomfort, which people try to reduce by changing their beliefs or attitudes to match their behavior or experiences.
One possible evolutionary benefit of cognitive dissonance is that it allows us to maintain a consistent sense of identity and self-image. By reducing the discomfort of inconsistency, cognitive dissonance helps us to preserve our self-esteem and confidence in our own beliefs and abilities.
In addition, cognitive dissonance may have helped our ancestors to adapt to changing environments and social situations. By adjusting their beliefs and attitudes to fit new circumstances, our ancestors were better able to cope with challenges and survive in changing conditions.
However, it’s important to note that cognitive dissonance can also lead to negative consequences, such as confirmation bias and the rejection of new information or ideas that contradict our existing beliefs. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of our cognitive biases and actively seek out new information and perspectives to challenge our own beliefs and assumptions.
Lack of free will as an excuse
That being said, be that as it may…I really am better than you. It’s just an objectively verifiable fact. Plus, being aware of certain cognitive biases, I am under the illusion of being above them. Which may be true sometimes, but often not. We don’t know what we don’t know, or what our subconscious makes us do and believe. Every decision we make in every moment is out of our control. We can try to rationalize and justify them after the fact but yet, thoughts arise seemingly randomly, and neurons are firing, creating electrophysiological noise. According to neuroscientist Sam Harris.
Science reveals you to be a biochemical puppet. People’s thoughts and intentions emerge from background causes of which we are unaware and over which we exert no conscious control. Every choice we make is made as a result of preceding causes. These choices we make are determined by those causes, and are therefore not really choices at all.Sam Harris
Psychology of the Masses
Coming back to my initial point, though, I wouldn’t even have to go that deep. People really are stupid apes. Even more so in crowds. Have you ever watched as an outside spectator?
Human behavior and the psychology of the masses have been studied for centuries, and it is clear that when people gather in large groups, their actions can become unpredictable and even dangerous. This is partly due to the phenomenon known as “groupthink,” in which individuals prioritize conformity over independent thinking in order to fit in with the crowd. This can lead to irrational beliefs and behaviors, such as religious worship or the persecution of minorities. Football hooligans, riots, and Twitter mobs are also examples of group behavior in which people feel a sense of anonymity and act in ways they might not otherwise. Additionally, historical events such as witch persecution and burnings demonstrate the danger of group hysteria and the potential for mass hysteria to lead to tragic consequences. Overall, it is important to recognize the power of group dynamics and to strive for independent thinking and critical analysis, even in the midst of a crowd.
While it can be disheartening to realize the potential for negative behavior in crowds and the power of groupthink, this realization doesn’t have to be discouraging. In fact, understanding human behavior and the psychology of the masses can help us create positive change in society. By recognizing the potential for irrational beliefs and behaviors in ourselves and others, we can work to promote critical thinking and independent thought, both in our own lives and in society as a whole. Additionally, understanding the power of group dynamics can help us create more effective strategies for social change and community building. By harnessing the positive aspects of group behavior, such as a shared sense of purpose and collective action, we can work towards common goals and make a positive impact on the world. Ultimately, seeing reality as it is can be a powerful tool for personal growth, social progress, and creating a better world for all.
Sometimes people are just people. Ignorant, uneducated, prejudicial, individual people. No deeper reason, no psychological phenomenon to blame. And that’s okay. I don’t hate them for it, either. I empathize, I try to understand where they’re coming from. Then I can still decide how to proceed.
Back to dating – if most people are stupid, chances are you are too. Which means don’t worry about it. Birds of a feather flock together.
Let’s end with
Actionable Advice by ChatGPT
Let’s say you’ve been seeing someone for a few weeks and you’re really into them. You’ve been having a great time together and you feel like there’s a real connection. However, you’re not sure if they feel the same way. You don’t want to come on too strong, but you also don’t want to miss an opportunity to take things to the next level.
My advice would be to communicate your feelings honestly and directly, but also in a respectful and non-threatening way. Here’s an example of what you could say:
“Hey, I’ve really enjoyed spending time with you and getting to know you over the past few weeks. I feel like we have a great connection, but I wanted to check in and see how you’re feeling about things. I don’t want to come on too strong, but I also don’t want to miss an opportunity to explore where this could go. So, I just wanted to ask if you’re open to continuing to see each other and seeing where things could lead?”
By communicating your feelings and intentions directly, you give the other person an opportunity to share their own thoughts and feelings. If they feel the same way, great! If not, it’s better to know sooner rather than later so that you can both move on and find what you’re looking for.
In addition to being direct, it’s also important to be respectful and non-threatening in your approach. Avoid putting pressure on the other person or making them feel like they have to give you a certain answer. Instead, simply express your own feelings and intentions and give them space to respond in their own way.
Remember, communication is key in any relationship. By being honest and direct with your feelings, you can create a foundation of trust and mutual understanding that can help you build a strong and healthy relationship.