Why some people sound “stupid” to us

A long time ago, one of my bosses told me there’s no such word as “empathetic.” Turned out there was. But I’ve never looked at that man the same way since.

As a person with the utmost confidence in your own abilities, speaking in absolute terms may suggest extreme confidence, especially when you’re damn sure you’re making a superior argument. But what if the other person is right, too?

What if, there’s a way between the two arguments. What if you’re actually wrong?

Which one is better? State police vs federal police OR a merger of the two ideas?

As Roger Martin says in his book, The Opposable Mind, the world’s best leaders resolve the tension between two opposing ideas by generating an idea that contains elements of the two conflicting ideas but is superior to the two.

By laughing in the face of the person we don’t agree with and cockily declaring: “No word like that, bro!”, we betray our lack of self awareness.

So, when that journalist used “disinformation” in a sentence in 2008, I was tempted to go, “Hahaha, this person is stupid! Oh my god, Nigerian presenters!”

Instead, though, I grabbed the dictionary. And holy Christ! What do you know, disinformation is a real word!

As luck would have it I was soon compelled to use “disinformation” in a report I was writing.

We learn every day, don’t we? Yes, we do, if we don’t let ego get in the way. Ego is the enemy of personal growth.

For me, disinformation was a humbling lesson: Sometimes people say “stupid” stuff to us, not because they’re idiots but because they’re a godsend.

Also, the word is godsend.

Enjoy your day.

Go forward: stay happy.

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