Useful Tips

Prejudice: mental poison

Conscious and unconscious attitudes

Excerpt from a workbook. More details.

Conscious and unconscious attitudes that prevent you from thinking correctly

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"I need to actively prove my point. They just do not understand me."

"I see the true state of things."

"I am confident in myself and know how it will be better (and they will not)."

"I know that I am right, to convince them is my job."

"They are only interested in their own benefit."

"I'm angry, and it's their fault."

"If they cannot understand what I am saying, they must figure it out for themselves."

"I need to hold on to the first reaction."

"I see the situation on one side only."

"Those who contradict me probably know what I missed."

"I have to wait for conclusions and listen to the opinions of others."

"I should not forget about the unintentional influence that I can have on others."

"I need to check my guesses and the guesses of the rest."

"Our goal is to make an informed decision that will serve the good of the company."


Express your thoughts clearly and directly, do not close yourself from outside influences

Argument decisions, talk about your interests, problems and conclusions

Definition and synonyms

Prejudice is a pre-existing negative opinion of someone. Speaking about the word “in advance”, it should be understood that it is not meant here that this opinion can be formed necessarily before meeting a person, this can happen later. The most appropriate synonym for prejudice is ignorance. With ignorance, a person forms his opinion about something, not having any facts, but based only on the desire to simplify everything. Why think and read about the global economy, if everything is already divided, and we can only drown each other and survive? How can you trust a person who bought himself orange rubber boots?

Stereotypes with prejudice are also similar to prejudice. So it turns out that these four factors smoothly flow from one to another, and sometimes one factor contains another.

Reasons for Prejudice

Some psychologists believe that prejudice is due to the need for self-esteem. If a person is told that the person with whom he will meet today is a very bad person, this also means that he is worse than the person to whom they are reporting. Of course, this is a very perverted logic, but the vast majority of people have precisely distorted logic, which is also often manifested on a subconscious level and it is very difficult to distinguish, catch and disarm.

Prejudice is also a tempting opportunity to roll the opinions of other people along the track, not to strain the brain with a conscious attitude to the person and just save time.

The better a person’s mood, the less prone to prejudice and prejudice. An optimist treats strangers much better; he is open to new impressions. Pessimists or people with low self-esteem tend to subconsciously lower to their level, raising the mood and the same self-esteem.

And of course, the cause of prejudice can simply be ignorance and the small scale of the personality. The desire to simplify everything to one phrase is a too seductive prospect.

The danger of prejudice

However, in all these cases, one thing is obvious - our reality becomes inadequate. Of course, purely statistically our prejudice towards a stranger to us may ultimately turn out to be true, but it is better to treat a person in advance either neutrally or warmly than negatively, because you never know what impact any acquaintance can have on life.

But not only does prejudice distort reality, but also the brain of this person constantly supports this opinion, constantly looking for confirmation. This phenomenon is called cognitive dissonance. This is a condition in which a person believes in one thing, but is faced with a situation that refutes this belief - and as a result, he must choose one of two, or begin to live in a schizophrenic situation. As you can see, the mental venom of prejudice can very easily distort reality, reach cognitive dissonance and even cause schizophrenia. This slight author’s exaggeration should make it clear that any negative emotion with prolonged use is capable of a radical change in personality. Any actor will confirm this to you.

If you are biased, this does not necessarily mean that you are a bad person. Indeed, it is sometimes very difficult to tune in to a productive acquaintance with a person, before meeting with whom everyone tells you how terrible and rude he is. People named Louis rather prefer to live in St. Louis, and you tend to trust the opinions of your friends and relatives because you consider them to be part of your personality. But you can imagine how prejudice can change your life - from cosmetic comic moments to the complete destruction of your life.

Cunning brain is sometimes simply amazing. For example, an anti-Semite, having met a Jewish philanthropist, is inclined to classify him as a good Jew and to remain an anti-Semite. Moreover, the more philanthropists he meets, the more he adheres to his opinion. And yes, this is again an example of getting rid of cognitive dissonance.

What to do if you yourself are a victim of prejudice

  • people often think categorically, use it. If you are somewhat different from a person who is biased against you, look for factors that unite you, take the person away from negative perceptions and give him a positive. For example, you may have higher education in common, the same profession, social status. “We bespectacles must stick together”
  • very correct behavior with a person who is biased against you is the constant mention of such words as “justice” and “humanity”. This programmability will allow this person to match them.
  • if possible, try not to communicate with such people when they are stressed or under stress. The likelihood of prejudice increases several times. After a pleasant lunch or rest, a person is inclined to love the whole world

How to get rid of prejudice?

In principle, from all of the above, it is already possible to pretend how to get rid of this behavior. However, we systematize and add a couple of tips.

  1. The first thing to understand is that if you are biased against someone - the reason is in you. This idea is always difficult to accept, but to be a pleasant person and to love other people is always more difficult than to hate everyone.
  2. Expanding knowledge about stereotypes. Understanding how your thoughts and emotions work, observing yourself is already half the success.
  3. New acquaintances with different people. Many stereotypes and prejudices simply disappear when a person finds a desire and opportunity to meet people and to be friendly towards them.
  4. Always remember that if your acquaintance speaks negatively about a person whom you will soon meet yourself, this is his opinion and in reality the reality can be very different. In addition, most things are truly subjective.
  5. To treat people with respect (at least until a personal meeting and meeting with them) is always more beneficial than being suspicious and negative.
  6. Books and travel. Nothing pushes us to prejudice, like a small circle of communication, lack of observations of other cultures and knowledge.

In any case, remember that prejudice hurts you. It limits, fetters you, paralyzes the brain and does not make you happy. Leave your opinion on this phenomenon in the comments.