Fouten en kritiek

Onderstaand eerste een citaat over het maken en fouten en het leren daarvan. En het tweede citaat gaat over de soorten weerstanden tegen dat proces: de externe versie is dat mensen reageren meestal met verrassing, irritatie of vijandigheid op het veranderen van een persoon die ze meenden te kennen. En de interne is dat mensen voor een groot deel slecht tegen kritiek kennen, en dus ook tegen zelfkritiek.

Uit: Wendell Johnson, People in Quandaries, p. 158, 159:
  Someone has said that it is all right to make mistakes, so long as you don't make the same fool mistake twice. The implication of this is frequently expressed in this way, that it is all right to make mistakes because that is how we learn. We seem to be talking about the same thing essentially when we say that experience is a great teacher.
    As everybody knows however, experience does not necessarily teach us anything. Sometimes we do make the same mistakes over and over again, and it apparently does not always occur to use that there is anything to be learned from our blunders.

In our culture, consistency is highly respected, so much so that most people even feel self-conscious for some time after they stop using ain't. "Self-improvement" requires considerable "will-power" and a thick skin in our civilization, if one is to remain poised and and undiscouraged when greeted with: "You think you're pretty smart don't you?" ... . Perhaps the most obvious form which this general tendency takes is to see in the fact that very few people can take criticism. That, in fact, is the secret of the appeal which Dale Carnegie makes with his "psychology" in which the basic tenet is "never offend anybody" or "never criticize." "The customer is always right."

Dit slaat met name op de Amerikaanse cultuur.

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