“Someone who lies and someone who tells the truth are playing on opposite sides, so to speak, in the same game. Each responds to the facts as he understands them, although the response of the one is guided by the authority of the truth, while the response of the other defies that authority and refuses to meet its demands. The bullshitter ignores these demands altogether. He does not reject the authority of the truth, as the liar does, and oppose himself to it. He pays no attention to it at all. By virtue of this, bullshit is a greater enemy of the truth than lies are.”
-Harry G. Frankfurt
If belonging to ourself is a result of being connected to our true self and what matters the most to us then where does bull-shit have it’s place in the our wilderness? IT DOESN’T! But yet “yours truly” is still guilty of B.S.ing from time to time. Why? Why do I do it? Why do you do it? Why do we betray ourselves when it matters and how can we speak civilally to BS in the future? That in a nut shell is what I took away from chapter 5. Here are some more questions you can use to go even deeper into this chapter and your heart as well. Do it! Just dig up the junk, sort it, and toss it…. it feels so good. I’ll do it with you.
- “You’re Either With Us Or Against Us Mentality”: What did you think of this false dichotomy? Have you ever been put in a scenario like this where you were forced to take sides?
- I loved the idea that critical thinking is the ability to think past “either/or situations” and actually requires courage. “Getting curious and asking questions happens outside our bunkers of certainty.” BUNKERS OF CERTAINTY! So good.
- What is your bunker of certainty like? If your bunker had a color what would it be? I don’t know why I ask that I just thought it was an interesting thought because mine was white like all white and there was no room for any questioning or gray areas…that was what my bunker from childhood looked like.
- “Civility is claiming and caring for one’s identity, needs, and beliefs without degrading someone else’s in the process…. [Civility] is about disagreeing without disrespect, seeking common ground as a starting point for dialogue about differences, listening past one’s preconceptions and teaching others to do the same.” The rest of the quote goes on to talk about staying present when deep-rooted disagreements arise. Where do you stand with civility? Are you able to stay present when someone disagrees with you and actually listen to the person you disagree with?
- What did you think of Brené Brown’s story of growing up learning to shoot and handle guns and the person stereotyping her as an NRA supporter? This is what she calls a “false dichotomy”. What false dichotomies have you been subject to? My “FD” is that if I like fashion or style then I’m vain or superficial… I don’t know where I got that exactly maybe little remarks from others made over time but I’m reframing this with curiosity. Maybe people that put down fashion and style have to think so black and white about it because it terrifies them and makes them feel like they can’t keep up with it? I don’t know but certain things I don’t understand confuse and frighten me so I can see how this could happen. I will not longer BS around my love for style and fashion to accommodate the fears of others because for me it is one of my favorite ways to express myself and have fun! How can you reframe your FD?
- One of my favorite thoughts from this chapter is on page 107: “If leaders really want people to show up, speak out, take chances, and innovate, we have to create cultures where people feel safe – where their belonging is not threatened by speaking out and they are supported when they make the decision to brave the wilderness, stand alone, and speak truth to bullshit.” I don’t lead a company but as a mother I am a leader of a family. My thought was how can I cultivate this type of culture in my family and raise children that show up and speak out while feeling safe? Belittling and demeaning comments, insults, and other rude behavior can deflate confidence, sink trust, and erode helpfulness so will not be a part of my family’s culture. What would you “civility standards” be for your family?
- Words As Weapons: On page 109 Brown talks about inclusive language and language the reduces… how have you seen words and language be used as a weapon?
- Speaking truth to BS while being civil feels like a paradox but is essential to belonging to ourselves. What does your wilderness look like in which you need to risk standing on your own and speaking out for what you believe in? I’ll paraphrase Maya Angelou here from the first chapter, she says the risk is great but the reward is greater! The reward is connection to yourself and what matters most. I’ll be holding onto that image next time I need to BRAVE or speak truth to bullshit.
…And now here are some pictures of my boys looking confident like I would want to look when I stand up to BS! 😉