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  1. #11
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    A friend believes that people are fundamentally bad. How do you react?
    It would help to ask a few more questions to make it clear what they mean by "bad". That is a rather nebulous word. It also helps to have a sense of both poles, so I would ask them to define "good". What is it that people aren't? I would also ask if they consider him/herself to be "bad"? I would be curious if they were dissatisfied with self as well and if they had any ideas for self-improvement and how that might also be relevant to other people.

    Although it is common for people who make statements like that to actually be saying that someone in their own life has disappointed them, but instead of dealing with the personal issue they confront the disappointment as being an aspect of all of humanity. It is a way of intellectualizing emotions that are harder to confront personally. Debating in that scenario is counterproductive. Discrediting the view of humanity is equivalent to saying the person who hurt them was not wrong. This motivation (often subconscious) can apply to just about any personality type. It is easy for people to slip into. In that case I would let them work out the problem mostly on their own, perhaps remind them of some people we knew who actually seem pretty good, and/or demonstrate that people can also be helpful.

    It can also be the person was taught this mindset. There are various religions for which this is the basic premise. In that case it might not be that personal and a well thought-out argument might do some convincing.

    Edit: I have had a few significantly negative friends. In real life application I don't tend to think there is much one does to change it. In those experiences I mostly listened and pointed out logical fallacies when the rant ended because that was discussing it on the terms of their natural strength. A few times I got firm about the line of thinking being irrational and could get a good response. To have a lasting effect would require a level of input I'm not capable of. The issue is that in those cases there is a cause-and-effect at work. I have noticed especially for natural problem-solvers, they can be deeply scarred psychologically if as a child they were confronted with problems outside their scope to solve (typically in the form of abuse). It creates a deep cynicism that might be impossible to break through. It is a kind of psychological imprinting that is made of granite.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
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    I want to be just like my mother, even if she is bat-shit crazy.

  2. #12
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    I realize I only answered half the post. How do I DEAL With people who are negative? I point it out a lot when they are.. I've been known for saying "How negative of you!" or "well YOU'RE ever so cheerful.. you should come to my next dinner party." I don't think its unhealthy to be negative, but I do think it's unhealthy to be negative all the time, so if I start seeing that, I start pointing it out.

    I suppose the question is how to they put up with me?
    Kantgirl: Just say "I'm feminine and I'll punch anyone who says otherwise!"
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  3. #13
    heart on fire
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post

    On a side note, I think people relate selfishness as evil, because people are social by nature and we've built our society around the need to interact and rely on others. Do I rely on people? Hell no.
    You don't shop at a grocery store? You don't work for someone else and you have no customers? Never been so sick that someone else had to drive you to doctor? You've never been to an ER as a patient? Never signed a contract of mutual benefit with someone else? Never asked to use the telephone or restroom while away from home?

    Even this guy had a little outside help.

  4. #14
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    You don't shop at a grocery store? You don't work for someone else and you have no customers? Never been so sick that someone else had to drive you to doctor? You've never been to an ER as a patient? Never signed a contract of mutual benefit with someone else? Never asked to use the telephone or restroom while away from home?

    Even this guy had a little outside help.
    Allow me to clarify. Do I trust people more than is necessary? No. I definitely need and acknowledge my need of other people, even with my self-reliant attitude... but I don't let my optimism blind me to the fact that people will try to take advantage of my bubbly nature, and mistake my kindness for weakness. I don't think people are evil, but in the same breath, I know they aren't all good natured either.
    Kantgirl: Just say "I'm feminine and I'll punch anyone who says otherwise!"
    Halla74: Think your way through the world. Feel your way through life.

    Cimarron: maybe Prpl will be your girl-bud
    prplchknz: i don't like it

    In Search Of... ... Kiwi Sketch Art ... Dream Journal ... Kyuuei's Cook book ... Kyu's Tiny House Blog ... Minimalist Challenge ... Kyu's Savings Challenge

  5. #15
    movin melodies kiddykat's Avatar
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    Hmm... I have a friend, INTJ, who can be cynical at times, and her humor shows it. She's FUNNY tho.

    I think sometimes, like in her case? I think it's mostly because of the environment she grew up in.

    Sometimes, as a human, even I make the mistake of not remembering the fact that sometimes, we cannot 4get the power of situational factors that affect how people behave/think. It's called the fundamental-attribution error, I think?

    Yah- so, I try to coax her a bit by having a talk with people who get that way, because they just need a gentle nudge, a reminder that reality is what they make of it, and if they're not ready to accept that as a fact, then they're just weathering out their emotions. They're in a phase of transition. No one's perfect, right? Otherwise, we wouldn't be human. We can at least learn from our experiences, both positive/negative. That's the beauty about life. To enjoy the perfection within the imperfections. And, yes, sometimes, dichotomous relationships do co-exist with one another.. as much as we dislike it. Id, Ego, SuperEgo does the trick.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Gauche's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    A friend believes that people are fundamentally bad. How do you react?
    I wouldn't give a fuck.
    But otherwise I'd probably tell him about "the points of view"

  7. #17
    Senior Member Valhallahereicome's Avatar
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    I'd ask them to define "bad." No one can ever do this successfully.

    Then I'd relent and allow them to tell me that they think human beings are fundamentally selfish, which is always what they really mean. I'd argue about that for a bit too.

    At the end of the day, though, I myself am quite the cynic about most things. "Good" and "bad" don't make that much sense to me, and I don't use them to define things philosophically, but I prefer most brands of cynicism to blind optimism.
    Fi>Ne>Te>Ti, and 3>7>8>4. WHEEEEEEEEE!!!

  8. #18
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    I don't mind unless there's a constant air of negativity around that person.
    I want to hear their opinion, understand it and where it comes from, chatter about it. Ask about perspectives and so on.
    I probably lack faith in people about as much as the cynics. But hell, we're all humane. Not good nor evil; imperfect.

    From another point of view.. It's funny, but I got a comment of being a positive person again. Not really. I mostly see it so that others are excessivily negative. It wears me down listening to all that talk of nothing being possible and never changing and people being evil etc. And then reflecting it into something I've said. I wonder how they handle my constant "Okay. So you want that/want someone to stop doing something/want to achieve that? Great, let's make a plan! It's possible you know."
    I'm aware that it's not following the rules of the conversation nor being what's expected, but it's my way of handling it.

  9. #19
    Diabolical Kasper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainChick View Post
    That they are projecting their own badness on mankind.

    Meh, I am not a fan of neg-heads, nope!
    CC has it covered. Not an idealist but someone who thinks people are fundamentally bad is good for nothing but sapping me so I prolly wouldn't be friends with them to begin with and if I did have to hang with them I'd do it sparingly.

  10. #20
    o edward cullen! Ardea's Avatar
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    Hit them. Hard. And then proceed to tell them that they are wrong. And that they need you.

    Compliance is mandatory at this point.


    But really... telling them to snap out of their delusion and pain, and to stop seeing the world from their perspective and past... really does help. Not all. But many. And those it doesn't work with... will agree that they're just being jaded.

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