Learning to Be Your Own Devil’s Advocate

Reactions to Circumstances Are Filtered Through Your Unique Point of View

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164090077_DevilsAdWe all filter each new set of circumstances through a lens that has been shaped by our beliefs and biases from our upbringings. Without us even being aware of what’s happening, it’s as if our backgrounds program us to react in certain ways; we are all sums of our genes and experience.

These close-to-the-bone attitudes can be very difficult to recognize in ourselves, which can make them hard to control. For example, if you were brought up in an atmosphere of suspicion and distrust of people from different backgrounds, or lived in an environment that encouraged you to believe you were a victim, your initial reaction to resolving even the most mild conflict might be to over react. Or, if you had an upbringing that encouraged unconditional trust in people perceived in positions of authority, you might find yourself struggling to question supervisors and managers, even when they solicit your input.

It’s not easy, but do your best to develop a “devil’s advocate” muscle. Take a figurative step back and look at situations that push your buttons as if you were observing another person. See both sides of the issues. At the very least, these delays will prevent you from reacting prematurely; at the most, hitting the “pause” button will give you valuable perspective. And perspective can be a crucial tool for effectively engaging everyone in your life.

Take Away:

We all filter new experiences and encounters through our upbringing. To better manage your reactions, learn to be your own devil’s advocate.

 

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