The Participation Blog

How Not To Be Fanatic

Winston Churchill is often credited with saying, “A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.” You know people like that. We’ve elected way too many people like that. Actual or presumed expertise often results in confidence – certainty, but that certainty comes with a cost: intellectual arrogance, sometimes called cognitive narcissism. The opposite is something called intellectual humility. People who are certain typically view others who question or challenge them as being either ignorant or having ulterior motives. Neither of those views is usually true. Maintaining and practicing a level of humility and challenging our own assumptions is not only personally healthy and the best way of getting to the actual truth, it’s also one of the secret sauces in dealing with challenging people and reducing their anger and opposition.