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Broad sweeping statements

I was thinking about how much I have observed statements of this nature recently, and how much I use them myself. It does seem a bit of a challenge to veer away from statements like this when I want to discuss something in writing.

I have read and been told in teachings on more than one occasion that it is human nature to put people into categories. I think this is very true. The reality is that I do not know anyone else’s mind, and I would not expect for anyone else to know mine.

When a broad sweeping statement is used, I feel that it automatically becomes exclusive or inclusive depending on how you want to look at it. This of course is based on our own perceptions. However, not being able to know anyone else’s mind how can a statement like that be true? Because of that reason, it would seem that statements of this nature by default could not be “mindful” like they should be.

Is it a challenge for you? Have you thought about it? Do you do it without realizing you are making those types of statements?

Anyhoo, I just thought it was an interesting observation, and one worth sharing. Maybe next time you begin to express yourself see if you catch yourself doing it.

person

Comments

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    @Richdawson, Could you give some examples of 'Broad sweeping statements' you've come across here?

    Because if you're talking Buddhism and teachings, I'm keen to see what you're referring to, certainly.

    If you're talking Politics, I thought you said you were staying away from that topic... and, I might add, I have been both watching and participating in some Political discussions here, and keeping my eye on things. I'm not aware of any broad sweeping statements that have been in any major way inaccurate.

    However, I will await your clarification... :)

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    For my part, I try to stay aware that when I am speaking of a broader group, there are always people who are outliers and who vary widely within that group. But when writing, I'm not going to take the time to explain that, I just assume people have common sense enough to expect someone else to grasp the idea that generalizing is just a way to make communication somewhat faster and easier but it doesn't mean I don't understand there are always people outside of it. Generalizing, to me, is just a way to talking about averages. That doesn't mean there aren't things outside the average. Just because the average of 10 and 20 is 15, doesn't mean that the other numbers don't matter or don't exist. It's just easier to focus on the 15 for sake of discussion than it is to talk about 10, and 20, and all the possible variations of them.

    TiggerBunks
  • @federica said:
    @Richdawson, Could you give some examples of 'Broad sweeping statements' you've come across here?

    Because if you're talking Buddhism and teachings, I'm keen to see what you're referring to, certainly.

    If you're talking Politics, I thought you said you were staying away from that topic... and, I might add, I have been both watching and participating in some Political discussions here, and keeping my eye on things. I'm not aware of any broad sweeping statements that have been in any major way inaccurate.

    However, I will await your clarification... :)

    Yes, it was the thought I had while responding, but it was an observation I had of myself that sparked the thought. Sort of one of those times when you see something, then you seem to notice it all over. While I am sure there may be specifics on this forum, I was speaking in more general terms, and not specifically about politics.

    The teaching I was speaking of was a recent teaching I listened to in person. It was on mindfulness. In the teaching it was mentioned that the way we express things to others, and the wording we use can automatically imply a negative, and put people on the defensive, and even feed yourself a negative. For example if you told someone "I hate it when you do XYZ.." you are expressing the emotion of hate, and what the person on the receiving end of that gets is the message ..you hate. Vs. if you expressed yourself in a different way "I really love it when you don't XYZ..." the message comes across as more positive.

    So that in turn got me to thinking, how are broad statements really any different, and when you really think about them can they be considered true, and should I be using statements like that ... which in turn lead me to the post above. I thought it would be interesting to see if anyone else caught themselves doing that and what they thought.

    lobster
  • Critical thinking calls for the ability to:

    Recognize problems, to find workable means for meeting those problems
    Understand the importance of prioritization and order of precedence in problem solving
    Gather and marshal pertinent (relevant) information
    Recognize unstated assumptions and values
    Comprehend and use language with accuracy, clarity, and discernment
    Interpret data, to appraise evidence and evaluate arguments
    Recognize the existence (or non-existence) of logical relationships between propositions
    Draw warranted conclusions and generalizations
    Put to test the conclusions and generalizations at which one arrives
    Reconstruct one's patterns of beliefs on the basis of wider experience
    Render accurate judgments about specific things and qualities in everyday life
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_thinking

    Then one can speak. Perhaps using

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Moderator

    Ah, right, @Richdawson , yes, I've got you....

    When I studied to become a Relationships Counsellor, one of the aspects of relationships we were taught to observe, was the manner in which people communicate; there is small debate as to the percentage division of these methods, but it is agreed that the vastly major component of Communication is first and foremost, Body Language, followed by Inflection and lastly, content/vocabulary.
    However, notwithstanding that division, we were advised that although content/vocabulary was the last thing people were attentive to, it packed a powerful punch when combined with the other two... so we were taught to advise our clients or couples, to use language more in the line of "When you do this, I feel...." ('owning' the emotion) rather than "I hate it when you do this...!" (putting it all onto the other person).

    We also used and taught the Speaker Technique, because it's a proven fact that people don't listen to understand, they listen to_ respond_.

    What then happens is that a person hears 'an attack', goes on the defensive, and begins formulating a reply, even before the other person has finished what they were saying, and in fact, often misses a remaining point, or salient comment, so prepared are they to go on the counter-attack....

    lobster
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran

    @Richdawson said:
    I was thinking about how much I have observed statements of this nature recently, and how much I use them myself. It does seem a bit of a challenge to veer away from statements like this when I want to discuss something in writing.

    I have read and been told in teachings on more than one occasion that it is human nature to put people into categories. I think this is very true. The reality is that I do not know anyone else’s mind, and I would not expect for anyone else to know mine.

    When a broad sweeping statement is used, I feel that it automatically becomes exclusive or inclusive depending on how you want to look at it. This of course is based on our own perceptions. However, not being able to know anyone else’s mind how can a statement like that be true? Because of that reason, it would seem that statements of this nature by default could not be “mindful” like they should be.

    Is it a challenge for you? Have you thought about it? Do you do it without realizing you are making those types of statements?

    Anyhoo, I just thought it was an interesting observation, and one worth sharing. Maybe next time you begin to express yourself see if you catch yourself doing it.

    Humans do tend to look for patterns, I think it's partly an evolutionary survival thing, like doing an initial threat assessment. But yes, it's a challenge to keep an open mind. On the other hand I have come to trust my instincts.

    Shoshin
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