Tuesday, December 5
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
It's human nature to become defensive when one's competence or dominance is undermined. It's also human nature for groups to promote those who are most persistent in seeking power, who are often those who fear being powerless and are willing to do short-sighted or unethical things to prevent losing their position in the pecking order. Every social group has something like a pecking order, and those who threaten to shift the power dynamic will always draw attention, whether they do it intentionally or not. People also tend to accumulate subconscious guilt that comes up when they're faced with open criticism. People with a lot of power who repress awareness of their own mistakes or slights against others can become paranoid, quite easily, when challenged. They expect to be treated as they've treated others and must repress that awareness continually, and it's easy for a more objective outsider to unwittingly trigger the defense mechanism. That's one reason group boundaries can be so solid and then suddenly break down.