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Common Errors of Dogma

A person can be seen as difficult when he continues to act upon a belief that once worked for him. Life becomes harder and relationships more complicated, yet he refuses to investigate different venues. In spite of a changing technological universe and scientific discoveries, he holds own to his core beliefs and behaviors. Here are some common belief errors that result in dogma.

Using theories as facts: whether personal or professional. Sigmund Freud published his Id, Ego and Super-ego theory as fact. As soon as it was in print, his partners – Carl Jung and Alfred Adler – took opposing views. They each came up with their own theory. Many people have taken as these theories as fact. And so the ruse continues. A person may have some of the truth, but not necessarily all of the truth.

The refusal to acknowledge new discoveries. Many continued to belief that the world was flat even after Christopher Columbus proved the theory wrong. Some postulated the earth as the center of the universe, after Galileo and telescopes proved that the sun, and not the earth, was the central qualifier of the cosmos. A hermit may refuse to believe there is electricity.

Citing an authority figure as absolute. The nurturing of home and the companionship of peers can be wonderful. Beliefs such as “My mother/father/pastor/teacher/boss/friend said it and so it is so!” Error is error regardless of who espouses against it. Conversely truth is truth regardless of who denies it. Truth need not be defended.

Going with the flow. “Can a million people be wrong?” Yes, they can. This argument appeals to the sheep mentality of blindly follow a leader or creed. Thinking as a group is dangerous. Truth easily becomes watered down. Groups are more immoral than individuals. Think things through: become your own person in charge of your own mind and choices.

The more we have communication devices, the less we communicate. Listening to devices and/or multi-tasking make us double-minded and unstable. It puts us in constant partial attention. The stress associated with lack of focus lends to a sense of constant crises. It fosters a lack of commitment. Constant access to everyone makes you inaccessible to what really matters.

Failure to think it through. People often speak dogmatic non-truths because of impulsive responses or lack of thinking. They speak too hastily or answer too quickly. Think before you speak in order to avoid non-truths.

Value the dogmatic people in your life and respond to them gently. Every encounter between two people involves both people. The breakdown in relationship is always communication. When the talking, understanding and caring stops, the relationships is imperiled. Care enough to respectfully counter the dogma with something like, “Really? I don’t see it that way.” Suggest a news article to them or watch the discovery channel together. Allow the person to change his mind.

Mona Dunkin is a Motivational Speaker, Corporate Trainer and Personal Success Coach.
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