Spence: Dealing with Prejudice

We are going through Gerry Spence’s very interesting book “How to Argue and Win Every Time” and have reached  the chapter that deals with prejudice.

Gerry starts off this chapter this way

Peeping into a prejudiced mind is like opening the door to a room packed to the ceiling with junk.

There is no  room for any new information that would challenge the prejudice. And we all have prejudices – lots of them. They arise from many sources. the best way to see a prejudice is by placing people in a “cluster”. For example, bankers tend to share many of the same prejudices. Preachers do as well. You learn about these through experience with people – and gaining that experience is highly valuable.

How do you deal with prejudice in the OTHER? You might be able to help a person overcome prejudice by showing it is in their self-interest to do so. But at the end of the day, you will not persuade someone to set aside a prejudice using logic or argument alone. That is a waste of time and effort. Winning in this case — achieving what you want in life — may dictate just politely listening and moving on.  Or if you want to fight a social prejudice, be prepared that the fight will not be easy.

Next – the power of words! Stay tuned!


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