• Dr. Francis Yoo

Stop calling other people stupid! (re: plandemic reactions)

Plandemic has been this week's COVID related ruckus. Long-story short, a Ph.D with extensive background in science & virology as well as a history and views that are plenty controversial posted a video discussing her COVID conspiracy theories. This sparked an overwhelming response from those that were convinced and swayed by her views as well as from physicians and others that opposed her statements. Her video was removed by various social media and video streaming sites, which caused another wave of overwhelming response. My intention isn't to discuss the specific content about the original content or the many videos, articles, and social media discussions about this. Other sources are much better for this.

What I want to talk about is people calling each other "stupid, ignorant, dangerous." I have seen plenty of people, including physicians, on social media condemning and yelling at anyone that supports the video of this content. I am all for clarifying facts and earnestly trying to explain things, but putting down someone else does not solve anything, but calling people stupid has two major cons:

1) it makes the person on the receiving end of "you're stupid" more defensive

2) it further divides people with opposing views into "us" and "them"

Both of these then make it less likely for there to be a real dialogue.

Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People (https://amzn.to/2YK4Uaz affiliate link) was published more than 80 years ago but contains ways to effectively communicate with people, especially if they have an opposing view. Instead of attacking someone with your first statement, start with "I agree with you..." This totally throws off the other person because they do not expect it.

For example:

Plandemic supporter: COVID is a conspiracy. I knew it. This video by this virus specialist says so too.

You: I agree with you... (other person is thrown off, follow up with a statement that allows for further dialogue and not yelling at each other). We should see what the virus experts have to say about this. Many infectious disease, public health experts, and virus specialists are saying ...this and that... about COVID.

Calling someone stupid is counterproductive if you are trying to have a real dialogue. Try this "I agree with you" tactic next time you are replying to someone in person or on social media.

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