(VIDEO) Jordan Peterson's Rule 9: Assume the Person You Are Listening To Knows Something You Don't

Top 3 Post Insights

  1. Meaningful conversations begin with mutual exploration. 2. Real conversations require humility and listening.

  2. Real conversations require humility and listening.

  3. It takes a village to rule a mind, so we have a moral obligation to speak and engage with each other.

Is the art of conversation and listening, a dying art?

Humans are WEIRD. Which should make conversation interesting at the very least.

We’ve got our own complexes, bias’, opinions and knowledge, each unique to our individual experiences. It’s as if the world is this big knowledge bank distributing information through language.

I think conversations should leave you either happier or wiser. To make you laugh or think. It’s this continuous process of learning, about the other person, the world and maybe by talking to others, you also learn a little bit more about yourself.

This chapter helped me understand the value, meaning and moral obligation of engaging in meaningful conversations.

Welcome to Jordan Peterson’s Rule 9: Assume the person you are talking to knows something you don’t.

Ok here are my top 3 learnings.

1.    Mutual Exploration

What exactly is a meaningful conversation?

“Genuine conversation is exploration, articulation and strategizing… (together you’re) trying to solve a problem… all are acting on the premise that they have something to learn.” Pg 233.

It’s this notion of what you don’t know is more important than what you know.

You don’t have to have deep philosophical conversations all the time, because dude sometimes you just want to chill out and watch who is America with your friends. But meaningful conversations take friendships and relationships up to the next level. You know exactly what friends I’m talking about!

Mutual exploration is this mind dance between you and the person or people you’re talking to. Your stretching an idea, unpacking it and trying to pull from what you both uniquely know into some sort of conclusion. Whether it’s replying to a text message, figuring out workplace dynamics or making sense of generational habits in your family.

You might not all come to the same conclusion, but you’re all a little bit more educated to tackle the world.

2.    Humility

Real conversations require humility. Do you want to be right or do you want to be learning?

Some people just want to be right all the time. Sure they might win an argument, but maybe it costs them a friend.

Humility is actually listening to someone, having the decency to think you might learn something from that person.

 It’s this concept of new information, whatever that might be, helps us repair or improve our way of thinking. I found this by listening to podcasts. The more stories I heard about other people’s journeys be it athletes, entrepreneurs, authors or psychologistis, the more knowedge I had about the world and how I might want to act in it.

Next time you say to yourself, ‘here she goes again, complaining about the same damn thing over and over… ‘ just try and listen.’

Papa JP talks about the need to listen to people, learn from their pain. Learn what NOT to do, learn what type of people there are out there, educate yourself about the evil out there so you can identify and steer away from it. Think about what you would do in the situation. Passive preparation. You can become wiser through the good, bad and the boring conversations you come across.

3.    A Moral obligation

Conversations don’t just help you become more articulate, they are also about serving each other:

“People organise their brains with conversation… like hoarders (we) can’t unclutter… the input of the community is required for the integrity of the individual psyche. To put in another way: it takes a village to organise a mind.”pg 250

We go crazy if we don’t speak to people. You never know, you might be the only person that person talks to today. By serendipity, you might be stranger who saves someone from jumping in front of a train next week.   

Papa JP talks about the relationship between thinking and talking. He described thinking as ‘complex, demanding and at times emotionally and physiologically painful,’ to add another layer to this, talking is often the first time we learn to articulate our thoughts – to ourselves and to others.

So no wonder why we it’s confusing to understand what people say at first! We learn by speaking and sharing, but we also have a moral obligation to help others make sense of the mess in their heads. Who knows, maybe it might help you clean out the cobwebs!

TO recap:

1.    Meaningful conversations begins with mutual exploration.

2.    Real conversations require humility and listening.

3.    It takes a village to organise a mind, we have a moral obligation to speak to eachother.


Liz PalComment