Jodie Cook

December 16, 2021

Nailing your colours to the mast

Some people support political parties like they support a sports team. Their party can do no wrong. They remain loyal no matter who is in charge or what they say they will do.
 
The devoted supporter is challenged on their beliefs and doesn’t want to show weakness, so defends policies they don’t quite agree with, to save face. The political party, the sports team, the cause; each become part of their identity rather than just something they casually do or think.
 
The same people have opinionated comments on news stories. If they identify strongly with the left, right or centre, they will come at the news from a strong viewpoint, especially if they see it as against what they believe.
 
Nailing your colours to the mast is rarely the best way to be. Fixation on blind loyalty means overlooking parts of a story in a bid to make it fit your narrative. Omission of the parts you agree with for fear of looking inconsistent.
 
Humans want to appear consistent, act based on their identity, and don’t like being seen to change their mind. But changing your mind is something to be proud of, not avoided. “I have new information so I changed my mind” is powerful.
 
The harder you nail your colours to the mast the less wriggle room for changing course. The mast could sink with you still clinging on.

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