Ed and I were looking at Theresa May and the way that she has been getting hammered by her party in the Brexit fiasco. As her bill was defeated by over 200 votes Ed was wondering how it must feel to deal with that level of rejection by your peers. That got us thinking about rejections opposite acceptance. In most situations in life we are either accepted or rejected. It could be in the family, at school, college, work, in relationships and so on. Just how much do we compromise who we are in our drive to gain acceptance and avoid rejection?
I suddenly had this idea. I could remember an airline pilot telling me that they didn’t steer the plane. What they were doing was correcting it’s path as it went off course. Apparently the same thing is true for a ships captain. With both a plane and a ship you point it in the direction that you want to go in. The elements then come into play as wind and air pressure force the plane off course and the tides and current force the ship off course. In both cases the job of the captain is to keep it on course. Therefore they are not steering they are correcting.
That made me think of walking down the corridor in the hospital. Those that I pass make eye contact. Some smile and some say hello. What are we doing? Well, I think that we, just like the captains, are correcting our progress to our destination which is acceptance. In being polite and acknowledging other people I am, in some way, demonstrating that I belong. I am more importantly avoiding rejection.
Through evolution the individuals of almost every species has relied for their safety on belonging to the herd, flock, pack, troop, tribe and so on. In modern times we humans might need to include things like school, university, class, ethnicity, gender, political party, union, profession, and so on. What is it that you do to ensure that you are accepted by your group or groups?
If we look at the behaviour of Trump. It is fairly obvious that he is rejected by many of his own electorate and also many people around the world. So, what’s his driver to behave in such a way? His payoff is the acceptance from his supporters. The people that he wants to be accepted by need him to be objectionable to other people. Strange but true.
Going back to Brexit, we now have the vote of no confidence this evening, we have a direct split across the country to leave or remain, to reject or accept. Acceptance and rejection is the same from whichever side you view it. The thing that we tend to find is that rejection can lead to emotional backlash.
One expectation is that if leave is scuppered or put back to the people for a vote the Brexiteers will feel the full force of rejection and may well react negatively. The same could be equally true the other way around. If the we leave and the remainders feel that it was a lie and a con, their feelings of rejection may also erupt. It sounds dramatic to talk about civil unrest but it could happen. With a split which is around 50/50 people are talking in terms of a civil war.
I guess a democracy works when we respect the will of the people. However, a democracy only works well when the information is transparent and people tell the truth.
However this lands I suspect that we are in for interesting times. Our abilities to deal with rejection and our ability to accept will be pushed to the limit.
Take care and be kind