Challenging others to step outside their comfort zones to consider other possibilities is a radical thing to do in a society which encourages herd mentality with socialised “norms”.
People in different societies will often ascribe to the cultural norms of said society, believing certain beliefs and behaviours are just how things are. For example, consider the controversial issue of circumcision.
The best responses are often the outraged ones as such visceral emotive responses indicate the challenges have made an impact. Defensiveness is designed to protect the self from the stress of stepping outside comfort zones - and remaining there long enough to consider alternate viewpoints and ideas properly.
Remember the circumcision issue I asked you to consider a paragraph ago? What immediately came to mind for you? Most of you would probably have thought of infant boys and penises, because that is what circumcision involves in Western societies. There are other cultures however, where circumcision involves infant girls, young girls and women.
So the point I’m making here is forget norms and the word normal because for as long as we remain attached to the norms socialised into us, we will struggle with radically different ideas and concepts.
So what can you do if you feel challenged?
Don’t Panic: Here is a Towel
First of all, don’t panic. You haven’t done anything wrong (right and wrong are moral concepts and we strive to not make such judgments here).
We are not suggesting you should scrap your position(s) and adopt the one(s) we have put forth in our articles. So you are safe.
We can’t make you do anything, and we have no desire to make you do anything. So you are even safer.
If you are feeling pressured, stressed, threatened, defensive, anxious, or even angry, it would appear the ideas proposed in our articles are stirring up the cauldron that is your skull.
Take a big breath and let us know what you think. Challenge us too. Please keep in mind we will not be able to publish any comments which involve obscene language or personal attacks on the article author.
Don’t be surprised when we ask questions in return. We are aware of societal “norms” and how curiosity killed billions of fictional cats (and yes actual cats too we are sure), but neither point is going to encourage us to stay inside our comfort zones or socialised boxes.