The Nonsensical Guessing Game

You cannot in any way, shape or form KNOW for certain what the motivations and intentions of other human beings are - so I suggest you stop guessing.

I have in many walks of life - whether conceptually categorized as professional life or private life observed a nonsensical guessing game being played in the interactions between human beings.

The Nonsensical Guessing Game - that I refuse to play - since I find it an utter waste of my time - goes something like this (and as other games it has players and rules).

Player 1 (typically the younger, less experienced one is allowed to start when playing board games - while some times older players play this game equally well and start it).

Player 1 exclaims (normally not with Player 2 present unless the game has spun out of control): “Player 2 is an idiot and has evil self-serving intentions” (note: Maybe such a statement can be perceived as labeling, categorizing, passing judgment onto others). “I know this BECAUSE he or she said and did such and such and they did this BECAUSE they have motivations and intentions which they try to hide”.

I cannot count how many times I have observed such exclamations.

Then often Player 3 jumps in and agree with Player 1 and make similar statements about Player 2 (Player 2 is typically not present).

In my view the thinking and logic is fundamentally flawed - and I dislike this behavior - so I do my very best to be conscious about this and refrain from playing along in this particular game.

It is in my view all to easy to fall victim to the cognitive bias of the above Nonsensical Guessing Game which I find destructive.

Here is my thinking and assertions:

  1. It is impossible for me to know the specific individual motivations and intentions of another human being BECAUSE

  2. It is impossible for me to observe what another human being is thinking BECAUSE

  3. Thinking happens in the brain of another human being.

  4. THEREFORE I personally deliberately always assume positive intent and trust other human beings (worst case neutral intent as in they do not care either way).

  5. BECAUSE then I allow them to worst case prove me wrong in putting my trust in them (and I would rather trust someone else than not).

Some would maybe find this naive. I don’t. I think and believe this is a reinforcing virtuous circle and I intent to keep thinking and behaving like this. This is a life choice of mine.

Looking back I am continuously striving to find my why and looking forward I refer to this as my purpose: Trust and Inspire Human Beings so that they may Grow to Live their Purpose.

I am curious what you think?

Could there be a virtuous circle cause and effect logic here? Trust (cause) and Grow to Live Purpose (effect)?

1 Like

It’s interesting to think that all that I think is a construct of my mind. Somehow, we all lapse into this idea that thoughts are something that happens “out there”. Because of this, I Iike your idea, Mark. As we pay attention, so the world manifests for us. If we assume that anything is possible, including the good, I think we ene dup being net winners in the long game as a consequence of that. So, in short, I agree with the logic of your argument. It allows for malevolence, but doesn’t assume it.

This is Pillar #3 of the Theory Constraints:

People are Good

Though I would contend that the applicability of the assumption is directly proportional to the degree of sharing of a common goal. In lack of a common goal, it is entirely possible that people will stab one another in the back.