AUTHENTICITY & THE BULLSH*T FILTER

The other day, I was discussing the way in which our intuition worked, and talked about the vast background processing capability of our subconscious brains. Well there is another facet of this too, our ability to spot bullsh*t. Of course this is at one end of the spectrum, but it is there to scan for whether we can trust people. It wants to know if we can believe what we are being told or seen. Another way to put it is “Does the audio match the video?”

A lot of you will be familiar with the (mis)quote that we only take 7% of our meaning from the actual words that are spoken (for more on that see this article); however the important thing that this tells us is that all the time we thing we are listening to their words, the rest of our brain is scanning their tone and their body language to see if they are congruent with their words. To take a simple example, if someone says to you that they are “really happy to see you!” and their face has no animation and their voice is monotone, then it is a pretty safe bet there is no excitation taking place. On the other hand, if they sound slightly out-of-breath, perhaps speak in a higher register, appear very animated, possibly have high colour, then we can probably believe them.

So all the time we receive any communication we are running this filter; in addition we have other mechanisms to speed up the process, like “Does this come from a trusted source?” “Is it important anyway?” and a series of other tests that decide how much time and energy we spend on it. For example we will screen & dump most things that come through mechanisms like adverts, but we will listen to our boss more carefully.

So that is how it works and it is almost flawless in its accuracy, so what does this mean to us? Well, this leads me to the conclusion that although most of us spend a lot of our time (and energy) hiding our lights under a bushel, and telling people what we think they want to hear, this is a total waste of our time! Think about it… when we are being incongruent we trip their bullsh*t filters and they screen us out as either ‘Dangerous’ or ‘Irrelevant’. So, in fact we get a lot less of what we want when we don’t have the courage of our convictions and speak our truth. Today, why not take a ‘risk’ or two and play with this and see the difference in the results you get… Good Luck!

“Most people are other people.  Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”  Oscar Wilde

5 Responses to “AUTHENTICITY & THE BULLSH*T FILTER”

  1. angus_w says:

    Richard,

    A very good blog, I mostly agree with what you say, but we move quickly from the unconscious to the conscious and then to the unconscious again, and it works on both blogs and people.

    .i.e. newbie appears – I read blog, it’s an advert at line 2, my sc detects blogvert – result go to next blog

    next day same guy, I read two lines, same motive, so my sc detects blogvert – same result – go to next blog

    next day same guy, my brain now detects same guy, I have to think now and verify that is the same guy – it is – so conscious decision but same result – go to next blog.

    and then very quickly the decision to bin his next blogs (of any sort) becomes unconscious as my brain develops the sub routine. ( I know that if he improves it’s a case of ‘throwing the baby out with the bath water’ but who cares – not me – its not my baby, not my bathwater, not my problem…

    I confess to the same politically, with Brown or Blair, my brain is behaving almost like a google algorithm, but I am tracking only for key words defining and reconfirming the lies. They both make wild promises, which my search ignores, then up comes a claim such as “inflation is now at it’s lowest level and is only 2%”, my brain is now filing this away as surely as an undertaker bangs nails in coffins (deliberate ananlogy) as I know that for many of the poorer people in UK that the real level of inflation that hits them is much much higher, as is indeed the real rate of inflation that hits us all but is less damaging to the better off – so this is real ammunition to fire when the time is right!

    My brain has decided (been trained) that it must only collect negatives about Brown and Blair, and that is because a conscious decison was made by myself some while ago that indeed the pair of them were dishonest and devious, and could not be trusted to run the country, therefore they are the enemy and must be removed by any legal means possible.Why should my brain then use its processing power for anything apart from the original task I set it?

    The above explanation is of course somewhat simplistic, I don’t have time to explain the whole thing, but I hope you get my gist.

    All the best

    Angus

  2. Angus

    Thanks for this great build. My post was simplistic by design. I absolutely agree this is how it works and that is why this is so important; we get a limited time then we get condemned to the virtual Spam bucket!

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