When someone in authority says jump do you,

a) ask “How high?”

b) just jump

c) ask “Who the hell are you to tell me to jump?”

d) look around confused, but jump anyways

If your answer is a, b or d you might want to keep reading.

We have been conditioned, trained, brainwashed or emotionally/intellectually whipped to respond without question to ANYONE in authority…even bank tellers.

Sad but true. If they are civil servants aren’t they supposed to be serving you? Why do we let them boss us around? See above.

If you would like to reprogram your automatic slave response and re install the “master” attitude you might want to visit this info. Have fun….its a start!

Maybe its time to wash your brain clean of the “authority programming”?

One key way to begin is the “search for meaning”.

Who am I? Why am I here? What is it all about?

We have been sold a pack of “stories”, “lies”, “fictions” about life and society that traps us into an idea of who we are and our role in the world for the benefit of a system that is run by an elite group of people who claim power over us (at least that is the story many people tell and live).

“Know thyself” is an ancient guiding principle to begin your real journey in life. Below is a movie that offers some ideas on you, the world and questions that may lead you to knew understandings, maybe not. You may find the ideas and philosophies challenging, I don’t agree with everything it proposes, but it’s interesting to explore and consider new ways of evaluating and understanding…Who am I? Why am I here? What is it all about?

Below the movie are some excellent ideas that may help you break self defeating ideas in interaction with society and others.

Have fun, it really is about the journey….so enjoy it, as soon as possible.  🙂

The Collective Evolution II: The Human Experience | OFFICIAL RELEASE 2011

Subscribe to Our YouTube Channel

 

Dealing with Authority Figures, Sharon Presley PhD 28:31
http://www.veoh.com/browse/videos/categ … 83FEPn9KSrDr. Sharon Presley has a Ph.D.(www.sharonpresley.com/) in social psychology from the City University of New York Graduate Center where her mentor was Dr. Stanley Milgram, author of the classic STANDING UP TO EXPERTS AND AUTHORITIES.
Here’s the outline of her book:
STANDING UP TO EXPERTS AND AUTHORITIES:
How to Avoid being Intimidated, Manipulated and Abused
PART I: Spotting Manipulation, Intimidation and Abuse
Chapter One: Seduction of the Situation:
How Factors in the Situation Unconsciously Take Your Power AwayBe Smart: Don’t Be Hoodwinked by Credentials
· Is the person really an expert?
· Is the credential relevant?
· Is the credential meaningful?Separate the Message from the Messenger:
· Are you letting the person’s appearance dazzle you?
How to avoid letting gender, clothing, tone of voice, attractiveness, and body language color your responses to authorities· Do you fall for ideology over content?
Thinking critically about what the person is saying, rather than if you like them or not

Think Things Through: Don’t Passively React
· Are you automatically responding the way you were taught?
· Do you have doubts but ignore them?
· Do you go along to avoid being rude?
· Do you let yourself be overcommitted?

Chapter Two: Do Think Twice, It’s Alright:
Disenpowering Techniques that Sidetrack Your Thinking

· Spotting Emotional Manipulation and How to Avoid Falling For It
· Recognizing and Rejecting Pseudoreasoning
· Thinking Critically about Evidence

Chapter Three: We Know More Than You So Shut Up:
How The Experts Try To Convince You They Are Authorities

· What the Experts Use Against You
What they say and don’t say:
They use jargon and mystifying technical language
They give you some, but not all, the information you need
They make the simple seem complex and incomprehensible
They present ideas and opinions as if they were indisputable truths
They tell you to leave it to them because they are the experts
They claim that what you want them to do is not their responsibility

What they do and don’t do:
They are unwilling to listen to you
They don’t answer your questions
They transform what you say into “proof” that you are bad, crazy or wrong
They change the rules as they wish but pretend rules are absolute and unchangeable

PART II How to Deal with Experts and Authorities

Chapter Four: From Victim to Warrior
How To Question Experts And Stand Up to Authorities

Steps for dealing effectively with authorities
· Recognizing the right to question experts
· Preparing a list of questions
· Clarifying what questions are to be answered
· Disarming the expert
· Taking notes
· Ask to explain jargon
· Ask for written information
· Take time to think
· Consult with others
· Look for bias
· Consider other options

Chapter Five: Sit Up, Stand Up for Your Rights:
How to Be Assertive Without Being Aggressive
· Identify what’s important to you
· Apply assertiveness techniques
· Seek allies
· Exit the situation if necessary

Chapter Six: How to Argue Effectively
· What arguments work and what don’t
· Techniques for turning “no” into “yes”
· Reasoning with irrational people

Chapter Seven: Don’t Trust Me: I’m A Doctor:
Questioning Professional Experts
· Standing up to physicians, psychologists, lawyers, insurance companies, etc.
· Applying techniques using specific anecdotes

Chapter Eight: I am Not a Number:
Questioning Bureaucracies and Institutions
· How to deal with mind-numbing, uncaring bureaucracies
· Reasoning with irrational people in bureaucracies

Chapter Nine: Don’t Take This Job and Shove It:
Dealing with Bosses
· Reasoning with irrational bosses
· Asking for raises
· Coping with Evaluations

Chapter Ten: All the News That’s Not Fit to Print:
Thinking Critically about the Printed Word
· How to spot pseudoreasoning and other kinds of disinformation and biases in TV news, magazines, ads, self-help books, and the Internet
· How to avoid media seduction

Chapter Eleven: Saying Yes to Reason:
When It Is Appropriate To Obey Or Accept Authority

· When it is practical to obey or accept
· When it is reasonable to obey or accept
· When it is moral to obey or accept

Chapter Twelve: Won’t Get Fooled Again:
Wrap-up and suggestions for the future

© Copyright 2003 by Sharon Presley

 

Here’s the Introduction to the book:

Standing Up to Experts and Authorities:
How to Avoid Being Intimidated, Manipulated, and Abused 

Introduction/Preface

Every individual has the power to think for him- or herself, the power to stand up to experts and authorities when needed. But the experts and authorities can take your power away by manipulating, bamboozling and seducing you. Examples are everywhere: Experts dazzle you with jargon and mystifying technical language. Physicians won’t answer your questions or they tell you to leave it to them because they are the experts. Officials cloak themselves in the trappings of authority, using uniforms or fancy settings to cow you. Bureaucrats give you the run-around. Clerks say it can’t be done. Bosses expect you to help them cheat. Co-workers harass you. Talk-show hosts or authors claim they are experts merely because they have Ph.Ds. Smooth-talking salespeople trick you with persuasive selling techniques. A committee chair bamboozles you into working on a committee you don’t really have time for. Politicians seduce you to their point of view with sly imagery that plays with your emotions. The examples are nearly endless. If you don’t recognize what they are doing or know how to stand up to them, they’ve got you.

Being manipulated and bamboozled can happen to anyone. Uncritically going along with authority and experts is easy. All kinds of people do it, including smart people. This book can change that. You can earn to be more mindful of what experts and authorities say. You can learn techniques for spotting and avoiding manipulation by experts, for avoiding the “seduction of the situation,” and for standing up to unjust authority. You’ll get guidelines on how to spot situational factors that affect you when you don’t even know it. You’ll learn how to avoid playing the passive role in a power relationship and how to avoid going along with the crowd. You’ll read about positive strategies for making yourself less vulnerable beforehand to the pressures of authority and persuasion. You’ll learn to take back your power.

Your first and most important tool is becoming aware of how both social and personal factors unconsciously influence you to go along with alleged experts or self-styled authorities. Some of the social influences that can affect you without you being aware of it include titles (e.g., Dr. or Professor), clothes (e.g., uniforms or lab coats), or appearance (e.g., attractive people). Unconscious or unquestioned assumptions that you hold may justify uncritically obeying authorities or going along with experts. Unquestioned, unacknowledged scripts that many of us play out in relationships such as doctor-patient, employer-employee may make us more vulnerable to being manipulated. Personal factors may make you more vulnerable to the pressure of authorities and experts. Lack of self-confidence, childhood parental messages telling you not to question, or feelings of helplessness can erode your ability to stand up for yourself.

In this book, we’ll also look at specific settings in which authorities or experts can bamboozle you, including institutions (e.g., schools, bureaucracies), the workplace [e.g., troublesome bosses, asking for a raise], media (e.g., news programs, magazines, ads, self-help books), services (e.g., medical care, repair and sales people), and interpersonal relations (e.g., friends and family). We’ll explore standing up for your rights and the rights of others with the police, IRS, and other government agencies. Real-life anecdotes will show you how people have been bamboozled and how some of them have successfully avoided being taken in by experts or have been effective in standing up to authorities. You’ll read about practical, concrete steps for interacting critically with experts and for standing up to unjust authorities. Since in real life we don’t always succeed, you’ll also see some examples of efforts that have failed in spite of good efforts and even a few that deservedly failed because the person was wrong. In real life, we aren’t always right or deserving of what we ask for, alas, and we need to recognize that too.

What This Book is Not

Let me say a few words about what this book is not. It is not a book about getting whatever you want regardless of merit. It is not a book about how to run over other people’s rights or how to manipulate them. It is not intended for those who feel they are entitled to anything they want because they want it. It is not intended for bullies, whiners, and chronic complainers who just want to get whatever they can get. This book is intended for those who have legitimate gripes, reasonable questions, and sensible issues. It’s for those who may be treated unfairly because they don’t know how to deal effectively with authority.

Unfortunately, there are no easy guidelines to separate the legitimate wheat from the merely demanding chaff. I do know that being fair and observing the rights of others makes for a better world. I also think being fair is ultimately more practical and effective in the long run and often in the short run. I hope that my readers will agree that being fairstanding up to authorities and questioning experts only when your issues are reasonable and justifiableis a desirable and morally appropriate course.

A Critical Tool: Critical Thinking

Another important tool to help you deal effectively with experts and authorities is critical thinking. “Critical thinking,” say Brooke Noel Moore and Richard Parker, authors of the textbook, Critical Thinking,” is the careful, deliberate determination of whether we should accept, reject, or suspend judgment about a claim and of the degree of confidence with which we accept or reject it.” Regardless of the situation, applying the principles of critical thinking can help you sort out the real from the false, manipulation from facts, inappropriate pressure from simply good advice. You won’t always be right. You’ll sometimes make mistakes. But making your own decisions based on critical thinking, even if you’re wrong, strengthens you psychologically and makes you better able to withstand pressures from authorities and sharper at spotting expert bamboozling.

A Word on Definitions

Many people use the terms “expert” and “authority” interchangeably but while the terms overlap, they don’t actually mean the same thing. Sociologist Robert Bierstedt makes an important distinction that I think is a useful one. Experts, he says, use persuasion. He points out that expertiseskill and knowledge in a particular areais something we are free to accept or not. Authority, however, uses coercion. Authorities are those who have power over us whether we agree to it or not, for example, government bureaucrats or police officers. So, we may say, for example, that Omar Sharif is an authority on the game of bridge but what we really mean is that he is an expert. A person can have authority without being an expertneed I say, for example, that government bureaucrats often fall into this category? On the other hand, experts may not have authority in the sense of power. Therefore, I will continue to use the phrase “expert and authorities” rather than just collapsing them into one and will, in some cases, treat them differently. The techniques we may wish to use in dealing with experts, though overlapping, are not necessarily always the same ones we may use with authorities.

Go for it

Armed with new awareness and practical techniques, you’ll have the weapons you need to stand up to unjust or unhelpful authorities and not be the victim of “expert” advice that isn’t right for you. You have the power to take control of your life. You have the power to just say no to bad advice, pressures to conform, or demands for inappropriate obedience. When they tell you that you have to do it their way, you can seize your power, say “sez who?” and get away with it.

And if you want to know more about Moral Relativity (Sharon bases your rights upon “Morality” – so we’d better get hip to those theories too), a great interview on the subject can be heard here:

Steven Lukes PhD
http://sociology.fas.nyu.edu/object/stevenlukes
http://www.againstthegrain.org/program/ … relativism
If we find another society’s cultural practices repulsive or inhumane, can we condemn those practices as morally wrong? Or is it presumptuous and ethnocentric to do so? In a new book, Steven Lukes explores the terrain of moral relativism and highlights efforts to identify moral norms and values that transcend nation and culture.

Resources for Critical Thinking:

Thinking Critically about Authority
http://www.rit.org/essays/

One of RIT’s specialties is critical thinking about authority. Though certain political groups may promote resistance to political authority and other groups, such as skeptics, ask you to question many areas of popular thought, we know of no other group that is pursuing, as a major objective, critical thinking about authority per se from a nonpartisan, psychological perspective. Toward this end, we are developing resources to be placed on this new page within our web site. Watch for frequent new arrivals.

ESSAYS

How to Avoid being Manipulated, Bamboozled and Seduced by Experts and Authorities
http://www.rit.org/critical/nomanip.html

Positive Things You Can Do to Be Less Vulnerable to Influence and Authority
http://www.rit.org/critical/things.html

Books Critical of Authority:

Review of The Guru Papers
http://www.rit.org/reviews/guru_ppr.html

Books that Question Authority
http://www.rit.org/catalog/books/social_influence.shtml

 

How to Avoid Being Manipulated, Bamboozle
and Seduced by Experts and Authorities

by Sharon Presley, Ph.D.

Thinking Critically: Ask Yourself Questions

The following suggestions are based on what social psychologists have learned about social influence and obedience and resistance to authority.

Don’t let others define the situation for you. Ask yourself:

· Is this person really an expert?

Advertisements often include obvious examples of “experts” who aren’t really experts (“I’m not a doctor but I play one on TV”) but there are many other examples of people who make pronouncements without sufficient expertise. A degree in one area doesn’t necessarily mean expertise in another, for example, an M.D. who gives psychological advice.

· How truthful can you expect this person to be? Does he or she have a vested interest? Does the authority, institution or publication have a hidden agenda?

Moral justifications for war given by politicians often cover up economic interests; people pushing a particular social issue aren’t always objective about the evidence; people who want you to join their group may only tell you want you want to hear.

· Is the authority asking me to do something that troubles me, that I have doubts about, or where there are unanswered questions??

People living in the Nevada nuclear test range area were concerned but the authorities refused to warn them of the danger so they remained; physicians sometimes make mistakes in medication prescriptions or in diagnoses. You may have side effects from a drug or are unsure about a surgical procedure but are reluctant to ask questions.

· Is the person or authority asking me to go against my own values or conscience?

Would the actions advocated be considered immoral or inappropriate in another situation or in a private context (if a government demand)? Will my behavior or assent result in harm to innocent people?

Sales managers often ask clerks to use deceptive sales practices; killing goes on in war that would be considered monstrous (like the My Lai massacre) if done by private citizens.

· Is the authority demanding unquestioning obedience or attacking anyone who dissents?

Cult groups may tell you must trust their guru or you are not worthy; political groups may demand “political correctness” or you will be vilified; religious groups may tell you you’re a sinner or “evil” if you don’t agree with their point of view.

· Is the person or authority using mind control tricks or manipulation? Is he or she using emotional reasoning? Pushing an “us” vs. “them” perspective?

Is the person or authority appealing to ugly impulses or fears that encourage you to put others in an out-group that will suffer?

Calls for restricting immigration often take this form, with hidden racism at their core; demands for harsh punishment against real or imagined infractions of social rules are often cover-ups for personal inadequacies.

· Am I letting myself be taken in by extraneous trappings like fancy title, clothing or setting?

Am I letting myself be swayed by a person’s Ph.D. even though it may be irrelevant or the person isn’t being sensible? Do I respond favorably (and uncritically) to a well-tailored business suit, an impressive uniform, or a prestigious institution without looking more closely at the message? Or am I rejecting the person just because s/he doesn’t have a fancy credential without investigating whether they have appropriate experience or knowledge gained in other ways?

· What are my own motives for responding favorable to this authority or person (if I am)? Am I letting him or her define the situation because I’m too lazy or too fearful or too anxious to think for myself?

It’s a lot easier to just accept the TV news at face value rather than reading opinions in diverse publications; going against the boss might cost my job; objecting to the illegal shenanigans of my “friends” might make them dislike me (do I need friends like that?)

Separate the message from the characteristics of the person trying to persuade you. Look for discrepancies between the words and actions of the person.

Ask yourself:

· Am I responding favorably because I like them or like their looks?

Advertisers exploit the halo effect of attractive appearance. We may be less critical of our friends than others.

· Am I responding to this person – either negatively or positively – because of their ideology or reputation, without looking more carefully at what they’re actually advocating or saying?

Regardless of ideology, no one is necessarily right – or wrong – all the time. Feminists may reject Rush Limbaugh but not be critical of Gloria Steinem. Conservatives may do the opposite just as a knee-jerk reaction. Neither may really be looking carefully at the message.

· Am I ignoring hypocrisy or troubling behavior because I like the person or agree with them on other issues?

Politicians ignored warning signs about the authoritarian behavior of Jim Jones and the result was the tragic mass suicide in Guyana.

Some fundamentalist evangelists profess Christianity and presumably, the Golden Rule, but preach hatred of others who are “sinners” and advocate intolerance.

Some conservatives who profess individualism and individual rights advocate serious infringements on personal liberties. Some liberals who profess compassion and concern are now advocating punitive “law and order” bills.

Don’t just passively react. Be aware of the irrelevant factors in the situation that could unconsciously influence your behavior. Ask yourself:

· Am I being taken in by trappings and symbols that evoke emotional responses or lull me into a false sense of complacency?

Uniforms have the power to elicit obedience, even when the request is inappropriate or immoral. Do you look beyond the police uniform, the priest’s robe, the repairman’s garb to look at the actual message?

Clothing and appearance have more impact than we realize. Would you defer to someone in a expensive business suit because you unconsciously assume that their presumed status means they know what they’re talking about? Do you automatically trust people who dress like you or who have a “normal appearance” without considering whether their request is inappropriate or even dangerous? (Rapists often have “normal appearances”). Do you automatically reject people who look and dress differently from you?

· Am I going along in a situation that I’m uncertain about or have doubts about just because everyone else is? Do they really know more than I do or are they just as uncertain?

The behavior of other people in the situation affect us in both conscious and unconscious ways, as many social psychology experiments have shown. Don’t fall victim to the fallacy of “social proof.” e.g., in an ambiguous situation, looking around to see what everyone else is doing. They may not know any more than you!

· Am I passing the buck and giving responsibility for the outcome to someone else? Am I thinking about the consequences of my actions? What will happen to others? To me?

Lots of people say, “I don’t want to get involved.” Kitty Genovese was stabbed to death outside her apartment building in Queens, NY over a period of half a hour while 38 ordinary people who “didn’t want to get involved” watched from their windows. They all assumed someone else was calling the police.

· Am I letting myself be pressured into a commitment or action-decision before I’m really ready or while I’m under pressure?

High-pressure salespeople try to get people to sign on the dotted line before they walk out the door.

· Am I letting labels imposed by the authority or another person cloud my judgment?

Labels that dehumanize or put others in a category that can be viewed as negative can evoke automatic “knee-jerk” responses (e.g., not just obvious ones like “wetback’,” “honkey,” and “nigger,” but “illegal immigrant, ” “airhead,” “women’s libber,” “radical,” “girl,” or “sexist pig”)

· Am I getting submerged in the crowd, letting a feeling of anonymity loosen my normal moral standards?

People will do things in a crowd or when they think no one will notice that they would not do otherwise.

Be sensitive to initially small, trivial steps that can escalate into big commitments.

Beware of “entrapment’

Religious cults start out by asking you to just come to their meeting; then they gradually ask you for more and more time and eventually money too.

Don’t be consistent just for the sake of consistency. Keep the larger perspective in mind.

· Do I find myself in a situation I’m unsure or have serious doubts about but keep on going?

We may have been taught not to be a “quitter.” People in the Milgram shock experiment on obedience to authority got caught up in this idea of “I’ve gone this far, I can’t quit now.” They felt they had to finish the experiment and lost sight of whether the experiment was appropriate. Or we may feel “I don’t want to lose my investment.” This was part of the rationale for staying in the Vietnam War even after it became clear that the war was a bad idea. But if thousands have died, would the death of thousands more make things any better? People stay in bad relationships because of the “investment.” hang-up. Maybe they should be cutting their losses instead!

Don’t react just out of habit. Be willing to question the way things “have always been done.’

Ask yourself:

· Am I just going along with authority because I’ve never thought to question it before?

Do we lack a “language of protest”? We may be so used to doing what authority tells us that we can’t even formulate the issue in terms of a question. We may not even have the words to say to the authority: “There’s something wrong here.” We need to recognize that we have the right to protest when we think something is wrong or inappropriate or immoral. We have the right to ask questions.

· Am I just responding the way I was taught to react to authority by my parents, school, etc.?

“Social programming” teaches us to be “good children” who know our place. It teaches us to be polite, cooperate, never make a scene. We are rewarded for going along with the group.

· Am I going along with the status quo because it’s easier?

Are you unwilling to make waves?

· Am I going along with others (friends, government) say just because I’m being mentally lazy and don’t want to bother to think about the issues?

Do you vote the way your spouse or friends do because you don’t want to take the time to think about the issues yourself?

Question social roles and relationships for hidden assumptions and expectations about authority and power. Ask yourself:

If you answer yes to some of these questions, maybe you are in an unequal power relationship that needs to be questioned.

· Parent-child:

If a parent, do you tell you children to obey you because “I said so”?

· Teacher-student:

If you are a teacher, do you impose rigid rules that discourage dissent and creativity?

If you are a student, do you go along rules or behavior that are inappropriate out of passivity or fear?

· Physician-patient; Therapist-client; Lawyer-client, etc.:

If you are a professional, do you encourage your client to ask questions? Or do you expect deference? If you are the client, do you question advice that is unclear or troubling? Do you seek a second opinion when you have doubts about the advice? Do you change doctors when they treat your in a condescending way or refuse to answer your reasonable questions?

· Boss-employee:

If you are a boss, do you discourage criticism, treat employees with disrespect, or in other ways lord it over them? If you are an employee, do you speak up when something inappropriate is going on?

· Church-member:

Have you thought carefully about your religious views or do you just accept what you’ve been caught without question? Have you thought about whether the principles of your religion really make sense to you? If you are troubled by them, have you explored other alternatives? Does your religion advocate ideas that may result in harm or humiliation to other people simply because their views are not the same as your religion? Does your religion claim that those who disagree with their principles are “evil” or “sinners”? Does it claim that it is the only “one true religion”? Does it insist on behavioral rules that are nothing to do with being kind and compassionate to others (the Golden Rule)? Does it insist on rules that seem to have less to do with thoughtful reverence for life or God and more to do with social control of your personal, private behavior?

· Political group-member:

Does your political group claim it has a corner on the truth? Does it vilify people whose views are different? Does it have a “politically correct” line that must be followed or else?

· Peer or social group-member:

Does your group make fun of members who deviate from their norm whether in ideas or clothes, etc.? Does your group make fun of others outside the group in mean and humiliating ways? Does your group engage in behavior you disapprove of?

· Husband-wife:

Do you accept traditional rules and roles (who makes certain decisions, who does the housework, whose career is more important) without thinking about them? Or do you work out mutually acceptable and beneficial duties and decisions? Are housework and childcare duties unequitably distributed (e.g., the wife does most of the housework and childcare even though she has a job outside the home)?

 

Steps for Dealing Critically With Experts and Authorities 

(based on You’re Smarter Than They Make You Feel by Paula Caplan, Ph.D.)

1. Right to question. If you feel as though you have no right to question the experts, as though you need their permission to do so, ask yourself, “Why do I feel this way?’ Do I feel that it is morally right to grant them (or for them to have) the power to make me feel this way? Would I want them to have such power over my friends or loved ones?

2. List of questions. Before you have an appointment with or write your next letter to authority, make a list of questions that you would like to have answered.

3. What questions answered. At the beginning of your conversation or letter, tell the authority how many questions you would like to have answered.

4. Disarming question. Try to begin by asking a question that you know the authority may be willing to answer and may feel good about.

5. Take notes. As the authority speaks, take very careful notes.

6. Ask to explain jargon. When experts use jargon or say anything you do not understand, continue to take notes and ask, “Would you please explain that in words I can understand?’

7. Ask for written information. Ask for brochures or articles that you can take away with you, so that you can think critically about the issues when you are on your own or with friends or family.

8. Consult with others. Tell friends and family members what the authorities are saying to you,

and have a brainstorming session with them aimed at identifying which questions you need to ask and which ones you have asked but for which you have not received satisfactory answers.

9. Is bias present? When you recount your interactions with authorities to your friends and family, ask them if they hear signs that the authorities are biased.

10. Check for range of options. Check with your friends, other people who have been through the same system, and librarians about the full range of your options.

11. What has to be true? Identify a claim or a piece of advice the authority has given you and ask yourself, “If I were in that authority’s position, what would have to be true for me to make that claim or give that advice?’

12. Is this treatment unfair? If you yourself need help from the system, always ask yourself, “If my parent or child or best friend were being dealt with in this way, would I consider it unfair or biased or cavalier? In what way? Is the authority simply too rushed to give me a full explanation of what is happening, and would I be furious if s/he treated someone I care about in that way?”

13. Watch for lies. Watch for the blatantly false statement.

14. Who else can help? If the authority with whom you are currently dealing is not helping you or is seriously upsetting you, think about who might be more willing to help

15. Inappropriate politeness. Don’t worry about the authorities’ thinking you are too pushy or impolite or simply not very nice for asking questions. If they are treating you badly, whyshould you care what they think of you?

16. Model someone else. When you are feeling too intimidated to ask questions or push for answers, pretend (in your own mind) that you are someone else.

Copyright © 1994, 1995, 1996 Resources for Independent Thinking

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