(#447) Resistance Bubbles

How do we get the two groups to the table to capitalize on
the 10% they agree on—to start a conversation and maybe educate one another to each resistance bubble’s beliefs and core values?
Is this a worthy goal—and, is it possible?

In my book, Community as a Safe Place to Land (scheduled for release in January 2019), I pose the following:

If we surround ourselves with a community of people who believe as we do (politically, socially, nutritionally, economically, or religiously) can it be inclusive?  Or, because we live in a diverse community (politically, socially, nutritionally, economically, or religiously) does that make it inclusive? And if it is inclusive, can it be a gathering of like-minded individuals? Or do we, within a community, still segregate ourselves into smaller like-minded groupings—smaller like-minded sub-communities? Is inclusiveness an idealized goal within a diverse community?

Or as one reviewer of this book offered, “Inclusivity is the practice of including people beyond comfort or like-ness. The only like-mindedness of inclusive folks is to be open to others.”

A recent podcast episode (November 20, 2018) of Insights at the Edge introduced me to the concept name of “Resistance Bubbles.” Vann Jones, the guest, challenged the listeners to get out of their resistance bubbles—those like-minded groupings where all comes down to “us, good” and “them, bad.”  Jones puts it this way,

Rather than me  living in a world where every time I go on my social media feed and it’s all just offering reinforcement of me by people who think my way and giving me that sense of righteousness, a cheap sugar rush…I see how all sides respond….Over time, you develop a tolerance and better understanding of the range of responses….We have to build up the capacity to hold a lot of different kinds of views…It’s a discipline.

If we stay with like-minded folks only, Jones argues, we then wakeup in a resistance bubble [go to the 7:55 mark for the introduction of the concept name]. Surrounded by all that makes us comfortable; all that agrees with us.

Saying we are inclusive and diverse and living it can be two different sides of the coin.

How do we break out of—or at least venture a little way from—our own resistance bubbles? Is it possible for us learn from those housed in other resistance bubbles? Is there any common ground? Or are the lines so rigid there is no crossing? If the lines are that rigid, do we then become entrapped within our own bubble?

Let’s say with have two community groups (two resistance bubbles) who disagree on most issues. In fact, ask their opinions and you will find that 90% of the time they are on polar extremes of the issue. Rather than considered conversation, we hear cacophonous diatribes. But there is that 10% of the time that they can find common ground. The decibel level decreases and they (almost) listen to one another.

I would appreciate your considered insights to this:  

How do we get the two groups to the table to capitalize on the 10% they agree on—to start a conversation and maybe educate one another to each resistance bubble’s beliefs and core values? Is this a worthy goal—and, is it possible?

Podcast Recommendation of the Week:

Click here to listen to the podcast “Breaking Out of Our Resistance Bubble.”

For more about community building and sustainability,
look for my new book,
Community as a Safe Place to Land,

due out the beginning of 2019. More information to come.

Make it an inspiring and grateful week and H.T.R.B. as needed.

For information about and to order my most recent book, Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island, click here. A few colleges and one state-wide agency have adopted it for training and coaching purposes. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same.

The paperback price on Amazon is now $14.99 and the Kindle version stands at $5.99. Consider it for a faculty orientation or a mentoring program. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.

My podcasts: The Growth and Resilience Network® (http://stevepiscitelli.com/media-broadcast/podcast).

My programs and webinars: website (http://stevepiscitelli.com/programs/what-i-do) and (http://stevepiscitelli.com/programs/webinars).

About stevepiscitelli

Community Advocate-Author-Pet Therapy Team Member
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9 Responses to (#447) Resistance Bubbles

  1. pruette44 says:

    I haven’t really thought much about the subject matter….. from day to day, we should strive to be a beneficial presence to those around us….we should always work to find common ground.
    Let us all go to the beat of a different drummer but always be considerate of others. But too many get into a bubble and follow the crowd…..my opinion.
    Does it really matter if we are inclusive or aren’t?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the feedback, Harriette. I think that was Jones’ point in the podcast: We get caught up in the comfort (?) of the bubble that agrees with us/doesn’t push us. “Inclusive” may have become so used that we might be at a point that people don’t hear it any more. How much thought do people give to the concept and its definition. My guess is that most of us might not be very inclusive with our definition of inclusive. The question, in my mind, still remains: How do we get beyond the lack of consideration/the yelling/the lies/the misrepresentation/the lack of understanding–and have a real conversation?


  2. Marilyn Cannata says:

    Hey Professor what a wonderful world that would be! We are all different but that doesn’t mean we can’t get along. Give ” Peace a Chance “

    Liked by 1 person

  3. @StevePiscitelli I have just written a post starting to explore building bridges between polar opposites as well as between differing groups in general. The post focuses on vegans and climate activists working together more. From a diplomatic and strategic perspective, I would suggest that it is easier for bubbles that have only 40% difference in perspectives to see eye to eye first of all (for instance vegan climate activists and meat eating climate activists). Ideally, once one had had experience witnessing / facilitating communications between such groups of only 40% difference, for example, then the harder work of building bridges between ‘90% different’ groups, as you conceived it, could become easier. In other words, build consensus and relationships one group at a time, but start with the groups that are most similar to each other. My post is here: https://grist.org/article/risks-of-domino-effect-of-tipping-points-greater-than-thought-study-says/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the feedback. As we (those of us who want to have a considered conversation) figure this out, your point is well-taken: step by little step with groups we have more (?) in common with. That could help, at the least, get the conversation started and moving along, with less chance of being derailed early on in the process.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks. Yes, and then the larger consensus of communities you have, potentially the easier it could be to bring on side into conversation communities that seem to operate by values along way from the consensus you’ve created. Strength in numbers. You would be listened to, at least, by virtue of the size and consensus you had already achieved before approaching the more ‘difficult’ communities. (I know my phrasing of this whole issue is problematic, I was aiming for ‘them and them’ objective analysis, not ‘us and them’, but anyway I think you understand me.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: (Issue #477) Call-Out Culture: Increasing Understanding or Volume? | The Growth and Resilience Network®

  5. Pingback: (Issue #557) Agree to Disagree: A Conversational Fire Extinguisher? | The Growth and Resilience Network®

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