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Old 29.10.2011, 16:43
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Help me to be less wishy-washy!

Have you ever heard of Aschís conformity experiments? If I had taken part in them, Iíd have been the most comforting participant

Iíve been thinking about decisiveness recently. Iíve been Ďaccusedí a few times of being indecisive and of not having decisive views about anything. I think I have very few firm opinions about anything.
There are a lot of posters on this forum who are so marvellously decisive: they stick to their point of view, no matter what convincig arguments the other side would present.
An example from a recent thread on Christmas decorations in shops appearing in October: At first I was against them and agreed with the OP wholeheartedly. However, after reading a few posts I started to sympathise with the opposite views. Now I donít now what to think any more.
A different conformity experiment came to my mind. In the famous Milgramís experiment I would never have agreed to hurt other people. At least thatís comforting.
Do you often change your mind? How do you react to group pressure? Do you always hold firm opinions about things?
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Old 29.10.2011, 16:52
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Re: Help me to be less wishy-washy!

whether or not you like Christmas stuff in shops at the end of October isn't the same as "which of these other lines is as long as the reference line?".

You can agree with all sides. It's nice buying Christmas stuff, but it is a bit early. The food can be great and comforting when the weather gets cold, but two months of Christmas carols will drive anyone around the bend.

So it's perfectly possible to have both viewpoints depending on your mood at the time! Or even both at the same time. For me, I want the mince pies and christmas pudding with loads of custard, but not the bloody christmas jingles.

As for admiring posters here with strong views who don't change them even when presented with strong opposing evidence ... why copy a character trait which can best be summarised by "stubborn"?

Be wishy washy. As long as you're happy inside, who cares! If you don't have strong feelings about anything you're never likely to get angry at small things. It could make you boring though.
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Old 29.10.2011, 16:53
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Re: Help me to be less wishy-washy!

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I’ve been thinking about decisiveness recently. I’ve been ‘accused’ a few times of being indecisive and of not having decisive views about anything. I think I have very few firm opinions about anything.
I think that many a time this is a sign of intelligence.

Last edited by greenmount; 29.10.2011 at 17:04.
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Old 29.10.2011, 16:55
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Re: Help me to be less wishy-washy!

Oh, I forgot to answer your actual questions:

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Do you often change your mind? How do you react to group pressure? Do you always hold firm opinions about things?
1. Not very often, but I tend not to make as many snap judgements as I did when I was younger, so my opinions are usually based on sound reasoning and hence are correct

2. I laugh at it. I'm confident and a bit arrogant (see above.)

3. Yes, as many things as possible. It amuses me and, hopefully, others!
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Old 29.10.2011, 17:15
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Re: Help me to be less wishy-washy!

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Iíve been thinking about decisiveness recently. Iíve been Ďaccusedí a few times of being indecisive and of not having decisive views about anything. I think I have very few firm opinions about anything.
There are a lot of posters on this forum who are so marvellously decisive: they stick to their point of view, no matter what convincig arguments the other side would present.
Sagitta, I always read your posts with interest. They are nearly always thoughtful,gently supportive and helpful (be they positive or negative). You are admiring traits in others that perhaps you do not have yourself, but it's just a case of the grass being greener on the otherside. Have curly hair? Then'll you'll prefer straight. I would much rather read your reasoned posts than strident, unaltering dogma. Greenmount has a point. To be able to appreciate all sides is a talent that not many have.

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3. Yes, as many things as possible. It amuses me and, hopefully, others!
You certainly do amuse me! Job done there.
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Old 29.10.2011, 17:46
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Re: Help me to be less wishy-washy!

Slightly tangential.....but along the same lines of conformity. If anybody has access to UK TV via a vpn, THIS was a great and slightly disturbing TV show last night with Derren Brown showing how far humans will go if they are an anonymous part of a crowd. Very entertaining, slightly disturbing
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Old 29.10.2011, 17:58
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Re: Help me to be less wishy-washy!

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Slightly tangential.....but along the same lines of conformity. If anybody has access to UK TV via a vpn, THIS was a great and slightly disturbing TV show last night with Derren Brown showing how far humans will go if they are an anonymous part of a crowd. Very entertaining, slightly disturbing
That's very relevant, I think. I've seen a few shows of his and they awoke my interest. He is quite abrasive, though. I bet experimental psychologists hate the guy.
I'd have to see more to form a decisive opinion.
I'll try to get hold of the episode that you mentioned.
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Old 29.10.2011, 18:03
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Re: Help me to be less wishy-washy!

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Do you often change your mind? How do you react to group pressure? Do you always hold firm opinions about things?
I would certainly not use the term Wishy washy. I often change my mind on subjects and if you do that I can't see a problem, it shows that you are open to all aspects.

I know several people who hold firm opinions on things, things are black or white and thats it. Sometimes it could be viewed as arrogance, not being flexible and having to be right - as to step down would be viewed as a weakness
I also think that as we age we change our views - things that I felt strongly on when younger don't interest me.

You are not wishy-washy - you are you.
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Old 29.10.2011, 18:09
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Re: Help me to be less wishy-washy!

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That's very relevant, I think. I've seen a few shows of his and they awoke my interest. He is quite abrasive, though. I bet experimental psychologists hate the guy.
I'd have to see more to form a decisive opinion.
I'll try to get hold of the episode that you mentioned.
The best (and again, most worrying) of his shows I saw was Heist in which is conditioned people to commit armed robbery....again, similar field of conformity

Sometimes he goes beyond the limits of "normal" for TV entertainment - I was quite disturbed when I saw this, but I do think he is a very high integrity guy and I believe him when he says that there are no after effects, but still.

Don't watch if you are sensitive - nothing graphically disturbing, but the premise is a little strong

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Old 29.10.2011, 18:57
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Re: Help me to be less wishy-washy!

Sagitta there is nothing wrong in changing your views after listening to others surely. As you know I often express strong opinions- I was brought up in a family where discussing current issues was the norm, and it's always stayed with me- but I am always very glad to change views if someone makes a very valid point that I wasn't aware of before. Only lemmings never change their mind and look what happens to them. There are some fundamental issues where I suppose I'll never change my mind, like racism or abuse which I hope I'll never come to tolerate.

I for one would love to meet you one day as you sound like a really interesting and caring person. Just be YOU, and stay being YOU. xx

Definitely think the environment you grew up in influences the way you express ideas and opinions. Must say I am very grateful that my childhood was spent in a very mixed family - some Catholics, some Protestants, some very rich, some in the middle, some poor - and with a large immigration into our area. So very early on I realised you just can't please everybody and be everybody's perfect model- by the age of 5 I knew I just had to choose what I wanted to be- and some would approve, and some wouldn't- and that that was THEIR problem not mine. Very liberating even as a young child, and even more by the time I was a (bit wild) teenager and now an excentric granny, lol.
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Old 29.10.2011, 19:11
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Re: Help me to be less wishy-washy!

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Sagitta there is nothing wrong in changing your views after listening to others surely. As you know I often express strong opinions- I was brought up in a family where discussing current issues was the norm, and it's always stayed with me- but I am always very glad to change views if someone makes a very valid point that I wasn't aware of before. Only lemmings never change their mind and look what happens to them. There are some fundamental issues where I suppose I'll never change my mind, like racism or abuse which I hope I'll never come to tolerate.

I for one would love to meet you one day as you sound like a really interesting and caring person. Just be YOU, and stay being YOU. xx

Definitely think the environment you grew up in influences the way you express ideas and opinions. Must say I am very grateful that my childhood was spent in a very mixed family - some Catholics, some Protestants, some very rich, some in the middle, some poor - and with a large immigration into our area. So very early on I realised you just can't please everybody and be everybody's perfect model- by the age of 5 I knew I just had to choose what I wanted to be- and some would approve, and some wouldn't- and that that was THEIR problem not mine. Very liberating even as a young child, and even more by the time I was a (bit wild) teenager and now an excentric granny, lol.
Thank you, Odile. I'm truly touched and the feeling is mutual.
That's my problem, though: trying to please everybody. I have recently started to come to terms with that, hence the idea for this thread.
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Old 29.10.2011, 19:22
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Re: Help me to be less wishy-washy!

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The best (and again, most worrying) of his shows I saw was Heist in which is conditioned people to commit armed robbery....again, similar field of conformity

Sometimes he goes beyond the limits of "normal" for TV entertainment - I was quite disturbed when I saw this, but I do think he is a very high integrity guy and I believe him when he says that there are no after effects, but still.

Don't watch if you are sensitive - nothing graphically disturbing, but the premise is a little strong

I've just seen it and I agree, it's truly disturbing. I'm not sure what he wanted to achieve and I have doubts about there being no after effects. I was terrified as a second hand observer.
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Old 29.10.2011, 19:47
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Re: Help me to be less wishy-washy!

For me, being able to change your mind means you have an open mind. And that is a good thing ! It can be really annoying to talk with somebody who is stubborn and would not consider other opinions as his is always better. You know, the "I am always right/I know everything on everything" kind of person.

I can understand what you mean by pleasing everyone. I think I have the same problem... But I guess that is because we are genuinely nice and sensitive persons And it is good for our karma anyway

Maybe you have a little lack of confidence to sometimes stick to your opinion ?
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Old 29.10.2011, 19:51
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Re: Help me to be less wishy-washy!

Wishy washy is really not a term that applies to you Sagitta.
I would say you question all possibilities and you search explanations.
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Old 29.10.2011, 20:50
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Re: Help me to be less wishy-washy!

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Do you often change your mind?
How do you react to group pressure?
Do you always hold firm opinions about things?
1) No, not quite, but I often have second thoughts.
2) Not well. I'm stuborn, I need explanations and discussions. I would never, for the life of me, change my opinion only because the group said so. I am a good team player but not something one can wipe the floor with.
3) Depends on what sort of things. Things I consider myself knowledgeable, then yes. For things I know I have partial, incomplete or anecdotal knowledge, then no, I am ready to change my opinions any time if I sense the other knows what he/she is talking about.

By the way, the example with Christmas thread decoration or any similar subject is not very relevant, IMHO. I mean, most of the people could change their opinion couple of times during their reading, depending on how attractive would be the choice of words one participant used. At the end of the day, one is more likely to stick to something that really matters.
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Old 29.10.2011, 21:08
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Re: Help me to be less wishy-washy!

Wish- washy is generally a term used for someone who is friendly with you one moment, and then give you the cold shoulder or the silent treatment the next. Changing your opinion is a sign of openness and willingness to learn new things and embrace change. There are some issues I believe one should stick to their guns on so to speak, but ignorance is a disease that can be cured if one is not too stubborn.

I grew up in a household with twelve siblings and two Parents, so the general consensus was to tell the truth, shut up, or " you are going to get it" (from an older sibling, I was number 10 ). I still live by that rule, that if you don't know the truth don't say anything, or tell the truth, but be open to discussion, and you may learn something.

I grew up having to prove myself, since there were so many around, and you didn't want to be the bad guy, but I was always open to change. So you are who you are, so don't try to change because someone else looks or sounds different than you.
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Old 29.10.2011, 21:55
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Re: Help me to be less wishy-washy!

Keeping an open mind is a good thing as is the ability to say that you're wrong about something but, do bear in mind that no matter what point you pick in terms of taking an opinion is that there will always be someone who disagrees or is offended. As the old saying goes, "you can't' please all of the people all of the time..". It's always good to form an opinion but to be open to change...but be prepared to pick a point and stand firm. One thing I learned early as a nerdy type was that I was never going to be one of the popular kids, even when I tried to be just like them...in fact, I think they liked me less knowing I was sucking up. Be yourself and, even if nobody else likes your opinions, you at least can own them and be happy with them.

You should own your own opinions and nobody else...even if they're unpopular. I can always respect someone who owns their opinions, even if I disagree vehemently.
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Old 29.10.2011, 22:57
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Re: Help me to be less wishy-washy!

Mitziem's response is interesting. I wonder if the place one occupies in a line of siblings has an influence on whether they are willing to change their minds, and/or follow an authority figure.

I'm a bit of a willing loner. I rarely, if ever, abide to group pressure and rarely try to integrate.
I'll certainly change my mind if it's worth while, it would be a pity not too.... I'd miss out on learning if I were no longer capable of seeing a different angle and listening.
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Old 29.10.2011, 23:42
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Re: Help me to be less wishy-washy!

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Oh, I forgot to answer your actual questions:


1. Not very often, but I tend not to make as many snap judgements as I did when I was younger, so my opinions are usually based on sound reasoning and hence are correct

2. I laugh at it. I'm confident and a bit arrogant (see above.)

3. Yes, as many things as possible. It amuses me and, hopefully, others!
Sounds like me....
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Old 30.10.2011, 00:05
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Re: Help me to be less wishy-washy!

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One thing I learned early as a nerdy type was that I was never going to be one of the popular kids
Us nerdy kids, we had it tough.

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I'm a bit of a willing loner. I rarely, if ever, abide to group pressure and rarely try to integrate.
Me - in loneliness I wither.

I love all the contributions on this thread. Very inspiring.


Multiple children families are so rare in our culture nowadays. I personally know only two grown women who come from such families and their insights have always amazed me. I like what Mitziem said about telling the truth or shutting up. I think a lot of people in our individualistic culture do not abide by this rule: they express their opinions not because they want to share a certain truth that they deeply believe in, but because they just want to be unique, to disagree with others in order to be noticed. Some people are compelled to constantly disagree because they were not allowed to disagree with their parents when they were young or because they always lost battles with their siblings.
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