There are certain people I know (who shall remain nameless) that I have to work at to be around. They require me to expend a good deal of energy to be around them for any length of time. I’ve been thinking about that lately, trying to pinpoint exactly what my problem is with these people. And I think I’ve figured it out – what they say they believe and how they act are two different things. I could have a little more respect for how they act if they were honest about why they behaved that way – i.e., “I hold the social/economic/political positions I do because those work out best for me,” rather than, “Jesus holds the same social/economic/political positions as I do, therefore I’m right.”
What that is, is cognitive dissonance. “Dissonance is aroused when people are confronted with information that is inconsistent with their beliefs. If the dissonance is not reduced by changing one’s belief, the dissonance can result in misperception or rejection or refutation of the information, seeking support from others who share the beliefs, and attempting to persuade others to restore consonance.” I’m treading on unsafe ground here because there are times when I am dissonant myself.
And then it hit me – this is kinda what horses feel when they are around people who project one set of emotions but act with a totally different set of behaviors. I wrote a little about that before, here. But I got a better insight into this the other day. I like these people, I want to get along with them, but I end up thinking to myself, “Oh, please!” and I’d rather just be someplace else. It’s more peaceful that way.
So that is how Angel feels when I am not consistent within myself when I’m working with him. Yuck. I don’t want him to experience that on my account. Something for me to be very aware of as we move into winter training and closer quarters.