Additional Information for Chapter 5, page 71
In the Compatibility Code (page 71) we discuss the issue of the accuracy of your self-generated list of personal qualities. No one sees themselves entirely objectively and it is therefore useful to consider the opinions of others to gain a more accurate picture.
Just as we don’t see ourselves entirely accurately, neither does anyone else. So if Great Aunt Gertrude provides an insight (For sake of example let’s say she says, “You don’t take life seriously enough.”) Now it may be that Great Aunt Gertrude doesn’t think ANYONE takes life seriously enough due to her childhood molding during the depression. In that case, the comment says a lot more about Great Aunt Gertrude than it does about you.
The next possibility is that several people are together as you discuss your list. One person offers that she thinks you are “too egotistical.” Several others nod their agreement. The “nodders” may be afflicted by what is called social desirability bias. We want to seem agreeable, and even if they didn’t think you’re egotistical, they don’t want to conflict with their friend, and, they can justify, you asked for the criticism anyway.
Information from independent sources refers to a situation where you get agreement from several sources, none of whom know each other, and none of whom has heard the opinion of the other person. Despite the perceptual “noise” present in all people, agreement of these unrelated people suggests the validity of their perspective. If these people are quite different from each other (old, young, professional, student, men, women, etc.) their opinion is giver greater weight.
This is when you should take notice and add their insight to your list. You are then in a position to begin to deal with then.