No one sets out to be unpopular, especially when the aim of writing is to get a loyal following. Popularity is easy, just never make any demands on your audience. To be unpopular requires great effort because it is dissent from the opinions of the group. Breaking away from groupthink makes us feel condemned.

You know what it feels like; it’s probably happening right now. That slight discomfort that starts with an almost undetectable stiffening. The lips press together ever so slightly, the eyes narrow, a slight straightening of the spine. But it is in the mind that the attack is most keenly felt, and so little understood. Like a tourniquet to protect you from the flow of new thoughts. Discomfort and anger beginning to swirl into an inarticulate low-pressure zone, as the barometer of what you know to be you – your thoughts, your ideas, your beliefs – your very sense of self begins to drop, and your blood pressure rises in a frenzy to stop this horrible discomfort, and the words rise to your lips and you want to scream “What makes you think you’re better than me!” And slowly, but still with difficulty, the lock on your brain starts to relax and you’ve won again. You have resisted new information and saved your soul from feeling stupid.

But, all is not lost. Some people manage to remain calm in the face of information that enrages them – and sometimes even change their mind.

A guest author at writes that empathy might be the key to navigate contentious issues. So, as you read my quog, act as if you have an affable, empathetic attitude to opinions you disagree with. Your powerful brain can transform your indignant tissue paper thin ego into a resilient and strong Kevlar ego.

You want to be unhampered by fixed ideas. But of course, it’s up to you.

To quote Schopenhauer:

“…we should in every debate have no other aim than the discovery of truth; we should not in the least care whether the truth proved to be in favour of the opinion which we had begun by expressing, or of the opinion of our adversary…Our innate vanity, which is particularly sensitive in reference to our intellectual powers, will not suffer us to allow that our first position was wrong and our adversary’s right.”

Here’s the link to the article from the best brain possible website if you are interested.