Only What We Want to Hear

It is my experience that many adopt a chase me, convince me, persuade me, prove it to me, attitude. For some reason or other this is what the world must do. It is related to the notion that they are the very epicentre of the known universe and that all the mountains should come to them. They may think that they have criteria for this process.

But actually, they would prefer what it is that they want to hear and only that. This is the basis of sales. If people are presented with a pitch which coincides with what they want, they are more likely to “buy” it, even if this goes against their self-perception. If one is offered an ointment, “Guaranteed to make you look 20 years younger”, one sees the tag line. The small print may say,

“It took 20 years off me, 75% of women agree!”
“In a sample of 20 women 15 agreed.”

We don’t see this stuff because it is not what we want to see or hear. What we like is a nice shiny story, even if it is made up.

Although we might think otherwise we can buy expensive snake oil and be happy as can be. In fact, the more expensive the snake oil, the more likely we are to believe in its efficacy. We could call this the masochism placebo effect. The more it hurts, the better it is for us.

If we don’t want to hear something we won’t listen to it. “Buy this ointment, it might feel nice but has no real effect. But if you want to, you can give us £50 and kid yourself. We don’t mind, please be our guest.”

What I am getting at is that people often prefer gobshite to reality.

Having cued this up:

Is this bloke right, have I ever preferred gobshite to reality?

Do I like to hear only that which I want to hear and nothing else?

How selective is my hearing?