Friday, May 15, 2015

Podcast of the Week (5/10 - 5/16, 2015) You Are Not So Smart on Rejection, Changing People's Minds

**UPDATE 5/29/2015 The research underlying the topic of the second episode, on attitudes toward gay marriage changing with contact from persuasive argument from an advocate, has gotten criticism and the article itself has been retracted by Science Magazine due to questions about the integrity of the data and findings.***

David McRaney hosts You Are Not So Smart, also the title of his first book. He has two recent episodes that were very thought-provoking.

The first is "Overcoming our irrational and sometimes crippling fear of rejection with Jia Jiang." Jiang learned to get over the fear of rejection by practicing being rejected at least once a day for 100 days and posting all the events on YouTube. He discusses "rejection therapy," how to handle rejection, and how to gracefully reject others' ideas without rejecting the person. He has published a book on the experience and has an interesting website,

This brings to mind the "coffee challenge" that I also heard on a recent Tim Ferriss podcast. Wherever you next buy coffee, ask for a 10% discount. Just because. It will move you out of your comfort zone, allow you to practice being rejected, and be surprised at the discounts you get just by asking. (Might help your chances if you use cash, just sayin'.)

The second is in the same vein, "Contact: The power of disclosure to reduce prejudice, shift attitudes, and change minds forever."
This looks at research on changing peoples' minds, specifically in terms of gay marriage. McRaney follows a movement of "professional mind-changers" in the LGBT movement who spend time in Mississippi. McRaney records his experience in a Baptist church and interviews an ex-pastor who came out of the closet and now works to convince others of his cause. I think this has huge implications for personal evangelism. I'm currently reading Crucial Conversations and the psychological research highlighted in this podcast has much overlap with that book.

Enjoy, and learn something.

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