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No matter where you stand on so-called “cancel culture” stuff, new results from a study by Crucial Learning show that “a shocking 9 out of 10 people have felt emotionally or physically unsafe to speak their mind more than once in the past 18 months,” according to PRNewswire.  

While Americans place high value on their Constitutional right, “freedom of speech,” we are disinclined to share our opinions, in a social environment which is increasingly hostile to differing opinions.

The two topics we’re most intimidated to talk about are politics, social issues and the pandemic.

However, it’s mostly coming from a good place.  Most people want to respect each other’s right to their opinion; but they just do not want to create conflict with unnecessary or unproductive argument.  After all, one of the tenets of considerate behavior is that “it’s not good manners to push political or religious debate at a social event.”

In the last year-and-a-half, 47% of us have avoided someone, so our opinions wouldn’t clash . . . 19% have pretended to agree with a statement we disagreed with . . . and 14% have stopped talking to someone we didn’t see eye-to-eye with.

PRNewswire adds:  “The study of more than 1,300 people found that instead of voicing their opinions or concerns, respondents are resorting to a host of unhealthy behaviors that are crippling constructive dialogue and driving viewpoints farther apart.”  These behaviors include:

  • Staying silent but feeling inauthentic (65 percent)
  • Avoiding people (47 percent)
  • Silently fuming and stewing (42 percent)
  • Ruminating about all the things they’d say if they had the courage (39 percent)
  • Faking agreement (19 percent)
  • Severing relationships (14 percent)
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