Noncomplementary Behavior

The best propaganda is not pamphleteering, but for each one of us to try to live the life we would have the world live. –  Gandhi

The saying goes that an eye for an eye leaves everyone blind. A path of vengeance only perpetuates continuing retaliation. If I meet discord with more of the same then I am a complement to discord.  In the field of psychology, a disruption to this monkey see, monkey do behavior is termed noncomplementary behavior – flipping the script and meeting hostility with non-violence and willing understanding.

One may sense that the majority of today’s behavioral interactions are conditional. Typically, warmth begats only warmth and insult guarantees insult. All we need do is look at our political landscape, racial disparity and religious conflict, to see this laid out with such vindictive regularity. It is a willingness to listen with an intent to understand that disrupts this polarizing intensity.

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