[From Kenny Kitzke (2003.12.17)]
<Bill Williams 15 December 2003 8:00 PM CST>
<to Marc, and CSGnet folk,
Earlier in the sequence of the “Congratulations” thread, I suggested that from a control theory perspective, adopting the perception that someone or some group was an enemy was probably not a good idea.>
Hi, Bill W. I apologize for not replying to a number of your posts. This was not a sign of me being an enemy of yours. They were worthy. I have wanted to reply, and even saved a few posts for reply, but they are so old now, the thread is gone! I just got busy trying to reduce other larger errors in my life. I hope you will understand and forgive me.
I look at this a bit differently. I would suspect that most people adopt a reference for having zero enemies. This would be a good idea from a control theory or any perspective regarding relationships.
If a person or group is perceived to be becoming your enemy, you would act to try to alleviate that circumstance. You might for example test for that variable by discussions offering explanations, apologies and even concessions regarding your behavior to try to restore friendship.
Failing such action to successfully persuade a real or potential enemy to become a friend, having a reference for people or groups as an enemy would allow you to be preventive and cautious when an enemy draws near. Seeing an undeterred enemy threatening your safety or freedom may leave one with a choice of flight or fight to avoid the error.
So, it is not so much having references for relational variables like friends or enemies for which you control that is undesirable, it is more that perceived enemies themselves are not advantageous.
<I also suggested that identifying “enemies” appeared to be a characteristic common to fundamentalists of various persuasions.>
Religion can certainly be a source of reference perceptions for people as “enemies.” Islam, for example, teaches its fundamental adherents that Christians and Jews are its enemies worthy of death.
But, there are many such sources for gaining enemy references. Politics and governmental leaders certainly produce as many enemy refereces as religion and often with the intent of killing people and groups of people. In business and in sports, competitors are similar to enemies although harm short of murder is the norm there (usually).
I think there is a phenomena where you can perceive someone as your enemy based upon how you perceive their actions, when their intent was not hostile toward you. Should you wrongfully perceive a person as an enemy, your own actions may help create an adversarial relationship with the supposed enemy. You even look for actions by the other person or group that justify your perception of them as your enemy. So, it seems there is a self-fulfilling tendency to make enemies unnecessarily.
I can see why a person who is PCT aware might be more likely to avoid such incorrect perceptions just by testing for relational hostility. It that is where you were headed, I can agree.