Conditioning, Stereotypes, False Beliefs

An unfortunate side effect of growing up in any imbalanced, dysfunctional community, culture, or family is that EVERYONE gets conditioned to believe certain things, and go along with things, and react in certain ways.

Even if we are fully aware that something is not right, or "off", we can still keep repeating the pattern. That's what conditioning does: it teaches our SUBCONSCIOUS to see things a certain way and believe certain things, and even feel certain emotions about various things (and people) in our world, so we just think of them as "the way things are".

Weirder still, if something we see with our own eyes CONTRADICTS something that we hold as a subconscious belief, our brains tell us to LOOK AWAY. Our subconscious does not want us to see this contradiction.
Why~? Because if one of the beliefs we hold is shown to be wrong, then whatever is connected to it is probably ALSO wrong. Our subconscious does not want to have to review our entire perception of the world, it wants to keep things just the way they are, especially if we seem safe enough, and reasonably content.

For example, even if we become consciously aware that garter snakes are harmless, we will still recoil when we see one if we were conditioned by those around us to fear snakes.

Many people think of snakes as "slimy" like earthworms or eels, which is completely false... That belief came from somewhere, but NOT from reality. So where did it come from if there is literally zero truth in it? Snakes are definitely NOT slimy, and yet there are many, many humans who seem utterly convinced that they are. That's like believing that cake is made out of cement; it's not true, it's false. So where does the belief come from?

Why do seemingly logical, thinking human beings believe all kinds of erroneous, false things, such as "All Snakes Are Dangerous" or "Snakes Are Slimy"? Where did the beliefs come from in the first place, and why don't people doubt them?

They believe it, and don't doubt it, because the beliefs were "implanted" in their subconscious. They didn't learn it consciously in a classroom, being taught directly by an instructor. They learned it "by the wayside"~ from being around others who already harbored these beliefs. They also may have been taught "wrong" from people who may have purposely intended for them to fear snakes so they wouldn't touch them as children.

Where does this all lead?
It's one thing to believe that all snakes are dangerous, resulting in something harmless such as a person never picking up a snake they see in the driveway. This belief allows people to get away with never learning to recognize the different species of snakes. I don't have to learn which snakes are dangerous if I just don't touch any of them. Believing snakes are SLIMY is just an additional embellishment that deters people from picking them up. Snakes are NOT slimy at all, but if one is never going to touch one, then the false belief doesn't make much of a difference.

But what about when that same process happens with human beings? When people in a culture are conditioned in blanket beliefs about human beings, it makes a very large impact on their daily lives. And because we internalize these conditioned beliefs, our subconscious DEFENDS them as "REAL", as "THE WAY THINGS REALLY ARE".

The impact this has had throughout the history on our species has been overwhelmingly negative. And the impact this has on our day to day individual lives is also quite negative, although many will, of course, deny it, since it seems to them that they are not being affected in a negative way.

Some of these beliefs are known as "stereotypes", and many will even defend them with a statement such as "stereotypes always have a grain of truth in them". Well, we can say that about literally any fiction or blatant lie we make up, that process is called "rationalizing". The drunk driver often rationalizes why he or she was driving a car while intoxicated, and there will probably be a "grain of truth" in the story. But one grain certainly does not make a beach full of sand.

We LIKE to believe false things that BENEFIT OURSELVES.

False beliefs about human beings that are commonly held are usually centered around race, ancestry, body size, gender, and physical attractiveness. Many humans tend to LIKE to believe stereotypes such as: that those of Asian ancestry are naturally better at math, African ancestry are naturally better at sports and dancing, Indian ancestry are more peaceful and enlightened, Irish ancestry are jolly but like to fight and drink, and Italian ancestry are better at cooking but have connections to organized crime, etc., etc.

Every ancestry it seems carries some kind of blanket stereotype. When we see a person who matches the stereotype, our subconscious gives itself a pat on the back and says "SEE? I WAS RIGHT!"
But what happens with all the people we meet who don't fit the stereotype?
Our subconscious IGNORES these contradictions, and even DELETES them. If someone points out the contradiction, the response is often "Well there's always an exception to the rule" or "The exception proves the rule"... which is just bad science. If there is a "rule", then it's always true, there are no exceptions. If the "rule" is shown to have an exception, then it was NOT CORRECT in the first place.

One of the more sinister results of conditioning is the fact that we end up believing false things about OURSELVES as well, along with OUR FAMILY MEMBERS, and others around us as well.
If one of the fictions we were conditioned to believe as real, for example, is "dark-skinned people aren't good at math", then when we go looking for an accountant to hire, who are we going to choose? If everyone in our region was conditioned in this same belief, then what will be the result for an African descent person? Unchallenged conditioned beliefs are so strong that even if we found out that the African ancestry accountant was a Math Whiz who won various awards and received recognition for their ability and skill, we would STILL NOT HIRE them if we had a choice between them and a non-African. Only those who were not conditioned with this belief, OR who purposely challenged their OWN conditioning, would hire this person.

We can go further down that road, and pit a MALE African descent accountant against another accountant who is a FEMALE, and of Asian ancestry. Now, the person's conditioning about the abilities of Males vs. Females comes into play, ON TOP OF their conditioned beliefs about African descent vs. Asian descent.
Who will they hire?
Add to this mix an Italian male accountant. Now who will they hire?
Let's make the African male accountant SHORT, the Asian female accountant average height, and the Italian male accountant TALL.
What happens when we add a fourth candidate, a blonde Norwegian descent female accountant? Who is SHORT?
What happens if the Norwegian female accountant is TALL?

How about if the Italian male accountant is SHORT, and the African male accountant is TALL and athletic looking? What happens if the Asian female is older, heavy, wears glasses? And the Norwegian female has serious facial scars? Which one would you hire?
What happens if every one of them has an UNFRIENDLY personality, or if they're all equally very pleasant and polite?

There is absolutely zero information in the physical descriptions of the four candidates that shows their ability, skill, or experience. The only candidate who's ability was mentioned was the African male accountant. NO ONE else's ability was even mentioned, therefore assessing that the African male accountant is the BEST candidate is still an ASSUMPTION. He might have received recognition, but the others may have also, and may have received more. OR, they may have not received any.

There is not enough information to make a decision, or assess which accountant would be the most reliable and skilled.

AND YET, we humans will make that decision ANYWAY, based on nothing more than our own pre-conditioned subconscious beliefs that are not based at all in reality. And we will actually pat ourselves on the back, comfortably believing that we made the best choice.

We project these same conditioned false beliefs onto those around us, and onto OURSELVES as well. So if we've been conditioned to believe that MEN ARE NOT GOOD AT LAUNDRY (because they're somehow mentally deficient in this area), we'll project that onto our husbands, brothers, and SONS. That means we are sending them the message that we believe they have a mental deficiency! How cruel is that, and how presumptuous? It certainly isn't giving them any support or boost of confidence.

And if we are a MAN who grew up in this same "belief system", we will believe this about OURSELVES, and about other men around us. Buying into a belief that we are "deficient" in something as basic as laundry, and BASED ON OUR PHYSICAL BODIES that we were BORN with, is about as self-defeating and self-sabotaging as one can get. But we were TAUGHT this ridiculous belief by others around us, and even though it's obviously a fallacy, we internalized it, and made it seem like a part of the fabric of the human species. Like it's TRUE, and real.

We are doing our sons a disservice when we project such lame deficiencies on them, and their future wives will probably believe it about them as well if they grew up in a similar culture. And our sons will project their false beliefs that they were conditioned to believe onto their own wives and DAUGHTERS, knocking them down the totem poll, which is devastating to any child's development. If our son ends up having a son and a daughter, how will he raise them if his subconscious believes that one of them is superior to the other? Even if it's in "only certain areas", he is going to ASSUME that one of them is INFERIOR to the other, and he'll treat them accordingly. He won't care about finding out what each child is actually interested in, or what each child wants to learn, or what each child is inspired to do. He'll simply teach one of them certain things, and the other something else, and he won't even question himself.
If he has bought into the cultural stereotype that girls can't play baseball like boys can, or aren't interested, then he will probably play catch and practice hitting for hours on end with his son, creating a wonderful parent-child bond, but he'll leave his daughter out. If he does include her, he'll treat her like a little "mascot", not really teaching her much at all or giving her expectations, but treat his son as the "real deal".
If his wife has been conditioned in the same way, she will GO ALONG WITH IT, and discipline their daughter when she expresses being upset about it, or dismiss her sadness and protests completely.