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Hillary Clinton + Anticipatory Rejection + Fearful Aggression = Lost Presidential Bid


Anticipatory rejection is a state of mind where you believe that regardless of what you say, people will push back, counterattack, minimize, deny, become defensive, make excuses, blame or use some other tactic to reject whatever comes out of your mouth and also deny responsibility (one can only imagine the exchanges between Hillary and Bill towards the end of his second term).

It is usually based on the experience of years – if not a lifetime –of people pushing back at you and not accepting what you say and then coming to believe that it will always be that way and acting preemptively.

Fearful aggression is a behavior and something that show dog trainers know well and that we all watched in the movie, "Best in Show." It occurs when a tightly wound, highly pedigreed dog (or person) is cornered or frightened, and it reacts with aggression. To the outsider the dog appears to be on the attack, but from inside the dog, it is completely fueled by the fear of being attacked.

In a nutshell, when you're on the defensive (fueled by your anticipatory rejection mindset and fearful aggression reaction) and nobody is attacking you, you are perceived as being both on the offensive and paranoid…and you offend everyone.

And the solution? Maybe an update on Freud's famous dictum: "Where id was, let ego be" (ego as in being in touch with reality) is called for, such as: "Where ego (self-righteousness) was, let graciousness be."

© 2008 Mark Goulston