fancy restaurant

Tell me if you’ve ever had this experience. You’re with a group of friends at a certain place or event. You didn’t particularly care for the venue, but it was close enough and cheap enough and you agreed with an internal sigh. Now, as you’re all sitting around on uncomfortable chairs, perhaps picking at clever little food nuggets inspired by some Eastern Bloc country, or maybe listening to a hipster play an ocarina, you notice the strained smiles and the dead eyes around you and realize, “We all hate this.”
You’ve just found yourself in the thrall of pluralistic ignorance. It’s what happens when everyone fakes happiness, or enthusiasm, or understanding so well that that they fool, well, everyone else. Pluralistic ignorance rears its head when most people, and in some cases all people, do not agree with the general opinion, but aren’t willing to speak out. –Esther Inglis-Arkell

Fiction Writing Prompt: Write a story or scene that is driven by pluralistic ignorance. How does one character recognize the trap and decide to speak out.

Journaling Prompt: Do you ever fall prey to pluralistic ignorance? Write about a time when you went along to get along.

Art Prompt: Pluralistic ignorance

Non-Fiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about pluralistic ignorance and give them strategies to feel comfortable speaking their truth.

Photo Credit: starfive on Flickr

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