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Concepts: Performative Contradiction (Some Better than Others) 🤨

3things concepts integral theory jordan myska allen personal growth relatefulness stayinlove Jun 16, 2022


This doesn’t imply all frames are equally useful. Claiming "all" would be another self-reinforcing frame! Integral theory calls this a "performative contradiction", borrowing from Jürgen Habermas.

'Everything is relative', for example contradicts itself by claiming that the statement 'everything is relative' is better (less relative) than other statements. 'Everything is welcome' similarly contradicts itself by suggesting non-welcomeness is welcome. 'There is no truth' implies that there's a truth of no-truth. 'Let's include everyone' tends to exclude those who don't want to include everyone (which is most people).

This is an easy trap to fall into with relating, as we embrace the power of validating people's unique subjectivities and continuously stepping outside of our preconceived notions of what is. One way out of this trap is to say that some frames are better than others, particularly for certain contexts. The more open we are to learning and change, the less threatening this becomes.


With love, Jordan


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