Why It’s Better If Others Defend You

Accusations come in varying forms. Depending on the trigger to the accusations which come your way, there isn’t much out there that one can’t get accused of under the right circumstance. The more influence you attain on your way toward your goals, the bigger the accusations against you will tend to be. Presidents get accused of ruining entire countries’ economic stability, high school principals get accused of ruining the satisfaction of one thousand students, and fathers get accused of being too strict with their children. Once an accusation which warrants your attention comes into the picture of your existence, it very well may need defending. Some accusations are trivial and lack seriousness. There are however, accusations which present themselves to be believable.

This article is meant to remind you that your defense against accusations of any sort, becomes more powerful if you have others defend you rather than merely trying to defend yourself.

Thrust Accusers Into the Minority

The overall goal of inciting others to defend you is to discredit those who accuse you. With each person who comes to your defense, your accusers grow weaker. The number of people you need to defend you depends on how many people make accusations against you. However, in many facets of everyday life, having one or two people to defend you against accusations which come your way is often sufficient. For example, the accusation that you’ve done a bad job providing on-call support coming from a manager of a department parallel to yours, only needs your own manager’s act of defending you to lose validity. If your manager, the person who knows you and your work output better, decided to defend you, it would show holes in the accuser’s reason.

Know which individuals your should explain the details of your accusations to. The formula to the success of your defense depends on two factors: how susceptible an individual is to defend you, and how seriously their defense will be perceived by onlookers. Your mother may be very susceptible to come to your defense against an accusatory bully at work, but her case for your innocence would not be taken too seriously. Use these two dependencies to determine who to pull in to sway the perception of those who moderate the accusations against you. Accusations against you are typically made to a third party, not to you directly. The point of focus of your defense should always be that third party who makes the judgment. Do not attempt to sway the mind of an accuser who seems to have their mind set on delivering damage.

The Fear of the Same Happening to Those Who Defend You

A third important, but not mandatory, factor in your defense is the chance of the same accusation being directed at those around you. If we feel that the accusations made against someone else may very well be directed at us in the future, we will be more willing to come to that individual’s defense. For example, the accusation of a professional comedian’s jokes being offensive to a vocal minority can very well be directed at other comedians as well. The line between a funny joke, and a funny but offensive joke, is rather blurry. You’ll notice that comedians tend to defend each other when it comes to accusations of offensive jokes. Comedians fear that if accusations of offensive dialogue be successful in damaging the reputation of one comedian, then they can be successful in damaging almost any one of them.

Use the fear of the same thing happening to those around you to get them to defend you. As mentioned prior, don’t go out of your way to do this, but know that it will help in your defense against accusations which are presented against you.

Book Recommendation: 

The Tools of Argument: How the Best Lawyers Think, Argue, and Win

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