Why do humans often want to create a world of “us” vs. “them”? And what can we do about this unhelpful, often damaging, yet somehow reassuring instinct? Psychiatrist Robert Waldinger has some useful advice.
Remember the thrill of building walls as a kid? Forts made from snow, or a giant cardboard box. Burying ourselves in blankets and pillows. Walling ourselves off from our enemies — real or imagined — to fight heroic battles until it was time for dinner.
Even as adults, we swear undying loyalty to our local sports teams and hate their rivals. While the athletes themselves flit from one team to another in search of bigger contracts, we’re sure our home team is special. We’re passionate, sometimes to the point of violence, even though we know it’s only a game.