Rapport comes in more than one flavor. In How to Have Impossible Conversations, Peter Boghossian and I dive into the importance of building rapport with people you wish to talk to, especially across divides of morals or politics, and what we’re talking about is something I would term “positive rapport.” Positive rapport leads to building light, friendly, and warm relationships. There is, however, another side to rapport, which I term negative rapport. Negative rapport is opening up and sharing more vulnerable information, including fears, trauma, and pain. Negative rapport builds intimacy, which makes it important in deep pair-bonding but also dangerous in other types of relationships. There’s also a general norm against taking relationships in the direction of this depth and vulnerability except under certain circumstances. This can lead negative rapport to become something, once made available in a relationship, that gets abused (because so few people want to hear it, frankly), which can lead to toxic patterns, including enablement and emotional exploitation. In this episode of my subscribers-only podcast, James Lindsay OnlySubs, I explore the ideas of positive and negative rapport and discuss the way that Wokeness and Critical Theory seek to undermine the crucial norm that limits access to sharing negative rapport with others. This creates a toxic and unhealthy interpersonal relationship space under a doctrine of “misery loves company,” which Critical Theories have always sought to generate and exploit to their own allegedly revolutionary benefit. Join me to learn how to spot negative rapport and to understand better when it is and isn’t appropriate so that healthier boundaries, thus healthier relationships and societies, can be a part of all of our lives.
Previous episodes of OnlySubs can be found here.