Rule 10 / Be precise in your speech

In this chapter Peterson uses the children’s story, There’s no such thing as a dragon by Jack Kent to make his point. In this story, Billy Bixbee finds a small dragon in his bedroom but when he tells his mother, she insists, there’s no such thing as a dragon. The more they ignore the dragon the bigger it gets until the dragon runs down the street with their house on his back. Peterson uses this story to make the point if we don’t deal with a problem it will get bigger and bigger. From there he goes on to talk about one of the ways we avoid dealing with problems is to talk about them in vague ways. When dealing with issues we are often not clear about our expectations or what we really want. We become comfortable with our current set of circumstances. However, if we start being clear about our wants and needs, it will change the dynamic of our relationships. We don’t always want that kind of change.

Again Peterson thinks by pointing out that we need to be more precise when discussing problems people will be motivated to change, but mostly this doesn’t happen.

From a Christian point of view, there are a couple of biblical stories, which tell us that not dealing with issues will cause problems. For example, Jonah ran from his problem rather than discuss it with God and found himself in a major storm. Another example is when Job says the thing that he has greatly feared has come upon him, by not dealing with his fears they became a reality. God wants us to be real, face our fears so that God can help us deal with them. In God, we have the strength and grace to face our problems something that Peterson can’t provide.

Click for: Peterson’s 9th Rule of Life