How To Hack Your Brain Into Always Speaking Up

Kelsie Foreman
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June 11, 2021

In a world where bad things happen all the time, it can be tricky to find the courage to speak up and intervene when something morally corrupt or wrong is going on—especially when it’s happening at work, with a group of friends, or anywhere else where social norms could come into play.  But what if you could train yourself out of that fear to act? What if you could hack your brain into speaking up or intervening without fear? And what if you could figure out why you were hesitant to speak up in the first place?

Believe it or not, Catherine Sanderson, renowned psychologist, expert speaker, and author, has figured out how to do just that in her most recent book, Why We Act. Inspired to explore social norms after a drinking accident left a young man in her son’s dorm building dead, Sanderson was determined to figure out why no one had stepped in to his aid and dedicated herself to completing this book. 

Uncover Why We Act Versus Why We Don’t 

Using her findings from her son’s dorm room experience, Sanderson takes a deep dive into the factors behind moral courage (or going against the grain of society) so that readers can teach themselves to speak up when it matters most. These findings are crucial because everyone could be in a situation where simply speaking up and acting can save a life, relationship, or even a business. 

“From bullying on the playground to sexual harassment in the workplace, perfectly nice people often do perfectly awful things. But why? In this thoughtful and beautifully written book, Sanderson shows how basic principles of social psychology explain such behavior—and how they can be used to change it. [Why We Act is] a smart and practical guide to becoming a better and braver version of ourselves,” reviewed Daniel Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness.

 A Life-Changing Read

Not only does Sanderson’s book make you deeply consider why the opinions of others (even those we don’t personally know) matter so much to us, it’s also a brilliant psychological expose that will implore you to change your thinking with the help of surprisingly easy exercises from Sanderson. 

“Here's the thing,” says Sanderson in an interview with NPR. “In many cases, people believe, oh, my goodness, I'm going to be ostracized if I speak up. But in reality, everybody or most people in their group are actually feeling exactly the same.” 

Regardless of your personality type, your living situation, or your upbringing, Sanderson’s book will inspire you to be more courageous in every aspect of your life. Whether you’re in a crisis or you have just overheard someone say something inappropriate to one of your coworkers, this book will give you the tools (and skills) needed to be brave enough to speak up and act no matter the situation.

Catherine Sanderson discusses the psychology behind why we act and why we don't in an exclusive video for BookClub.com. Join the discussion below!

Read Why We Act With Us On BookClub.com

Interested in diving into Why We Act and hacking your mind into acting without hesitation when needed? Join our beta here to be part of the conversation with author Catherine Sanderson. Dive deeper into the book with exclusive video content from Catherine that brings you insights you wouldn’t get anywhere else, and have conversations with other readers who are asking the same questions you are.

We hope that you’re inspired by Why We Act as much as we were. Let us know what you think about BookClub and the books on our platform by reaching out to us at support@bookclub.com or on social media @bookclubdotcom. We can’t wait to hear what you think! 

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