The Spiking Choice Imposer Paradox

I am not talking about the paradox of choice that Barry Schwartz introduced in his book carrying the same title.

I am talking about a different paradox of choice. This paradox resulted from my exchange of messages with Harvey Lloyd. Suddenly, I wrote in a message by giving ourselves the freedom to choose and then imposing our choices on others”.

Harvey explained this paradox knowingly “To use your context our freedom of choice is based on the lens of love your neighbor or within competition of the fittest.

Darwin doctrine points towards win-lose while intelligent design indicates win-win through observation”.

Harvey later elaborated on this paradox “I don’t mean large corporations when I say economics. I am referring to the belief that each citizen has that they should be successful and practice win-lose. Religion is effective at creating success in a win-win envelope.  Even philosophy attempts to mate the two ideals together.  In my mind, Darwinian’s principle cannot be merged.  Way too much energy or other chemicals are needed to make oil and water mix well”.

The Choice Imposer Paradox

Thinking later about this paradox revealed to me that

Imposing choices reveal a tendency to impose on others to satisfy hidden desires to control their lives, their decisions, their values and even eating habits.

If I do not like somebody, my friend has no right to be friendly with him. On what basis I assume that my difference with others should also make my friends drop their friendship with them. Else, they are not friends.

You may have experienced this yourself. A friend invites you to dinner in a restaurant. Your friend tries to impose his love of certain dishes on you. It just tastes great. Eat it and you shall not regret it. Is not this kind of imposing his favorite food on you? Does not he assume that you have the same taste buds as he has? You may even feel your host does not respect you for he is saying indirectly I know better than you do.

It is a Darwinian approach. It is a win-lose approach. It is a self-defeating approach.

The rippling effect of the choice imposer paradox

There is a tendency that one paradox may lead to the birth of new paradoxes and syndromes.

The player-manager syndrome questions why so many outstanding players failed to make the transition of becoming managers as well.

The same syndrome applies to employees who get promotions and become managers.

Imposed budgets are another example of our tendency to tell others what is right for them. We are not only imposing our values, but also our thinking, our lifestyles, and our egos on others.

Achievements can be our trap. Because we played, well other players should do as we did. Because we understand more our imposed budget is final and all managers should abide by.

It is indifferent from assuming that what I like to eat is the best for all. I am the one who understands.

How can we dream of having self-organizing teams with such limiting mentalities? Your thoughts count.


Ali Anani
Ali Anani
My name is Ali Anani. I hold a Ph.D. from the University of East Anglia (UK, 1972) Since the early nineties I switched my interests to publish posts and presentations and e-books on different social media platforms.

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  1. Those who want to impose their ideas do not believe enough in their value (Paul Valéry).
    The history of the human world is practically built on attempts, successful or unsuccessful, to impose one’s view of life on others. We have done this for millennia, in the fields of religion, education, economics and politics.
    The right to think differently is a fundamental right, which must be defended and exercised, even and above all when we are not in agreement with what our neighbor thinks. It is important to understand that others around us also have the right to “do” differently. Whether they are intellectual choices or real actions. Even if we believe or it is obvious that they are wrong. Even if we would never take those actions. Even if we are in good faith.
    Respect for the choices of others must always be our first thought.
    Even when we talk about parents and children, parents certainly act as guides, they must know how to advise and listen, but also know how to separate what must be the freedom of choice from the imposition.

    • It is sheer delight to read your comprehensive comment dear Aldo Delli Paoli.

      To influence is legitimate; to impose is not.

      Reastaurants that make food smell so that passersby may walk in is influencing. If then somebody walks in and the waiter tries to impose on him what to eat is not.

      We need to understand other better when we disagree with them and not use force them to change their choices. This is a sign of immaturity if one tries to impose on others and treaveals hidden fear within self by trying to control the choices of others. Or, this person might have an air-balloon eggo that make him think he can impose his choices on others.

      I truly enjoyed reading your comment.