Last month I attended a showing at Ryerson of a documentary on Ayn Rand and Objectivism. Near the end of the Q&A session, one of the Objectivism representatives gave us advice not to make our decision just based on what they were saying, but to come to our own conclusions by thinking for ourselves.
I don’t like objectivism, but I do like this point the person made about deciding your beliefs based on the outcome you come to through thinking for yourself and never based on following external influences.
Following onto that, these sort of situations can come up in social or business circumstances, so you should stop yourself once you notice yourself doing it.
In some situations it’s easier and accepted to not be critical. You may you attend a lecture with a very charismatic person, or gossip from a friend will have you believe negative things about somebody else. But each time you don’t think for yourself, you contribute to a collection of beliefs, values and actions you haven’t fully understood and that misrepresent who you really are.