The Coddling of the American Mind

We are meant to be challenged, and our nation faces a risk of coddling

Tuesday January 23, 2024



  • us vs them thinking
  • Labeling.
  • cognitive distortions.
  • Illogical gaps.
  • Tribalism. It’s within us all.
  • The rhetoric in the world affects us all. We can overcome by paying heed. But the people who probably need to read this book don’t. Same with any book: it’s never received by the people who need it most, perhaps.
  • anti-fragility: don’t want you to be safe. Want you to be strong. Armor. Don’t want you to run. Want you to have the strength to overcome.
  • concept creep.
  • Don’t defend the attacked.
  • “rallies are sometimes in the belief in a God, but always in the belief of a devil”


CBT: Emotional Reasoning, catastrophizing, labeling, Overgeneralising, black|white, mind reading, negative filtering, discounting positives, blaming

  1. Emotional reasoning. Confusing feelings with thoughts or reality is a cognitive distortion.
  2. Catastrophizing imagines a sequence of events. But it’s seldom true.
  3. Overgeneralising.
  4. Dichotomous thinking. All or nothing thinking.
  5. Mind reading
  6. Labelling. Because someone belongs to a category doesn’t mean they embody all the traits of that category.
  7. Negative filtering. Amplifying negative signals, so it overwhelms the positive.
  8. Discounting positives. Rationalising away positive evidence as if it doesn’t count.
  9. Blaming.
  • tribalism.
  • CARE framework for responding to challenges.
  • Theory: we grow through being challenged, not the opposite. We are not our feelings.
  • Principle of charity: assume the best intent (not the worst)
  • prepare the kid for the road, not the road for the kid. Life is the road.
  • People are afraid to speak up For fear of being cancelled.

The Coddling of the American Mind


Bryan lives somewhere at the intersection of faith, fatherhood, and futurism and writes about tech, books, Christianity, gratitude, and whatever’s on his mind. If you liked reading, perhaps you’ll also like subscribing: