We kill the messenger in our minds without even realizing it.
This takes place on a scale so small, you probably do not even realize it’s happening.
Karen stops buy your office to deliver bad news from management once a week and you soon begin to dislike her with everything you are made of.
I know a guy like this. He is frazzled and stressed at every turn. When I hear him coming down the hall I can literally feel the negativity rise in my bones.
It’s about the principle of association.
The takeaway, I think is to be conscious of what you are repeating, for repetition matters.
There is a natural human tendency to dislike a person who brings us unpleasant information, even when that person did not cause the bad news. The simple association with it is enough to stimulate our dislike.
-Robert Cialdini, Influence
Of course, sometimes the messenger actually dies too: