This week's Invisibilia podcast and show explore what happens when people flip the script, responding to situations in ways that are completely unexpected. We tend to respond to aggression with aggression, kindness with kindness. Usually that works just fine. But sometimes turning 180 degrees can change the world. Think Mahatma Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr.
In this Invisibilia excerpt on NPR's Morning Edition, we tell the tale of a mellow Washington, D.C., dinner party that was suddenly interrupted by a man with a gun. "Give me your money," the man said. Or he would start shooting.
They tried to persuade him to back off, but the situation was getting increasingly tense. Then a woman named Christina did something simple yet extraordinary. And that changed everything.
(Check out the video, above, that the performance collective Manual Cinema created for Invisibilia about the dinner-party robbery.)
In NPR's health blog, Shots, Invisibilia co-host Hanna Rosin explains what she found when she traveled to Denmark to check out a radical experiment in flipping the script. It involves the local police and dozens of young Muslims who were planning to run off to Syria and join ISIS.
And over the weekend in Shots, psychologist Christopher J. Hopwood digs deeper into the science behind the concept. It's called noncomplementarity, and it can work to make relationships better in your own life.