The Borg – a fictional Star Trek alien race whose purpose is to achieve perfection. Their mode of existance is The Collective, in which there is no more individuality (as there is only one way to be „perfect”, how could perfect creatures be different?). The Borg is the recurring antagonist, a threat to the Federation, as they are aiming to assimilate all races and planets into the Collective. Their main message upon meeting others is „Resistance is futile”.
Putting ourselves in the Borg’s shoes, their cause is a noble one – they want what is best for everyone! – and we can empathize with their determination in spreading “perfection” across the Universe. So, of course, we ask ourselves ”Why do all other races of the Universe resist perfection? Why should they resist such a noble intention? Why are they making it hard for the Borg?” In fact, from the Borg point of view, the more a race resists assimilation, the less conscious it is of its own imperfection – so the more it needs to be assimilated!
As Steve de Shazer points out in his Resistance Revisited article, published in 1989, (revisiting his controversial 1979, Death of Resistance paper), the concept of “resistance” implies there is a fight between client and therapist, in which the client needs to “loose” in order to “win”.
The easiest way for therapists or coaches to find cooperation in their clients is to stop finding proof of resistance and look for cooperation. This is how our colleague Coert Visser puts it.