Russell Conjugation (or emotive conjugation).
The tendency of people to regard their own characteristics more charitably than those of others, and to rank others according (at least in part) to proximity to earshot:
I am firm, you are obstinate, he is a pig-headed fool.
I am righteously indignant, you are annoyed, he is making a fuss over
I have reconsidered the matter, you have changed your mind, he has
gone back on his word.
Eric Weinstein expands:
Russell Conjugation (or “emotive conjugation”) is a presently obscure
construction from linguistics, psychology and rhetoric which
demonstrates how our rational minds are shielded from understanding
the junior role factual information generally plays relative to
empathy in our formation of opinions.
I frequently suggest it as perhaps the most important idea with which
almost no one seems to be familiar, as it showed me just how easily my
opinions could be manipulated without any need to falsify facts.
Historically, the idea is not new and seems to have been first defined
by several examples given by Bertrand Russell in 1948 on the BBC
without much follow up work, until it was later rediscovered in the
internet age and developed into a near data-driven science by pollster
Frank Luntz beginning in the early 1990s.
Luntz, a US political and communications consultant:
Luntz frequently tests word and phrase choices using focus groups and
interviews. His stated purpose in this is the goal of causing
audiences to react based on emotion. "80 percent of our life is
emotion, and only 20 percent is intellect. I am much more interested
in how you feel than how you think. ... If I respond to you quietly,
the viewer at home is going to have a different reaction than if I
respond to you with emotion and with passion and I wave my arms
around. Somebody like this is an intellectual; somebody like this is a